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I have health anxiety and I'm struggling

(5 Posts)
Le1890 Sun 13-Nov-16 17:06:26


Sorry for such a long post:
I've had healthy anxiety for 6 years which has been managed great for the last 2/3 years with fluoxetine.

I'm 7 weeks post natal. I stopped fluoxetine when I was 6 months pregnant. Kept well until just after baby was born.

First I thought I had a blot clot and was readmitted at 7 days post natal. Blood tests, chest X-ray and heart scan all normal and was let home.

Then I noticed I was fixating on my eyebrows not being same level! Which led me into a panic that I had facial nerve weakness and was constantly looking in the mirror moving my face muscles (have since checked back photos and eyebrows were same 16 years ago! I was constantly taking selfies checking my face for minor changes. long story short by this point had whipped myself into a constant state of panic. Just doing my make up in the mirror would set me off.

Went to gp and started sertraline as I'm breastfeeding. Within a week I started to feel spaced out, almost drunk and just not with it which scared me even more. Logically I knew prob the sertraline but my mind telling me sinister. I also had face pressure, face numbness all same side as the eyebrow and vision issues left eye.
Went to optician on Monday and all was normal except the visual field test but was told the results were unreliable as it said I was clicking excessively. I did the test twice and both results were completely different. That was it I was distraught and knew I had a brain tumour.

I woke up in middle of night tue feeling confused and heart racing and immediately went to a&e. Based on symptoms I was admitted and had 3 lots of bloods, ecg and a brain mri. I was in until Friday and the results of the scan were absolutely normal. The consultant said it was one of the cleanest head scans she has ever seen. I was relieved.

But in true health anxiety style I am worried a tumour was missed as contract wasn't used even though the consultant told me it still sees it well. If something had been found then they do one with contrast to take a closer look but as nothing showed on mine I was fine.

I still have the vision issue in left eye feel can't focus my eyes, left sensitive to bright lights, and now my mind has latched onto some degenerative neuro disease since that can't be seen on an MRI. I have been referred by the consultant to see an outpatient opthamologist and outpatient neuro for the face numbness (which is gone now). I am terrified Iwill fail that test again meaning more tests and that it's a rare neuro condition.

I am in constant panic, crying constantly, waking up heart racing, trembling and freezing cold. Walking about I feel uncoordinated, jelly legs and just not myself. I am also stopping sertraline.

Please can anyone talk to me xx

lovechocolate123 Sun 13-Nov-16 18:15:38

I can totally relate to everything you are saying. I too suffer from health anxiety. Mine got so bad last year that I had a course of CBT for ten weeks. Please don't worry you are not alone. I found controlled breathing and talking to people on here has really helped. Distractions always help me and going for a walk. I haven't really got anyone I can talk to so talking to people on here really helps me. Also, I found the book Overcoming Health Anxiety by David Veale helped me. Even now when I feel the anxiety creeping up I open up the book and start to read it and it calms me down.

Le1890 Sun 13-Nov-16 19:09:22

Thanks lovechocolate

I'm sorry you have to deal with this too. It's so frightening.

I Have that book will need to dig them back out. I also like a book called it's not all in your head. It explains what happens to the body when we are in constant panic mode.

I can't switch off from my anxiety it's always there the now. Even when I took a drink of juice earlier my mouth felt funny. It's almost like it's not my mouth. I'm in complete trauma mode at the moment.

Do you take any medication? I've been off sertraline now for two nights. Only been on it 4 weeks. I am hoping to start fluoxetine again. I just can't live like this. Literally can't function properly and I have 3 children, 7 week old, 3 year old and a 7 year old. I just want to sit and cry with fear.

MyNameIsCleo Sun 13-Nov-16 19:17:42

Also have suffered although not had any medication as yet. I found CBT and counselling very useful. If you have time and are able to have a look online these modules were the basis of the CBT and may be helpful

Distracting and calming yourself is a good idea. Try some deep breathing exercises, and then maybe keep yourself busy, do some mundane tasks but with the TV / radio / a podcast on in the background to keep yourself doubly occupied.

flowers You will get through this.

lovechocolate123 Sun 13-Nov-16 20:27:15

No i don't take medication. When I was really bad -this time last year- I couldn't function at all either. I couldn't sleep and I would wake up having a panic attack. I kept going to the gp, she made me self refer to IAPT for CBT. I did ask if she would give me something for sleeping because I told her I hadn't slept for weeks but wouldn't give me anything. My health anxiety rears it's ugly head as soon as I get a physical symtom and then my mind starts to race. For me it's cancer: stomach, pancreatic, ovarian, breast, brain...... At my very worst I couldn't even type the words 'cancer ' or if I heard a charity appeal for cancer on the radio or tv I would panic and have to turn it off.
I had nightmares that felt so real of my children being motherless.
It was such a horrible place so I know how you feel. Please know you are not alone and I am here if you ever want to chatflowers

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