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really worried about my mum, please help(4 Posts)
so as not to drip feed I will say from the outset that I suffer from horrendous health anxiety and am also 16 weeks pregnant (first baby) so both of these things may be clouding my judgement.
I am extremely worried my mum might have ovarian cancer. She has what I would describe as persistent bloating and has had for a good 6 months. She says it's nothing to worry about as it comes and goes but my understanding of 'comes and goes' is that some days you are bloated and some days not. whereas she says she is bloated every day but it gets worse in the evenings etc and around around her period. she is nearly 50, not gone through the menopause yet.
I begged her and begged her to go to the GP but because she knows I get anxious about health she thinks I am over-reacting. She is going through a massive amount of stress at the moment and went to the GP related to that, so I told her to mention this at the same time. She says she did and GP dismissed it as probably some form of IBS caused by stress - didn't even bother to feel her tummy or anything - but knowing my mum I can't imagine she made a big deal out of it.
She also says it's nothing to worry about as she has always had bloating/digestive issues - this is true.
She has had no other symptoms (no pain, except for occasional trapped wind pain, no feeling full, nausea, etc etc) except for the fact that her periods recently have been a bit all over the place. I read that this is also an ovarian cancer symptom but to be honest it is also probably explainable by a) the stress she is under and b) the fact that she may be nearing the menopause.
Do you think I need to continue pushing for her to go to the doctor? I have two quite young siblings (early teens), she has no partner, our Dad isn't around and we don't really have an extended family. I can't bear the thought of something happening to her. I feel furious she won't go to the doctors.
I would really appreciate some advice/a good common-sense talking to please...
I think, as you suspect, your health anxiety is clouding your judgement. Reading your OP as an uninvolved person (although I'm not medically trained) I can't see anything that suggests she may have ovarian cancer and in fact you have given reasons yourself why it is unlikely. Instead of being furious at your mum (who is, at the end of the day, an adult whose behaviour you can't control) you should concentrate on yourself and working on your own anxiety. I'm sorry if this sounds a little harsh, I know anxiety can be all-consuming, but this is actually about your mental health, which I think you already know. If your mum is also under stress, that will also be worrying you as well as your own pregnancy. I think the fact your mum is resisting to look into it further is what is also annoying you and you feel that what she has done so far isn't conclusive enough - for YOU - but it is for her and you'll have to respect that.
thank you tin, and no not harsh at all, I need to hear these things as I get so involved in my own anxiety and it's really bad for me.
just went into a total downward spiral yesterday night imagining her not being there. and yes the stress she is going through (loads of stuff including financial things) is also a massive strain on me and not helping.
I know I am not being very fair to her.
What might help with the health anxiety is to remember this:
The amount of fear I am feeling is not proportional to the amount of danger me or anyone I care about, is in.
My thoughts and feelings about dangers myself or people I care about, have absolutely no relation physically, nor have any control or influence over my own or someone else's health. That is, the thoughts and feelings I have are concocted in my brain and by my nerve endings connecting together. There is No Direct Link or invisible threads between my brain and events around me - like someone else's health. There is no actual physical connection. One is thoughts in someone's head and physical sensations in their body, the other is another person in a different location. However, our minds think they can 'control' or influence another person's situation by thinking and worrying and ruminating over it, in an attempt to ward off a threat of the loss of a loved one. To our brains, worrying and speculation about terrible events in the future is a logical thing to do and seems like 'action' to solve the problem. Or to get 'proof' that everything will be okay. And our minds don't know that they have no influence over those events..if you get me.
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