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Health Anxiety

(27 Posts)
strawberryswing Tue 25-Jun-13 20:25:12

Does anyone else suffer from this?

I stupidly googled some symptoms last week and have been terrified since. I had a small chest pain which over the weekend has turned into back, chest,shoulder and arm pain.

Google obviously came up with heart problems and various cancers.

I've been seen by 2 people today. I've an ecg done which was normal, along with normal pulse and blood pressure. Both have said its not serious, just muscular.

Why am I still scared? My shoulder, arm, back and chest still hurt. And I dont know why sad Why am I still worrying myself silly despite being told its not serious. I hate this, its completely taken over my life.

Jaydeelee Wed 24-Jul-13 08:08:27

Hi Strawberry

You should be able to self-refer through your local IAPT service - google that to find your nearest one. They will be able to set you up with an assessment and will then decide which course of action to take. I was put on a 6 week stress and low mood course (which was great - took us through the different stages of anxiety and the physical effects, and the vicious cycle that exists through the thoughts and physical symptoms). I'm also having high-intensity CBT, which seems to be helping a bit (although I'm still struggling on some days). Mindfulness could well help - my IAPT people gave me various CDs and literature about it and other coping techniques. I have avoided any medication so far.

Your doctor sounds like an A* prat. My docs have been fantastic, it was they who gave me the details for the IAPT service. They reassured me that I had anxiety, having done various blood tests and examinations, and said it's really common - up to 1 in 3 people will suffer from it within a 20 year period. Not once did they dismiss my fears as being petty and inconsequential, and they said it's the most common condition that people come in to see them about. Sorry your dr is so unsympathetic.

Good luck. x

cloudskitchen Mon 22-Jul-13 23:32:26

If everything else has been proven to be ok perhaps it's tension and/or anxiety. Hope you feel better soon.

Lonelybunny Mon 22-Jul-13 13:12:29

You should pop across to the mental health pages , I have health anxiety and it is a lot more common then people realise

specialsubject Wed 03-Jul-13 18:42:46

hang in there. Before there was google there were medical books to scare yourself with.

you did the right thing in getting it checked out. Now continue to do the right thing.

good luck.

strawberryswing Wed 03-Jul-13 16:22:56

Google has ruined me! So stopping that is certainly my first step. I've taken google off my homepage, replaced with mumsnet smile

How do I go about getting CBT? I really dont want to go back to my GP, that would be the fourth time and I think they've had enough of me. X

greeneyed Wed 03-Jul-13 14:31:06

Strawberry I'm glad you've got some reassurance but you really do need some help in not getting into that state in the first place - First place to start - Do Not Google!!! If you absolutely have to then put NHS in your search term and only read their pages which will hopefully give more measured advice. Please try to get some CBT to address the anxiety x

strawberryswing Wed 03-Jul-13 14:28:03

Thankyou everybody for your helpful responses

I have been to the GPs and have been prescribed better paracetamol. He basically said that 2 ecgs, bloods and a.chest xray would have pointed out abnormalities that are concerning and that I should 'generously accept' that it is muscular paib. He seemed to be annoyed that I was back again, and quite frankly I do not blame him!

I am starting to feel more positive today. Pain is not constant which makes me believe more that it is muscular. My arms and legs are aching, but at the minute I'm putting that down to anxiety, after all I've been worrying I'm going to die for a week!

I hope to have a more positive day today, and my aim is to be back to myself for my Daughters 1st birthday later this month.

Thank you again for giving me somewhere to vent

Relaxedandhappyperson Mon 01-Jul-13 22:25:45

I found the Stress Free app to be enormously helpful when I was feeling constantly anxious. Do try it: it's very easy, just download, plug yourself into headphones, lie down and work through the exercises. I was a bit scathing about deep breathing before but actually doing it right is really helpful in calming the physical symptoms of anxiety.

I don't think it's very helpful of your family to get angry, they should be helping you to relax and feel better.

If these pains are anxiety and you can find a way to relax (eg the app), they will go off. If there's something real lurking then as the doctor has reassured you it's most unlikely to be life-threatening. So treat it as a bit of a scientific experiment: you are looking for objective evidence and that helps you detatch.

I hope you feel better soon.

ShoutyCrackers Mon 01-Jul-13 20:46:26

You are asking what to do and people have advised you. See your GP and explain the issue. Ask for CBT and maybe Beta Blockers to dampen down the anxiety a little.

There really is nothing else you can do. You say you don't know what to do but you DO know. See your GP.

greeneyed Mon 01-Jul-13 16:44:52

Strawberry sending hugs. Please go back to GP and explain what is happening to you. You are ill, mentally ill and your doctor should take you seriously. Anxiety and panic cause a whole range of physical symptoms including numbness. Adrenalin is flooding your body in a fight or flight response. This causes actual physical symptoms - you worry about the symptoms, get more anxious etc as someone mentioned above you need to break the cycle. At the moment you are on a heightened sense of alert it is like someone pushed the panic button and it's stuck.

Have a look for breathing exercises and mindfulness on line and do try to practice them to calm you down.

strawberryswing Mon 01-Jul-13 15:26:54

My legs and arms feel numb and weak, probably down to the fact I'm extremely panicky. I just feel so alone, I cant talk to anyone.because they've said its pathetic and beyond the joke sad

recall Mon 01-Jul-13 15:06:24

"If you have signs or symptoms such as severe chest pain, fainting, sudden onset of shortness of breath, or symptoms of a stroke, call 911 or emergency medical assistance."

strawberryswing you have none of these symptoms. I doubt that you would present with a singular symptom if you had a dissection.

I used to get myself really anxious about the kids having meningitis. I would panic if they had cold hands. My GP explained to me that I was looking for symptoms of it, but missing the fact that they were quite well, but just had cold hands. I doubt that makes sense, I can't explain it.

strawberryswing Mon 01-Jul-13 12:13:48

Thanks for all your reassurance.

Mostly I know it is anxiety making me worse. However,part of me is scared of putting it
down to anxiety just in case there is.actually a problem.

I've had a clear ECG, chest xray and bloods
This soothed me for all of two hours until I remebered someone mentioned aortic dissection to me. So stupidly I researched that as my back pain.had increased and now I'm worried
that I have that. 16 hours since the pain my back and I'm still worried
My skin is burning due to anxiety I think. I'm just waiting to drop dead, my life has been taken.over and I dont know what to do sad

How did everyone battle this? Before I lose my mind and my family sad

recall Sun 30-Jun-13 15:53:21

Strawberry I have suffered with the exact same problem since I was a child. Once i "find" something, my anxiety locks onto it, and it spoils days and days of my life ( accumulating in years )

I have found there is a pattern to the behaviour, and at the age of 42, have just about beaten it, but get occasional flair ups.

One of the symptoms of health anxiety is not believing Health professionals when they say that you are ok.

My advise is to go to your GP, say that you think you have health anxiety.
If the GP decides to prescribe you medication, bare in mind that it can take up to 6 weeks to take effect, and that in the meantime, your anxiety can actually become worse. Ask them if it is possible to prescribe you beta blockers. These have a short acting effect on the physical symptoms of the anxiety, and will help you get through it.

I found the beta blockers broke the chain. I would see something that frightened me, and then I would have that knot of terror in my guts etc, so if I tried to forget and rationalise the fear, the knot of terror would constantly remind me, and that would cause more feelings of terror. the beta blockers stopped the knot of fear allowing my brain to calm down and think clearly.

Hope all that makes sense, and best of luck. Anxiety is a bully !! Fight it !!

ShoutyCrackers Sun 30-Jun-13 15:38:56

Oh you mustn't go to A and E with HA! That's not an emergency!

I sympathise. It's rubbish. But you know you're not fatally ill yes ? You KNOW this is anxiety causing these symptoms. And HA is a real condition - it's debilitating but it won't finish you off!

See your doctor and get some ADs to lessen your anxiety and consider counselling. You really haven't got a life threatening condition but unfortunately nobody will be able to convince you of this due to the nature of what you DO have.

ssd Sat 29-Jun-13 20:21:33

straw, if I was you I'd go to A&E, sounds like you just want someone to take you seriously, your gp sounds useless, at the very least he should have reassured you if you were worried

strawberryswing Fri 28-Jun-13 15:36:49

I went back to the Gp as the pains were going into my stomach. He didnt check anything, dismissed it straight away as anxiety.

I have pains in my stomach, back, side, in my chest and im so worried something has been missed. My family are getting angry at me for worrying and I'm not being taken seriously. I just want to kniw what's wrong. I cant stop getting anxious over these pains, its totally ruining my life.

Ive tried relaxing but I cant shake the feeling its serious, could just cry.

AngryFeet Fri 28-Jun-13 12:46:48

If they were concerned they would have given you an urgent referral ssd.

A good quote for people like us is "when you hear hoofbeats assume horses not zebras" smile

ssd Fri 28-Jun-13 12:41:35

I'm like this at the moment too, am waiting for a gynae referral and am literally worrying myself sick. I have always been a real worrier and am anxious by nature. I keep telling myself at least I'm getting a referral, I couldnt be doing with all the "waiting and seeing how it goes" I want answers as soon as I can! Although my referral might be for a few months time! AAARRRGGGHHH! I wont stay sane till then. My biggest fear is something happening to me and leaving the kids, I know thats every mums fear. And it happens every day. I need to try to relax and just live in the moment and what will be will be, I know worrying doesnt change a thing.

But how does an anxious person not worry when faced with a health issue that could be serious? sad
If anyone has any advice please tell me.

AngryFeet Thu 27-Jun-13 21:21:03

Go back to GP, get referred for counselling and get some anti depressants to lessen the anxiety while waiting for/having the counselling. Reassurance will make you worse honestly. There is a few good books on this like Overcoming Health Anxiety which gives CBT techniques for you to use. Have a look on amazon. I have had this for 11 years, you will feel better if you get some help smile

Notcontent Thu 27-Jun-13 21:14:40

If it makes you feel any better, I have this problem too.
I think speaking to a doctor helps, but it doesn't make it go away. For me I think it is related to general anxiety.

BlameItOnTheBogey Thu 27-Jun-13 03:07:44

Strawberry, do you have a kindle? There are some great books out there on how to tackle health anxiety that it might be worth you looking up. They can really help.

strawberryswing Wed 26-Jun-13 20:52:59

It really is self perpetuating and highly annoying! Had another bad day today, same pains but with added pains in my head and a tender spot on my forehead. Probably from stress/anxiety but.I cant shake that niggling feeling im not okay sad.

Doctors appointments are book on day and like gold dust. Everyone thinks i'm nuts. I just want my life back! I will google relaxation techniques, thankyou xx

greeneyed Tue 25-Jun-13 22:40:50

It's self perpetuating strawberry anxiety itself will give you physical symptoms including chest pains (cue more anxiety). If you are really worrying tomorrow go back to the GP and explain how you are feeling. Try some relaxation or breathing techniques in the meaning (you can google these grin Mindfulness is very helpful if you can get out for a walk in the morning to stop the hamster wheel of thoughts. x

strawberryswing Tue 25-Jun-13 21:18:49

I have googled before sadly I did not learn my lesson! I'm the first to admit I'm totally paranoid over my health, I'm terrified of dying and terrified of having a serious health problem.

This has completely taken over my weekend,trying to fit every symptom I have with some heart disease or cancer.

The dr said he isnt worried yet all I've done is come out worrying something has been missed and it will be too late. Argh sad xx

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