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Anxiety and Depression Support
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New Member with Health anxiety and primary care problems

Hi - struggling with health anxiety - real symptoms but I start to put them all together and then assume the docs have missed something - I know the symptoms are real but the worry about them is not. Primary care has gotten ridiculous - PCP just refers me out for every symptom I talk about - rather than getting one person to help me manage things - I am accumulating specialists who all only focus on one thing and then I get labelled a doctor shopper - I am struggling with symptoms and I don't even have time to go to the appointments without jeopardizing my job. Seems like once they know you are anxious they use it to explain everything and ignore things - making the whole cycle worse - wonder how others with anxiety ally with PCPs to manage health anxiety?

3 Replies

I love this information from the Calm Clinic. I have edited their long post and put the link at the end

Anxiety originates in the mind, and most people are familiar with the idea behind anxiety - fear, worry, concern - so they view their physical health through that mental lens.

Anxiety has many physical symptoms as well. These are known as psychosomatic symptoms. It's possible to experience physical anxiety symptoms even when no fear or worried thoughts are present. Anxiety is a complicated disorder, and one that may cause physical symptoms that are as bad as some diseases.

Anxiety causes long term stress. That stress can lead to a host of physical anxiety symptoms. In some cases it may be just some mild stomach discomfort. In other cases it can be severe enough to land people in the hospital.

Everyone experiences anxiety symptoms differently, and the symptoms may vary depending on severity and type. There are both common anxiety symptoms and uncommon anxiety symptoms. Most people with anxiety experience varying symptoms simply because everyone has different health, different bodies, different nutrition, and different reactions. One person may experience anxiety of the exact same severity as someone else in completely different ways.

One of the most interesting, and unfortunate issues with anxiety is that there's no way to know exactly how stress will affect you.

Stress can affect your organs, your hormones, your nutrition, and more.

For example, it's possible for anxiety and stress to cause other disorders as well, like anemia. Stress may also cause other mental health conditions as well, especially depression. Anxiety is so much more complex than people give it credit for, and may be related to numerous physical issues that others assume are related to physical health.

Anxiety also causes other issues with physical symptoms - namely that it makes normal sensations more pronounced.

Your body experiences various discomforts all the time. Those that do not experience anxiety often shrug them off - or may not notice them at all. To those without anxiety, they're just sensations like any other.

But those with anxiety, especially health anxiety and panic attacks, often feel these same physical sensations more strongly. They become too in-tune with their own body, and so the sensations feel stronger and trigger more worry and concern. Objectively the experience may be no different to someone without anxiety, but subjectively it can feel much worse because your mind notices each and every one.

So not only are there numerous physical symptoms of anxiety - there may also be more pronounced non-anxiety issues as well.

When you suffer from the physical symptoms of anxiety, your goal is often to stop them as quickly as possible. One of the issues that affects people during treatment is that they generally want to treat the symptom that bothers them the most, but not the anxiety itself.

For example, those with digestive stress because of anxiety often take over-the-counter stomach aids. Those with headaches tend to take pain killers, and so on.

Often these treatments have no effect at all, and those that they do affect they will only relieve temporarily. Ideally, you need to make sure your anxiety is under control, and the physical symptoms will go away with it.

The alternatives are to

Control Your Breathing

Start Exercising

Avoid Stress

From there, you really need to learn to deal with your specific anxiety issues, and for that, you need to learn what kind of anxiety you have as well as recognize how it's affecting you.





Reading this sounds like something I would write about what i've been through the last three months. Same exact issue.


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