Do you have trouble distinguishing between physical and psychological illness?

Up until about 6 years ago I used to ignore anxious ill feelings and continue with my life pretty well. But then I had a major breakdown and developed terrible panic disorder, which had me completely floored. Afterwards I twice misinterpreted physical symptoms for mental ones and forced myself to keep going through glandular fever and a stomach infection, which left me feeling pretty unwell! For the last five years I have felt under the weather every day, which anniys me more than panic and depression, but what really bothers me is that I have trouble distinguishing between when it is psychological and physical and tend to err towards safety and assume i should treat more severe feelings of unwellness as physical as I have collapsed in public before due to illness and worry it will happen again. But this means I miss a lot of work and social events and I worry that I am just reinforcing the idea I'm ill by treating myself as such, which could prolong and worsen the feelings. Anyone else had this problem? How do you tell the difference between physical and psychological symptoms?

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  • i have the same on going cycle and its a tricky one. ive even lost jobs over being ill. ive suffered alot with kidney infections which show up in my urine at the doctors but some doctors treat it as anxiety and depression. well im no doctor but im pretty sure that kidney infections are not part of the deal.........i think its just simpler for them to fob me off. i think i have both that effect eachother.

  • I've had the same problem too, especially as I have thyroid problems which can cause tiredness, memory problems etc..all the same symptoms anxiety/depression can produce. I think that instinctively we know which is caused by our minds and which are actual physical problems, ( especially if we've suffered with PA's etc for a long time ) but our anxious sides just don't trust that judgment..

    The rule of thumb for me is.. if it physically hurts for more than a day.. it's something to be looked at.

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