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Still thinking I'm dying ... anxiety around illnesses

(10 Posts)
BurningBridges Fri 29-Jul-11 21:18:47

Hello all, last time I posted on this thread I thought I had a brain tumour. I had convinced myself I was dying. Well, after several trips to the GP, I have been referred to neurologist and am going in 10 days. I no longer think I have a brain tumour, but clearly there is something wrong and I've been posting on the physical health page on a thread about dizziness.

Now I think I have stomach cancer. In my mind, and in my body, I appear to have all the symptoms and fit the bill for an "at risk" person. I'd really like to get the neurology appointment done before I trot down to GP again and say hey, now I think its cancer. This means I spend every waking hour googling symptoms and being torn apart thinking I am going to leave my children. I could be like this for a few weeks, or a few months.

So being logical, yes, there could be something wrong, and yes it could simply be anxiety, but I wish I could get a handle on it. My mum died when she was 54, not much older than I am now, and I always think that after something like that you expect life to throw shit at you. I've felt like this (that I am dying of something or another) on and off since before last Christmas, I have no idea what triggered it.

Once all the investigations are finished, if there isn't anything wrong with me, I am going back to GP and saying look, clearly i must have some sort of mental health problem. I'd like to hear from anyone else who has these death and illness ideas as well, I am sure there are lots of us out there. Convince me I am an idiot blush

NanaNina Fri 29-Jul-11 23:00:48

You are not an idiot BB, but you are experiencing anxiety (which is the medical name for fear) and in your case it is manifesting itself as health anxiety. You seem to have some insight into the fact that you are not really ill, and I think this is helpful. I think your GP was pretty sure you didn't have a brain tumour but referred you in the hope that it would put your mind at rest. I think you need to go back and ask for medication to help with your anxiety.

BurningBridges Sat 30-Jul-11 00:15:50

Thanks Nana; GP said I had to see neurologist before she would consider any mental health issue. I think when I do go back and say now I think I have another cancer, she will get the pen out sharpish. I'm all for it because I need to be free of this terrible self obsession, if only for a little time.

Blethermouse Sat 30-Jul-11 00:26:52

Not got any MH help but one reliable thing to think about re your health and whether or not something is serious is if its serious it will get worse/ come back/ be obvious.
So don't try to diagnose, just ignore everything unless its severe and obvious.
Pointless googling because all illnesses have non specific vague features at first so you can frighten yourself with those... but the point is they all develop into something more concrete and obvious later.

BoysRusxxx Sun 31-Jul-11 19:32:49

I know exactly how you feel. Im constantly worrying about my health. I am a memebr of a good forum for health anxiety sufferers. It is nomorepanic.co.uk. It is very good. It has made me see that all my 'brain tumour symptoms' are actually the symptoms of anxiety. Mine were/are tingling down my face, dizzyness/unable to focus on things, palpitations, tension headache (feeling of a band around head. I started taking a concoction of natural remedies a while back and I was 'cured' for a few months, I stopped taking them and my symptoms have returned. Ill be starting back tomorrow. I also found exercise a godsend. Even just a 15 min walk in the evening clears my head. Please look at website smile

BurningBridges Tue 02-Aug-11 23:48:37

Wow. Thanks so much for that website - that is amazing. I sadly recognised myself in there. I have to say, to be fair to me, that I have currently got some pretty shit symptoms, and I find it hard to believe that these are due to the fairly minor illnesses that the GP thinks they are. I wake up everyday thinking "hey, you still feel crap, you're not OK yet, you could still have cancer" and I have a lot of tests ahead of me, but I really needed some perspective on it all.

WhoseGotMyEyebrows Wed 03-Aug-11 09:45:13

I had suffered from health anxiety and it is not fun! Go and see your GP. I found that CBT and medication really helped.

TigerseyeMum Wed 03-Aug-11 21:14:47

CBT may be very helpful to you but it sounds like you have unresolved issues around your mum and these are manifesting as anxiety. It may be helpful to have some counselling to uncover what may be going on and then make a decision as to wheher counselling helps the anxiety to go away, or if CBT may also help.

Health Anxiety is very common but quite debilitating. It won't go away on its own, you do have to take action.

BurningBridges Thu 04-Aug-11 10:01:01

you know I was thinking exactly that same thing this morning - I am 48 - am I going to spend rest of my life whether that be 5 years or 50 waiting to die? Every day thinking is this it? Is this the day I find out I have cancer or whatever? I've had counselling before I was rather hoping not to have to keep having it but you are right. I can't go on like this. I have neurology appt for Monday (previous thread on this, this is my "brain tumour" problem blush) and once we know the outcome of that I will be back at GP to see what the next step is.

WhoseGotMyEyebrows Thu 04-Aug-11 10:04:35

Yes counselling is a good idea as well. My health anxiety started when my mother got ill and then died. I had about 3 loads of couselling, taught myself CBT from a book and also went on meds. Took me about 4 years to get completely better but then I delayed the meds for 3 years of that and I was extremely ill!

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