Health anxiety will be the death of me... - Anxiety Support

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Health anxiety will be the death of me...

learn789 profile image

...although I believe it to be every other illness out there. I decided to come on here as I feel at a loss and wanted to see if anyone else deals with such bad health anxiety and how they deal with it. I have been dealing with health anxiety for around 3-4 years but for some reason during these past few months it has been at its peak and it is consuming my life. It really became a major issue when I had a cough and thought I had covid. After that, a slight cough, a stomach ache or back pain and I have googled every symptom. I have managed to convince myself I've had a heart attack, appendicitis, then MS, then ALS, not to mention lung and nose cancer and it is driving me insane. Whenever I have visited the doctor, the same reply comes back "anxiety, take deep breaths." My family think I'm silly and say "stop overthinking" or "stop with your silly antics" and as much as I try they don't seem to realise how hard it is for me to stop. Does anybody else deal with this constantly and on a daily basis?! I really am so fed up and wish somebody understood because at the moment it seems in my life nobody does and I'm completely crazy.

11 Replies

Hi @learn789

I’m Nat I too have severe HA you’ve come to the right place there’s quite a few of us who suffer with the same problem on here,

You are definitely not alone

I suffer bad every ache and pain I automatically assume I’ve got some sort of cancer or terminal illness it’s horrific no matter what you do you can’t seem to shake it off...worst thing to do is dr google he gives us the worst diagnosis every time..my doctor rolls his eyes at me

Families and friends unless they do suffer with HA will never understand you or sympathies with you we become like you say silly antics they seem to push us away when we are scared or frantic they don’t understand why we are like this but then neither do we

And mainly you are not crazy your anxiety is a fear a fear of something serious happening to you it’s your body’s way of fight or flight..have you had any therapy at all

Nat

learn789 profile image
learn789 in reply to Natzsteveo

Thank you so much for this! Yes I'm exactly the same and I just have had enough of living with it. I have not had any therapy and the only thing my doctor has done is given me links to breathing videos or told me to simply take a deep breath and try to forget about it.

Omg how did you deal with it for that long.?

Have you taken medication

Why not stay on it then?

Hey,

I have had health anxiety for about 15 years, it completely ruins my life so I understand where you are coming from entirely. I’ve had (am having) therapy, and the severity of it fluctuates. I can go through periods where it’s manageable and other times when it’s not.

Dealing with anxiety is about so much more than taking ‘deep breaths’ and I hope your doctor is more helpful than just saying that. If they’re not, perhaps you need to find a different doctor.

It can be hard for people who haven’t experienced health anxiety to fully understand but you’re not being ‘silly’ and you can’t just stop ‘overthinking’ - if you could, you would!

I empathise with you completely and am here to chat if you need someone to talk to who has their own experience of health anxiety.

Have you had any kind of professional help for this? Therapy? Medication?

learn789 profile image
learn789 in reply to EleanorRose

Thank you so much for this!

I have went to the doctors quite a few times and the same thing always is said :(

They give me links to videos about how to manage breathing and say take a deep breath. I have even suffered from panic attacks and the ambulance had to come and they say the same after running a through checks!

How have you managed 15 years of this?! What do you do to occupy your mind? It annoys the hell out of me because sometimes I think I have some sort of illness and then see it everywhere, online, newspaper articles etc. I can't escape it I feel!

Hey

Just another hypochondriac here or health anxiety sufferer however u wanna put it

I always have symptoms right now my cheeks are flushed and got my heart feels like it’s pulsing in slow motion and I feel so fatigued I’m worried about every sensation that I experience I’ve had this for over 20 years

I’m glad it’s not just me! Mines been sooooo bad during lockdown it’s unreal! I’m scared to leave the house, my bed is my happy place and get extremely anxious whenever I’m not at home, if I do leave my home I have to be with my dressing gown or something comfy! It honestly rules my life!!! I was getting therapy with my college counsellor but I’m not anymore due to COVID😩 we will get through it eventually!

When I had panic attacks, I became a hypochondriac. I did everything you did, along with going to the ER every time I freaked myself out and thought I had every illness under the sun....and this was before the internet! (Yep, I'm that old lol)

I remember going to the ER once, and the nurse taking my BP...He looked at me and told me that at 31, I was much too young to have BP that high. I had worked myself up so badly that it shot up my BP that day.

I ended up going to a local hospital where they have an anxiety clinic. I told my therapist I didn't want to take medications, and wanted to know WHY I was having them and HOW to stop them. She introduced me to meditation and living in the moment..She also used CBT (cognitive behavior therapy). When I had panic attacks, my heart would skip beats, my palms would sweat, I would feel like I was having an out of body experience, I felt dizzy, and thought I was having a heart attack. My therapist told me to stand next to my bed and spin myself around in circles until I felt dizzy. Once I triggered the similar symptoms of a panic attack, I would tell myself "I am not going crazy! I am NOT having a heart attack! I am NOT going to pass out!". I had to do this multiple times a day for MANY weeks. And I felt stupid...and I hated myself...and I felt silly doing it...but I figured I had nothing to lose, and so much to gain.

The combination of changing my thought patterns, and learning how to meditate(nothing foo-foo or fancy, just focusing on breathing in and out, and being mindful), I managed to conquer my feelings of going crazy or feeling like I was going to die from everything under the sun... This along with really dealing with negative feelings, thoughts, and many years of difficult life events, helped me to gain control again.

I hope this helps a bit. :-)

hi learn789. Had HA since i was 9 years old ,i am now 61 ,i really do not know how the hell i have got this far . i have had every illness you can think of. my mind at the moment is a brain tumour because i get weird dizziness that i find very hard to explain . I would love to tell you it gets better with age but for me it has got worse. You are not alone ,their are thousands of us that have this awful HA . are you on any medication ? x

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