Anxiety Support
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Fear of illness due to feeling helpless?

Hi, just wondering if others have this problem. I have GAD so my fears tend to come out of nowhere, become a major problem for a few months, then disappear and be replaced by new ones! Recently, I've been terrified of illness. Not because I think it will be serious, but I can't bear feeling helpless, uncomfortable, and I'm embarrassed taking time off work (even when I am physically ill, I suspect they think its mental health related and I wonder how they will judge me).

My fear of physical illness has been making my anxiety symptoms worse because I blow all of my symptoms out of proportion. Today I have some very foul smelling diarrhoea, nausea and a loud grumbling tummy. My boyfriend has also had diarrhoea today so we think we ate something bad, but I don't feel 'properly' ill like food poisoning. Despite knowing it's nothing serious, just a bit of a funny tummy, it's ruining my day. I pulled out of a meeting earlier because I felt unsafe being outside (when I'm ill I prefer to be in a safe environment like home because I worry about the feeling of vulnerability and helplessness when outside of the home) and I'm supposed to be working from home but I've got barely anything done because the anxiety is incredible.

Does anyone else have this issue? Like I say, I never think "oh God it's serious", I just worry that I will be left helpless by illness. This all started when I had a bad skin rash for six weeks that there is no medication for. It was totally benign but looked awful and was extremely uncomfortable. I couldnt' sleep because I would wake up with every inch of my skin on fire, I was crying all the time and I had to take a whole fortnight off work. Since I had that (in April) I'm really freaking out everytime I feel even the slightest bit ill!

1 Reply

I permanently think I am going to be ill. it is ridiculous. I have chest infection at the moment and was so concerned that I may need to take more time off work that I broke down crying in doctors. All I need is antibiotics but I feel I am being constantly ill (either mentally or physically). Often I think it is because we are so stressed that we get ill.

The dodgy tummy you have currently is a bug that is going around - my husband and my little boy have had it over the weekend. It goes after a day, but nasty at the time.

I can totally sympathise! Not really sure what to suggest to cope with this except get help for the anxiety from doctors (meds or counselling or both)! My anxiety is slowly easing at the moment and started in April too, but been lots of drugs and counselling to get there! Hope you find something that helps. Karen


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