Health anxiety over ALS.: Hello, so I've... - Anxiety Support

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Health anxiety over ALS.

HelloPanda23 profile image

Hello, so I've been going through tough anxiety lately. It all started when I drank my first redbull, and that led to me getting a panic attack. After that, I kept focusing on my breathing, and I led myself to believe that I had sensorimotor ocd. Now I'm over that and it shifted to me thinking I had eye problems along with tinnitus. It scared me a lot, but after being distracted, I realized I didn't have those issues and they were related to anxiety and over focusing on those areas of my body. Now that I am over all this, I was left with simple anxiety that made me feel anxious every time I checked to see if I still had anxiety. Then I made a stupid mistake because while talking to a friend, I mispronounced a word or two, and that scared me because I usually wasn't used to that, and so I searched up, "slurred speech." First issue it brought up was ALS, and I got so scared. I decided to search up if it was a problem with anxiety as well, and it was. This got me to feel relief for about an hour or two, but when I went to sleep, I searched more about ALS and its symptoms. A few of the other symptoms were clumsiness, weakness, and etc. That made me remember that one time a cup slipped out of my hands the other day, and now I'm fully afraid of ALS. I don't have a single symptom now, my body's fine, I can do everything normally, but for some reason, I still fear that I have ALS, and/or I'll get it. I'm pretty young atm, still a teenager attending high school, and that's the only outlet I have. When I got to school, I feel relaxed and happy, but coming back home makes me feel anxious because I feel like I have free time to think about ALS at home but no where else. None of my family members know atm, and I'm scared. Any advice will help, thanks!

32 Replies

I'd also like to add that I went through massive stress emotionally, and so when I was at school the other day, I felt amazingly fine and happy. When I left school, the thoughts of me feeling terrible at home striked me, and so I felt like I was going through derealization. This made my vision a bit foggy, and scared me a bit. It also made me feel a bit like the people in my family may have simply been fake, and that scared me a decent amount. After going through it, my issue of being afraid of ALS shifted to derealization. This is because derealization felt sad to the point in which I felt like if I died due to ALS, it wouldn't matter at all, and that it'd simply safe me from suffering these fears. The fact of the matter was that I lost the fear of dying, and I think that's what made me feel okay for about a day and a half, but now that derealization is gone, I feel a bit afraid of ALS again. Once again, all help is greatly appreciated.

Agora1 profile image
Agora1 in reply to HelloPanda23

I just saw your next 2 posts Panda. You do need to talk with someone about these obsessions with your bodily symptoms. It's anxiety out of control. A therapist could help reduce your stress over these issues.

You seem to know a lot about medical and psychological disorders. A therapist will help put your knowledge into perspective and bring down your unnecessary worrying and stress. x

HelloPanda23 profile image
HelloPanda23 in reply to Agora1

I have important things to do for the next few days due to school, and I don't want this stupid anxiety to worry me or my parents. As a result, I'm going to finish up the work, and then I'm going to open up with my family. The only thing I don't understand is, how can I be %90 sure I don't have ALS, but still fear it? It's like my mind is scaring me into thinking I might get it in my future, and that's what sucks for the most part. Either way, hopefully my parents are understanding.

Agora1 profile image
Agora1 in reply to HelloPanda23

One step at a time Panda. Concentrate on school for the next few days. That is your number one priority at this time. Opening up to your family will be step 2. Our minds are powerful and can lead us to believe in anything if we allow it to. Accepting these thoughts as anxiety produced will help you in turning these destructive thoughts around with the help of a doctor or therapist.

You will be okay. None of us can have a guarantee for our future but the best we can do is to live our lives in the moment and enjoy what we have right now. Good Luck with school.

HelloPanda23 profile image
HelloPanda23 in reply to Agora1

Thank you so much, it means a lot to me. Oh and I have a great life, I got good friends at school, and an amazing family at home. Everything in my life is great besides for this irrational fear.

Agora1 profile image
Agora1 in reply to HelloPanda23

Then you are blessed Panda. You are more than half way there. Sometimes for reasons unknown we find a stumbling block in our path in life. With the help of those we love and professionals, they can teach you how to go around anything in life to get to the other side. You are safe. We care.

I'd also like to add that I also had a lot of anxiety over having a heart issue because I started to concentration at my bpm, and whether I had palpation or not. I am over this fear, but the thought of simply waking up one day with the loss of my body's function fears me to death.

HelloPanda23, Anxiety will play it's mind game with you until it pulls you into a daily event. At this time, it's got you worrying about ALS. It's won, oh not physically but mentally. It got more than your attention and by you focusing in on this disease through repeated searches, it will hold you hostage until you let go.

You need help right now in stopping this cycle of fear. Your parents do need to know what you are going through at the moment. You could even start with a counselor at school. I believe the Red Bull started your worry by the jolt it gave your body but then when you started looking up each and every symptom, it escalated into many different possibilities. My belief is to never Google, never research, that is what a doctor is for.

You're young, I'm glad that school is a positive place for you to feel relaxed and happy. Besides having more free time to think about health issues at home, is there anything else going on that doesn't allow you to have home as your safety place? Do you have friends, activities that can take up some of your time after school? I would like you to reach out to your family who love you and will support you. This issue needs to be addressed. The Anxiety issue that is slowly growing into a Health Anxiety. Nip it in the bud before anxiety takes over your young teen life.

We are here to support and comfort you. We will take the steps with you in going forward in getting you back to a carefree happy life as it should be at your age. You are never alone, we care and will see you through this. :) x

The issue is, I think I've had health anxiety before this incident, but not as badly. I remember when the ebola outbreak was occurring, I for some reason had gotten sick. That made me afraid I had ebola and that I was going to die. After an hour of that though, I was able to easily distract myself by watching tv and not caring at all. What I thought to myself was, "If i'm going to die, I'm going to die, nothing I can do so I may as well enjoy myself." When I drank the red bull, I felt the jitters, and my body was acting up because it was the first time I had that much caffeine along with taurine. Acknowledging that feeling, I made the stupidest mistake of searching side affects of red bull, and what it can do to us. Some of the things that came up were, "seizure from drinking too much watch, heart attack, death, long term damage" and etc. This made me so scared that I had a panic attack that day, and I feel like this increased my health anxiety as a whole. Now, when I try to enjoy something, and I do, the thought that lies in my brain is, "you'll get ALS and die from it" and that makes me so scared because I don't want to lose the things I love and enjoy. I'm so much more calm atm, and I have been doing mindfulness meditation, but the fear is still lingering in me.

Dr Google is a BAD way to go.

Please find a therapist as Agora suggested and find a regular ol doctor that you can develop a relationship with who will explain away your fears.

Education , knowledge and trust of your doctor will release the DR GOOGLE imprint you have placed in your head for now.

Sorry to hear about your condition.

I have to be frank with you. You may be overthinking sometimes. I don't know if this will help you, but I too fell in the trap of googling my anxiety symptoms. Honestly, the search results scared me to death! Each time I searched my symptom, Google made sure to make it even worse.

It was to the point where I obsessed over my pulse count and one day I was so mad that it made my blood pressure go through the roof. I had to be on medication for four days. On the fifth day, I was assured that I had no problems and it was only my brain playing games with me.

Such is the power of your imagination, that it does nonsensical things with your body. 'Slurred speech' has also showed up in my search results, but I know it's an anxiety by-product. The more you think about it the more you will be trapped.

Last Suggestion: Stop googling your symptoms. Personally, I don't think you have a problem, not even ALS. If you are too concerned, please approach a doctor.

I stopped googling my symptoms after realizing it simply fed my anxiety, and so all I do know is look at case in which people with health anxiety have thought they had ALS as well. They though, actually had symptoms of ALS and had a much higher chance of having ALS than me. Surprisingly, these same exact people got tested and had no issue besides health anxiety. That makes me feel relief, but as we all know, our brain plays the, "what if" games on us. If I find my next few days unbearable, I might tell my parents and hopefully get help from a doctor or therapist.

The 'what if' games are the trickiest of all. This is because you can't win these games. All you have to do is forfeit the game.

'Whatever I am, whichever way I am, I accept it wholly' is something that you must believe in. Don't even look at cases of people who have ALS. Why bother so much? Everyone is different.

Make yourself busy in things that interests you.

Thank you for the info, I'll try to bother my mind with more important stuff and see if that works. Do you know any cbt methods I can use to help solve this issue? I started doing 10 minutes of mindfulness meditation every morning, and I've been feeling much better than other days. I'll increase it to 10 minutes in the morning, and 10 minutes at night. Hopefully this will reconstruct my brain into learning how to relax and enjoying positive thoughts.

You are already on the right path if you have started with mindfulness programs. I would suggest you to continue doing so. You don't need any CBT technique.

Thanks for the information, makes me feel better. Have you been able to substantially lower your health anxiety to the point in which it doesn't affect your daily life?

Anxiety does pop up once in a while. Everyone has anxiety, some people are good at managing it and some aren't. You just have to make a progression from being a bad manager to a good manager. That's what I have did, it affects me sometimes but now I have a better control over it.

Makes sense. I'll try to make peace with these thoughts, and when I do, I'll be able to live normally again.

Yes it takes awhile for the health anxiety to run in the background and not up front and center.

You are young so with years come experience and you learn to see that you live through it all without any real illness's.

There is a therapist whom many of us are familiar with.

Name is Claire Weeks. She says first and foremost.......Accept. Accept how you feel. It is ok to feel the way you do, for now.

There are a lot of youtube videos with her talking. She's an ol gal who makes you relax and know, it's all going to be ok.

With a personal therapist a physician that you trust, and Claire's method, you will be fine.

I’m going to be doing some tiny updates in case anyone wants to follow. I’ve been feeling a bit off because I started focusing on my right leg, and that’s causing a bit of pain and discomfort. When I stop focusing on it, it relaxes and so I know it’s percieved weakness rather than clinical. I’m still feeling upset and I’m trying to get through atm.

Had a panic attack two hours ago, life sucks. Feeling down and sad, but I still have hope.

The sensations of having a rush of adrenaline is freaky to say the least.

You are in "Earth School" and it is all going to be OK.

The physical feelings can not hurt you or kill you. The body is wired to handle these feelings.

Hi. I suffer from anxiety. I used to take the occasional monster and I'd be all over the place. I took it due to my never ending sleep problems with having depression.

My doc told me that energy drinks should NOT be consumed by those who have anxiety as it adds way too much adrenaline to your system that lasts 6 hours from your last drink. Frankly it's not worth it.

I know when it comes to anxiety, no level of reassuring comments work. The best thing is to confront it. Speak to your doctor, they will tell you, you are not a an ALS sufferer and will likely tell you to stay off the red bull.

If your anxiety usually feels like it's out of control, it may be worth having a meds adjustment?

I hope this helps you.

P.s stay off webMD. They advise worse case scenarios all the time for a legal perspective. It's always just better to discuss issues with a qualified medical practitioner face to face.

Good luck :)

Sorry for what your going through, I have diabetes, that I was told it could reck havoc on your sugar levels and can do heart damage. So Please take care of yourself. ☺️🙏

Update 2:

Today, I talked about it with my mom, and I’m feeling much beter. Starting yesterday at night, I have lost nearly every attachment to the thought of having ALS, and I feel like that fear has nearly faded away completely. I’m feeling much better now, only issue is a bit of pain in my head, but that’s probably because I’ve barely eaten and stressed way too much in the morning yesterday.

Agora1 profile image
Agora1 in reply to HelloPanda23

Good for you Panda. I'm so glad you had that talk with your mom. Sharing that fear with someone who loves you dearly gave you the comfort and validation you needed to accept this as anxiety provoked. Have something to eat today, lay back and enjoy the fear fading from your body. You so deserve some relaxation time. Smile and Breathe...xx

I’m also slowly exposing myself to the thoughts at times to make sure it doesn’t cause me any anxiety or fear. Sometimes, the more I think about it, the more I realize it truly doesn’t hold as much power on me as it used to. I will find myself at peace soon, or hopefully will, and one of the ways I found that helped me completely was talking about it with my parents. My mom comforted me, and it makes me feel much better. To anyone suffering from this issue, take a deep breath, go make yourself a mint tea and enjoy every sip. Once your done, go outside and get some fresh air. If you feel like you have any problem with yourself, go to your doctor and ask him/her to check you, and that’s it. If you have a fear of ALS, it can cost a decent amount money to go through checks completely and so one of the things that completely makes me relax is this simple thought, “if I never searched up what ALS was, I’d never feel this fear.” That automatically makes your brain understand that you’re worrying over something just because you searched it up. If you never searched it up, you’d live much more happily and calmly. This may not work for others because my health anxiety only started once I searched up about ALS. So if your symptoms have started and you’re focusing on them, it’ll make those symptoms worse. Try to relax and think about what you love the most in your life, and let the negativity flow through you without letting it control your mood. Once your brain realizes these thoughts don’t bother you, the more it thinks that they’re boring and a waste of time. For me, the worst thought I had was, “im going to get this disease, and as a result I won’t be able to be with my family due to death.” What calmed this down was, “if i get ALS, sure I’ll die in 3-5 years, but in those times, I’ll enjoy myself to the fullest with my family, and I’ll have a great time. If I do end up dying, I’ll simply rest in heaven with my other family members, and with God.” These thoughts completely demolished my fear, and sure sometimes thinking about dying gives me fear, but what’s the point in living with fear and pain if it’s going to cause me more suffering than simply dying on the spot? This may be scary to understand for others, but please try and let go of this stupid fear. If your family has never had ALS issues, you got nothing to worry about. Hell, I have friends who’s family members have had a cancer problem, and they don’t give a single **** about getting cancer. That’s enough proof for us to understand this is simply anxiety, and that we need to get control over it. The sooner we realize anxiety is causing our problems, the sooner we will be able to heal ourselves. If you don’t believe me and think you have a big problem, then once you start to feel down or upset (depressed), I want you to think about having this issue. Then, look at how it impacts your mood. Suprisingly, you find yourself not caring to the slightest about this ‘disease.’ Another thing we need to do is stop worrying so much about the future and instead enjoy the present. If we had a serious issue, we’d be in the hospital right now, and so we need to stop fixating over useless thoughts. This may be difficult, and I understand, ALS still has a tiny grip on me, but reprogramming our brains to not fear these stupid issues is the only fix. I also want you all to know that anxiety may cause many if us to lose appetite and feel pains on its own, I myself barely ate yesterday and so rn I feel stomach pain, and I also felt like throwing up. By feeding ourselves, we relax our minds from a lot of the pain we feel. This can also cause head pains, and that’s problematic as well. My best advice is to expose yourself to your thoughts, and understand these are simply fears, nothing more, nothing less. Then understand that the pain of anxiety is much worse than the disease you’re dreading over, and once you take that into consideration, remember things you love and enjoy. I know I’m probably going to dread over ALS again, but these simple things make me feel better and more calm. I may still look around these forums because I know this is an issue I’ll still have, but hopefully not to such a severity. My last advice, talk to someone you love or care about and do your best to make them understand, and if your anxiety persists regardless of all this advice, use herbs (drink mint tea or chew mint gum, helps calm you down) medication (only if ur life is turning to a living hell instead of getting better), and finally, change your lifestyle. If you’re introverted like me and enjoy being alone, that may cause a shift in your life patterns and what you think about it. Involve yourself with others and make yourself happy.

Agora1 profile image
Agora1 in reply to HelloPanda23

Thank you Panda23 for your positive uplifting post today. You have an amazing mother who helped turn your negative thoughts around. But it was you who accepted her advice and comfort, without that you would have stayed stuck. Be proud of yourself, today is the first day of the rest of your life. Life is Good :) xx

Dear Panda23,

Did you know that the very most intelligent people have the very most anxiety? As I was reading your post, I was reminded of that because you're obviously highly intelligent.

Right this moment I am having heart palpitations. It feels like my heart is skipping beats. I am very healthy, but I'm convinced that my heart will just stop or that I will have a heart attack even though I've had my heart checked out. By the way, I also keep burping. So maybe it's just gas in my stomach that I'm actually feeling.

The moral of MY story is that my anxiety causes me to hyper-focus on my symptoms. I'm working hard to get it under control with counseling.

Also I'm reading a book called Man's Search For Meaning by Victor Frankl. The first half of the book is about being a prisoner in a Nazi Concentration Camp during WWII, the second half is about the psychology of people who focus on themselves and how to get over that. It's a fascinating read. I realize that anxiety is very selfish!

Our anxieties and fears truly do hurt and ruin our lives, but be hopeful. Things are looking much brighter for me now, sometimes the anxiety type thoughts try to kick in, but handling it without fear makes us learn to let them go by instead of affecting us. I’ve nearly fully dispelled myself from the fear of ALS, but I still do have underlying anxiety caused by the terrible experiences I’ve faced. Since I’ve gone through terrible days, my mind is automatically detecting my life at home as a bad experience. As a result, when I’m at home, anxiety kicks in and tries to tell me I’m going to have a terrible time. I don’t know how long that issue will last, but I myself have had anxiety issues as a kid as well. When my parents would leave to go somewhere, I’d get scared that something bad was going to happen to them. As a result, I’d start panicking and getting afraid. As I’ve grown up, this fear isn’t really there anymore, and so I think getting used to these feelings is the only cure to the pain.

I have a new question, now that I’m almost totally care free of ALS, I have started feeling like my mind is a bit foggy and I feel off. I feel bits of anxiety, but I feel like this is derealization or something. Anyone get this odd feeling of our minds being foggy?

My anxiety is much better, but the occasional worry occured again because I started helping my parents with heavy objects today, and so my elbow and arm started feeling a bit of pain, and that kind of made me a bit scared. The anxiety is much less than yesterday, and I feel better though.

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