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Avatar universal

Fear of Mental Illness

I'm 18 years old. I had fear of having hiv in 2017 August, after that I stayed in this fear for 3 months and didn't believe my tests even after 70 days because i was focused on doctors who said i have to test after 90 days or 6 months to be sure.

This made me more tired and feared a lot but in 2018, I got through it and had no problems at all I forgot about it and I even was laughing at myself and I was actually happy because I took this as an experience which made me help people who were going through hard times, even though I was so young.

I was just 16, and I was always the positive person in this life. I made my goals about getting married and enjoy life more and I tasted life and enjoyed it so much but in 2020/1/15, I remember I was just a little stressed because of going through a lot of hard times and I was bored.

I started reading about anxiety disorders and GAD and a lot of scary things, which the things I read was saying people who had anxiety about something will always have it, even if they go through and no longer affect their life.

It reminded me of my anxiety about hiv and I was worried about myself. I started saying to myself why am I going though this and not other people? Am I mentally ill? My fear of having (ocd/any mental illness including anxiety disorders) which made me have panic attacks then I was ignoring the panic attacks and never had it again.

First week from 20/1/15  was rough, then slowly the feelings started to go away and it's nothing except thoughts about this - Will everyone have anxiety about health if they are worried about it? Is the thing I'm going through normal and just because, does this mean I'm different from the people?

Not everyone experiences anxiety about something but why do people say anxiety like it's life lasting things, and I think I won't have anything to worry about if I know I'm feeling like any human will feel if they go through the same thing.

Can I overcome this fear about mental illness and last thing is does the fear of hiv that I had 2017 and now me laughing about the hiv means I fully recovered and cured the hiv anxiety because if yes that means this is what fully recovery mean which will help me remember this  feelings.
3 Responses
Avatar universal
Nobody can predict how long an anxiety disorder will last.  You only find out things like that at the end of your life, not the beginning.  For some people an anxiety disorder will be a life-long thing.  For others, it goes away as mysteriously as it began.  And for others, it's episodic, coming and going.  For still others, they get it, fix it in therapy or some other lifestyle change, and it's gone.  Now, you may not actually have an anxiety disorder.  Can't say based on what you're said.  Being phobic about one thing, such as HIV or riding a roller coaster isn't necessarily a disorder.  It's an isolated fear you either get over or don't.  An anxiety disorder affects your life more generally than an individual phobia about something.  What you have discovered so far is that you are prone to obsessing over not only HIV but apparently other health problems as well, or you wouldn't have been searching the internet for things that might be wrong with you.  Good advice for all of us is, never search the internet based on symptoms you might have, it'll only drive you nuts.  As you've found.  The internet has good info and really bad info and lies on it, and you can't diagnose yourself on it.  It's most useful when you have a health problem that has been diagnosed and you want to check the treatment the doctor is ordering up so you can see if your doctor knows what he or she is doing.  Or if there are alternative treatments the doc didn't mention.  There are some authoritative scholarly materials you can find there.  But also a lot of chaff.  If you're no longer feeling anxious and not having anxious thoughts, you don't have anxiety anymore.  Relax and enjoy your life.  If you're still having anxious thoughts and they are random and irrational and chronic, you have a problem that needs tending.  Peace.
2 Comments
Not sure where HIV came in, but I appreciate the information
The poster on this thread was tested for HIV.  Wrong thread?
Avatar universal
My experience having lived (survived) many years now, is I agree with the brain plasticity idea that the brain (mind) can slowly change, that the changes are real, and we can influence these changes with our thoughts (meditation, for example). I am certainly a different person than I was 10 years ago.

So no I do not believe one is condemned to live in anxiety forever. I believe this can change, though the change is slow (months, years).

I also believe things may not change if one does not put any effort or desire into changing. (Anxiety could last a lifetime if one didn't put any effort into effecting a change. It takes energy to rewire the brain for the better, so we do need to put that energy (mind thoughts) in to get the change we desire.

Fear is very common. Everyone understands. Abating fear, preventing it from running away, keeping it in check, is possible, and for my experience, having put in a fair amount of meditation has payed off. And now regular meditation, not much, just a little, helps keep me well.

So no i do not believe we are condemned to live forever unhappy and anxious. A lot changes over the years. It gets better.
1 Comments
Most of us with bad anxiety problems once lived without them.  So the brain changed once, it can change over and over.  That's a proven fact.  Many many people have gotten over it quickly (there's a famous story around here about a famous weatherman who became phobic about crossing a bridge he had to cross to continue his job.  His story is, and I wouldn't recommend it, is that he drank a lot of beer and drove back and forth across the bridge until he got over it.  So it can change quickly if you're determined enough.  Therapy has worked for a lot of people as well and not worked for a lot of people.  Thinking patterns change all the time, and sometimes they just don't.  It means one does have a good reason to try, especially young people.
973741 tn?1342346373
There are a lot of things going on in the news right now that is frankly, anxiety provoking even if you don't have the disorder.  How are you doing?  How are you feeling right now?  
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