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Health anxiety. Whats triggered yours?

(14 Posts)
Charleebird Thu 15-Nov-12 16:17:13

Since a panic attack i have now developed a fear of dementia/memory loss & any type of cancer. I had convinced myself so much that i had dementia or a brain tumour that i drove myself insane!!

Whats yours?

sweetkitty Thu 15-Nov-12 21:42:08

Anything and everything, for myself cancer, getting it and the DC having to watch me die from it. Not being there for them etc.

PickledMoomin Thu 15-Nov-12 21:51:46

Motor Neuron Disease. Neurologist told me there was nothing wrong with me, but I'll never believe him.

I can't read medi threads, or articles, because they give me cancer/other evil things.

You are not alone.

Yika Thu 15-Nov-12 21:54:46

I had strange neurological symptoms that were probably due to stress but set off acute fear and anxiety, panic attacks etc that lasted for many years longer than the symptoms. Am fully recovered now!!!

MisForMumNotMaid Thu 15-Nov-12 21:58:36

DH has health anxiety, it's very debilitating. One of the things his psychologist advises is trying not to focus on it (I live with him i know its not that easy) - like this thread. Joining a support group made him feel better in sessions but his overall anxiety level was far worse.

I'm not intending to patronise, but based on my nonprofessional experience of living with a long term sufferer will this thread help or is it enabling you to fixate further?

AngryFeet Thu 15-Nov-12 22:10:58

Pickledmoomin - me too! I had health anxiety for years before this fear started to be fair but having 2 people I know be diagnosed with it set me off. It is so rare though and you really would know if you had it. I think it is the worst thing to be anxious of as there is no hope. It is quite a common fear actually if you look at health anxiety forums. Have you had therapy/cbt or taken anti ds? I have done all 3 and it helps. What are you worried about physically may I ask?

AngryFeet Thu 15-Nov-12 22:12:59

As to what set it off for me I don't know even after years of therapy. Seems to be to do with my fear of being out of control, my parents obsession with physical appearance and good health, general anxious personality which seems to be inherited etc etc.

PickledMoomin Thu 15-Nov-12 22:24:09

I haven't done anything about it. I was referred to neurology 19 months ago but the referral took six months, and I saw a neuro privately. He laughed me out of the room. I'm now waiting to be seen by a rheumi.
Physically, I have no obvious weakness, but my left side is plagued with buzzing and twitches. It just isn't right. Not helped by my constant need to check my strength/stand on tip toes on one leg at a time/hold DS in the air/walk down the stairs backwards on tiptoes/hold the clutch at traffic lights. Feel like it's a learnt behaviour now, and it'll be really hard to break.

AngryFeet Thu 15-Nov-12 22:37:37

Well buzzing is not a symptom of mnd. Twitching is very common - google bfs (benign fasculation syndrome) and most people get it. Without weakness it is nothing and the tests you are doing won't help. I have done the same in the past - body checking and tests - health anxiety and OCD are closely linked. You don't have mnd. After 19 months you would have progressed significantly if you did. The chances of getting it are minuscule even if you are in the main demographic (male between 50 and 70) which you are not. Please stop focussing on the illness that you are IMAGINING you have and get help.

this book is great to start with but you need to see your gp for referral for counselling. I take sertraline which helps calm you in the interim. Don't google ever unless you want to read about health anxiety itself.

I know how hard it is but you can get better. You have a mental illness not a physical one!

AngryFeet Thu 15-Nov-12 22:39:07

And I bet all your symptoms are on this list...

Yika Thu 15-Nov-12 22:45:37

I saw one doc who was very helpful. I described my symptoms and she asked me, what are you afraid it is? She then described why it could not be what I feared, complete with diagrams, and sent me for tests anyway. Totally reassured me. An earlier doctor saying 'it'll probably just go away', just fanned the flames really.

LulaBear Fri 16-Nov-12 03:09:32

After my friend died of a brain tumor, I was very paranoid. Get some scans to reassure yourself and your GP should be able to do some tests smile

PickledMoomin Fri 16-Nov-12 07:31:33

Lula- mine began after I lost a friend to bowel cancer.

Yika-that sounds really helpful. If only there were more understanding doctors around

PickledMoomin Fri 16-Nov-12 07:35:01

Angry feet- Thanks! I'll look at ordering that book. Are you totally cured now? I know how unlikely it is that I have it, but my brain likes to tease me. Last year I cried every evening, but the anxiety is not as extreme anymore.

OP- are you getting help?

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