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Hypochondria

(4 Posts)
Pennies Tue 08-Mar-05 09:55:53

I am utterly paranoid about my health and spend all my time worrying about getting ill and dying. I had a malignant skin cancer successfullly removed last month and I'm so shocked by it all, but to be honest I've always been a bit like this. I hate my body and feel scared to look at moles and stuff just in case there's something wrong. It's doing my head in.

Does anyone else suffer from this or can anyone offer advice as to how I can cope with it?

cori Tue 08-Mar-05 10:26:03

I have always been a bit of a hypochrondiac myself. I think every ache and pain is a symptom of cancer. I have spent hours on the internet looking up symptoms. I am also paranoid about any illness my DS or DH have.

I think I have become less worried over the years as all the symptoms I have had ( real or imagined) have not turned into any thing serious at all. I remind my self of this everytime I think a headache is going to turn out to be a brain tumour. ( slight exageration)

I think part of the problem is that I dont trust doctors to diagnose properly, they always seem to dismiss my concerns.
The constant media reports of illness and disease not being treated properly on the NHS dont help.
I have also recently signed up to private health
insurance, this has helped as well.

expatkat Tue 08-Mar-05 11:04:31

Pennies I think hypochondria can be a symptom/relative of depression/anxiety, so sometimes if you get that treated, the hypochondria will disappear, or at least lessen. But yes: I've definitely been there too. I'm the daughter (& sister & niece) of a doctor, and I've observed that children of doctors either becomes doctors themselves or hypochondriacs. I know way too much about medicine, but not quite enough to feel reassured about things.

Also your brush with a serious health scare (melanoma?) will obviously have increased your health worries. I've had trouble with an irregular heartbeat over several years that has contributed to my worrying a lot more about my health than I might otherwise. But, like Cori, worries about my health have dimished a little over time, so there might be improvement for you, too.

Pennies Tue 08-Mar-05 13:23:12

Oh Cori, don't get me started on private health insurance - treatment for my dodgy mole, which turned out to be a nasty one was delayed for a month because of my wranglings with my insurers. I agree with you re. doctors dismissing my concerns but it also doesn't help that whenever i'm near a doctor i go into polite, acquiesing mode and never seem to push the point and say, 'look I'm bricking myself about this' so they wouldn't ever realise how i'm really feeling. I'm my own worst enemy.

expatkat - I agree with you re. depression. I've got a 6 month old DD and I was wondering if it was a PND thing, although I've always been a bit like this. I took the Edinburgh test online the other day and my score (13) indicated that I was depressed. The thing is, my hypochndria is what made me go to the dr about my dodgy mole andit turned out to be a melanoma so in my mind it has justified being overly anxious about my health. The cancer was small and the dr was surprised it was a melanoma because it didn't tick all the boxes, so I feel that I have to constantly be on the gaurd for more health problems.

Interesting point you made about relations of drs - both parents and my brother are all medics. I also work in a health related job and agree that too little information is more dangerous than none at all.

Have started to seek counselling but am not sure how useful it will be to help me resolve my issues. Don't want to take AD's tho am going to get myself some St John's Wort this PM.

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