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Topic: Health anxiety - any tips

7 posts, 0 answered
  1. maccaz
    maccaz avatar
    24 posts
    29 September 2020

    So I have had severe health anxiety my whole life, but really ramped up since I had my daughter 16 months ago.

    I have spent the majority of this year in a bad panic about various diseases (really far fetched) and just had a specialist appointment which confirmed I definitely do not have any of those diseases.

    My wife is getting fed up, and I was so hopeful that having the specialist confirmation would ease my mind, but I literally don't feel any better, just the thoughts are "what if they're wrong".

    I've been through soo many GPs and specialists etc all to be told im perfectly fine and it is somatic/mental health issues causing my repeat hypochondria.

    Does anyone have any advice? Anyone been in the same boat and had any luck managing it? Really at my wits end here..

  2. PanicButton
    PanicButton avatar
    6 posts
    29 September 2020 in reply to maccaz

    Hi maccaz!

    I really feel you there. I have suffered from an extreme health anxiety for the past two years (started with panic disorder 12 years ago and escalated since then). I have been to all kinds of tests, labs, specialists. When it is my hearth, then lungs, then tonsils, stomach, brain, tremors, numbness... Nothing significant has ever been found. In therapy I have got to understand that my family history, some traumatic events in childhood have played a part in developing it. So letting go of the blame and realising this is not my fault has helped a great deal.

    But, still learning on how to get in terms with it. As the symptoms are always new and different. Once I am okay with one thing another one starts.

    It has gotten to the point where it is seriously distracting my daily life and I am considering on whether I can continue with the career path I have chosen or whether I can have kids in the future. As I am really scared my children would inherit the disorder or I would be a terrible parent constantly worrying and agitated about something.

    For some years I used to take medication and it helped but have since stopped as I am afraid of not coping without them. But it really seems I do not. So considering on starting them again. I hope they would ease my symptoms.

    I really recommend finding a cognitive therapy that works for you. I would have not gotten this far without it.

    1 person found this helpful
  3. maccaz
    maccaz avatar
    24 posts
    29 September 2020 in reply to PanicButton

    thanks so much for your reply, i can relate to that massively.

    Funny thing is, when i get some kind of ailment ruled out, the symptoms seem to go away or at least ease, until i fixate on the next one. It's bloody exhausting. I have all those kinds of areas that worry me.

    I'll see if i can give that cognitive therapy a go and see how that helps, thanks!

    1 person found this helpful
  4. PanicButton
    PanicButton avatar
    6 posts
    29 September 2020 in reply to maccaz

    The most important thing I have learned is trying to break the negative cycle. So once a new symptom or feeling emerges, not rushing into the usual "panic mode" but giving it time and sensing it with cautious. Could this be anxiety again, where does it actually feel, is it constantly same or does it ease or move from place to place. Writing it down, not resisting but letting the feelings run over and being mindful of the fact that there have been false alarms before and it might most likely just be another one of those episodes.

    It is hard but baby steps and sometimes you will find yourself back in the square one and then you just remind yourself that you have been here before and it is possible to relate to the issue differently. Admitting that the cause HAS been found and your HAVE a condition and treating it, instead of always rushing to find something that is not there. Nowadays I at least try to treat my symptoms first with the breathing exercises and repeating of the fact over and over in my head, before running to the doctor and it has helped. I have been way less into the clinic in the past months but there is difficult days and it is okay.

    It is comforting to know that I am not the only one dealing with these issues and that I am not crazy but it is an actual disease that has a diagnosis and treatment. Hopefully one day the public stigma will be less and people will discuss it more openly in media and workplaces as well.

  5. maccaz
    maccaz avatar
    24 posts
    29 September 2020 in reply to PanicButton

    thanks for your input, makes me feel a lot better :)

  6. romantic_thi3f
    Community Champion
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    romantic_thi3f avatar
    2728 posts
    1 October 2020 in reply to maccaz

    Hi maccaz,

    PanicButton has offered so much good advice.

    I just wanted to pop in and share a resource about cognitive therapy- while it's always good with a counsellor or psychologist, sometimes there's a bit of a wait list (if you decide to go of course), so this might be a handy resource in the meantime -

    https://www.cci.health.wa.gov.au/Resources/Looking-After-Yourself/Health-Anxiety

    Best of luck to both of you- health anxiety is so so hard.

    rt

  7. Tugboat
    Tugboat avatar
    22 posts
    4 October 2020 in reply to maccaz

    Hi Maccaz,

    i have been suffering with heath anxiety for many years and currently stressed ATM because I have to have a mammogram on Tuesday! It’s just a routine check but my anxiety levels are out of control. I get to the point that I cannot eat, get very tired and cry all the time. The thoughts are just so over welming. I try to keep my self busy but some days it’s just to much, like today.

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