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Anxiety Support
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Health anxiety

Over the last couple of months I have been dealing with alot of anxiety over the idea of being ill. It's gotten to the point where my hands have now got cracks in them and are extremely dry because of how often I wash my hands.

I have been dealing with alot of health issues over the last couple of months which has brought this fear of being ill to the point it has where I am constantly thinking trying to do things to stop me from getting more ill and if something goes wrong I freak out a bit.

For example a fly flew into my lip when I was outside so I could not cleanse my lip but made sure not to lick or touch them. By the time I had got home I had forgotten and was eating food and remembered. As soon as I did I went and washed my lip but now I keep thinking whether the fly was carrying a disease bacteria like strep or something or if that could affect me. I know it sounds silly.

It's coming from a deeper place as for a long time I had been dealing with personal issues that had gotten in the way of me being myself and experiencing things friends, moments and I somehow am worried that now that I am in a better space that something might get in the way of that. Thoughts like...hopefully being ill to the point of hospitalisation doesn't happen, or being ill and that altering health in an extremely negative way doesn't happen or dying doesn't happen- pop into mind. Plus the health issues I am going through worry me at times.

I write all of this because I am very worried about the fly on lip situation but at the same time I am questioning how bad my anxiety has gotten that I am questioning this.

Any bit of advice on both questions (fly on lip cause illness? anxiety over being ill advice) would be helpful. Thank you for reading this long post lol.

10 Replies

Misg, when we suffer from anxiety it magnifies every small worry we have one hundred times. We are all concerned about not getting ill but in your case it has become magnified ibto an obsession. Most people would gind a fly in the mouth repugnant and hope it wasn't carrying anything nasty but anxiety disorder once again exaggerates it out of all proportion. That's our problem: we can't seem to keep a sense of proportion over life's little worries.

You're not alone though, we all do it, it's a common symptom of high anxiety.

The way forward is to accept these symptoms for the time being and to accept them calmly and with a minimum of fear as the fear hormone we release when worried and afraid causes and keeps our nervous system in a state of over sensitisation. If we can accept them fearlessly without constantly frightening ourselves to death then we give our nerves a chance to recover and when our nervous system returns to normal we return to viewing mishaps and problems with a proper sense of proportion.

1 like

Hello thank you for your reply. I have been practicing the acceptance method and it does help it was one of the few things that really helps when my anxiety or OCD gets worse.

It is a huge worry and I agree it has turned into a bit of an obsession. I am slowly trying to ween myself out of this.

Again thank you for your advice!


youre more likely to get ill if you wash your hands TOO often. your body has good bacteria too that helps fight illnesses and also your hands will start bleeding if you dont stop washing them that much. (i dealt with this when i was about 14, it was horrible i feel you!) but the key is to just realise that you wont get ill like that. I mean, maybe a cold but why does it matter? a cold will make you stronger and fight upcoming colds easier!

long live the good bacteria!


That is exactly what I tell myself when I have the urge to wash my hands it is just the fear of bad bacteria or flu that makes me so uncomfortable. Ah well it is something I am slowly trying to come out of.

Thank you for sharing your experience.

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Hi Misg, I don't think the fly flying to your lips will give you anything bad. It sounds to me like you have health anxiety as well as OCD. Have you tried seeing a therapist for this?

Also try to use moisturizer after each time you wash your hands you can use moisturizing hand soap as well to avoid the cracking of your skin.

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Hi I do have OCD and have gone to therapy which helped alot but not for this particular thing of the fear being ill but I have implemented some things I have learned from there to help and it does.

Yeah I always forget. Thank you for your message.


command yourself not to act on an obsessive thought and it will die of inanition.


I will do. I have done and it has helped also the acceptance method helps alot.

Thank you for your message.


hope u r feeling better

1 like

I am thank you. I have a new health fear playing on my mind because someone coughed behind me continuously yesterday on the bus. But I am trying to calm down. The sun is out I shouldn't be too worried. Thank you, have a great day.


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