Disease or Health Anxiety?: A simple but... - British Liver Trust

British Liver Trust

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Disease or Health Anxiety?

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A simple but well written article. Since worry of disease seems to affect so many here on this forum despite findings of such in many cases. This may help get you in the right direction for help. Health anxiety is a real thing and is something that requires attention and should be treated as an illness as well because, it is..

Health Anxiety | Anxiety and Depression Association of America, ADAA


Now obviously most of you live in the UK so youd have to find a UK equivalent but, the purpose of this article was to get a step in the right direction. I am not soliciting the particular website to you.

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Hey up Phoenix

But don’t we all have moments of thinking like that, I do, as bigfred will testify to you 😁, but there is no way I would feel the need to go and discuss my “health anxiety” with anyone. Doing so would just make me worry more - unnecessarily imho.

Ah well, just my thoughts 😁

Interesting article and it tackles a serious issue. The anxiety can manifest itself in self medicating and IBS etc, resulting in trips and time spent with medical staff to determine the cause. Often the root cause is overlooked, taking time and expense on limited resources. This all adds to waiting for appointments and waiting lists.


Perhaps identifying anxiety initially would help target resources in the right direction earlier on.

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Hidden in reply to TT-2018

Totally agreed. Most often the root cause is over looked. There is certainly more to it than just a " you have it , you dont have it" diagnosis. Its more complex and unfortunately it is still a relatively new consideration from the medical world I find. Simply categorizing something as anxiety or depression is not finite enough. Imagine if we just classed all liver diesease the same and paid no attention to the cause or the origin? If we treated hemachromatosis and hep C as if it was the same thing? Madness that would be.

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This is a subject that's very close to my heart. I have been attending some local support group meetings with people who suffer with these conditions. This all came about at a recent Liver Transplant Supporters Group meeting, held up at the QE. A particular friend who suffers with depression, also attended this meeting. Without going into too much detail, her depression has got significantly worse post transplant. She has been attending these mental health support groups for the past eight years. In all that time, l was the first fellow transplantee to attend one of these sessions and it made her feel so good to have someone else there in the group who understood what she had been through.

As most of us who have been through a liver transplant will know, the whole liver transplant experience is a very emotional time. For those of us whose transplant was due to alcohol, the feeling of guilt and unworthiness can be really overwhelming. Once a person leaves that hospital ward, they are on their own. There is very little help out there in our society. (I personally was in a very dark place for eight months post transplant).

There has always been a strong connection between alcohol-related liver disease, and mental health. I believe that 60% of those rough sleepers on our streets who go on to developed an alcohol condition, have some sort of mental health issues going on.

Here were l live, we have a charity called, "Changes". I am trying to work with these guys and the British Liver Trust to start a support group up covering my area of North Stafford. Here we can tackle liver disease and mental health issues together under the same roof, because these meetings are held all over the county, this will help to reach out to a much larger audience.

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Hidden in reply to Hidden

This is just to say that I have PM'd Phoenix on my views concerning this subject.

Three videos have come to my attention which I thought I might share. I should point out that in trying to get a greater understanding of Depression and Anxiety, I am trying to get others to ask the question "Why". Depression is often treated without understanding the cause. To my knowledge, there are around seven different causes of depression, and there may well be more, so it is the symptoms that get treated and not the cause.

This first video highlights how the bodies immune system may well hold the key, some of you may have seen this news item before, as I have previously posted it: bbc.co.uk/news/av/health-39...

This second video once again highlights the possible links between depression and our bodies immune system. This could therefore be a reason why some post-liver transplant patients go on to develop depression because their immune system has been messed about with so as to prevent rejection: youtube.com/watch?time_cont...

After seeing the above video, I went in search of more information on Professor Edward Bullmore. This video is really for those who hold an interest in this subject and can be rather heavy going for some (a word of caution, this video is an hour long): youtube.com/watch?time_cont...

I know some of you will find this of interest. It may even help some of us look upon depression in a whole new light.

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Trust1Administrator in reply to Hidden

Thank you for sharing Richard.

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Hidden in reply to Hidden

We are on the same page. I am just going to check your PM now Richard.

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Radnor in reply to Hidden

I find it alarming and disgusting that we are in the 21st century and there is still a stigma attached to mental health problems. I saw how it affected my Mum, a lot of her life. It missed me but hit my daughter. It is fantastic that major celebrities and Princes William and Harry are working hard to to 'normalise' mental health especially depression. I personally think it should be taught in schools, especially as 1 in 4 people will be affected at some point in their lives. 'What have you got to be depressed about' is my no 1 hate! Along with 'oh I know I feel a bit down too'. So many who become alcohol dependent are in effect self medicating. I was all for care in the community, but the money saved went elsewhere. I succeeded in getting admission for some, only to find they were discharged next day, drug or alcohol induced psychosis.One client was treated and her life was totally changed for the better. If someone is diagnosed with psychosis there were no treatments available. Depression is treatable but finding the correct medication for an individual can be time consuming.

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Not to demeen anyone who truly does suffer from a mental illness, but mental health issues do seem to have become almost the norm in recent years. While I do believe there are folk out there who really are suffering from it in some form, aren't we in danger of confusing many cases of mental health problems with nothing more than a personality trait? If thats not the case, then the entire population is suffering from a mental illness of some sort or another... a psyciatrists dream £$£$£$

We are afterall, all different.

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Hidden in reply to Hidden

This is part of the why question and properly categorizing it instead of a blanket term of just anxiety and depression. There certainly is an overlapping issue happening where there are people being told they have these problems when they in fact dont.

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This is also what angers me over the goverments attitude towards the alcohol problem in this country. They fob it off with " We are investing billions of pounds into mental health"

Yes there is a connection but not in all cases, its a far wider problem than that, beyond just problem drinkers. Its about the blaze' attitude towards it and the marketing of it which needs tackling too. They shouldnt be putting this huge umberella over all the issues such as addiction, anxiety, depression, body dismorphia etc etc

and call it 'mental health, raising awareness, weve got it covered' each problem should be dealt with individually.

I hear theres a job vaccancy coming up in number 10, anyone interested?

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Hidden in reply to Hidden

Not for me! No way Hose’.

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davianne in reply to Hidden

I totally agree Phoenix, in the UK, mental health is getting a lot of airing on the BBC just now, and it seems to me that the nanny state is at play here. worry, depression and anxiety are just part of normal life. Some people just worry more than others. I think that for me, for example, having to come to terms with cirrhosis has given me a more fatalistic outlook on life, and all it's ups and downs. Sure, I sometimes worry, and get mildly depressed on occasion, but I am in control of it, not the other way round, so I'm not ready to shed my mortal coil any time soon. The Monty Python song "Always look on the bright side of life" comes to mind 🤣🤣🤣🤣.


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Thank you so much for sharing Phoenix. What a useful and thought provoking article.


Thanks for the info bruv! You brought up an important issue facing many here.

Mind you - reading Huxley's quote makes me feel a little better!

“The real hopeless victims of mental illness are to be found among those who appear to be most normal. "Many of them are normal because they are so well adjusted to our mode of existence, because their human voice has been silenced so early in their lives, that they do not even struggle or suffer or develop symptoms as the neurotic does." They are normal not in what may be called the absolute sense of the word; they are normal only in relation to a profoundly abnormal society. Their perfect adjustment to that abnormal society is a measure of their mental sickness. These millions of abnormally normal people, living without fuss in a society to which, if they were fully human beings, they ought not to be adjusted.”

Have a great weekend ya'll and it's still all good Phoenix!

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Hidden in reply to Danubian

Im just tending to my 1 year old who is having a bit of a melt down. I will reply shortly though Danubian.

Its still all good!

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Danubian in reply to Hidden

No hurry - I aint goin' nowhere!

I think if time was spent really explaining this disease, what to worry about and what is probably not related, who to contact for advice, and if you want to know, some won’t, what is the likely progression of the disease there would be a whole lot less anxiety. I was given diagnosis at liver clinic, some scores without any explanation about what they meant and sent on my way. I truly thought that I was dying soon. It caused me months of worry, didn’t see the point in carrying on, didn’t take my diabetic meds until I broke down in go surgery and he took time to talk it through. It’s a hellish disease, but now I am living with it and not waiting for it all to go downhill.

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Hidden in reply to Katiesgran

That's why it is SO important to keep asking questions when given any test results.... what does that mean ? What happens next? Can it be treated? What medication? Does the medication carry side effects? Just keep on. The more questions you ask, the more interest you are showing the docs and they will become much more forthcoming and willing to spend the time with you that you need. The more you know, the less you will worry. If they say they dont know, ask them to find out and to get back to you with the answer. If you don't hear back, ring the next day. Remember they are very busy people and if they can save themselves time by not having to go into depths about illnesses, test results or meds etc, they often will. But start asking questions and showing concern and interest in your conditions and well being you will get the information. So just keep asking.

I'm sure this is how AyrshireK has become so well educated about her husbands condition and is a fountain of knowledge for many of us right here



Great Link Phoenix! I sure represent many things in this article. It’s hard work not to worry. I think when you get older ,it can get worse. All are friends and family members are dropping dead, getting rare and crazy diseases, makes us hyper aware of our own mortality. As a result, we spend the few great days we have left in worry. It takes practice to live in the moment. After all, We are all going to get some dreadful outcome at some point. Don’t waste the opportunity of enjoying the things we can. A work in progress, to say the least. Have a Super Day 😀

My daughter has white coat syndrome. She has no problem speaking to any medics if its for me,her daughter or husband. Her husband or myself have had to go with her to see consultants because she clams up totally! Last August she had a major op, her heart rate was immense and as soon as the consultant saw her pre- op he said'White coat my dear?.Its is very real anxiety and panic attacks. When possible take someone with you, its essential for some. No shame whatsoever if your afraid. I tried CBT ,my employer paid for it, it is available on NHS in UK but very long waiting lists. The only thing I got from it was I work task based not time based.No off switch. Me- I am going to do the garden, time based -I will do an hour in the garden. I also had a mental health assessment. The medic said you have no mental health issues - your as mentally well as I am. I couldn't resist saying, Not sure I find that reassuring because you have to be a bit crazy to do your job. We both laughed .

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