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Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.

Any mums with health anxiety?

(35 Posts)
PJM18 Sat 09-Mar-13 20:19:32

Hi. I haven't been to the doctor so not officially diagnosed with this but am aware that I become very anxious and over worried about health issues in my family and myself. I'm a health professional myself so find it a bit embarrassing to admit this but think it is a problem.
I find that if one of my children mention something that most people would dismiss ie 'my leg is sore' my first thought is oh my god, what if it's bone cancer or if one of them look a bit pale I get a leukaemia worry.
I'm interested how other people deal with this as I don t want it affecting my children by my constant analysing them. Has anyone had treatment for this and did it help?

minmooch Sun 10-Mar-13 13:05:41

It's extremely difficult not to worry about your children, especially if you are in the health profession and are aware if symptoms for all sorts of things. I would speak to your GP and they should be able to take you seriously and find ways to help you.

It's difficult to dismiss worries if your child is showing some symptoms - the trick is to try and keep things in perspective. Very hard I know - I have an older child who showed signs of having a brain tumour and did have one. With my youngest DS I have to be careful not to dismiss his minor ailments as they are just as important to him. Funnily enough I don't look for anything horrid in my youngest DS - I can't believe something so terrible could happen twice.

I probably haven't helped but its natural to worry, it's good to be aware, but if you feel like your anxieties are becoming detrimental to your overall happiness then talk it over with your GP.

Meglet Sun 10-Mar-13 13:14:29

I probably have this.

My cousin died of leukaemia when he was 15, in 1988. Twenty years later another cousins little girl was also diagnosed with leukaemia, she has come through ok and now finished treatment. These are both on my dads side of the family so I have a constant fear there is some rogue DNA lurking and waiting to get one of my DC's.

So any pale faces, weird bruises, unexplained anything sets me off. I'm fine with D&V bugs and nasties like chicken pox as know the score, it's when they are under the weather I start to panic.

FoodieToo Sun 10-Mar-13 18:29:53

I have it too. I take Effexor for it and it helps a lot.

I used to worry terribly about health issues but am not so bad now. As in, I can live more or less normally.

Dr Google is not our friend by the way!! Steer clear.

I know way too much about illnesses and their symptoms too. Friends come to me before they cough up 50 euro to see the Gp lol?

QueenOfCats Sun 10-Mar-13 18:34:16

Marking my place so I can come back and answer fully later smile

tazmo Sun 10-Mar-13 20:40:48

Hi think there is a degree of this in every mum tho I recognise this in myself and how bad I am I feel relates to my PND. I have a logical side and a health overdrive side. It depends how much you think it's a problem! I know I excessively chk the kids are ok sometimes - but this gets better the further away I get from pregnancy. With you being a healthcare professional, unfortunately you know what can happen - but a child getting seriously ill is unusual so I like to think my practical head reigns overall! I find it worse when my mother comes over who,transfers her aches and pains to all. Try to apply your logic but I think u get a good sense of what is normal and what is not!!!

UnknownGnome Sun 10-Mar-13 22:21:56

I have this and I'm afraid it's getting worse. Just last night I ended up in tears having seen something on the news about a young boy who died suddenly of an undiagnosed heart condition and I personalised the whole thing.

I just don't know how I'd cope if I lost my babies and I live in fear of it every single day. I'm aware it's probably not a healthy way to live but I'm not sure who to speak to about it. I don't want to be told to simply stop worrying hmm

PJM18 Sun 10-Mar-13 22:26:42

Hi. Thanks for your replies, good to know I'm not alone. For those of you who have had serious illness in children in your families, that must have been very distressing and goodness knows how you manage to carry on without worrying yourself sick.
Foodietoo, I totally agree about google and laughed when you talked about your friends coming to you, that happens to me too. I skim read google trying only to see reassuring stories but usually something bad will pop up and add to my worrying.

FoodieToo Sun 10-Mar-13 22:30:44

You are definitely not alone. Two of my good friends have it also.

It's very common!

But can be debilitating. I think if it becomes so you need to seek help in the form of cbt,meds or whatever .

BeaWheesht Sun 10-Mar-13 22:33:43

Yes I do. Take sertraline which helps a bit. Pretty sure it's linked to a childhood experience though antenatal depression didn't help and nor did GPs missing pneumonia in my son.

I try not to let it affect our lives, I hope it doesn't but it certainly affects mine hmm

septemberchild Tue 12-Mar-13 09:12:37

I have this so badly there have been times when I could barely function to get through a day. It's the most awful feeling and totally takes over your life. I have had peroxetine, citalopram and am now on sertraline. The sertraline is helping to keep the anxiety in the background, but it's never far away. Definitely worth talking to your GP, mine recognised it immediatly and has been really helpful.

rosesinmarch Tue 12-Mar-13 10:10:02

Yep me too.
I'm a bit ashamed to say I was up pacing around in a panic all through the night last night, and felt so terrible I vomited twice through anxiety about kids' health.

Hideous, hideous feelings/thoughts.

Am trying to manage it by learning the tolerate the feelings more rather than try to get rid of them. Finding it incredibly difficult though.

All the best to all of you in this thread. smile
Nice not to feel alone.

MrsFruitcake Tue 12-Mar-13 16:38:59

Another sufferer here. My DS is currently complaining of tummy pains and I am thinking the worst as usual.

I have always been a worrier but since my DS has been born, I'm much worse. I torture myself and make myself ill.

I want it to stop but don't know where to start.

FoodieToo Tue 12-Mar-13 17:14:00

Ironically,I find reading about 'Health Anxiety' very comforting lol!

The reason being is that it describes me so perfectly that I know when I have crazy thoughts that that is all they are,craxy thoughts.

Read a bit about it!

PictureThis Tue 12-Mar-13 23:04:30

I have this too and like you I am also a Healthcare professional. I live in fear of my children becoming ill and when they are, I analyse their symptoms to the enth degree. I've only been like this since my Mum died 2 years ago but it and the anxiety it brings with it has definitely got worse since DS was born last August. He's currently teething and had a mild temperature tonight. The rational part of my brain tells me the temp is associated with teething, it didn't stop the irrational part counting his resps and checking his breathing for signs of respiratory distress! I've not been to the gp about it as I can just about keep a lid on it I think.

Snappit Mon 18-Mar-13 12:24:43

I too also have this and work in a hospital. I have suffered since my first child was born 13 years ago and it is very debilitating. I finally plucked up courage to tell my doc how I was feeling a few months ago and he was very sympathetic. I thought that he would laugh at me. He referred me to counselling and since I have been going it has been much more under control. I also found out that I am not the only one! ! You can do it. Just do not leave it as long as I did. It is a waste of precious time constantly worrying about things that are not there. My thoughts are with you xx

GooseyLoosey Mon 18-Mar-13 12:28:08

Yes, I have this. I have to let dh make decisions about the dcs' health as I know I am not rational and I want to avoid passing on my fears to them. No decent dr would laugh at you - it is a debilitating problem.

TicTacSir Mon 18-Mar-13 14:01:55

Another sufferer here <waves sheepishly>
I take Venlafaxine and had a course of CBT on the NHS. I scored 20/21 on the anxiety scale on starting the course, and had got it down to 2/21 by the end.
But every day is a battle to not let it slip. My pills are a very, very high dose and I don't see me being able to come off them for the foreseeable future.
I feel for you... it is just awful.

BumgrapesofWrath Mon 18-Mar-13 14:12:43

I am in the same boat, and I am debating whether to go the GP or not, as most days I'm fine, and then one day I'll snowball and end up very anxious and upset.

I am taking my DS1 for blood tests soon as I am worried about his paleness and skinniness, and I really don't know if I'm being irrational or not!

FaceLikeAPickledOnion Mon 18-Mar-13 14:17:43

Hi, I think I belong here too. Sort of anyway. I've never told anyone, not even Dh this before
Since ds2 has been born and even before he was born come to think about it, I have overwhelming feelings that I'm not going to have him for long and that he is going to die young. He gets ill a lot! He was born premature and gets one thing after another.
Strangely these thoughts don't worry or upset me but instead make me want to cherish and appreciate every second with him because I don't know how much time we have left.

paddyclampo Mon 18-Mar-13 19:04:05

I definitely have health anxiety esp about my kids...have been convinced they have leukaemia, hodgkins lymphoma and all kinds! ... When they were babies it was the constant worry of SIDS that nearly drove me mad sad

I have other anxiety issues too ... sounds insane but hate it if DH and i have to travel in the same car on the motorway without the kids in case something happens to us both ... and don't get me going about the kids going in the car without me!! :S

princesssmartypantss Mon 18-Mar-13 19:14:12

i am not sure i am totally anxious, or continually, (maybe in denial?) but ds was very poorly at 4wks old, spent a week in hospital having been admitted with symptoms of septacemia or menegitis,only 8 hours after seeing an out of hours doctor who thought he was fine. luckily he was and is now! but now i spend much of my time when he is ill trying to work out if am under or over reacting to whatever ailments he has! i do think you should see your gp as anxieties whatever they are about are very limiting and you deserve to feel confident about your instincts!

PJM18 Mon 18-Mar-13 20:48:03

Hi. It's very reassuring to know that others feel this way too. Paddylampo, I can totally relate to the driving thing as this is my other anxiety. I find it very difficult if my husband wants to take the kids camping, for example, as I know where they go is not a great road and I'm worried sick until they get there. My 13 yr old son recently went on a school skiing trip to Italy on a bus and I really had to talk myself out of the irrational thoughts to allow him to go. I'm dreading him wanting to take driving lessons or go in a friend's car.

HJBeans Mon 04-Apr-16 08:21:46

Know this is a zombie thread but I'm wondering Are there any people currently struggling with this, or original posters who have overcome it?

I'm struggling very much with this and found it a great comfort to read of others in the same boat and that there was medical help available for it. Will definitely raise it with my GP when I go in for my 6 week check with DS2. Like others upthread, it's worse when I'm pre- and post-natal, and I spiral into very dark places when also exhausted with newborn care.

Mummytron Mon 04-Apr-16 16:31:27

I struggle with this, would love to find a miracle cure!

I've done cognitive therapy which helped me understand it and what happens but didn't stop me being like this. I've had anti depressants but this for me is a life long illness which I find so hard.

Most don't understand it and you get labelled. I wrote a post on here about how I was surprised it was also called hypochondria on the nhs website. I think health anxiety is really debilitating and I need reassurance when I'm worried.

Two of my friends work in the health profession so they are really kind to me but I still worry.

I get the leukaemia thing and the feeling that I won't have my children for long. Most of the time I think come on don't be daft then other times I'm a wreck!

At the moment I'm worried about my dd1(5) tummy/bowels. Been convinced she has bowel cancer which is incredibly rare but a few episodes of blood and black specs in her poo and wham off I go. 😩

Sending out so much love for those who suffer and their poor suffering spouses too!

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