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Health anxiety anyone ?

(95 Posts)
Lonelybunny Wed 24-Apr-13 20:31:43

I seem to have a problem with health anxiety. I think it was triggered by PND . My daughter is now nearly 9 months . Every pain, twinge , symptom I think it's something really serious. I've already thought I have a brain tumour, back cancer, lymphoma, bladder cancer , and now breast cancer. I last went to the GP last Friday after finding a lump in my breast (I'm breastfeeding ) she said she can't feel it and thinks its glandular breast tissue , and to come back in a month. Well I nearly broke down last week after being silly and googling everything . I'm on the verge of going back to the GP as I'm still freaking out and it's really ruining my life at the moment. Anyone else suffered with this sort of anxiety before ?

Lucyellensmum95 Wed 24-Apr-13 20:42:19

Yes, me, in spades! exactly the same of you - i was even in hysterics once because i thought my tonsils were tumours hmm

Firstly, no matter how much you think you might reassure yourself, Google is NOT your friend, ever! So you are banned, you hear me, banned!!

Then do please go back to your GP and speak to her, not about your breast but about your health anxiety - you can have treatment in the form of ADs (you can breast feed too) and possibly some counselling.

You did the right thing by going to the doctor about your breast but believe me, if your doctor had any reason to suspect anything sinister you would be in the breast clinic before you knew it, there would be no coming back in a months time! So rest assured - your breasts can actually feel quite lumpy too, i went for the very same reason when i was BFing and it was just normal tissue, i find my breasts can be a bit lumpy at different times of the month - and i have been to the doctors a few times now with this blush but every time, it turns out to be just normal - the key is, STOP FIDDLING, because that will make the area inflammed and feel lumpy, its a vicious circle.

I don't really suffer from HA anymore, i just told myself i wasn't having it, i would literally say "no, i aint avin it" and it sort of went. Ironically i do suffer from generalised anxiety now and depression but not the HA.

It is perfectly natural though, especially when we have babies to feel scared and worriedabout our health, after all, we have children now and they depend on us, i think its very common for mums to feel anxious about things. Try to be kind to yourself - do please go to the doctor and find some time to relax - anxiety can be exhausting.

alwaysworriedtoo Wed 24-Apr-13 20:46:26

Oh, yes! I had a constant stream of worrying for years until I reached a certain age and suddenly thought,' Wow if I am still here I must be really o.k, maybe there is nothing wrong with me after all.' I also realised that lots of the things I felt or thought I felt, I had been through before and it had turned out to be nothing.
Saying that though if I do suspect something might be wrong I don't ignore it, I still go to doctors but I don't panic over it anymore. I just think 'I'll check just in case'
I totally sympathise I will add though don't google any symptoms this makes everything a million times worse. honestly!
Still go to the docs for 'just in case' this is a positive thing but try not to let the panic take over.
I hope this helpsx

Lonelybunny Wed 24-Apr-13 20:50:12

Thank you so much for your reply , and yes I am trying to stop fiddling ! But I can't help it lol it's just feels really big , GP said she couldn't even feel a lump to which I was shocked cause its there but she also said stop playing with it then come back , but why does she want me to come back ?
I was put on an antidepressant when my baby was about 3 months old but it made me worse and made me feel drunk which no way could I do with children . I feel so sad that I can't enjoy my life and I keep fixating on things ! I think the trigger was a lady up the school has cancer or is receiving chemo as her hair is falling out and since then I've gone Barmy ! I can't snap out of it . I find I'm ok for a day or two then its back again it's really debilitating and I feel I'm failing as a mother as I just cannot focus and then I end up snapping at everyone sad

MrsNPattz Wed 24-Apr-13 20:51:53

Yes, I have suffered with different forms of anxiety/depression over the years but it manifested itself as health anxiety when I was pregnant. I tried to deal with it but when I was 20 weeks pregnant I started on Sertraline - after getting the dose right it faded away, and I'm still on it now (my son is 7 months and ebf). I still have hints of anxiety, not just about health, but I'm in a much better place than if I wasn't on the AD's! I agree with other posters who say see your GP but explain the health anxiety! Good luck thanks

Yes -me too. Mine was triggered by having dangerously high blood pressure after birth of 2nd dc 5 years ago. I'm still on (very low dose) meds for the bp, but the anxiety is pretty much gone. Time (and realising that if I didn't drop dead of a stroke when my bp was at its highest then I'm not likely to now) has helped. I also really recommend plenty of exercise, plus mindfulness meditation, and can suggest books for the latter if you're interested. Good luck!

Lonelybunny Wed 24-Apr-13 20:55:09

I'm sure it is anxiety isn't it ? It feels like my stomach just drops then I get really hot then feel like I can't breathe and I'm going to just burst into tears. I nearly broke down in the school playground after stupid google then finally got the children then had to call my husband to help me get them home cause I just couldn't cope , then when we got home and we were in for 20 minutes I felt it lift , really odd ? But it's now making me depressed as well. My dad suffered with anxiety too

Lucyellensmum95 Wed 24-Apr-13 21:04:50

Yep - its the adrenalin, that stomach dropping feeling - your mind is telling your body there is a problem so its reacting. Anxiety can bring on some really shitty symptoms. You describe exactly what i experience.

Your GP asked you to go back to reassure you, but you DO have to stop fidding, the more you fiddle the lumpier your breasts feel - i speak from bitter experience. Christ i have been known to be feeling my breasts in the bloody supermarket hmmblush It got really painful and my breasts felt like bags of rocks sad

Maybe you could try another AD? or persevere - the first few weeks on ADs can be hell as they tend to have side effects and not seem to help with the anxiety and can even make it worse but after a couple of weeks the side affects subside and you start to feel so much better. They put you in a place where you can rationalise. I know its difficult with the children, could your DH maybe take some time off work to support you in the first few weeks?

Lonelybunny Wed 24-Apr-13 21:10:55

I was on fluoxetine in the past for depression which didnt really make me feel too bad but they put me on seroxat this time and it was terrible but I got through it and have been fine until about 6 weeks ago and it came back but much worse its horrible :0 yes I was fiddling with mine walking down the road !

Lonelybunny Wed 24-Apr-13 21:11:38

When I say got through it I meant I got through without meds

MrsNPattz Wed 24-Apr-13 21:29:40

I had the same reactions to the anxiety, tummy dropped, panic, felt sick, tearful etc. I saw the Perinatal team at my maternity hospital who were great, and they said that the anxiety creates a depression. I really feel for you cause it's bloody awful, keep talking to us and know that this will pass xx

Lonelybunny Wed 24-Apr-13 21:34:07

I really hope it will , wish the lump would just go away so I can get on with my life , but no doubt if find something else !

MrsNPattz Wed 24-Apr-13 21:36:58

Stay strong xx

Lonelybunny Thu 25-Apr-13 07:17:41

Thank you smile

Lucyellensmum95 Thu 25-Apr-13 08:26:01

Lonelybunny, are you me??? "wish the lump/pain/funny feeling would go away so i can get on with my life" I lost count of how many times i would say that - You really need to leave it alone. Maybe allow yourself one feel a day - its hard but doable, so say, right, at 9am i am going to examine - do it PROPERLY, flat of your hand/fingers - not finger tips and do it gently, no poking, no grabbing or pinching, if you do that, you WILL find lumps but it will be normal breast tissue. Then after that, you are not allowed to touch again - if its there in the morning it will be there in the afternoon - if its inflammed you wont give it chance to go down, if you leave it alone it will.

I really think it would be a good idea to go to the doctors though, seroxat is a heap of shit, ask for citalopram - shit side effects to start, just like the others but they work and the side effects don't tend to last so long. seroxat is well known for shitty side effects and i wouldnt take it if i were desperate!

Its a lovely sunny day today - go an enjoy it, make yourself busy and get on with your life! <stern>

Lonelybunny Thu 25-Apr-13 08:56:08

Thank you so much , it's really getting me down , to top it off I've just found out the lady with cancer up the school was breast cancer and she has lost her boob. I really need to get back to the GP as I can feel it coming on again . And to top it my right boob has been itchy which I put down to dry skin , I've been putting cream
On it and silly me googled it last week and then what came up ? Pageants disease which is a sign of rare b cancer ! Now I keep trying not to scratch :-/ but I will try out your advise , thank you all so much . I will go and see another GP smile

Brambule Thu 25-Apr-13 16:23:37

I have had HA for much of my adult life but it has got increasingly worse since having my DD. Whilst periods of time can pass without it affecting me, it's always there in the background waiting for the next trigger.

I am like a moth to a flame with Dr Google. Despite knowing nothing good ever comes of typing ailments into a search engine. However innocent a symptom is that you're experiencing, you can always find worst case scenarios and I seem to inexplicably hunt them out.

Just last month google had me in a tailspin that I had a neurological disease. It was debilitating. Went to GP in tears(!) she told me not to worry but referred me to NHS consultant for reassurance. Consultant wrote back saying I'd have to wait 6-12 months as I wasn't a priority. I should have been reassured by that. Instead I went private. Private consultant told me I had 'benign' and 'common' syptoms. I walked out not believing him.

I know I need to sort myself out as I'm wasting so much time worrying about life rather than enjoying it! I started 20mg citalopram last month and now the rather hideous side effects have worn off, I'm starting to feel more 'myself'. Start CBT next week too - wish I'd done it years ago.

You're certainly not alone with how you feel.

Lonelybunny Thu 25-Apr-13 20:45:13

Thank you , I'm feeling so fed up with myself , despite people reassuring me I just can't switch off to the worry , I've had it all day again and I'm tired now . Think I will be back to the GP for more reassurance but I'm terrified they may refer me to breast clinic which would take weeks which would cause me even more anxiety and upset so think I'm going to have to just ride it out alone and scared my poor husband is so fed up with me keep asking him about it I give up I'd rather be dead then live like this sad

MrsNPattz Thu 25-Apr-13 21:08:32

I really feel for you, it's horrendous. And like you say, nothing anyone says will make you feel better. I honestly think your best bet is to try different AD's and maybe some counselling?

Lonelybunny Thu 25-Apr-13 21:11:05

Thanks Mrs Patz Im fine one minute then the next it comes into my head , I'm wasting my life away here I may as well be dead to be honest then live like this . I will try and see GP tomorrow but they always seem so busy and it's always a different GP everytime

MrsNPattz Thu 25-Apr-13 21:17:21

Make it a priority tomorrow, try and see the same one but if not, still go. Explain everything that you have told us! Take your time. Cry if you want to (I always seem to when I'm telling the Dr). Make it clear that you need some help. Please let us know how you get on xx

Lonelybunny Thu 25-Apr-13 21:19:59

Ok thank you , I will try and pluck up the courage but so hard when I have the baby as I'm trying to stay strong for her whilst shaking inside myself sad I will let you know how it goes

MrsNPattz Thu 25-Apr-13 21:26:42

I know - you can do it!! Do it for her. Thank you xx

Lucyellensmum95 Thu 25-Apr-13 21:58:16

Holding your hand doctors tomprrow young lady! will be thinking of you x

Lonelybunny Fri 26-Apr-13 08:56:40

Thankyou everyone , so glad I'm not alone , u wanted a telephone consultation but none left so I'm going to have to face the dr , at 5 . Having a bad morning as my baby is very clingy at the moment I can't even make a slice of toast without her screaming on my leg ! I've got a mouth full of ulcers prob from the stress .....I'm worried about antidepressants and weigh gain which I will address to the GP as I'm quite big anyway and I don't need to put more weight on

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