Health Anxiety

Hi all. I'm a 29 year old male from New Zealand and experience fluctuations of health anxiety from time to time. However I'm having a major relapse and it's probably the worst I've experienced in the last 10 years. Generally I'm pretty active with work and activities however in the past week I have been completely debilitated by it. I've ended up in the Emergency department 3 times convinced I'm having a heart attack. All bloods have come back normal and heart tracing (ekg) perfect. My health on paper is perfect.

Despite all of the tests and reassurance from the GP I find myself ending up in the dark pit of being totally convinced I'm at anytime going to have a cardiac arrest. It is absolutely hell. Then in between or after an attack I look back and think to myself well that was totally irrational and then flip back into it a couple of hours lately.

Body pains all over my body chest is the worst and hands. The lump in throat drives me crazy and the stabbing pains in the head. I nearly choke not being able to regulate my breathing and stupidly check DR Google for symptoms which in turn exaggerates it all

I used to be medicated however I became extremely hooked to benzodiazepines and could not function without them back in 2013. I basically became and addict and it eventually destroyed my relationship and work life. I now use fish oil and magnesium along with St. John's wart to keep it at bay and stay away from prescribed meds.

Until now...

With this latest episode they prescribed me with benzodiazepines and I have filled the script and taken 6 over a week. I'm so restrained with them and was gutted that the GP reccomeded 3 a day considering past history. I refuse to take that kind of dose and will only take them if it's so hightend it becomes an outta body experience. I've taken 2 a day Sunday Tuesday and Saturday.

I've enrolled into cbt to refresh myself as I did it 7 years ago. I'm back to doing relaxation for 30 mins morning and night which really I should of never stopped and ensuring I still leave the house everyday.

It's a hard road when your in this state and it has frightened me this time. I guess really the underlying factor is the anxiety of death and when it will be my turn. I even find it hard to attend funerals as is a major trigger.

That's my story for now it's rough I'm frightened about the intensity and its wearing me out.

Joe 😭

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15 Replies

  • What past trauma has convinced you that your symptoms are more than they are? The belief/emotion is still affecting you.

    You are in conflict with a belief about medical/death anxiety. Can you imagine going through a process of change where you have accepted your vulnerability? And from then on, you embrace the joy of living?

  • I can't recall trauma. None experienced that I remember in my life. However I knew too much as a child too, I was overloaded by knowledge from a rather informative parent who probably didn't need to be. I think I've carried that into adult hood.

    I would love to be able to move forward and accept vulnerability and the fact is one day I'll day. My biggest sticking point is what happens after? It scare me causes the anxiety and boom symptomatic. I feel it's so crazy to write let alone be listened too. I want to be able to embrace life to its fullest potential and make peace with the fact it will happen one day that's how life goes on.

  • If you haven't experienced a direct trauma e.g. a bereavement in which someone you were close to died suddenly of a medical condition, what has taught you to be convinced about your beliefs? What did you know too much about as a child?

    "...what happens after?" Do you mean after you have died? Or after having released your anxiety?

    Change the belief and you'll access a peaceful life.

  • This is my first time writing on this forum. during the last 5 months I've experienced the EXACT same thing as you. Only it all started with an anxiety attack that spiraled into health anxiety and fear of death. It was soo intense. It's just now getting easier (alot of prayer and staying off of and positive self talk. Lots of it). Ur not alone. The struggle is real. Hope things get better for you.

  • Hi Amiraks7911nice to hear someone who has experienced the same. But rough isn't it. The death thing just sets me off every time. I had the unfortunate event of having to travel last month as a family member was killed in a car accident. Definitely has set it all off! Again!

    I have now banned myself from Dr Google, he's not helpful.

    Today after reading so much testimony I am telling myself health anxiety all the time to try and bring some reality to it.

  • Hi Love,

    Have you taken any antibiotics in the last year or so? They can do a lot of this--so let me know. A One thing you might do that can't hurt you at all is to take a magnesium supplement, which a huge number of people are deficient in. I avoid Rx meds as much as possible. Think on the antibiotics--and let me know.

  • Hi DizzyKitty yes I have taken a bit of antibiotics had a terrible chest infection a while back as a really bad cold was going around. Doesn't help either when it's super cold. We literally went from summer 30 degrees to winter overnight 2 degrees. Have started taking fish oil again and magnesium been doing it 5 days ago. Noticed yesterday the heart palpitations had stopped which is a bit of a relief.

    I Also did the second session of CBT yesterday. That has really helped as it gives me a bit of hope and guidance what to do during the next episode. Still feel anxious however I'm carrying on with my day and not waiting for it like I was

  • Antibiotics,particularly fluoroquinolones, as in cipro, avelox, etc, can cause all of these things, including anxiety and depression. If you took any one of them, you could be experiencing toxicity from them--I have it. You must never take any of those antibiotics again if so. You should take a daily probiotic pill, stay with the magnesium and fish oil and add vitamin C . The site is excellent for info if you've taken an antibiotic and have symptoms like this.

    Meanwhile, avoid ibuprofen and other NSAIDS, and anti depressants too, as they can make things worse with this. You are in good company. Many people have the toxicity syndrome from antibiotics, I'm one of them, and I feel lucky that I found out what was causing my symptoms before I could make it worse without realizing it. All the blood work, tests, etc come back negative because there is no specific test designed to show this toxicity syndrome, and doctors are woefully oblivious despite recent additions of black box warnings for these classes of antibiotics.

    I come to this site looking for symptoms like the ones I had when I'd find myself here hoping someone might have answers when I was trying to find out what the heck was wrong with me, and when I have a suspicion that a person might have this, I warn them, so that they won't take more, and because there are lots of things to do for healing. So feel free to write back if you like. I hope you feel better soon.

  • The only antibiotics I've had is:




    Are these related. Huge doses as well.

  • Good, that's penicillin family and Doxy is tetracycline, so no, they are not related to Fluoroquinolones. Avoid Fluoroquinolones like the plague (unless you actually have the plague :) ). Doxycycline can have some effects, but not like the FQs, however, all antibiotics deplete necessary things from the body more than anyone tells us. So to care for yourself, do take magnesium as a supplement and get a good probiotic pill from a health food or vitamin store, and take one every day for a while, especially if you've taken large doses. A high dose Vitamin C, such as a 1000 mg pill twice a day, is also good as an anti oxidant and cannot harm you.

  • Hi Jwelchnz, So on paper you are the picture of health. Now we have to see how to get your mind to accept that.... I understand everything you are saying and also agree that living on benzos is not the answer, long term. It seems like you've been down this road before and have an idea of what path to take. Medication may be necessary for a short time while you start your CBT. Just as a recovering alcoholic will never be able to taste liquor again, we, as anxiety prone people must for the rest of our lives practice meditation and deep breathing every day in order to keep ourselves in control. That's not a bad trade off when you consider the rewards.

  • Hi Agora, yes I have taken the benzodiazepines to let the body rest and just give me a break, however I become rather addicted really quick so I'm only taking one a day in the evening when the anxiety is more present. Relaxation is a huge part of routine now as it does slow everything down.

    My other problem with meds is that I seem to pack the weight on really quickly so I'm ever so careful about that. I usually keep trim and lean but once on a SSRI well I become a balloon.

    I've increased my exercise regime daily to an extra 20 mins. And more deep breathing 3 times a day.

  • jwelchnz, you are doing the right things. I've been where you are with benzos. Try 30 years on 0.25mg once a day. I guess I was lucky in that it took that long to become dependent. The few years after that are a blurr between my doctor trying other drugs as well as my making the decision to come off benzos completely. It was the hardest thing I ever went through. I feel good being off them but always have a bottle on hand should life hand me more than I could handle. So far I haven't touched one but that doesn't say it will be the case forever. We just have to be careful. I faithfully do the meditation twice a day and the deep breathing multiple times, even when I am writing you. It comes so automatically now and keeps me in balance.

    I believe you are going to do well. You seem to understand the process. :)

  • I just want to say a thank you so far for all the support I'm receiving on here. I've never joined a forum like this and I'm so thankful I have as you all have been great support with ideas, guidance and sharing your struggles as well. Joe :)

  • I have health anxiety and it takes over my life. I live in the Uk and our GP's are very reluctant to give benzos. The are very addictive and are normally only used for short periods. It is very difficult to control HA I have had CBT which has helped a bit. Perhaps your GP can offer you other meds. Good luck

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