Living with Anxiety
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Health anxiety (could trigger)

Hey guys... so one of my biggest struggles is getting medical testing done. I lost my son to cancer when he was just three years old on 2002.

A lot of my anxiety and PTSD started then...

Is anyone else absolutely terrified of medical tests and or drs? If so I need idea on how to manage it. I have been in therapy off and on for years but have never really been able to get good tools on how to deal with this....

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Hello & Welcome :-)

Not sure where you are but I am in the UK and it is after midnight so I hope when people log on you will get some replies :-)

I am so very sorry about the loss of your Son and not shocked to hear about how it has left you regarding your anxiety and medical appointments

I have to say I do not like medical appointments at all and I get very anxious indeed

The only way I deal with it is to be honest once I have put myself through enough pain I then tell myself I have to do these appointments and they are for my benefit

Maybe when I feel more alert as like I say it is after Midnight where I am I will be able to think of more tips that may help , one is talking though which you can do on here and knowing people are here to support you may just help a little bit :-)

Take Care x

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Thank you so much for replying 😊I’m in the US. I can relate to what you said about putting yourself thru pain... I keep waiting to get to the end of myself and just go but the terror I feel is I debilitating. I will try to keep in mind that most of you are from the UK.. wonder why there are not more people from here on this forum?

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Hello :-)

I do understand , I am at the Doctors Friday and dreading it , it is on my mind and has been for over a week , but I know I need to go so I ask myself what is the choice

I don't go and I am going to worry and be in a state and even feel angry with myself that I am letting my anxiety win or

I push through that debilitating feeling which I know how that feels , go and maybe come back feeling better forgetting that peace of mind from the appointment :-)

I do end up doing the latter and the more we do it we may still feel the fear but it does get less :-)

Without seeing your Doctor you are denying yourself the support you need and that is exactly what anxiety wants , don't let it win you are worth so much more than that :-)

This is a smaller group than some of the other Communities on HU even though I hope friendly and just as helpful , I am sure members on here are in the UK as well as the US and many other places but at the moment we are still trying to encourage people to use the Community and talk :-)

No matter where we are from like now as soon as we get a moment we can still reply to each other and know eventually we will see them once we are up and about again :-) x

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Hi! I too have anxiety about medical tests and results and it has carried over into anxiety about dr appointments, even making dr appointments, as well as phone calls from dr offices! I also have health anxiety and so I fear minor things are major and am scared of cancers mostly, but it's more like cancer of the week for me because it switches and changes around based on what's going on (i.e. I had to go in to the urgent care last week, it was pneumonia, but I was so scared they were going to do a chest X-ray and find cancer!).

I am a cancer survivor and was misdiagnosed for a year, so it really changed my trust in the medical community. Then I found out that my cancer actually showed up on a mammogram I had 2 years prior to my diagnosis but they did not think it was anything. Only in hindsight was it revealed to me.

I have tried several things for this and most helpful for me was EMDR and hypnosis- for either of these you have to find a very good provider- the EMDR institute has a list of qualified individuals. My counselor was trained in EMDR and hypnosis and so it worked well with the therapy I was also getting from him.

The other thing that helped was talking to my dr about over active amygdala, there are medicines that get at that part of our brains better than others. It's our fight or flight center, and with PTSD it can go on high alert, and medicines can help calm it down again.

Journaling also helps me. Just lay it all out on paper, every fear, every worry, every scary thought...it helps me to get it out like that and I address it as if it's a prayer. You can even burn it to help in letting it go, like old baggage you just don't need anymore.

Visualization helps too, apparently we can change our reaction to memories of things with visualization and those traumatic moments can be visualized in a way that can make them a more positive experience. If certain places are a trigger you can visualize those places painted purple with sunshines and polka dots and then next time you go imagine them looking differently. It will give a different feel to the place. Once we can go to those places without reacting and severely our amygdala will realize we are not in danger. I believe it's that part of our brain learns by behaviors, not visualizing so much. Look up amygdala if you are interested or have time, that is if you haven't heard of it already.

I can say I still avoid the places where I was misdiagnosed. I can't even drive past them yet. But I am making progress in other areas, I have a counselor and meds, so I think it can only get better from here. It's not easy, but it's worth trying all kinds of things.

lil-rose

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Hi lil rose.

Thank you so much for response.I'm in South Africa

My anxiety disorder started from PTDS after my sister passed from HIV in my presence. I got treated with meds and therapy then was fine for years.

I recently discovered that I am actually also positive but that has not bothered me much because of the availability of treatment and living with people who have been well for years now.

My recent scar is after I started treatment they have picking up infections in my urine and they do not seem to go even after taking antibiotics.

They recently took blood to check for prostate cancer and by just mentioning it to me I freaked out and cannot seem to get it out of my mind. I struggle to sleep or live happily because of this anxiety. The doctor said chances of getting the cancer are slim because I'm only 28 years and again I know of survivors but still I can't get help worrying.

I don't know if I should go ask for anxiety treatment again or some therapy or what exactly.

I joined this group for some support.

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Hi Tee4M! Sometimes it seems like once that once the PTSD part of our brain is triggered (the amygdala) it can take time to calm it down back to where it was before the trauma. Then the anxiety will attach to things, and right now for you it's the prostate cancer. I would venture to guess that once the results come in fine, you could be at risk of it attaching to something else, so be careful to use whatever techniques you learned before to combat it, and if they don't seem to help seek treatment again. It's better to get a handle on it now than to let it go and come back again worse and worse.

Are there any face to face support groups for anxiety in your community? Maybe a well facilitated (by a professional) face to face group could get you through this and if it comes back then seen one on one treatment.

I'm sorry to hear about your recent hiv positive results as well, it does sound like you have a great attitude about it, but I wouldn't completely discount it as another source of anxiety, especially with the timing of the bacteria in the urine and the treatments. With all the utmost respect and love, I wonder if the prostate cancer anxiety is a way of coping with your own hiv diagnosis and that your dear sister passed with it. Could it be that the anxiety is displacing itself as worry about the prostate cancer because it's too painful to think about your sisters struggle with hiv? It's hard to know but if this strikes a chord with your or the anxiety attaches itself to something else in relation to your treatments it might be something to explore further. What do you think?

lil-rose

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Dear liloose

Thank you for the prompt response.

Unfortunately we do not have any anxiety support group in my community, or rather not that I know of.

You know I honestly over think things and always diagnose myself, well midiagnose then be anxious about it even when a part of me knows it might not be true.

I always think of the worst case scenario and think itmight happen to me.

The dr also said the urine issue might have to do with my kidneys then I suddenly thought they are going to fail and kill me.

I have so much fear of death it's actually making my life so unhappy and fearful.

Funny how I always take flights to different cities but never think that would kill me whereas anything associated with my body freaks me out.

I believe things are not as bad as my mind project but I can't help the thoughts.

Any advice?

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Thank you lil-Rose. I have found journaling to be very helpful as well. I just haven’t done it for awhile and the bottom line is this issue takes a lot of work to deal with. I am sure you have spent hours and days researching, therapists, visualization and using all your tools- sometimes I get tired of all of it. I just want to get up in the morning and feel good and have healthy perspectives 😔it gets so frustrating and old.

It is so helpful to know that people out there like you guys understand exactly what I am feeling tho and I appreciate the support soooo much.

It sounds like you have been thru a lot too and have faced your biggest fear!? You got thru what u fear most and that is amazing❤️

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Thanks beachy! It's true, it's exhausting to think about all the work it takes to maintain mental health, or at least try to! It does get old and frustrating, and it seems like there is no end in sight! Just like any other chronic illness there are exacerbations and remissions, and when the anxiety is exacerbated, life can get really hard. Do you find yours has come and gone over the years, and I wonder if certain times of the year are harder for you, maybe around the anniversary of loosing your young son or his birthday? If you don't mind sharing, how long did he go through treatment?

lil-rose

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