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Hate thinking I'm going to die(7 Posts)
This is going to be fairly long so apologies...
I suffer with health anxiety and hypochondria. Every chest pain is a heart attack, every headache is a brain tumour... However my main "thing" is cancer. Every little symptom scares me. I am fully convinced I have cancer. I check obsessively for lumps. It's hard to explain but it's almost as if I can feel that I've got it in me already. I truly believe that I will die soon from cancer, I've even gone over in my head what will happen to my little girl when I've died.
I recently had 2 moles removed that were pre-cancerous. I have a slight ocd thing that means I can't leave skin imperfections alone. Spots, scabs, dry skin, I have to pick at it. If I know it's there I can't function until I've got rid of it. Part of this makes me bite the loose skin inside my cheeks which I have been told can cause mouth cancer. I constantly see cancer everywhere, newspapers, tv programmes, films, adverts, I can't get away from it.
I feel stupid because there are people who really DO have cancer and I don't mean to undermine them in any way. But I cannot stop obsessing. It's hard to describe but all I can really say is I am convinced I have cancer or will get it and die young.
I think it started either around the time my daughter was born or when my grandad died (he was perfectly healthy then one day he went to the dr feeling ill, turns out he had cancer absolutely everywhere and he died within 2 weeks) I just don't know how to re-wire my brain. I'm not convinced cbt would help me as a mental health nurse told me it's something you have to be open minded to which I have to admit I'm not.
Any advice would be appreciated, please if you don't understand health anxiety/hypochondria and think it's "stupid" or whatever, don't comment. Thank you
I feel so sorry for you I have been through the same myself, there is a site called nomorepanic.co.uk which is very helpful, try it there's lots of advice on it.
I don't think it's stupid. I suffer with depression and anxiety. I have a similar feeling that it is "wrong" for me to feel so awful when there were people out there dealing with "real" serious things, bereavement, serious illness, poverty, abuse and managing to cope much better. But it is not my life that i am struggling with but it is my illness. I turned down councelling as i did not feel at that time that i could be open and embrace it, but i wouldnt rule it out in the futurr.
It's not stupid, I woke this morning feeling bad, it's New Year's Day and felt the whole world had been out last night celebrating and I felt so very alone and lonely, and it colours my day. The illness fears kick in and I have to force myself to do things, only people with health anxiety would understand. It's so hard to talk about.
I could have written parts of your post too some days the fear just makes me want to stay in bed where it's safe. I hate that it controls my life yet no one understands.
I have read almost everything I can about it but it all goes out of the window when it gets me, I sometimes have to force myself out of the house to go shopping. If I have to go to someone's house I put my plastic face on so no one knows what's going on inside of me.
Thank you for your replies, it's comforting in a way to know there are other people who feel similarly. I have emetophobia which doesn't help. If I'm in an anxiety-inducing situation, I feel very nauseated but due to me being terrified of vomit, it stops me from doing a lot of things. That's how my health anxiety started and it's just escalated into genuine fear. It's almost as if I can feel cancerous tumours inside me which sounds ridiculous I know. I see statistics like 1 in 3 people will be affected by cancer and instead of thinking, well the odds are in my favour, I see myself as the 1. I only know one close relative or friend that has died of cancer (my grandad) and instead of thinking it's quite rare I think statistically I'm more likely to get it because nobody else I know has. I just don't know how to stop feeling this way. Whenever I try to convince myself it's all in my head, there's a part of my brain that overrides it
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