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health anxiety?(8 Posts)
I have name changed.
I just wondered what you might class as health anxiety?
I have a couple of chronic conditions which can 'flare' and combined can cause fatigue and weakness, and more recently pain.
I certainly have a phobia of fatigue. I was diagnosed with one when in my early 20's (it was misdiagnosed for a while) and the way it affected my life at the time (being at university, trying to keep up with everyone, thinking I wasn't strong or tough enough or I had myself to blame) has left me scared of becoming so unwell again. I think it was the 'invisibility' too - no one else had it or knew what it was.
I feel sometimes traumatised by experiences I link/ blame on it but it drove me to succeed.
I've recently been through similar situations, a another diagnosis of hypermobility issues plus now possibly some mild asthma.
I find I'm driven to know exactly what I'm dealing with. I'm trying to get better as quickly as possible and avoid fatigue. It can make me frustrated, I try to get my head round it and how to help myself as well as what to ask the dr - this is sometimes where I worry I'm over analysing or a not knee jerk but sometimes actually I'm too blasé about things eg symptoms but clearly struggling on. Then I start to get very low due to the struggle and frustration.
I'm not exactly feeling anxious about the condition; more how it's impacting my life and I'm very impatient to get well. So I guess I research it to gain ownership / understanding.
I guess I'm not great at the acceptance bit but I feel if there's ways to feel better via GP I bloody want it!! I find I have a question about xyz and then need to get my head around that question - it either helps me work out if I'm doing the right thing to ignore it or it needs to be flagged up.
I guess I want to know if there's nuggets of health anxiety in there so I can set up some strategies.
Hello. I've suffered from generalised anxiety and health anxiety at different times. The way the ball got rolling for me was to see my gp. I was very lucky in that she listened well and helped a lot. I also had other physical symptoms. Maybe write a few bullet point type things to clarify what you want to say in the gp appointment. I had blood tests and the problems flagged up were medicated and referred on to specialists. My health anxiety was similarly referred on. If you want to feel in control and proactive about your recovery cbt really helped me. While I was waiting for the various appointments I bought and read some self help books. I think the very nature of health anxiety means what's a physical symptom and what's a manifestation of a physical symptom caused by stress and anxiety is hard to discover. If you can get a blood test profile that should be a start. Likeswise, if you start treating yourself for anxiety some physical symptoms may disappear. I hope that makes sense and that I've understood your post.
Thank you for your response. These things aren't easy to share!
I think I'll have to get a book and see.
I think it's more that I have two health conditions, plus now what looks like a possible third, and I get anxious about the impact on my life probably more in the short term, regarding work mainly. It's frustration I guess.
I haven't ever thought about cancer for example or anything like that.
I google questions I have about the conditions I have already - I guess I have a thirst for knowledge as then I feel in control of how to look after myself best - but also recognise quite a lot cannot be trusted (and look at what I observe helps me best).
So when I read descriptions of health anxiety I don't really recognise it?
But there's anxiety and grief I guess.
Hi. I suffered quite a lot of health anxiety I'm the past. The way it was for me was I would notice something, like an ache, lump, spot etc and I would begin to worry about that thing, imagining that it was something serious, usually cancer. If the symptom went away, then I would calm down but if it lingered for more than a few days I would begin to get obsessed with it. Sometimes I would go to the gp to put my mind at rest and at other times I would just cope with it on my own. It is a horrible thing, health anxiety and people do often make fun of it.
It seems a bit different in your case as you have actually properly diagnosed conditions and you want to learn the best way to control them, but it might be worth speaking to your gp about how you are feeling/,thinking about things and they could offer some advice.
I think counselling to help you to get to grips with your diagnoses would be really helpful - is this something you could pay for or get access to through work?
This is a good book: Overcoming Health Anxiety
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