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Health Anxiety

(216 Posts)
fruitysmoothie Fri 16-Sep-16 00:17:20

Just a safe haven for all health anxiety sufferers that may be lurking on the mental health forum to share stories and help one another through the many ups and downs.

As a former and recovered health anxiety sufferer I know all to well the worry, upset and symptoms that arise from this illness and will try and help where I can flowers

fruitysmoothie Fri 16-Sep-16 10:54:39


lovechocolate123 Sat 17-Sep-16 21:34:44

How did you recover? I have had health anxiety for 11 months. I have had CBT which helped a little but HA is always there at the back of my mind. I have always been a worrier...probably all my life .

fruitysmoothie Sun 18-Sep-16 10:35:41

Lovechocolate123 - I started on an anti depressant and beta blocker, they have made the world of difference, wish I did it sooner!! I just didn't want to rely on medication but then I realised that if that is what it takes to become me again then so be it smile

lovechocolate123 Sun 18-Sep-16 22:15:36

How did your HA start? Mine started last October when I started to feel nauseous all the time . At first they thought it was my gallbladder but after a full abdomen scan they didn't find anything. Started taking medication to reduce acid in stomach which made me have all kinds of side effects. The nausea continued and I couldn't sleep or eat. I lost lots of weight. My gp kept telling me she thought it was stress & anxiety. Eventually she referred me for an endoscopy and colonoscopy which found diverticula in the bowels and gastritis in the stomach. They even took biopsies. Had a blood test for absolutely everything including Ovarian cancer. During all this I was googling symptoms and that's how the HA started. Thinking I had either pancreatic, ovarian , cervical or bowel cancer. I w became obsessed. Constantly on the Internet and seeking reassurance from the gp. I kept having nightmares about leaving my two kids and husband.I saw a counsellor and the gp suggested self referral to Iapt which is where I did CBT which helped. Also, I found yoga and getting in contact with other people who are or have suffered HA really helps. At the moment I am
a bit better but it is always at the back of my mind x

SelfieStick Sun 18-Sep-16 22:17:58

fruity do you take the beta blocker regularly or as and when?

bingisthebest Sun 18-Sep-16 22:23:03

I have not long finished cbt for HA. I am feeling much better but I wouldn't say I am 'cured'. I've had it a long time. It doesn't help that my job as a nurse means I have a vivid imagination to explain my symptoms.
It's a horrible problem to have. To live in fear.
But today has been a good day and the thoughts have mostly been at bay.
I've found running has helped me.
Following this post with interest and hope to give advice also if I can.

lovechocolate123 Mon 19-Sep-16 22:03:36

I am having a bad day. Mid cycle and feeling cramps and bloated. Made a mistake and googled symptoms. So worried and scared about ovarian cancer. I had a blood test for ovarian cancer which came back negative but I heard they aren't always accurate are they? All I can think about is leaving my kids. No one I know seems to understand

fruitysmoothie Tue 20-Sep-16 16:01:06

Lovechocolate, mine started when I decided to google moles and I managed to convince myself I had Melanoma. I went through a whole array of 'illnesses' after that in quick succession including brain tumour, acoustic neuroma, MS, excess brain fluid, aneurysm, DVT, blood clots, stomach cancer, bowel cancer, neck cancer, eye tumour, spinal cancer, leukaemia, breast cancer, some form of hand cancer, meningitis, bikini line cancer <don't judge>..... the list is endless really but of course, I never actually had those things, just convinced myself I did because of the HA.

Selfie, no, I take a slow release capsule daily so I've always got a steady dose, it's not a massive dose though, only 80mg

bingisthebest Tue 20-Sep-16 22:10:44

Hope everyone's ok today. I'm starting to feel my anxiety creep back a bit this week. Keep thinking I'm just not right. The temptation to check my pulse coming back a lot. Headachey and mind racing with potential diagnoses.
Dh thinks I'm getting a bit stressed about our ds' bday party on sat. He's probably right., stress and worry in general tend to bring up my HA.

Littleladybird14 Tue 20-Sep-16 22:36:44

I've suffers with HA for as long as I can remember. I think it started randomly after hearing about Freddie Mercury dying of AIDS and for some reason I got it in my head I had AIDS being young enough that I actually had no clue what it was!!
I remember it moving on to meningitis when it seemed to be constantly in the news and then a young boy in next village died from it and I just felt overwhelmed with the fear.
Seemed to settle for a while but always something niggling in the background, cancers, brain tumours, more recently thinking I was going to die in childbirth and I can close to writing a letter to my husband and son for them if this was to happen.
It's just ridiculous, I know I'm being stupid but my mind just runs away with every little worry! Had CBT for depression in past year but haven't tackles HA which probably go hand in hand.
Some days are better than others and I find distraction goes a long way and now having two children I am definitely distracted!

fruitysmoothie Wed 21-Sep-16 00:24:31

flowers to you all

bingisthebest Thu 22-Sep-16 22:14:06

I thought my HA symptoms would improve after having kids because of being so distracted but actually it's prob been worse. Added to feeling down at times which seems to trigger it.

lovechocolate123 Fri 23-Sep-16 21:06:42

Yes whenever I am feeling stressed or down it seems to trigger my HA too. Then, googling symptoms makes it 100 times worse

ssd Sat 24-Sep-16 13:01:18

I am having CBT for HA and I dont get it at all, how is it meant to change my way of thinking when I've been a worrier all my life? I've had 3 sessions and am still stuck.

Kaylasmum49 Sat 24-Sep-16 17:25:55

Hi, I've suffered from HA for about 12 years now and cancer seems to be my biggest fear. I've worried myself sick over numerous types of cancer over the years.

My current episode is bowel cancer. I've has cbt twice and it has helped somewhat but I'm like a woman obsessed and I can't shake this constant fear and anxiety.

Feel so bloody miserable

lovechocolate123 Sat 24-Sep-16 17:59:36

Kaylasmum- I know exactly how you feel. I have suffered with HA for the past year and I have moments when it is really bad. I had CBT which helped a little. It helps to know I am not alone. My fear is cancer too. When I was really bad I couldn't even face to walk past a hospital or when something about cancer would be on TV I would switch the TV off. i have some awful days and all I do is Google symptoms and I can't stop thinking about how awful it would be to leave my children. Right now my fear is ovarian cancer. I know my HA stems from the fact that my mum died of a brain tumour when I was young. No one at home understands me and my husband thinks I can just snap out of it. I wish it was that easy!

gunting Sat 24-Sep-16 18:02:49

I'm glad I came across this thread.

I have struggled with health anxiety since I was 11 years old. I had treatment at 11, 17 and 21 but it never helped. It's a part of my life everyday but it seems to get better and worse in 2 year cycles.

ssd Sat 24-Sep-16 18:44:31

HA is awful, its cancer with me too I worry about, I cant see a hospital or a cancer research advert, I cant go into one of their shops, I'm terrified of it. The CBT doesnt seem to be helping me deal with it.

lovechocolate123 Sat 24-Sep-16 19:22:14

ssd- you sound like me. I did find the book 'overcoming health anxiety' helped me a little and knowing I am not alone x

ssd Sat 24-Sep-16 19:55:53

lovechocolate, are you like me with no family around you for any support? apart ffom dh and the dc's I have no one and this isolation makes my HA what it is

lovechocolate123 Sat 24-Sep-16 20:08:44

Yes on my own with no other help or support. This makes it worse because I worry about what would happen to my children. About six months ago my HA was so extreme I couldn't sleep and had night sweats ( which of course I interpreted as a symptom of my illness) Before I had the CBT I did see counsellor. I having a weekly session with her really helped. I don't take any meds for it. Do you? X

ssd Sat 24-Sep-16 20:15:40

no I dont take any meds either

its awful, mine is really bad just now, I want to relax and look at things rationally but I cant

lovechocolate123 Sat 24-Sep-16 20:27:54

I know it's so hard especially when the anxiety is so bad to think rationally. I tried everything to take my mind off it. At one point my husband had to take my phone away because I was googling my symptoms all the time. My CBT therapist suggested that I should think that my physical symptoms are just my anxiety and if I am ever tempted to google i should search the symptom followed by anxiety instead e.g 'tummy cramps anxiety '
Remember you are not alone flowers

ssd Sat 24-Sep-16 20:44:51

thank you

my therapist said its just thoughts and nothing more

I know it is but they escalate and I cant help it

I'm currently doing an age related screening test and I've just read something on another thread here which has upset me, I think I'll be recalled for something and the thought of the procedure again and all the accompanying worry terrifies me

I worry about worrying, I cant cope with waiting for tests results, it literally has me so anxious I cant think

I wasnt like this when I was younger, its since my mum died and I've gotten older

its driving me crazy, I cant live like this, everyone else seems to see these health checks as a normal part of getting older, to me they are a complete terror to be gotten through

thats not right

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