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Need help, anyone else experienced life altering health anxiety?

Titus83 profile image

Had health anxiety for over a year, in a really bad situation right now where I’ve had 3 overlapping bouts over the last 5 months, from als fear for 3 months which I got tested for and cleared, to stomach cancer, and now throat. I’m convinced I have an actual lump in my throat because of difficulty swallowing. I’ve had this for at least 2 weeks. Scared to death! Any wise words?

15 Replies

Going through what you are going through has fear among it. Also remember that what we are given was given to us for a reason. We are strong and know we will get through even if it feels difficult to do so. Prayers are being sent your way. May you find peace and healing, in your mind, body and spirit.

I am right there with you. My fears are more heart and blood pressure related but I can totally understand where you are coming from. Also, the lump in the throat feeling is very very common with anxiety. I had the same sensation for about a month when I had to start blood pressure meds. Hang in there. I really enjoy listening to the Anxiety Guy podcasts....he focuses a lot of time on health anxiety.

Thank you! I will look into the anxiety guy podcast. I’m just in a real rut because I’ve been on 4 different meds the last 6 weeks and all have caused side effects. With every “serious” symptom I have recently I question is it caused by anxiety, meds, or something serious? So I’m caught in this triangle that causes me to not trust my meds my doctors or myself. It’s scary and my good life is going down the drain, I’m stuck in my worry all day long. I stop and get a drink at every water fountain I go by at work to test my swallow, eating food I focus in on every time I swallow to see if things are worse. I hate it!

I can really appreciate where you are coming from. I think that whole “is it meds, is it anxiety or is it something serious” is the hallmark of health anxiety. For example, I have borderline no issues. My doc decided to put me on a beta blocker to help with that and my anxiety. I thought it would help my calm down but know I’m always afraid that I’m on the verge of a heart attack. I have some risk factors but I also have anxiety. It’s such a tricky disorder. I have a much more difficult time managing my health anxiety as compared to the GAD diagnosis that I receive years ago. All that to say, you’re in good company. Hang in there and keep fighting the good fight!!

I had GAD for 5 years before my HA came up. My GAD was controlled pretty well by meds, however the meds I was on for that are not effective for my health anxiety so they’ve tried new things to try and help with little to no results. I currently have the “lump in throat” feeling with trouble swallowing. Been going on for over two weeks now. I don’t see how I’m gonna get past it without going to the doctor, but my psych says that will keep me in the anxiety cycle. All the while I feel I’m going to die trying to fight anxiety when it’s really something there.

I have suffered from bouts of health anxiety since I was a kid. If 83 is your birth year, you are in your mid 30’s. Whereas, googling symptoms can trigger even more anxiety, I have found that googling statistics has actually helped me. For example, there are less than 30,000 cases of stomach cancer in the US. (It’s not that common). The median age at diagnosis is 68. Less than 4% occurs in your age group. I used the SEER Cancer Statistics site. The odds against you having stomach cancer are pretty overwhelming.

We all continue to age (I am 58 now). The most important thing you can do is live a healthy lifestyle now so that as you age you are doing what you can to make it more likely that you’ll continue to be healthy. Instead of googling symptoms, look up modifiable risk factors. Asking how you can avoid a stomach cancer diagnosis at 68 might lead to some positive lifestyle changes, or reassure you are very unlikely to get stomach cancer.

For example, I have never smoked, so I know my odds are always going to be better when it comes to cancers more common among smokers.

All that being said, I still struggle. As I age, the statistics that made me feel better in my younger years aren’t that reassuring as I approach 60.

I have heard certain antidepressants may help, but I have the kind of health anxiety that makes me too afraid to go to a doctor.

I am 35, and never smoked or used tobacco, only occasional drink of alcohol. My blood work has been good in the 3 times I’ve gotten it fmdrawn in the last 4 months. I know my risk factors are low but I still freak out I’m on the throat cancer fear right now because of lump in throat feeling and trouble swallowing for two weeks. Really really hard to function.

Titus83 profile image
Titus83 in reply to Titus83

I’ve been encouraged to not go to the dr for anything until I get my anxiety under control by my psychiatrist. Talk about panic, that’s all I want to do is go to dr and get it checked.

ALS is my current fear too as I keep getting muscles twitches. I saw the dr last Friday and he thinks it’s stress/anxiety and said to see him again in 4 weeks. If I’m still getting them he’s going to refer me to a neurologist, more for my peace of mind I think.

The throat issue could be globus. Tension from anxiety.

Titus83 profile image
Titus83 in reply to

Karen, I went through ALS fear for 3 months, had twitching in my feet, arms and shoulders. Got an Emg in November finally that was all clear. Since then moved on to other things, this swallowing is stressing me big time, with the ALS I would cope by testing myself with certain body movements like running up stairs, jump rope and push ups. It helped me sleep at night. I’ve read about Globus and hoping that’s all it is, the what if’s get me though.

in reply to Titus83

My dad was diagnosed at the end of October and the twitching started after that. I was scared for my dad but also of the disease, it’s awful.

Yes, the ‘what if’s’ are the problem, that’s exactly what I said to the doctor. They always leave that little possibility.

Has any health professional looked at the possibility of psychosis?

in reply to Humankind-BE_BOTH

There’s no way it’s psychosis. The symptoms of that are hallucinations and delusions.

Respectfully, This does not sound at all like psychosis 😀 Rather, it sounds like classic anxiety hijack. I know it feels/ appears like an impossible impasse but it’s not! Anxiety creates a lot of strong, terrifying physical symptoms. Symptoms that threatening. Then anxiety is tricked by...the very symptoms it creates. Understanding how all this works is a huge part of the keys to recovery. Titus, I think it’s awesome u r listening to the anxiety guy. In addition, u can check out my profile where I have my favorite anxiety recovery resources. All same approach that Anxiety guy recommends, but each with their own style and detail. I have a good personal throat tightening story that I’ll post later (gotta get back to work👍🏻) Best wishes!!

I Get That Throat Sensation Sometimes Too. With The Trouble Swallowing Also.

The Tightening Of Muscles In Your Neck From "Stress" [ without you realizing you are tensing up ] Can Cause That....

Here's A Little Info If It Helps:

What Are the Symptoms of a Panic Attack?

If you have the sudden onset of four or more of the following symptoms, you may be having a panic attack:

Sudden high anxiety with or without a cause

Heart palpitations



A "smothering" sensation or shortness of breath

*A feeling of choking*

Chest pain or discomfort


Dizziness or faintness

A sense of unreality

A fear of going crazy or losing control

A fear of dying

Numbness or tingling

Chills or hot flashes

An isolated panic attack, while extremely unpleasant, is not uncommon or life-threatening. Panic disorder and panic attacks are not the same thing; panic disorder refers to repeat panic attacks along with worry and concern about having repeat attacks. Panic attacks can be a symptom of other anxiety disorders as well.

There Are So MANY Things Out There That Can Cause Your Symptoms Other Than Cancer. So Why Are You Scaring Yourself To Death ? "I Have Health Anxiety Too". I Look At It Like This. "IF" It Is Cancer ? Worrying Isn't Gonna Help A Thing. It's Already There. Plus ! If It Is Cancer ? Let's Get It EARLY & Get It Outa There. See A Doctor & Ease Your Worry.... Calm Down & Say, " Fear Never Cured A Thing ". Panicking Never Cured A Thing Either... If It's There It's There Already. If It's Not ? It's Not. So Ask Yourself, "Why Am I Doing This To Myself" ?* See A Doctor & Let Them Handle It...Ease Your Mind... You Deserve It.


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