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Living with Anxiety
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Health Anxiety and Hypersensitivity

Hello everyone,

I developed health anxiety about 15 months ago. I've always had a bit of anxiety and the panic attacks which occurred a few times a year. But anxiety causing an constant stream of physical symptoms is a new thing. In my opinion, it's the hardest thing I've ever dealt with in my life.

It started with shortness of breath. I had my lungs and heart tested because those are the things which fail and cause one to be short of breath. I passed those tests.

Just to be sure, I had more tests done. MRI,CT, Stress Test, Spirometry, blood work, X-Rays. ........All clear.

Everyone told me I just had anxiety issues. I was stressed.

This is where my hypersensitivity developed. I fought off the advice of the Dr's (in some ways I still do) and frantically searched for the medical reason why I was feeling this way.

Worst idea ever! Led me to all types of diseases. What's more interesting is that I develop symptoms when I lock onto a fear of one disease.

Fear of parkinsons caused finger shaking, fear of heart issues caused rapid heartbeat, fear of ALS caused weakness and off-balance/dis-cordination (this is the one I still struggle with now) MS caused fatigue, throat cancer caused issues swallowing. .....you get the picture.

The problem, if all this anxiety talk is true, is that I'm now so dialed in on my body that I pick up everything.

The bigger problem, is my body is so over taxed and stressed out from constantly revolving thoughts about sickness and my demise that my body is constantly showing me something else wrong.

So now I'm hypersensitive and have plenty to be hypersensitive about.

If I'm being honest with myself. The symptoms don't quite match up with anything else but anxiety.

For instance: My swallowing issue fueled my fire with my fear of ALS. Lasted for 10 days. Then, it went away. No issue swallowing anymore. (I think I scratched it with a piece of burnt pizza to be honest and it was just healing)

But as soon as that went away I am having trouble balancing when standing up.

Is it just a coincidence that during my frantic research I found a woman who stated that her first symptom of ALS was balance when standing up? Probably not.

Now I'm having trouble when writing. Not even sure how that fits in.

The point is, my body and mind are just exhausted. No one should go through this much worry and fright on a constant slow drip for over a year.

But, thats the fun of anxiety. Especially, Health Anxiety.

So I push on through another day. I read the articles and books on anxiety. I try to float through, hoping for a better day....someday.

I start some SSRI's next week. Maybe that will help. I don't really know what it will take to get rid of this ALS fear. But then again, I didn't know what it would take to get rid of my COPD, Cancer, Heart Failure, Parkinsons, MS, and RA fears.

I wish everyone here all the best. May you find some peace.

8 Replies

Health anxiety is a complete utter nightmare.ive suffered with it for 10 years it started when my mum died of cancer.i have the anxiety hot sweats restlessness feeling of dread in my stomach the biggest battle for me is in dying of some terminal illness like me mum did i google everything which makes it even worse cause then my anxietygoes through the roof and ive convinced myself i have it ill go get scanned all clear so then i will concentrate on something else and dwell on that its like you feel you are battling things everyday which we do but we battle with ourselves more ive hated living like this but theres nothing i can do but fight it.im on a high dose of anti depressants which has helped me greatly if im honest.i wanted to do it natural without meds but i gave in and i must say they are working.just remember sweety you are not alone in this theres lots of ppl out there like us so at least we can try help eachother take care.


Sometimes the floating and full acceptance takes practice, but you'll get there because you've recognised the problem and your actively seeking help and arming yourself with all the tool's required to aid recovery, you have the knowledge and have obviously spent time understanding anxiety, keep going, your definitely on the right track, I too can relate to much of your post, I'm now recovered, hang in there xxx


I catch glimpses of recovery on some days. Thank you for your response. It's good to hear there's hope!


I'm late to the party, but I would like to know how did you recover? What methods did you use and did you take medication? I recently started having health anxiety, and it's so surprising and comforting to see many others with similar concerns and symptoms.

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Recovery is a subjective term. You don't really recover from anxiety as it's always a part of you. You learn to live with it and accecpt that it's there and how to not feed into it to make it worse. Don't let that scare you either, i'm not walking around being anxious all the time. Now, I'm just living life and when I get anxious I accecpt it and let it pass. There's not long periods of time where I'm just anxious now. It comes and goes.

I am on Lexapro (20mg daily) and exercise almost daily. I've changed my diet. I've lost weight. I spend more time with friends. I focus on what makes me happy.

I'm also in therapy now and learning how better coping skills for stress and anger and how to have a more positive perspective. Basically, I'm learning how to be happy.

Remember, theres always an equal number of bad and good emotions rolling around in your mind. The negative or the positive ones you focus on are just sort of habit. It's like your mind builds a cozy path to either the negative or the positive ones and that's the type of thinker you are. Of course, we anxious folks tend to have worn a path in the old negative thinking pattersn. But, you can break those with practice and become more positive. That's helped me a ton. I focus on gratitude and positive thinking to be happy with what I have. Not focusing on what I don't have.


Sorry, what do you mean by floating and full acceptance?


You fuel anxiety by fighting it. There's a cycle to anxiety once you feed into it. First you're anxious, then you fight it, then your body becomes tense and feeds cortisol and adrenaline, which makes you anxious, then you're anxious....and the cycle continues.

It takes a while to come down from all those chemicals flooding your system. So even when you start to not focus on your anxiety and try to relax (mindfullness) don't expect immediate results. It takes time, alot of time, but eventually you stop feeding the tiger and the chemicals go down and you have periods of time when you're not anxious. Those windows of calm and being anxiety free help you to realize it's just anxiety and you stop feeding the beast and kill they cycle.

Try to remember that anxiety is a natural thing. It's a human component to help you stay alive. It's your bodies way to alert you that something is off. Try to focus on where you're at in your life and what you want. Focus on your happiness and what you need to love live. Then work on those things.

You'll never be without anxiety, just like you will never be without breathing. However, you can learn to live with anxiety and what it's trying to tell you. Respond to it in a healthy way and have a great life.


Have you tried focusing on healthy mind and body? What if you explore foods that have healing qualities and add them to your diet? Wouldn't your thoughts and body start to pick up on those feel good elements in the same way they pick up on symptoms of disease? Or meditation to help quiet the noise? At minimum, you can force yourself to stay away from dr google.

Best of luck to you.


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