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Dr Google will see you now! Sever health anxiety

(14 Posts)
Bowchickawowow Sun 23-Nov-14 10:09:02

I am starting this thread as a distraction activity as after a solid 48 hours of googling, I have diagnosed myself with ovarian cancer. Last weekend I had a heart condition, however that was small fry compared to my current stage of agitated terror. Ovarian cancer is one of my "pet fears" as a close friend died of it, and her mild early symptoms were dismissed by doctors for years. But I do branch out to other illnesses, and sometimes for a treat I project onto DH or the DCs instead.
I have always been prone to anxiety and panic and the last year has
Probably been the most stressful of my life. (However my health anxiety reminds me that this could be my way of minimising REAL SYMPTOMS)
I don't go to the Dr's if I can help it as I had a health anxiety blowout in my teens regarding a problem with my throat and I went CONSTANTLY. one of the worst things for me is the guilt about my DC's I am ignoring them while I google and then getting snappy and irritated because of what I am reading.
If anyone else has experienced similar and would like to distract themselves, this thread is for you flowers

SunshineBossaNova Sun 23-Nov-14 12:17:16

Hello Bowchickawowow great NN. smile I'm sorry about your friend. flowers

I recently had an ultrasound on my gallbladder and was immediately sent for a CT. I'm still waiting for results. I've diagnosed myself with gallbladder cancer and various others based on my symptoms and Googling what the radiologist showed me on my ultrasound.

I lost a friend to cancer last week. Like your friend it wasn't found until it was too late to cure; she was only diagnosed in July.

Thanks for the distraction.

Bowchickawowow Sun 23-Nov-14 16:13:48

Thank you Sunshine, I am so sorry about your friend. It is always devastating but I think it is the helplessness of everyone including the medical profession when things can no longer be treated that is so heartbreaking.
I can completely relate to the googling of the scan, I had a long period of major anxiety in my first pregnancy related to a scan and it was horrible (although everything was fine!)
I think another reason I avoud the docs is having tests and waiting for results induces even more panic - it is so easy to forget about the thousands of tests that are done every day that are nothing serious and focus on the worst case scenario!
I hope you get your results soon and the waiting period isn't to horrendous.

SunshineBossaNova Sun 23-Nov-14 16:34:46

I'm glad your pregnancy turned out okay, it must have been terrifying.

I've always had a tendency to be anxious, and access to Google isn't always a good thing... Sigh. I don't visit my GP anywhere near as much as I used to, for which I'm sure he is grateful. smile

NanaNina Sun 23-Nov-14 17:22:13

bowchick - I've suffered from health anxiety in the past, and now with Dr Google it can be a hundred times worse. I think the only thing wrong with you is anxiety (sorry I don't mean that is something trivial) because of course it isn't - anxiety is the medical name for fear. Yours happens to be focussed on health, which is very common and once your in it's grip, nothing is going to convince you that you haven't got X Y or Z.

I've had MS, throat cancer and ME over the years (so not that bad really........) I gather MS is a typical one and there's a recent thread about someone who has this and people are coming on who have been diagnosed with MS, and some are finding it a bit difficult that someone who doesn't have it, is stressing about how awful her life would be IF she did have it. I can understand their feelings on this, but I also know the power of health anxiety.

You really need to get some treatment for your anxiety - CBT might help - can you afford a private therapist (about £50 an hour dependent on where you live) if so go to BACP (British Association for Counsellors and Psychotherapists) as they are properly qualified and accredited. Otherwise there are lots of CBT books on Amazon.

The only other thing (and this would be the most beneficial thing you could possibly do............) would be to stay away from Google! I've had therapy for depression and anxiety in the past and I used to say that I went on Google to try to re-assure myself that I didn't have whatever it was, but the therapist said she thought it more likely I was going on there to scare myself, but this was at a sub conscious level..........not sure which was right.

What are the chances of you ending your r/ship with Dr. Google? He's a monster and should be avoided at all costs.

UnderEstherMate Sun 23-Nov-14 17:27:29

I do this too. I lost my dad to cancer when I was 13 and was diagnosed with a chronic illness a year later, so every minor illness is a potential cancer symptom in my eyes. I worry that I over-diagnose myself so avoid seeing the GP, which in turn makes me worry that I'm going to miss something by not seeing the GP.

It really is horrible, I hope you can get it under control soon (and if you do, let me know how you did it!)

Kezsc123 Sun 23-Nov-14 20:36:18

Your not alone smile I have been suffering for over a year now like you I lost someone close to ovariab cancer, and another friend to cervical cancer, I got obsessed with these certain types of illnesses and when I started experiencing similar symptoms I inmediatly thought it was my destiny too, I have recently got better and I take things with a pinch of salt, the way I see it is the 'symptoms' I have now have always been there, like twitching pains, a bit of spotting now and again ect. The doctors have checked everyhing after DEMANDING it after being told over and over there was nothing wrong with me. The way I look at things now is this is just my normal body, this is just me and now I know if anything was to change it would change drastically in an illness and I stop using the word 'but' when I am trying to convince myself I have something wrong. .... In the last year I have convinced myself I have had cervical cancer, ovarian cancer, throat cancer, stomach, bowel, Breast and I had tonsillitis last week so of corse I had tonsil cancer which made my doctor laugh when I told him. Anyway the best thing to do is think to yourself an illness like cancer or anything else is not compulsory in life not everyone suffers these things so why would you? More people live a normal healthy life. My mother in law has always told me 'you get what you can deal with' and she has had breast cancer and skin cancer and she never bat an eyelid about it. Hat sticks in my head all of the time and it all really has helped me. smile chin up and just don't Google cause beleive me it does go away.

Bowchickawowow Mon 24-Nov-14 14:00:48

Thank you everyone, today is a much better day. I have not googled this morning and am trying to keep myself busy.

I would like to try CBT, I think I am by nature prone to anxiety but Perhaps retraining my brain a bit might help me not get overwhelmed with it.
I can understand that feeling from people diagnosed with a condition, I think that is another thing that makes you feel so bad about HA, as you know that there are people who have been affected and you just feel
Pathetic for worrying but at the same time gripped with genuine, overwhelming fear.

Kezsc, I would really love to have the attitude of your mother in law! That is the sort of approach I really aspire to, some days it seems possible and others hopeless. But it is my goal.

SunshineBossaNova Tue 25-Nov-14 12:07:26

Hi Bow I hope you're having a good day.

Pathetic for worrying but at the same time gripped with genuine, overwhelming fear
You're not pathetic. Fear is a useful tool we humans have developed, however in some of us it's overactive. flowers

My CT scan was fine - I've got the all clear. I'm going to take steps to get to grips with my anxiety so this episode has been useful. Thanks for your support cake

Bowchickawowow Tue 25-Nov-14 18:06:26

That's great news about your scan Sunshine smile
This is the first time I have really acknowledged to anyone how bad my anxiety has become. When I had had bad patches before, pregnancy is a trigger, I have gone down the seeking reassurance route but in the last few years I have kept everything inside and it has made it so intense. I am amazed sometimes that I am able to function and seem normal (I think!) when inside I am so panicky and agitated!
I too have realised I really need to address this, so thank you so much for posting and to others for replying it has really helped. Wishing us both luck flowers

SunshineBossaNova Tue 25-Nov-14 18:53:34

Me too Bow flowers

squizita Fri 28-Nov-14 12:54:04

I really struggle with this. I've got Hughes Syndrome which caused multiple miscarriage but was otherwise asymptomatic. After every loss people said it was probably a horrible coincidence and nothing was wrong.
Ironically when something requires tests with clear odd's I'm less worried! I suppose because I know off a real dr how worried I should or shouldn't be!

I'm worried as Now my dd is weighing in small (falling percentiles) at baby clinic. The Hv says don't do anything different - she's probably just finding her line. Most real life people and mumsnet say the same. But I cling to the ONE who talks of undiagnosed bad milk or tongue tie and a half starved baby.
I worry that if I don't worry I will be too blasé and affect my dd's health.

It's so much harder to control with a baby than my own health!

ReallyBadParty Tue 02-Dec-14 13:24:53

This book is good overcoming health anxiety

lovechocolate123 Thu 28-Jul-16 08:35:38

I know this a really old thread but just reading the comments gives me some comfort that I am not a lone. My health anxiety started 10 months ago when I started to have problems with nausea and acid reflux. During this time I have convinced myself I had stomach cancer, bowel cancer, pancreatic cancer and now ovarian cancer because I have been feeling bloated and nauseous again. I have had tests: endoscopy, colonoscopy, abdominal ultrasound, ca-125 blood for ovarian cancer and heaps of other blood tests for goodness knows what! I hate waiting for the test results and going to the doctor. Once I even had a panic attack in the waiting room the receptionist let me wait in the side room.

I have had counselling and 10 sessions of CBT which help for a while but hasn't cured it.

My problem is as soon as I have a symptom my mind spirals out of control. I start to google and then the real panic sets in.

I worry that the doctors might have missed something and if I go back to say I am worried about ovarian cancer they will dismiss me as that crazy woman. I am so scared of dying and leaving my kids. I know part of the problem is my mum died of a brain tumour when I was 17 and the doctors took ages to diagnose. It was devastating we were told she only had 6 weeks to live in the end she lived for 6 months.

I wish this awful feeling would just go away.

I know no one may look at this but writing it has been therapeutic.

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