Fear that I have cancer: hypochondria - Anxiety Support

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Fear that I have cancer: hypochondria


Hello everyone!

I've struggled with PTSD, GAD, and OCD since 2011.

Lately, I've been dealing with persistent hypochondria and I can't shake the fear that I might have cancer.

I know that it's unrealistic to go to the doctor every single time I experience a symptom that triggers me, but I feel like there is no other way to get relief from this terrible anxiety if I don't, because if I don't have every symptom checked out, I feel like I'm always going to be worried about having a serious health condition.

How do you all manage the uncertainty involved with health conditions?

I plan on calling my doctor next Monday, though now it's Friday, and I feel like it will be impossible for me to relax until I'm able to schedule this appointment.

I usually can't calm down until I feel that I've done everything in my power to relieve my anxiety.

Any advice on what I should do? Should I see my doctor? Or should I embrace the risk to develop a tolerance to uncertainty?

-Thank you!

5 Replies

Hi NoteMaster, Most people get a physical and blood tests once a year.

Since you worry more, maybe your doctor would be willing to see you

ev. 3 months or 6 months for a follow up exam. Short of marrying a doctor

which is what I thought I'd have to do at one time because of the fear....I found that

shorter intervals between my doctor appointments eventually put me at ease.

Health anxiety can be reversed with a good therapist in addressing where these

fears came from. :) xx

Agora1, thank you so much for your reply :).

I've found that with therapy, I've reached the peak of benefit that I can gain from it. I think that, the benefit of "talk therapy" is to gain insight into my issues, and I've gained as much insight as possible (though I may be incorrect 😁).

I've figured out in therapy where these fears have come from. Either way, since what I'm afraid of is an actual possibility, there doesn't seem to be anything I can do to get the anxiety better.

Have you found that finding out the root of your fears has helped with your anxiety? And once you figure out the root, what do you do with that new understanding? Like, how do you apply it?

NoteMaster, I've had more therapy over the years then I could possibly count.

You're right in that when addressing the same issue as being the root of the problem,

then it's up to us to accept it and change the way we react to it. Just as with anxiety

sometimes there are no answers to our stressors. It's a reality of our life situation.

We can't wish it away .

What will be, will be. I use daily meditation/breathing and hope. I have always believed

that as long as there is a breath in me, the impossible can become the possible in time.

And if and when it does, I want to be there to reap in the rewards. :) xx

Hi..am actually in your shoes..i fear mostly my heart which is very healthy..i fear high bp when i hv low bp...well you name it..i have been seeking reassurance from doctors.family.friends.intnet.you tube.google and finally nothing help.

what has cure my extreme health anxiety to moderate health anxiety are prayer.affirmations.forgive.doing good work.helping whenever i can.well a lot of positive things..hope this helps

Hi NoteMaster,

I wish there was a general interest community course offering titled "common benign symptoms in the human body". I feel like as a society we are socialized/trained to treat any physical symptom as a sign that something is wrong and it needs to be fixed. I remember when I was younger I had countless symptoms that I just ignored cause I was both lazy to see a doc and felt like I was invincible...and the symptom always went away on its own. Do you remember a time when you were like that? So what's changed? I know for me my anxiety has come from my hypochondriac spouse... because when I tell him my symptoms he immediately starts asking a million questions before and after I've seen my doc and get the all clear from her. Most recently (last week) I got an all clear and my husband got going with the barrage of questions and I stood my ground and said "drop it! I'm not worried about this" and to my utter shock he dropped it.

My advice to you is to decide on your own tolerance threshold and stick to it (ie. when my symptoms are mild and don't go away in a week's time, I will call my doc. If my symptoms are severe I will go to the ER the same day". Also, let your doc know that you are anxious and require thorough explanation behind his/her assessment in order to prevent unnecessary repeat visits. It's in both your best interest to do so.

Hope this helps 😊

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