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Health Anxiety Ruining My Life

(112 Posts)
PeppaAteMySoul Thu 17-Mar-16 09:28:12

Hello,
Someone please tell me IABU to be thinking like this. Yesterday I found a mouth ulcer on my top gum it's tiny- only a few mm across but because it doesn't hurt and it seems a tiny bit sunken into the gum I have convinced myself it is cancer. I do this everytime I find something abnormal and it ruins my life. Instead of enjoying my toddler today I am rubbing iglu into my gum while staring at the mirror every 5 seconds to see if it has gone yet.

PeppaAteMySoul Thu 17-Mar-16 09:57:56

I have watched too many people close to me die of cancer that it has made me very fearful and paranoid. But this mouth ulcer is tiny and I am only in my early 20s. I don't drink or smoke. I had the HPV vaccination. So it isn't going to be bad is it?

5BlueHydrangea Thu 17-Mar-16 10:03:03

It's an ulcer. It's just arrived. We all get them. Take some vitamin C and go and play with your toddler. Try not to dwell on it. If its still there in a week maybe get it looked at.

PeppaAteMySoul Thu 17-Mar-16 10:06:31

Thank you. My anxiety is crazy high atm. I am just worried because aren't
ulcers supposed to hurt? I only noticed it when looking in the mirror.

PeppaAteMySoul Thu 17-Mar-16 10:07:37

I am suffering from PTSD and maybe that makes my anxiety all the worse.

U2HasTheEdge Thu 17-Mar-16 10:16:34

I need to head out to work in a bit so don't have much time, but I've suffered with it for a few years now.

Sometimes really badly where I can barely function. I have been much better recently but going through a bit of a bad spell right now.

I would like to message you later this evening if ok? I know how you are feeling and the support I got from people who understood meant a lot to me, I would be very happy to talk to you and give you some advice that helped me etc.

BTW ulcers sometimes take days to actually hurt. I get them all the time.

For now, try your hardest not to look in the mirror. If you can't handle not looking try to gradually increase the amount of time between looking. If you are looking every ten minutes for example, next time wait for 12 minutes, then 14 and so on.

If you can manage it I strongly advise you to get out of the house and do something. Every time you look in the mirror you are feeding the beast. You might not be strong enough right now to stop looking completely but gradually increasing the time between checks is a good start.

The best thing to do right now would be going out or doing anything to try to take your mind off it for a bit. I know how hard that can be, I really do but the single best thing for my anxiety is to keep busy.

PeppaAteMySoul Thu 17-Mar-16 10:25:19

Yes, U2 please do message me. I don't have anyone to talk to- my dp I am sure is sick of me right now!

I am sorry you are going through a bad spell and hope it improves for you soon!

I am going to take my son out now- you are right about beast feeding

motherigloo Thu 17-Mar-16 10:28:25

I have also been through this. With help from my DH I have really improved and my quality of life is much improved.

It doesn't have to be like this. Agree with PP about not looking in the mirror - I used to religiously check my pulse. Hard habit to get out of but I managed it in a similar way.

Do you use dr Google?

PeppaAteMySoul Thu 17-Mar-16 10:50:26

Yes motherigloo that is how I decided it was cancer when I googled painless punched out ulcer.

I have stepped away from mirror. Will check tonight but not before.

motherigloo Thu 17-Mar-16 11:07:33

Dr Google was my main problem.

I got my DH to download some software that blocked all medical sites from the computer. That really really helped. Only he had the password. It helped me to break the habit :-)

RockUnit Thu 17-Mar-16 12:49:47

Have you seen the GP? If the health anxiety is affecting your life he/she might recommend medication or a talking therapy.

PeppaAteMySoul Thu 17-Mar-16 15:57:20

Rock I am getting councelling for my PTSD which I am sure the anxiety stems from. I never used to be like this. At the back of my mind though is the nagging doubt "what if I'm right and it is cancer". I know that sounds silly.

PeppaAteMySoul Fri 18-Mar-16 11:42:55

So ulcer is still there today. Is no better at all. sad It seems to be in a dent almost of my gum. Is this normal?

WhatsGoingOnEh Fri 18-Mar-16 11:47:38

Please see your dentist. I'm a HARDCORE health-worrier, but in my many many hours of symptom googling my experience blush, mouth cancer is usually described as flat, white or red patches. Not tiny craters.

I'm sure you're fine!

PeppaAteMySoul Fri 18-Mar-16 11:54:17

I need to get a grip I know it's pathetic of me to be like this. I don't really want to see a dentist until it has been there 2 weeks so I am not wasting their time.
Not long before my son was born my ex did something horrific to me. When we were together he was abusive. When I left and got with my DP he got worse. My anxiety comes from PTSD after that event. I hate that years on when i should be free and happy he still has the power to ruin everything.

TheCricketWidow Fri 18-Mar-16 22:16:42

I also have health anxiety and can confirm its a complete bastard. Just wanted to say that i can relate to what you're saying thanks.

liberatedwine Fri 18-Mar-16 22:25:44

flowers

Health anxiety is a bitch. Get reassurance first from your dentist or GP.

Then organise therapy - EMDR or CBT - and kick it to the kerb.

U2HasTheEdge Fri 18-Mar-16 22:30:56

You don't need to see your dentist yet as you said.

Trust me. The moment you go down that route, running to get medical advice every time you are anxious you feed it, then you will need more reassurance and it won't end.

I have been there, some days I'm still there and have to sit on my hands not to call the surgery.

I now ask myself what people without HA but who take good care of their health would do. If someone without HA had an ulcer what would they do? They would most likely think nothing of it, if it didn't go after a couple of weeks they would see a dentist then. They would not go for a two day ulcer. They probably wouldn't even check it again for a few days.

I get ulcers all the time, flat looking ones and indented ones. The first few days it doesn't hurt, then it gets a bit bigger, looks sorer and might get really painful then it keeps like that for a few days and slowly gets smaller. Don't be anxious if it seems to get more angry looking, very common in ulcers that have just came up.

Arkhamasylum Fri 18-Mar-16 22:40:44

Health anxiety is awful. I really feel for you. You need to get as much help as you can. It really does make a difference flowers

jeanswithatwist Fri 18-Mar-16 22:48:10

flowersflowers big hugs here op. Yet another silent HA sufferer. You are not alone although it feels like it as people don't get it/source of great amusement for some. I go through phases of being OK (joyous time when actually not worrying about my health) but then it can jump out at you and is all consuming. Last year was pretty terrible for my mental health although not so bad this year. I doubt very much that you have anything bad going on in your mouth. Op. I recently read that HA is a form of OCD. go figure!! I never realised. I have read a lot on the net about ha, CBT is apparently good at breaking the cycle. Reading about it has actually helped me a lot. Worst thing we can do is give thought/fuel to our paranoias although very hard to fight when scared about ie an unusual looking mole etc but I have fought back and it has helped smile

PortobelloRoad Sat 19-Mar-16 02:40:05

Trust me. The moment you go down that route, running to get medical advice every time you are anxious you feed it, then you will need more reassurance and it won't end.

This is exactly right. Reassurance or safety seeking is like pouring petrol on a bonfire in this situation. It feels like the best thing to do, to go to the doctor, to google etc but it's making it worse, that's the anxiety trap.

Therapy would be your best bet to solve this, I hope you feel better soon.

Sometimesithinkimbonkers Sat 19-Mar-16 04:33:30

Go and see your GP!!!!! Sertaline is my friend ! I was constantly dying but now I'm like .... Oh well fuck it!!!

jlivingstone Sat 19-Mar-16 04:48:23

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Hi op! Like you I've been through traumatic times ( though not relationship based ) and believe it "triggered" my health anxiety tho I've always been a worrier.
Please do not google anything at all.
I use MN for advice because that's what I trust.
I was offered fluoxetine many times and refused and in the end I decided I needed to try them, they work!
Don't get me wrong I'm still a worrier but compared to the way I was 2 years ago my HA is almost gone.
Doctor confirmed my suspicion that I have OCD and fluoxetine have helped with that massively.
Mine was to do with cleaning, I've chilled so much and the effect on my life and those around me is massive.
There are so many people out there suffering, you're not alone.
Just wanted you to know that it can get better and there is hope x

PortobelloRoad Sat 19-Mar-16 05:28:29

jlivingstone

Have you tried not being such an atrocious cunt?

Hypochondria and health anxiety are indeed interchangeable, but they are both serious things. Hypochondria is not a word for "making it up for attention". That would be munchausens or malingering or similar.

Do you think people with bipolar or depression or pre natal anxiety or pnd or schizophrenia or ocd need to put their "big girl pant on and be an adult"?

Anxiety in general, particularly about ones health can be absolutely debilitating, it can and has ruined lives. Why don't you try looking things up before you storm in being so ignorant and dismissive.

It's people like you that perpetuate mental health stigma and dissuade people from reaching out and seeking some help for their problems, because arseholes like you can't take 2 seconds to google something before they judge.

I really hope nobody else who has health anxiety read what you wrote, you may well have stopped someone getting help or at least made them feel far worse about themselves than they should.

Stupid twat.

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