New here. Health anxiety

Hi this is my first post on here. A lot of the time I would just google questions about my anxiety and it would bring me to this site as an option, but I never actually joined. The reason I joined is because it makes me feel better to know there are people out there like me and I'm not crazy. I'm 38, single mom of a 19 and 12 year old. I have worked in the mental health field for 15 years. I have terrible health anxiety. It is seriously ruining my life. I won't take medication for it. I'm afraid to take almost any medication, including Tylenol. I don't go to the dr or anything like that a million times. It's more every single little thing I feel in my body, I freak out. I worry that I will just have a seizure or something crazy and drop dead. I don't know when or how this started. I'm starting counseling tomorrow and I can't wait. I need help. I feel like I can't enjoy the things I've always enjoyed. For example my boyfriend and I took a drive to a place a little over an hour from here to hike and see waterfalls. On the drive I was anxious because I felt numbness in my left arm and hand. I almost turned around, but I'm trying to not let this anxiety get the best of me. I love stuff like that and I was really looking forward to it. But sometimes I even eat and get scared I'm going to choke and die on my food. No clue why? Never choked before? Anyways sorry I'm rambling. I'm glad to be here and hope we all get through this!

6 Replies

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  • Hi Slaymate, welcome to the Anxiety Forum. You will find a lot of supportive and caring people, men and women alike. It's a little slow on the weekends but will pick up. Having worked in the mental health field for 15 years I would think gives you the edge on knowing a lot about anxiety and depression. You also must know that when you google a question it only makes your health anxiety worse. I understand you not wanting to take medication but there comes a time when each one of us needs that little extra help for even a very short time while you go through counseling. It's good that you know you need help and can't wait to start. Something caused your anxiety to take hold and I hope you find the answers you need to help you. Good Luck with your appointment tomorrow. Come back to the forum and share your experiences. We will be here to support you.

  • Hi, thanks for the feedback. When I google Stuff I'm not looking for what could be wrong, but looking for people that have gone through/going through what I am. Sorry I should've clarified. I definitely know better to not do that! As far as medications, I've been on everything there is in the past. I've had side effects and honestly working in this field makes me want to be on them even less. I try exercise and eating right. That's generally how I feel better. I think working with a therapist on the cognitive stuff will also help.

  • Hi. Welcome to the anxiety forum. You'll find many people on here who have gone through similar experiences as you have and would be more than happy to share their thoughts with you. You're anxiety may be at an all time high, but you're certainly not going to have a seizure or drop dead; you're more likely perfectly healthy but the tremendous anxiety you carry with you trick you into believing the opposite.

    You fought anxiety really well by not turning around and continuing on. Just keep going on like you normally would and doing all the things you usually enjoy; if you do that then anxiety cannot bother you. I hope your session goes well tomorrow.

  • Hi and thanK you for your feed back. The weird thing is, I know these things won't happen to me, but the physical feelings I have and the negative thoughts are so strong sometimes that it's hard to deal with it. I hope my session goes well too! Thank you!

  • Dear Slaymate,

    I am considerably new here and I joined to learn about anxiety. You are the first person I am replying to as I have been suffering from health anxiety for a while myself.

    I have always been a worrier...but I have never been depressed and I have always been positive. Last year, I lost my father to cancer and that led me to realise my mortality. My dad was my hero. He was immortal to me. The strongest man I have ever known. And he died. Cancer was never a big thing in my family from both sides; and I never thought much about it. My family is very well off so we had access to the best private treatment etc...that did not save my dad. Another reality kick... Since then, I have developed severe health anxiety. For the past twelve months I managed:

    1. To get rid of a mole I had for year because some idiot told me it looked abnormal. I was convinced I was dying from melanoma.

    2. I read on the BBC about the girl who died from lymphoma as the age of 33 (my age). I went to the doctors (different GPs) around 10 times making them to check my neck. And even then I was not convinced!

    3. I made my GP to send me to get the scan of my lungs as I was sure I had lung/spinal cancer.

    4. I was worried for a week I had bone cancer because my knee was sore.

    5. And now, I have a heartburn. I went to the GP who gave me meds. The heartburn is almost gone but I have an "air bubble" stuck in my throat every time I eat. I googled it today. Esophageal cancer and stomach cancer.

    I know I have health anxiety...but at the same time, I worry what if THIS TIME the symptoms are real and if I ignore them, I will die. I understand it is ridiculous. I feel ashamed to be worrying about these things. But, I DO understand you that it is sometimes impossible to control it. I want to live. I want to have children. But, at the same time, I am tired. I have signed up for CBT but it is not until February (so good luck to my GPs and my partner!).

    So what I am learning right now is...if it is meant for me to die at this young age...then I cannot do anything about it. I only do what I can do. This does not help to get rid of anxiety but it helps to control it. If I drop dead for no reason tomorrow, the good thing is that I would not even know about it. And, my family and kids (if I had ones) would get over it.

    When I developed a fear of flying, I would be panicking throughout the whole flight (and I do travel long-haul flights all the time). Then I gave myself several options:

    1. I have no choice. I either fly or I do not. I chose to fly.

    2. Even if my plane crashes today...at least I spent the last hours of my life enjoying myself...watching movies I was meaning to watch for ages; assessing people on a plane trying to guess their background; eating crappy plane food and taking pictures of it so that I can (hopefully) show them to my mates..etc.

    Since then, flying is more enjoyable!

    I am sorry for a huge post. All I really wanted to say (I could not avoid talking about myself) is that you are a normal woman who values her life and wants to see her children grow. You are amazing for not asking your partner to turn around. You are brave for recognising that you have a problem and wanting to solve it.

    All the best of luck to you!

    Love,

    M.

  • Hi and thank you for responding. My dad also passed from lung cancer when I was 24. It was awful watching my strong dad suffer through that. I helped take care of him quite a bit and I'm thankful for that. I don't remember having the health anxiety that far back. I just know the older I get the worse it's getting. I try that sometimes too. If I'm meant to die, there's nothing I can do. But I worry so much about my kids. I'm hoping the therapy helps. Thanks and good luck!

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