Crippling health anxiety

Hey guys, I'm new here and I'm really just looking for a place where I don't feel as alone. For the past few months I've been fixated on the idea of having cancer (surprise, surprise). I have done nothing but worry night and day over this and it's starting to take a real physical, as well as emotional toll on me. I feel like I can't talk to people for fear of feeling crazy or something like that. I feel like nobody really understands how bad it really is living with anxiety and health anxiety. I've been obsessed with my health since I was little. My earliest memories of it are from kindergarten. But it's never been to this extent. I've of course done the rounds on google and freaked myself out way more than I would have been if I had just stayed off, and I'm really starting to regret it. I'm starting to feel every symptom I've read about. Mainly pertaining to my bowels/stomach. Now I'm adding acid reflux onto it. I've not noticed any blood or anything, which is the one thing I've got going for me at this point. But it's got me so paranoid and afraid of using the bathroom. I'm so scared that one day I'll look down and see it there. My mom is a nurse and I've talked to her several times about my worries and she thinks I'm just causing this myself. I want to believe her. She is my mother and she's been a nurse for over 20 years. So she's seen this type of thing. I just can't make my anxiety believe that. I'm sorry if this has run on into a book, I just really need to get this off my chest :(

(Btw I'm a 21 yr old male)

8 Replies

  • Hi

    Welcome this place is so good and I hope you find it helps you.

    the mind is a very powerful thing and if we keep feeding it information it will start to believe it, hence the symptoms you feel.

    Anxiety is horrible and life controlling but only if we let it. Some brain training like Cbt might be good for you. It breaks the cycle of of anxiety and puts thing back into perspective. There is lots online courses that are free.

    I think it's really good you've talked to you mum about this and getting this off your chest. And I think you should start to listen to her, she's a nurse she's seen a lot over the last 20 years. I think if she was worried about you then she'd get you to the doctor. Stay off google too! I used to do that as well and if worry for days after now I avoid it and go to my gp if I'm really that worried.


  • It is very hard when you feel people don't realise how tough anxiety is. I was a nurse but am now long retired. CBT is a good route to take. You might like to look at an approach called Human Givens too. Hang on to the fact that these are thoughts and feelings which can be different. Oh and I have health anxiety toobut when you get to 70 somethings are real!! To be terribly honest I find having physical problems from an ailment very much more acceptable compared with the crap anxiety caused by my uncontrolled thoughts. Hang in there, it will improve.

  • Hey I have health anxiety too!! And it's mainly about my stomach/bowels I've convinced my self again the I have bowel camber so I'm off to see the doc in a hour.. I went a few days ago with stomach cancer and ovarian cancer 🙈 It's horrible and awful.. I start cbt on Wednesday which I'm hoping will help me!! Your not alone! Come have a rant on here if anything worries you x

  • Hi. Sorry to hear of your distress. Well you have come to the right place if you are looking for people who know what you are suffering. Something I learned a long time ago is that however much your family and friends love you, they have no idea what kind of agonies anxiety can cause. Indeed, they can be quite dismissive. If you had a broken leg you would get sympathy because it is something everyone can see and empathise with. What people like us have is not visible, and is a bit too close to 'mental illness' for a lot of people. Even with medical people in the family, it is wiser to seek help from those outside of it.

    Like all of us on here you have now learned the perils of googling. We are individuals and need help tailored to our individual circumstances. It is interesting that you say you have been health anxious from a very young age. In that case it should be easier to find the trigger and address the root cause of your illness. You did not mention any medical interventions or any therapeutic work, so therapy might be a good route to go down for you. Short term medication can be helpful if you really feel it is essential. My advice would be to seek medical attention outside of the family and let your mother just be your mother. There is help available through your doctor. And of course you have this site too if you want to talk . I wish you well.

  • Anxiety is a mind boggling mental distress. its drives you crazy. my anxiety manifested in the form of breathing difficulty. i visited private doctor and then to A&E going for chest x ray, blood tests all coming out normal. and there i was breathing so hard unable to draw breath. It just came all of a sudden and remained for 2 weeks. after which the jelly legs and weak body symptoms came back. The breathing issues masked other anxiety issues. They just alternate. But all I tell myself rest assured medically i am ok and need not be alarmed. So guys out there just to play safe ensure that medically you are fine and self talk that this is just a phase you have to breeze through.

  • You are not alone. I have many of the same issues you do. I have gone to the doctor 7 times, er three times and they say it is anxiety. What I will tell you is, it is amazing what the brain can do. I started CBT two weeks ago and it is very helpful. Everyone on this site is here for you because we are all struggling and most people don't understand it until it happens to them.

    Example, last night I had arm pain, leg numbness and eye twitching and I am on vacation! My mind just stArts racing and boom I get shortness of breath and I have a anxiety attack. It's aggravating but the first part is acceptance.

    Also, I can't stress this enough. Listen to want Lils has to say about Google. Stay off google!!! My therapist has banned from using it because it just makes things worse.

    Trust yourself. You know your mind and your body. If something feels out of whack talk to your mom. Don't get discouraged. There are many people like you who struggle with it.

    Also, I have found walking/jogging, yoga and just stopping to breathe, have helped me with my anxiety, specially my Health anxiety. Just a thought.

    Good luck!

  • I completely understand. I have health anxiety as well. I've been dealing with this for almost 5 yrs. It's crippling. My latest is wondering if I have uterine cancer. My constant worry ( and had always been ) heart attack or stroke. Scares me sooo bad.every time I think of something I feel it and every time I feel something I start thinking it's the worst possible thing.

    Even though it's hard to have faith when your not feeling well, believe that God has a purpose for everything. This will eventually end. Strong heart strong mind that's what we need to focus on. Take care

  • Hey guys thanks so much for the replies. It feels really good to just see and talk to real people who feel the same. And yeah I'm definitely going to be cutting down on my google time lol it's really done a number on me. I go mainly looking for reassurance that it is just anxiety and end up finding the worst possible thing it could be, which I'm sure most of you are well aware of. And I have never been to therapy or anything like that because just until here recently, it's never been this bad. But constantly having cancer shoved down my throat by tv, Facebook, Internet, it's just got to me. Again, thank you all very much.

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