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Health Anxiety is out of control

(61 Posts)
lovechocolate123 Sun 24-Jul-16 23:02:56

Hi, this my first ever post on here. For the past 10 months I have been struggling with health anxiety to the extent that it if particularly taking over my life. I feel that no one seems to understand. It started in October last year when I had stomach problems. I was feeling nauseous all the time and as a result lots weight. Had heaps of tests done but they couldn't find the cause. Now whenever I get a symptom i go on the Internet and scare myself to death. I am convinced the doctors have got it wrong and that I have a serious illness..,cancer in particular. All these horrible thoughts play on my mind. When I was really bad I couldn't sleep. I have had a course of CBT which has definitely helped but it is still there.Sorry for the rabbling post but I really feel like I have no one to turn to.

doodlebug34 Mon 25-Jul-16 01:40:24

I totally understand how you feel. Have you tried medication yet?

lovechocolate123 Mon 25-Jul-16 05:47:55

Thanks for the reply. No I am not any medication. When it was really bad I just couldn't sleep at all and I went to the doctor but they wouldn't give me any because they said it would interfere with the tests I was going to have. I had an endoscopy and colonoscopy which showed I had diverticulitis and gastritis. It's just always at the back of my mind all the time and I keep having these awful thoughts that I will die and not see kids grow up. My DH doesn't really understand. I feel like I am going crazy sometimes because with every physical symptom I start to panic. The doctor put it down to stress. I have always been a worrier but was never like this and I wish it would just go away so I can actually live my life .

doodlebug34 Mon 25-Jul-16 06:05:04

Now that you have the all clear have you thought about discussing medication with your doctor?

I totally understand worrying about every little symptom, how every moment of your life is impeded with anxiety. It's completely exhausting and debilitating. It's hard to sleep or even fully concentrate on anything in daily life.

I am going to see my doctor asap. I came off of medication a few months ago, big mistake for me as I've gone back to square one.

lovechocolate123 Mon 25-Jul-16 11:30:40

What medication were you on? There is part of me that is scared about taking medication. The CBT helped and I try to use some of the strategies but when the extreme anxiety takes over it is overwhelming. How long have you suffered with this? Like I said before I have always been a worrier from a child really but this health anxiety has been since last October when I lost my appetite and felt nauseous for weeks and the doctor kept telling me it was down to stress. It is so nice to know I am not alone because no one around me really understand they just think I can snap out of it.

Haggisfish Mon 25-Jul-16 11:37:58

Something that helps me is to keep a diary of my symptoms and my fears. This shows me that ten years ago I was worried about exactly the same symptoms and problems. And I'm still alive.

ladybagpuss Mon 25-Jul-16 12:25:19

You have my sympathies, a friend of mine had this and it's tough. Have you looked at the website called no more panic? They have a forum on there too and people are very helpful and understanding. Maybe worth looking at if you haven't already?

lovechocolate123 Mon 25-Jul-16 14:40:53

Haggis fish- that sounds like a good idea. I will try that. Have you had HA for ten years? When I am feeling in a rational mood I do think this all started 10 months ago and if it was something serious surely the symptoms would have worsened?
Ladybagpuss- I have seen the forum no more panic....and just reading the posts gives me some comfort that other people are feeling the same. Thanks

doodlebug34 Mon 25-Jul-16 17:52:11

I've always been a worrier since a child. Had a traumatic experience when younger and a traumatic birth a few years ago. It sent it into few swing. I took Citalopram, and diazepam as it was kicking in, but the doctor would talk about options. I shouldn't have stopped taking them.

When was the last time you discussed the anxiety with your doctor?

Haggisfish Mon 25-Jul-16 17:57:39

I've had health anxiety for twenty two years!! Most of the time I keep it in check. I have some strategies-dh gives me ten minutes to tell him my worst fears and then we move on. He acknowledges my worries and never tells me I'm stupid or to snap out of it. I get outside a lot. Am honest with gp who reassures me a lot. Have critical illness cover and comprehensive life insurance. It tipped into depression and anxiety once and I took Prozac for a year. Would take pills quickly if it was interfering with everyday life.

Haggisfish Mon 25-Jul-16 17:58:58

Take care with no more panic-there are one or two posters who make it worse often, and sometimes it makes you worry about things you didn't k ow existed!

lovechocolate123 Mon 25-Jul-16 18:22:12

Yes I noticed that with no more panic that is why I posted here first. I try to avoid the doctor. Just sitting in the waiting room makes me feel anxious. When it all started 10 months ago I was going to the doctor twice a week then I realised that was part of the problem because it was making me feel more anxious and nauseous. I agree with you Haggisfish getting out does help. My husband is supportive but just can't understand how I feel. When I was really, really bad I was googling all my symptoms all the time and he took my phone away because he thought that would solve it but of course it didn't!

lovechocolate123 Mon 25-Jul-16 18:28:09

doodlebug sorry to hear about your traumatic experience. Have you had a course Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. I found that it really helped me but I know it is still there just lingering in the background. Talking to other people who are going through the same ( like this )really helps too

doodlebug34 Mon 25-Jul-16 19:07:50

I have yes. It wasn't really for me. I've used those techniques with patients when I worked in mental health (ironic I know), so I can't really apply them to myself. I'm really pleased it helped you, it does seem to help a lot of people. You can get a lot of CBT based books for anxiety as well.

I'm the same with doctors, even hate taking my child. However, going this afternoon to ask for something to help.

Tanfastic Mon 25-Jul-16 19:19:16

Just want to say you are not on your own. I've suffered from General anxiety and health anxiety for thirty years. I've never spoken about it or told anyone in all that time until it came to a head last week and I spilled my guts to my mum, work colleagues and husband all in one day!!

I'm going to the docs next week and I'm going to tell him too, am hoping he will give me something to help. I am already getting anxious about the appointment confused. Worried he will think I'm being stupid as both my mum and husband thought I was until they realised how badly it was affecting my life.

gottachangethename1 Mon 25-Jul-16 19:29:32

Know how you feel op. I also suffer with health anxiety and have done for years (sometimes more severely than others) I am currently taking citalopram and have completed 10 CBT sessions. Which have helped me to look at my irrational thoughts in a constructive way. I will always be a worrier, but medication and therapy have made life easier. Don't google, a doctor told me so much nonsense is put on there in regard to symptoms that it would turn the most rational person crazy if they looked at it often enough.

lovechocolate123 Mon 25-Jul-16 20:28:07

gottachange -that is my main problem as soon as I have a symptom I google it and then the panic sets in. I try really hard not to. CBT really helped me. I know that my symptoms get worse when I am stressed. My main fear is cancer...even typing the word makes me feel anxious.

lovechocolate123 Mon 25-Jul-16 20:33:48

Tanfastic- that must have been so hard for you. I know how it feels to have no one that really understands. I have had 10 cognitive behaviour therapy sessions which I found quite helpful. Please let me know how your appointment with your gp goes. Good luck!

doodlebug34 Mon 25-Jul-16 20:53:42

I've just seen my doctor and told him everything. He's given me Sertraline. It was hard taking the first step to go back but I'm glad I did.

lovechocolate123 Mon 25-Jul-16 21:25:11

Doodlebug- that was very brave. Well done ! Please let me know how you get on with the Sertraline. Good luck !

doodlebug34 Mon 25-Jul-16 21:53:05

Feel free to message me lovechocolate123 if it helps. I hope you are able to discuss your problems with someone and get the help you need.

lovechocolate123 Mon 25-Jul-16 22:23:48

That is very kind of you. Knowing I am not alone has given me some comfort. I just wish all these awful thoughts would go away for good.

doodlebug34 Mon 25-Jul-16 22:26:28

It is a constant horrible dialogue in your head, I know.

I've taken one today anyway and feel fine.

I'll look up how to message as I can't seem to work it out on this app.

lovechocolate123 Mon 25-Jul-16 22:33:41

There is the rational part of me that thinks "don't be silly how can all those doctors be wrong and they would have picked something up in the tests"and then there is this other part that keeps saying "doctor can miss things all the time and why am I getting these physical symptoms?"

I can't seem to work out how to send a message either!

pinocchiosnose Mon 25-Jul-16 22:40:17

Do you or can you exercise at all? For the last two years I've been having loads of tests because of my arthritis then something showed up in my blood which sent my anxiety into overdrive. I couldn't sleep and kept bursting into tears out of nowhere thinking about cancer . I started running everyday and it has helped so much. I haven't run in years because of my arthritis but even the small amount I do has helped me so much. Good luck and look after yourself.

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