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No Smoking Day
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My body is telling me to quit

So almost a month ago now I had a panic attack, I was convinced I was having a heart attack, for a couple of weeks after I was paranoid about dropping dead/afraid to go to sleep at night because I was worried I wouldn't wake up in the morning. I would wake up in the morning and say to myself "oh I'm alive...thank god...now you just have to get through another day". I'd have chest pain and back pain and arm pains, I was/am convinced of three things:-

1) I was having heart problems (I'm still anxious about my heart I often freak out when I can't feel my heart beat/compulsively checking my pulse);

2) I was having a stroke; and

3) Currently due to pain in my shoulder blades and under my left ribs I'm worried I have lung cancer. I always sit and listen to my breathing to see if I can hear whistling in my throat.

Everyone, every Dr tells me it's anxiety and I would be more inclined to accept that if I didn't smoke....I'm only 22 (turning 23 just before Christmas). I know google is my worst enemy because you google your symptoms and you've either got cancer, aids, pregnant or pregnant with cancerous aids.

I've developed health anxiety from my first panic attack and now it's developed into hypochondria.

I just want to feel better. I want to stop freaking out about every little ache or pain. Whats the point in life if I'm just constantly fretting about my health.

Currently I'm cutting down before I have a hypnotherapy session which I hope will have some physiological effect on me to make it easier to do it cold turkey. I tried patches but had the most ****ed up dreams that I'd lie in my bed petrified of going back to sleep. I don't want to take champix because I've got a weak mind and would probably end up going mental.

2 Replies

I really feel for you because I know how awful panic attacks are for the sufferer. I had a panic attack at an airport once and I felt as though someone had tied a belt round my ribs and it was crushing me, I was convinced I was having a heart attack. You are really suffering at the moment and as Karri says I think a trip to your GP would be a very good idea you are very young and the chances of you having any of the illnesses that you are imaging are very slim, to no chance. However a medical check up and a chat with a professional will help you I am sure and stopping smoking will definitely remove some of your anxiety. Keep us posted on how you are going on and if you get professional help I bet you will soon feel better.:)


Hey I really wanted to reply to you because for other reasons, I developed a fear of ill health as well. Mine was from a sudden death in the family. I became obsessed with the gym to the point i blew my inheritance on a course to become a personal trainer (which i now realise is not me at all!). I went into it DEEP! had endless blood test for this and that and this etc. I think your reaction though is quite normal, in that moment you felt genuine fear for your life, although its an panic attack, it can be a real eye opener to our mortality.

In relation to smoking, I think this was good for spurring on the thought 'i should quit' but quiting out of fear makes it that little tougher. Its alot of preasure. Your almost beating yourself into doing it.

Defo quit, your 22 and your body will love you for it! Did you also know that smoking can cause anxiety?? very interesting. Quiting cold turkey will make the anxiety shoot up for about 5 days. but you will notice pockets of calm and them pockets will become just your natural state in weeks. So beating the anxiety will be a more positive goal for quiting for you i think, rather than fear of ill health. Turn it into a positive mate.

Hypnotherapy sounds fab for getting you started. Let me know how you get on, Im a student psychiatric nurse now days so i get really geeky about these topics :) xxx


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