hypochondria- freaking out

hi everyone,

I am currently freaking out. Let me tell you why.

So I poked myself with this metal thing about 4 days ago. I went to the doctor and had to get a tetanus shot (just to be safe) even though I'm terrified of needles. I got the needle (2 days ago) and my arm has been sore since (i know its normal). Whats scaring me is that today, I developed a ton of physical symptoms. I feel tired, have a massive headache, chills, and nauseous (im emetephobic so this is making everything worse bc im terrified of being sick). I also have some stomach pain. I keep worrying about whats wrong with me. Then i started to think back to needles and realized i never got the menengitis needle. I stupidly google the symptoms an now im afraid i have meningitis!!!! Im so scared, I feel so sick, I dont know what to do. Im panicking, please help asap. :(

2 Replies

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  • Hi. Sorry you dont feel so good. I think it is very unlikely you have meningitis though. Reading your post it seems clear to me that you are doing exactly what anxiety wants you to do - focusing on areas of your health where you feel vulnerable. Most of us with any kind of anxiety have enabled that anxiety to tighten its grip on our minds by going into panic mode based on very little, or no, evidence. The real illness you have is the anxiety disorder. But this kind of illness is pernicious and persistent - using any way it can to get into your mind. The other part of the illness is the ocd part - many dont realise that ocd and anxiety work very well together - but your post is very clear in showing how they do.

    I would advise that you first of all try to find a comfortable place to sit or lie down in - then focus on your breathing for a few minutes. Hyperventilation is almost always a precursor to panic attacks. Once you have control of your heart rate you cmight then begin to deliberately refocus your thoughts away from anything to do with the thoughts about your health. If you find that too hard then you could try doing something physical - write things - anything - read something- do some light exercise - anything that requires your full attention is good.

    All of these things should help calm you and avoid a panic attack. I hope you feel better soon.

    Karl

  • Thank you so much for your detailed answer. I really appreciate it. I am aware I have anxiety, as well as ocd like thinking, and it is really tough to overcome. Breathing and relaxation do help though. It is the evening now and I'm feeling better than I was earlier. I also have taken into consideration that I may be increasingly anxious because I have a large test tomorrow and I feel pressured to maintain high grades. This could be why I'm more anxious than usual. Anyway, thanks again. :)

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