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I think I’ve developed health anxiety

(6 Posts)
Geesus68 Fri 28-Aug-20 11:01:38

I’m not sure whether lockdown has played a part. Too much time to think maybe.

I’m a smoker(recently bought vape to try to stop). I’m overweight and have a hiatus hernia.
Around a month ago I found a lump in my chest. Pea sized, went to doc who wasn’t worried but focused more on breast lumps than smoking related issues.
Since then I’ve convinced myself I have cancer. In my lungs or stomach.
I have no real pain but a definite discomfort in my upper abdomen/chest. I have a large lump right under my sternum(like orange/grapefruit sized).
I’m not sure if this is related to hiatus hernia or is something more sinister.
I’m a 36 year old single parent spending my days going over worst case scenarios in my head. Worrying about my little boy.
I’ve suffered from very minor anxiety in the past but not like this. I feel like I can’t tell anyone so writing down will hopefully help.

My gp practise is a “ring on the day and we will see you if it’s urgent” system. Even getting past receptionist is difficult.

Can anyone tell me how to move forward?

OP’s posts: |
sunflower1993 Fri 28-Aug-20 11:18:44

Hi,

It sounds like you've been through a very stressful time and I have been there. What I would suggest is going to your GP ASAP for a referral for CBT and potentially access to medication (which I initially refused but has changed my life!)

What helps me most is exposing myself to the thought that it is true. It's the opposite of what your mind wants you to do- as you want all the reassurance from friends, family and doctors but the only way you can truly detach yourself from obsessional thoughts is by reducing the 'what if' element of them.

I must worry about my health a few times a year now! Good luck

sunflower1993 Fri 28-Aug-20 11:19:45

Also definitely go the doctors (which I'm sure you already have) with your current health issues just to rule anything out

SaltyAndFresh Fri 28-Aug-20 11:22:35

I don't think it's unreasonable to feel anxious about lumps that aren't being investigated properly. I'd get a second opinion (I don't mean to scare you).

Mumsnet is awful right now for gaslighting about health anxiety. Being concerned about aspects of your health is not a mental health disorder.

Odile13 Fri 28-Aug-20 11:36:33

I’ve been there. Health anxiety is awful. For me it started with stomach pains and a hospital stay which triggered all sorts of worries (even after the stomach issue was resolved). After that I would pounce on any problem. I sought reassurance repeatedly from family and medical professionals.

For me it did get better. The passing of time helped. Also, don’t spend hours on Google diagnosing yourself. Go to the doctor with each issue and follow their advice. Follow up if you need to or feel fobbed off. You also have to realise that the worrying and obsession with symptoms is ruining your life in the short term. It really doesn’t help in any way and just makes your life worse. If something was wrong you’d have to deal with it and would do so. If you can accept this then you can start to decrease the time spent worrying and just try to enjoy life. I’d recommend distracting yourself with things you enjoy (reading a book, walking, whatever) - it will seem hard at first but eventually gets easier.

Best wishes and good luck flowers

Geesus68 Fri 28-Aug-20 11:44:04

Thank you. The Initial lump has disappeared, it’s a larger one in abdomen that’s causing this new anxiety. For all I know it’s always been there and is normal, I have nothing to compare it to.
I’m a full time student so have been at home since full lockdown was put in place and I’m sure that hasn’t helped. Today has been particularly bad, the thoughts are so intrusive but I definitely have pain and discomfort.
Since posting I went to my gp’s website. They allow you to complete an online form with symptoms which I wasn’t aware of. I’ve filled it in and been fully honest about my anxiety and what I’m feeling. It’s helped not having to say it all face to face

OP’s posts: |

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