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Topic: Health Anxiety

15 posts, 0 answered
  1. Arig
    Arig avatar
    2 posts
    16 June 2015

    hi all, I am new to this forum and it's the first time I'm reaching out to others in my journey with health anxiety. 

    Health anxiety has ruled my life for over 15 years. I'm currently 40 and over the years I've concocted all sorts of health issues, undergone so many tests and I still walk away convinced that the medical world hasn't diagnosed me properly. Currently I'm convinced I have bowel cancer, MS and throat cancer. 

    Its debilitating and I wanted to know if anyone has overcome this and how. I've been to 3 different psychologists over the years and 2 GP's and each have told me I don't need medication. 

    Help! 

    2 people found this helpful
  2. Tugboat
    Tugboat avatar
    22 posts
    17 June 2015 in reply to Arig

    Hi Arig,

     

    i know now exactly how you are feeling.  I experience health anxiety as well and currently thinking I have bowel cancer.  I have just turned 50 and had to do the routine test and terrified of the results, my stomach is churning all the time and I cannot concentrate on the usual things including work. Every time my mobile rings I think it my doctor delivering bad news.... I have started to see a physiologist and hoping it will help me.  I have has some medication prescribed to take when feeling extremely anxious.  I am new to this site and it's really helping chatting yo people.  

    2 people found this helpful
  3. Chris B
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Chris B avatar
    1758 posts
    17 June 2015 in reply to Arig

    Hi Arig, welcome to the forums. This issue has come up quite a bit on the forums, yourself and Tugboat may want to check out these others threads and get together with other members who are experiencing similar:

     Health anxiety and panic disorder

    Health anxiety, a long lonely road

    Severe health anxiety

    Health anxiety - please help

    Health anxiety

    Health anxiety is taking over

    Health anxiety disorder

    Health anxiety by KatieNZ


    2 people found this helpful
  4. Arig
    Arig avatar
    2 posts
    17 June 2015 in reply to Chris B
    Thanks Chris B, I appreciate the links. I'll have a read of them.
  5. Queen Diamond
    Queen Diamond avatar
    18 posts
    22 June 2015

    Hi everyone;

     I too suffer from health anxiety and have for approx 15 years after the sudden death of my cousin. I have been living in fear of sudden death for most of this time and although I have undergone CBT at various times I still battle with the fear of life threatening illness.

    I used to have severe panic attacks which I'm happy to say I have been able to overcome and have not had a panic attack in about 10 years however still struggle with health anxiety. Especially now in the era of smartphones where Dr Google is always within reach! I think I have googled almost every serious disease or illness known to man! 

    I have recently had my 3rd child and returned to therapy throughout pregnancy to help manage anxiety regarding pregnancy and birth complications. I had hoped once I safely birthed my baby the anxiety would dissappear but unfortunately it has persisted and now I have 3 beautiful children my fear of death and leaving them is just as strong as ever.

    I have been going through a rough patch of late and getting endless ultrasounds, an ECG, blood tests and a CT scan as just in the past 10 weeks alone (my postnatal period) I have feared and had investigated DVT, Ovarian Vein Thrombosis,  heart disease, Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, and just today possibility of PID and/or stomach ulcer!  

     Living with health anxiety is overwhelming and exhausting and takes me away from being able to enjoy my children and my life. 

    I look forward to hearing of others experiences with health anxiety and receiving and offering support. 

    xx

  6. Dani wrice
    Dani wrice avatar
    1 posts
    12 October 2017

    Hi everyone

    i am writing this post as I really need to find people to connect with. Over the last few weeks my anxiety over my health has became progressively worse. It intensified about two months ago when I woke up one morning feeling incredibly dizzy for no reason which has lasted ( one and off) over the last two months. Doctors have put it down to vestibular neuritis / labrynthitis but I have convinced myself that it is something more sinister involving my brain. Over the last week I have had severe panic attacks where my heart rate goes crazy, I have numbness be in my lower leg, my vision becomes wierd and I can't relax. Iv been to admitted emergency twice for this ( as well as my ear problems). I had to ask to get an MRI and the doctors told me I wouldn't be covered by Medicare because I don't fit the criertia to warrant one but I'm doing I anyway. I have a sore jaw which I think is from persistently biting my nails and feel like I have lost control. I am petrified about the MRI and the potential results and I was prescribed medication to calm my nerves. i was hoping to be able to find someone here that has had similar experiences to me. Iv started seeing a psychologist but i hope that by speaking to people who have experienced the same things as me that I will feel better!

    any advice would be much appreciated :)

  7. Dreb100
    Dreb100 avatar
    5 posts
    25 December 2017 in reply to Tugboat

    Hi all - I just found this site as I was trying to stay away from google as I knew it would lead to some new diagnosis in my head. I know I have had health anxiety for many years. I am now 51 and I had my first CT scan at 18 because I was sure I had a brain tumour. In fact what it was was post HSC stress and my first real anxiety attack. I am struggling again. Intellectually I know I am under an enormous amount of stress and that all my symptoms are most likely related to stress and anxiety. But you know that voice in your head - that voice that says maybe it is something this time??? I am so trying to keep that little voice quiet but I can’t always. I am waking at night in a panic. I am missing out on fun because I am too busy obsessing about my sore back and stiff neck (it must be cancer) ...so finding this forum right now is just the best thing for me. So thank you everyone for sharing.

    My psychologist wouldn’t let me see my GP again (I had bloods taken last month and other than low B12 all was fine) and made me see a physio to have my neck manipulated. She thinks that going to the GP too often acts as positive reinforcement of the anxiety and is working with me to manage it without seeing the GP but I am moving so I will lose my GP and my psychologist- which is adding to the anxiety.

    I know exercise helps. I know that menopause is making it worse. I know alcohol doesn’t help but sometimes it does.

    Take care everyone

    2 people found this helpful
  8. Guest6732
    Guest6732 avatar
    14 posts
    25 December 2017 in reply to Dreb100

    Hi Everyone!

    So since there is a few people here asking about health anxiety I'd like to share my story with it and how i'm currently going with it. So about 4 months ago I got diagnosed with severe anxiety/panic disorder and mild depression, with the main cause of my anxiety being based around my health. General stuff like thinking I was going to have a heart attack or was having a stroke, It was at a point that I couldn't get sleep at all without medication and was unable to leave the house plus needed help each week from my psych and GP.

    The first thing I did was reset, like I stopped what I was doing at the time and focused solely on myself and making myself feel other things (like having reprieves from anxiety). What did that for me was basic calming routines that I focused on like meditation, reading with tea and a self reflection diary. This went on for about 2 months and it got a lot easier as time went on, my anxiety died down a lot and I could do basic stuff now. Had a few complications though, which was that I had lost a lot of weight from it and my self confidence was at an all time low.

    So after about 2 months, I was told to have more "fun" by my psych, it was a great idea but I didn't really understand what see mean't by fun stuff. What she mean't was to be more actively social and create a bliss feeling by being around enjoyable people, which worked wonders for my anxiety cause I was focused on being with them instead of focusing on my health. Which led me to be curious as to why I get my health anxiety when i'm alone, scary thought process but by writing it out and talking about it I managed to understand that because I had stopped moving forward and looking at potential things I was so focused on the present issue of anxiety that it basically became my purpose and what I needed to do was get my passion/drive back for other things.

    So in this last month, I've done a lot of soul searching and tried fun things to gain some self confidence and passion back which has helped my health anxiety go back enough that I'm starting to wane of my medication now. My health anxiety is still around but it doesn't control me anymore and I know how to settle it down and with each passing day, whether its a good or bad day, I feel as though its slowly receding and becoming less of a hindrance!

    Hope it helps anyone looking for some advice about health anxiety!

    Regards,

    Campbell

    4 people found this helpful
  9. Lema
    Lema  avatar
    1 posts
    7 April 2018

    Hi Everyone,

    I've been suffering from HA for 3 years. I think it started from a strange sensation of physical symptoms that mocked a stroke. I had pins and needles that started in my right fingers and worked their way up to my jaw, I walked down the hall to tell my husband but couldn't actually say his name. I saw a weird flash in the corner of my eye and it all stopped, but I was left with a headache right at the front of my head on the left side. I was sent for tests to check for evidence of a stroke or MS. I had to wait for quite a while to see the specialist and I was totally convinced I had a brain tumor or was going to have a stroke. The MRI came back normal.

    I experienced headaches, saw jaw, tingling and cold hands and feet and a dizziness that almost never left. I became convinced that I was going to have a stroke so much so that whenever my arm would feel strange, I'd go and take some aspirin to thin my blood. Then I decided that it must be my heart and was convinced I was going to have a heart attack (regardless of being young with no risk factors). I had a number of tests and this was ruled out. After many doctors appointments and nothing wrong being found, the doctor suspected anxiety and I went on some medication as I was exhausted and couldn't take anymore.

    The medication worked and I felt like my normal self. After a year, the doctor and I decided I could go off the medication. I was fine for months but then I developed the constant need to wee, no pain or anything weird, just an urgency to wee all of the time! The doctor did all the normal tests and nothing was wrong. It would go away for a few days or weeks and then come back. I was exhausted from worry so I went back on the medication. It worked and I went back to feeling normal.

    It's been 4 months since I stopped taking the medication and I feel like it's been slowly creeping up on me again, as I'm worrying about all of the things my body does. I'm now having digestive issues (which is totally new) and I'm worried that I have bowel cancer among a few other illnesses. I also have a sore back. I can rationalise everything in my head, but I can't lose the 'what if' feeling and I can't tell the difference between real symptoms and anxiety related ones.

    I don't want to rely on medication every time this happens. Once I get my current health worry ruled out by a doctor I'm thinking about seeing a psychologist. Has anyone been able to combat their anxiety without use of medication?

    1 person found this helpful
  10. LC80
    LC80 avatar
    17 posts
    8 April 2018 in reply to Lema

    I would like to share my story if I may. I am sixty one now and three and a half years ago I was diagnosed with a rare lung disease, Non Tuberculosis Mycobacteria Avium Complex or MAC for short, and Bronchiectasis. I was already a long term sufferer of depression and anxiety and I thought my life was over. I spiraled into deep depression. I was placed under the care of a clinical physiologist who helped me back from the edge of destruction. Life has not been without it's challenges since and my health is variable. Three weeks ago I had a shoulder tendon repair and it was a big job. A three hour surgery, and I am not coping well with the downtime at all. Life has come to a virtual standstill while I heal. I can't to anything for a time and I am essentially housebound. The result is high anxiety levels and some depression. I know that this is only a temporary setback, but I feel as though my healthy days are behind me. With my lung disease and mental health issues life is tough. I get by by reminding myself that there are plenty of others worse off than me.

     

    1 person found this helpful
  11. Mrs Jackson
    Mrs Jackson avatar
    4 posts
    16 May 2019 in reply to LC80
    I hope you're feeling better x
  12. aurora24
    aurora24 avatar
    2 posts
    22 April 2020

    Hi everyone,

    I'm new to these forums and I'm not sure if this will help me or not. I'm 17 years old and have GAD and health anxiety. A few weeks ago I had a cold, and my cough was lingering for a few weeks. I became extremely anxious about my health, worrying that I had lung cancer. Severe diseases and dying have always been big anxiety triggers for me. My cough has improved, but I started having intrusive thoughts about my health, like what if I have a terminal illness, what if I have cancer and will die a slow and painful death, and I keep imagining scenarios where I'm really ill and I have to say goodbye to my family and friends. These thoughts are persistent and I can't get them out of my head. I am also having physical symptoms like chest and rib pain, headaches, dizziness and fatigue, which is fuelling my anxiety more. I am crying a lot, I seem to be nearly in tears for most of the day. Last night I had a panic attack as I was scared of dying in my sleep. This anxiety is worse than it has ever been in my life and I really need help. I have a therapist that I've been seeing for a while but obviously due to corona virus I can't see her in person. My parents are getting very upset and worried about me. This anxiety is interfering with my studying, sleep, mood and life in general.

    Please give me some advice

  13. Sarahbelle
    Sarahbelle avatar
    110 posts
    22 April 2020 in reply to aurora24

    Hi Aurora,

    Hang in there. Lean on your family at the moment and they may be able to help you.

    I sometimes have fears of being sick too and really I am not but it is so scary and causes that chain reaction where we are worried and look for every physical feeling and attribute it to what ever the illness we believe we have at the time ending up in panic.

    Arrange to speak with your therapist on the phone or zoom if you can.

    I have the app Smiling Minds on my phone and that helps me slow my thinking.

    Do things you love to do.

    It is hard but we are often stronger than what we think.

    This site is amazing so many people who understand - no judgement just a hand up.

    Take care at 17 things can be confusing so be kind to yourself.

    1 person found this helpful
  14. aurora24
    aurora24 avatar
    2 posts
    22 April 2020 in reply to Sarahbelle

    Hi Sarahbelle,

    Thank you so much. I am arranging to talk with my therapist and I am staying strong.

    1 person found this helpful
  15. Sarahbelle
    Sarahbelle avatar
    110 posts
    23 April 2020 in reply to aurora24

    Good on you aurora24,

    Take care and feel better soon.

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