I can't decide if symptoms are "real" or if it's just health anxiety causing them

Hi guys, excited to have joined this community and hopefully get some advice :)

I feel as though I've been developing health anxiety over the past 6 months or so, I find myself obsessing over "minor" symptoms or symptoms that can easily be explained by something harmless. For example, my GP told me to re-read the advice leaflet that comes with my contraceptive pill as some of the advice had changed - ok I thought, that seems fair enough - and I read that in rare cases the pill can cause liver tumours and since then I have been experiencing an odd pressure/soreness sensation in my right side. It started under the ribs (where the liver is) but has since moved down and round the back (more like where the kidney is) so now I am of course worrying that I am one of the rare cases - even though I doubt this sensation would have occurred if I hadn't have seen that in the leaflet!

I find that as soon as one symptom either goes away or gets explained as something harmless within days I've found something else to be worrying over healthwise. It's really starting to affect my life as I spend a lot of time researching symptoms, discounting the harmless explanations but latching onto more sinister ones. I'm 23 and I should just be enjoying life but instead I'm worrying all the time. Has anyone had anxiety cause this type of pain sensation before? I've heard of anxiety causing bad chest pain but I guess this is more liver/kidney area pain. Please help, I've read some of the other posts here and my anxiety seems quite tame compared to some of your experiences but I hope you guys can still offer reassurance :)

thankyou! x

4 Replies

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  • Such is the nature of medical anxiety; you will bounce from one symptom to another. You really need your doctor to identify if your symptoms are real or psychosomatic. Whilst appreciating that you have medical anxiety, can you trust a forum diagnosis as a substitute? Identify your "authority" that allows you to let go of your symptoms. Sometimes the embarrassment of going back to your GP again and again helps you to change your core belief. Googling tends to make things worse.

  • Yeah I've started looking into what help is available so I can manage the anxiety better, I didn't realise until I started suffering with it how crippling anxiety can be! Thanks

  • I agree with Allinthemind

    You have to ask yourself, if the symptoms said headaches or chest pain, would you start feeling the chest pain?

    With me, I've had health anxiety after I was dealing with anxiety and panic attacks. After I did the dumb move and consulted with "Dr. Google," I began thinking I had something wrong with my heart. I would feel every symptom from chest pain, pressure, jaw soreness, back pain, left arm pain.

    I had these symptoms when I was dealing with the attacks and never thought about it being a heart issue. Until I thought about it more and then begun thinking about it I started to feel these things more and more.

    I have a tremendous amount of tests done... From x-rays, ct scans, MRI's, stress tests, blood work, holter monitors, and even this morning I had an echocardiogram. We need to believe the doctors and we need to trust their expert advice. Obviously I am still getting though this but it has got better. With prayer and trust anything is possible.

    I hope this helps. God Bless.

    Devin

  • Hi, yeah I completely agree, once a symptom has been planted in my mind then I latch onto it and seem to make it happen! I'm trying to get some help with it all so hopefully I can start managing this soon. Sorry to hear about your experience, but yes doctors wouldn't send us away saying we're fine if we're not so I guess I need to work on believing that too! Good luck with getting through it

    Thankyou!

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