HELP!! Hypochondriac with Severe Depersonalization

Hey y'all!

To start off, I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Depression and most recently, PTSD. And I have severe health anxiety!

Over the past four years as a hypochondriac I've had several types of testing done including cat scans, x rays, EKG's, and complete blood panel tests. Just recently I've had them all done, only to find out... wouldn't ya know it? NOTHING IS WRONG WITH ME!

So back in November I started to develope depersonalization! And I'm having the hardest time kicking it to the curb. I CONSTANTLY feel like I'm just going to drop dead in fear of having some undiagnosed, awful, incurable disease or terminal cancer! I just can't get it in my head that I'm not dying. I can't help but feel like something is seriously wrong with me :( it's taking over my life and I don't know what to do anymore! I feel like I'm going crazy! I'm so scared and I don't want to die :( I feel so detached from everything and everyone! I just want my life back so I can live a HAPPY life as the mommy I am to my beautiful baby boy.


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19 Replies

  • Hello, first off you are not alone and hang in there ! if I could suggest anything buy the book "the worry trick" that will help you acknowledge your worry and know what to do with it! You will feel more productive. Also anxiety will never go away but it will subside and you will learn how to allow anxiety to come at appropriate times... I suffer from GAD and it's been a crazy 2 week journey! But I've gotten so much better and so can you! Nothing comes good out of worrying , and 99.9% worrying is always inaccurate and not the truth! So that shld help give you a clue not to believe the worry! But to acknowledge the worry accept the worry and let it run its course...

    Worrh always announces it's self "what if.......". So get to know the announcement that it makes... and then let it go from there! The more we resist anxiety the worse it gets ! You will and can get over this! I am going through it now and it's super hard! But I do trust and believe this too shall pass!

  • That's a good way to look at it! I try my best to stay as positive as I can but we both know how hard that can be when anxiety takes over and starts the questioning :( but I will look for that book! Thank you so much! And I hope the best for you on your journey

  • I totally understand.. when I am anxious I feel so defeated ... But have faith and trust you are safe, the more thoughts you have with that the less it gets! im here message me anytime you need me!

  • Thank you for your support! I appreciate it so much. I'm here as well!

  • U feel your pain, I've a 4 yr old and a 7 week old, like you I want to get better for my kids; and being scared of never getting there is driving me craxy, I can't drive due to the dizziness and feeling sick, my heart beating irregular ; I too have cut everyone off and have not been out for 7 weeks apart from dr spots

    Today they've given me beta blockers, I'm praying it'll stop the fuzziness in my head

    I hate being me at the moment

  • It's the most devastating feeling to not be able to emotionally connect to anyone, including you're own children. I'm just totally beside myself and totally heart broken. I've never been so depressed! I know exactly how that feels :( my doctor is trying to give me beta blockers because I have constant tremors, but the "scaredy cat" part of me it too scared to take any sort of medicine... have you taken yours yet? If so, how do you feel?

  • I would like to say yes anxiety can go away. What the next person said should have been it will always be there to protect you as it should but yes with the right approach you can make the non stop dump of adrenaline stop. When you suffer anxiety it's because your body is set to constantly pump adrenaline because after a period of anxiety you have taught your body to do that by sensitizing. Once you desensitize you will see the anxiety becoming better so keep positive. Anxiety does not have to be here all the time we are the ones welcoming it to be here and allowing it to be apart of our everyday life.

  • How can I break the habit? Like how can I "desensitize"? I feel like I belong in a psych ward, I've never felt so disoriented :(

  • I also had a fear of sleeping because I was afraid I wouldn't wake up. This was at the height of my illness & when I was dx with environmental depression(one tragedy after another) it is now clinical since it's long term. I also had severe anxiety was dx by a psychiatrist with panic attacks & PTSD. Following a lot of abuse, neglect & abandonment issues in my life.

    I completely can relate to what you are saying. To you it is very real, very scary, & debilitating, am sure, not only the intrusive, disturbing thoughts of dread, fear, doom, but the time it interferes with your life.

    I also understand your extra hyper vigilance am also a parent & that is the first thing I think of, I have to be ok , I have to be around for my child.

    You seem to be on the right track seeing a psychiatrist & I also see a therapist weekly it is so beneficial, to know you have a safe place to vent every week.

    If not, I can't recommend counseling enough.

    I'm sensing major anxiety. Maybe you've experienced a lot of loss very early on & its created anxiety.

    Treat the anxiety to a manageable level, I'm all for meds, I do believe until we can learn to identify our triggers it's important to be able to calm the nervous system so we can function. The other side is apart from allowing us to be numb to the uncomfortable, scary thoughts we get used to feeling nothing & we also feel good on them & that for me personally was something I didn't want for me. I know some ppl with personality disorders, schizophrenia, I had a step parent had slot of these & caretook them so am very familiar with meds, the mental health system.

    While anxiety is terrifying & uncomfortable, it won't kill you.

    I think the goal should be to have the meds of you need them, but to also retrain, relearn, ways to react to triggers, confidence, boundaries, etc so we can feel empowered to know we aren't going to be ruled by our thoughts our whole lives'. Chemical imbalances if dx by a professional are different than GAD, where are nervous system from being constantly subjected to trauma is naturally overactive, in fact, we grow new pathways that receive signals. It's important for me to really immerse myself in relearning all the negative thought patterns that kept/ keep me in a state of panic/ anxiety, instead of automatically just reaching for a pill as was becoming habit. I feel you need to do whatever you need to do to get well. Continue meds when Rx, seek counseling, talk & cognitive therapy.

    Good for you for caring so much about being the best mom to your child, that shows great maturity & strength on your part.

    It's not going to be an easy fix because most of us didn't get where we are today overnight it was years & culminations of events, experiences.

    You can get better & live a fear free life. Anxiety is treatable & over time hopefully with much therapy & relearning & teaching tools you'll conquer the fear that you're sick or dying.

    All the best to you

  • That was a lot to retain lol I have a hard time concentrating when my anxiety is this bad! I know I can't be the only one!

    What have you found to be the best treatment for your GAD?

    I'm currently seeing a counselor and considering going to a psychiatrist. The counseling doesn't seem to be doing much, I feel like I'm just venting to her and not receiving any helpful aide towards my illnesses. I've tried nearly every SSRI, SNRI, Tricyclics A.D and benzodiazepine. I can't seem to handle any of them without severe side effects and I hate benzos. They make me feel hungover the next day and I don't want to become reliant on them. I tried Prozac when I just had depression and it worked wonders, I stopped taking it, like an idiot because I "felt better", then when my anxiety came on I started Prozac again and it made my anxiety worse after three weeks. I wonder if I took Prozac again and used benzos to get my past that anxiety if the Prozac could actually work? It's he only one my body seems to be able to handle without the horrific side effects.

    Have you tried mindfulness? And if so, had it been effective and how does it work? I try to channel my thoughts but sometimes it's so harD :(

  • Jennnnclayton, I give you my personal guarantee that you are not about to die. It simply is NOT going to happen. Neither are you suffering from some terminal illness like cancer. Absolutely no chance of that and I think that deep down you know it.

    I can tell you this with confidence because you have had many major medical tests and there were no signs of any physical disease. I can tell you because you have been diagnosed with anxiety. And indeed your symptoms are the classic symptoms of anxiety.

    You must now accept 100% what the doctors have told you. And instead of spending time concentrating on illnesses you DON'T have, start concentrating on the illness you DO have - Anxiety!

    It's time to end your bewilderment through acquiring some understanding and map out a road plan for your recovery for your sake, your child's sake and for the sake of other members of your family.

    What you need to understand is for some reason that only you know your nervous system was under a lot of pressure from all the stress, worry and tension in your life. Finally it reacted the way it always does, your nervous system became over sensitized. In this state small worries and concerns appear to be ten times more menacing: in your case the natural desire not to die prematurely has become exaggerated into an obsession with imminent death from cancer and God knows what else.

    Sensitised nerves also give us strange feelings like the depersonalisation you mention and often the feeling that 'I'm not here', as if you're watching everything that goes on around you on a TV screen.

    The road to recovery is pretty obvious, isn't it, Jennnnclayton. You have to de-sensitise your overtired nervous system and when you achieve that all these strange feelings and ideas will disperse and you will feel your old self again. To do this you have to stop thrashing your nervous system with even more fear and worry because sensitised nerves thrive on fear. You have to break the vicious circle of fear causing symptoms which cause more fear which causes more symptoms and so on and on.

    So how do you stop fearful thoughts, I hear you ask? You do it by Accepting all the strange feelings and ideas that come into your head. Because by Accepting the symptoms for the time being you stop frightening yourself half to death which only prolongs sensitised nerves. But it must be real Acceptance, utter Acceptance of the strange feelings not just 'putting up with'. After all, you now know what anxiety disorder us all about - it's merely blips and glitches in your tired nervous system that aren't life threatening and can't send you crazy. So start practicing Acceptance and be persistent, this is no fast fix, you must be prepared to let time pass. But by framing your mind to Accept all the symptoms without fear your nerves will settle down and you will be on your way along the Yellow Brick Road to recovery.

  • Thank you for breaking it down to me on a very understanding level, everyone who I talk to about this with just says to ignore it or fight against it, and that surely hasn't worked for me! Accepting these strange feelings won't be easy by any means, but I hope with persistence and dedication that I can make it happen!

    I read this earlier before I began my day, and I've already started working on trying to accept the feelings. I'm going to work on it everyday.

    Hoping for a better tomorrow! Thanks again!

  • Jennnnclayton, can reading a book help you to recover from anxiety and depression? Thousands of people will tell you Yes - the book that describes the Acceptance method of recovery was written 50 years ago by Doctor Claire Weekes who herself suffered anxiety as a young woman and developed the Acceptance method to cure herself and later others. May I suggest you go to Amazon and read the customer reviews on her book 'Hope and help with your nerves', it is fairly short and easy to read by people with tired minds and you will soon recognise yourself in its pages. It is the pre-eminant book of self help for people experiencing anxiety disorders and the depression that accompanies it. I will say no more.

  • Thank you Jeff1943

    I will look into getting a copy for myself! In the meantime I'll be reading reviews about the book!

  • I would try cognitive therapy not just talk therapy if you feel your therapy not getting out of the therapy what you need. I did do cognitive therapy it is very useful I would've loved to continue, I moved. I am in weekly therapy & my current therapist is also about quieting the fears & nervous system & realizing when your nervous system starts getting activated to come up with a signal physical or verbal that tells me to "Stop" it is repetition but eventually you will relearn new coping mechanisms. When we feed into it one thought becomes 10 thoughts, becomes 1000's of thoughts, it's very distressing, intrusive & exhausting. I think making an appoinyment with a psychiatrist along with looking into cognitive therapy would be very helpful. I've been on antidepressants before , not currently, I've often thought about returning on them because I do struggle with depression which feeds into all the other stuff including, anxiety. I think you have a good game plan just set it in motion if the Prozac helped go back on it & stay on it. Ask the Dr. To give you something to counter the anxiety until your body gets used to the meds again & that along with regular therapy, healthy activities, people will go a long way to helping you feel better, stronger & on your way to healing .

  • Is cognitive therapy offered by therapists or psychiatrists? We have a behavioral health resource center here in my town, I'm sure they'll be able to point me in the right direction.

    As for the meds I'll ask my doctor when she's back in the office, I'm sure she'll think the Prozac will be an option as well. Or maybe even another combo of meds. Guess I'll find out!

    Thank you!

  • Cognitive therapy is usually offered by psychologists, MSW, LCSW. The second two are social workers the other one has a Ph.d, is a doctor of philosophy & csnt prescribe meds like a medical doctor, a psychiatrist.

    I think it is fairly common actually that is it's "text book" name. It is basically behavior modification in connection with appropriate medication the outcome is very favorable. I agree as anxious ppl it is difficult to just sit & vent & not feel like you're learning anything or walking away with any new knowledge . That's why there's different types of therapy just like ppl are different everyone doesn't benefit from the same type of counseling.

    Also you tube offers so many relaxation videos, tips, etc relating to so many different kinds of mental issues.

    I think getting back on Prozac is a good first step for you , it worked well for you before, it will even put your chemical imbalance it feeds our serotonin E reputable inhibitors when not enough serotonin that's when mental health issues, depression, anxiety, rear their heads. Anxiety causes depression being in a constant state of alarm, agitation fight or flight is not good for the mind or body, so medicine would probably be the best course of action to get your anxiety & depression under control. Weekly, bi-weekly therapy whatever you can afford or your insurance will allow. There is hope & life is harder than ever & a lot of ppl don't have adequate support which leads to more problems. Put you & your child first like you have. Try to say aloud when alone STOP when you feel a thought start to take on a life of it's own. Some kind of signal that is gentle but firm to snap yourself out of negative thinking it really works. Thinking becomes habitual the longer you have a certain way of thinking , being, reacting it will take time to unlearn it just like you didn't start feeling unwell overnight chances are many events led up to it until your mind just couldn't absorb anymore.

    Be Well

  • Thank you so much Pennygirl52

    I won't stop until I find a "method to my madness"! I have high hopes for CBT, as for Prozac, I'm a bit skeptical. But am going to give it a shot anyway!

  • I understand. Best thing to see a Dr. & counselor & they can come up with a treatment plan & it's a process of elimination keep trying until you find what works for you. I have no doubt you will tackle & prevail over this & I wish you all the best

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