Welcome to the Healthy Families forums!

This is a space to ask questions, share experiences and support each other. Find a relevant thread or start your own!

Before you can post or reply in these forums, please join our online community and have a read of the community rules. Forum membership is open to anyone residing in Australia.

  • share on Facebook
  • share on Twitter
  • Print page

Topic: Health Anxiety is ruining my life

  1. AMMoverthinking
    AMMoverthinking avatar
    23 posts
    21 February 2019

    I have always had anxiety. As a little kid I would have panic attacks if we drove across the Westgate Bridge certain it was going to break and we would plummet to our deaths. When their was a black out I was certain someone was going to break in and kills is etc.

    After having my children my anxiety ramped up. I am constantly certain I have one health disease or another and I become fixated on it and really depressed. Once I go and get it checked and get the all clear I am fine for a little while until I start to fixate on something else. I’m currently convinced I have breast cancer. I didn’t sleep. I now can’t eat and have to go to work soon and pretend everything is okay when really I just want to curl up into a ball abs cry.

    I finally got the courage to mention it to my doctor last year but be wasted me to see a psych. I also have social anxiety so speaking to a stranger opens a whole over can of worms for me.

    my biggest fear stems from leaving my children and not getting to see the grow up. So when I’m like this even seeing my children will upset me.

    I have a doctors apt this afternoon but my regular doctor was away so now I need to see a stranger 😬. Plus I know she’ll probably just want to send me for an ultrasound so that’s another day or so wait for that. I do already have dense breast tissue found the last time I was convinced I had breast cancer so my boobs already feel different so I can’t even calm myself down this time. I’m just so panicked today m.

    2 people found this helpful
  2. baet123
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    baet123 avatar
    549 posts
    21 February 2019 in reply to AMMoverthinking

    Hey AMMoverthinking,

    Awesome name by the way!

    Welcome to the forums and thank you so much for posting and sharing your situation with us. This is an extremely difficult and challenging step to take and shows you have a strong desire to improve your condition. Posting and allowing people to understand you and what your going through shows extreme courage, resilience, strength and persistence and for that you should be extremely proud. You have been through a great deal and you are an inspiration.

    Health anxiety is absolutely a hard condition to live and deal with and I suffered from health anxiety for five to six years so I can relate to much of what you are going through. I was a hypochondriac and had a big problem with typing all of my "symptoms" in search engines and the like. In regards to symptoms or concerns you have about possible conditions, it always made me feel better to talk about these genuine concerns with your GP or psychologist and possibly having tests done to rule out conditions which is really important for peace of mind.

    It is really hard to speak to a stranger and this is a daunting experience but doing so will make you feel so so so much better. Small steps, remember that! Always remember that your health professionals are there to assist you and want to improve your condition.

    It is extremely encouraging that you are actively seeking treatment and your desire to improve your condition and get better is absolutely apparent. Things will get better and the road ahead will have a few bumps, but, prolonged and sustained periods of therapy sessions in combination with regular checkups with your GP is the way to go. I would also discuss with your GP whether medication is suitable to your situation. In most cases prolonged periods of therapy in combination with medication often yields the most success.

    Look forward to hearing how you go this afternoon. Remember, you are seeing a new doctor today and they might seem like a "stranger" but believe me when I say that they want the best for you and try and express yourself and your feelings as much as your comfortable doing so.

    All the best,

    Nick.

    2 people found this helpful
  3. Ash81
    Ash81 avatar
    54 posts
    24 February 2019 in reply to AMMoverthinking

    I could have wrote your post myself! I am currently convinced I have. Breast cancer also! Any type of cancer is my health anxiety. I freak out over a bruise, a headache anything! I actually had an ultrasound last September and all was good thank god but lately I’ve had itchy breasts and that straightaway brang me back to where I was.

    Am going to see my dr on Wednesday and make an appt with the psych again tomorrow. The thoughts keep creeping in like what if it is cancer and it sprouted up after the last ultrasound. Called up nurse on call and she’s like oh go and see a dr in 1-3 days promise me that! I’m like omg she just made it ten times worse!

    I need constant reassurance!

    Have you seen a gp or a psychologist? I can say the only thing that helps me is seeing a good result even though it’s absolutely terrifying to go get them done. I was literally shaking and crying when I did mine.

    Please reach out on here; just knowing others go through the same thing seems to help somewhat.

  4. AMMoverthinking
    AMMoverthinking avatar
    23 posts
    25 February 2019 in reply to baet123
    I went to a doctor that night. All day I was texting hubby that I was going to cancel. I didn’t eat all day. Couldn’t focus at work and barely slept the night before. The doctor was lovely. I was the last patient for the day and I realised when I left that she ja shone 30 minutes over time. She checked my breast and said they were absolutely fine. She recommended that there was no need for an ultrasound but that if I was adamant to have one she would give me one. She was afraid it would make me worse because that would mean more waiting. I don’t want one. She of course then wanted to address me anxiety and I was ready to somewhat deal with it. I flat out said that I won’t go and see a psychologist at this stage. I also have social anxiety so the idea of talking to a stranger terrifies me. I spoke to me normal GP about my health anxiety a year ago and his solution was to give me a referral to a psychologist. It is still sitting in the boot of my car. I can’t bring myself to use it. Now I’m sure some of you might not agree but together we decided on medication. A very Löw dose and only enough for a month. I’m then to go back and see her or my normal GP. The plan is to see if the meds help to also ease the fear of going to speak to someone else. I can confidently say she wasn’t just willy nilly writing a prescription. I’ve also since started back doing my yoga, meditation and fitness. Think it’s time I focus on myself a little.
    2 people found this helpful
  5. Ash81
    Ash81 avatar
    54 posts
    26 February 2019 in reply to AMMoverthinking

    Hi,

    im so glad the dr checked ur breasts and said they are fine. I went to a Chiro who said my breast pain could be from my back/shoulder coming to the front. She adjusted it and said it should be better soon. What made you think you had BC this time? A gp I saw checked mine even though I have no lump/s im still scared of the other BC that comes without lumps and is worse. She said they were fine and that I don’t need a scan. I have my normal gp appt today who has known me for a long time and knows what I’m like. I’m sure she will say it’s nothing and send me on my way.. I’m also scared to ask for a scan because of the result! My psych said not to go to the dr again n not to ask for any scans anymore unless the DR RECCOMMENDS it... I’m struggling with this. I have slight breast pain in my left breast like a dull ache that goes n comes. I hope I can get over this quickly but I’m afraid I won’t without a scan n then that starts the merry go round again. I have a wonderful husband and 4 beautiful children who need me.

    1 person found this helpful
  6. baet123
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    baet123 avatar
    549 posts
    7 March 2019 in reply to AMMoverthinking

    Hey AMM,

    Sorry for the late reply. Have been really unwell the last few weeks with the flu. I am glad that you felt that the doctor was lovely and that she said "everything was fine". When a doctor provides you with a sense of reassurance, this is a wonderful feeling.

    I know that speaking to a stranger is difficult and this is the case for many others too! However, you are speaking to us on these forums and that is a great step in the right direction. I believe seeing a psychologist would be an excellent idea as long as you are comfortable doing so. If you are not that is perfectly fine but I believe giving it a go and maybe even booking an appointment and seeing how you feel on that day is a big thing for you.

    Good on you for deciding to take medication. I can tell that you are trying to improve your condition and that is incredible. You are taking steps in the right direction and it is inspiring. It is amazing and paramount that you continue progressing and taking care of yourself physically and emotionally through the yoga, fitness, meditation, diet and the like. Focus on yourself. You are worth it and you deserve it!

    Please keep us updated.

    All the best,

    Nick.

  7. AMMoverthinking
    AMMoverthinking avatar
    23 posts
    25 May 2020 in reply to baet123

    Here I am again after a break. I try to stay off the boards as I find it can make me worse sometimes. Whilst my health anxiety never goes away I was doing pretty well But...of course as it does it’s back with vengeance

    Last week I got my period early and my breasts were hurting a lot so I convinced myself I had breast cancer and ovarian cancer. Couldn’t really calm down. I’m constantly hot and cold. Starting this weekend I’ve had numbness and tingling in my arms and legs and I’ve convinced myself I have MS. I actually can’t call myself. I’ve not cooked for my family in a week (something I normally enjoy doing) right now my hands are sweaty and arms and legs are tingly. My husband took the kids out and I can’t stop googling. Trying to tell myself it’s just stress and anxiety effects on my body but I can’t stop thinking it’s MS.

  8. AMMoverthinking
    AMMoverthinking avatar
    23 posts
    26 May 2020 in reply to AMMoverthinking

    Really struggling to calm myself. Last night I woke up with one of my arms tingling really badly with pins and needs so of course that gets me obsessing a it’s MS. This morning I wasn’t doing too badly.

    I’m teaching from home despite my students being back due to me being immunocompromised. The session went really badly. Suddenly my arms and legs started feeling freezing cold, numb but also thingy. Again I convinced myself it’s MS or MND. I start feeling freezing cold. I find myself searching these boards in hope I’d see other people have had a similar Experiences but amongst the good I also find some comments Of people getting diagnosed with something and I obsess again. I feel nauseous and I’m struggling to work. My hands are clammy.

    It’s been happening for days. 😔

  9. Marto9014
    Marto9014 avatar
    9 posts
    26 May 2020 in reply to AMMoverthinking

    Hey AMM

    Sorry to hear this is how you are feeling. If it gives you any comfort, I have been battling the same thoughts re MS. I have had everything from pins n needles to weakness in various lims, to waking up with a numb thigh that I'm sleeping on. Have seen a GP and awaiting to see a Neurologist, but in the meantime trying to work on my anxiety. Its hard not to assume the worst, but what you have to rememeber is that its incredibly rare for it to be something really nasty! The body works in mysterious ways.

    Hope you are able to find some comfort soon.

    Cheers

  10. AMMoverthinking
    AMMoverthinking avatar
    23 posts
    29 May 2020 in reply to Marto9014

    Hi Marto,

    Thanks for replying. Honestly I’m Having such a bad time at the moment. I just can’t shake it. I don’t think I’ve ever had an episode last this long.

    I can pin point all the stress that could have kicked it off but since then I just seem to be spiralling out of control.

    my symptoms and worries just keep changing.

    I had numbness and tingling, tensions and pain and shaking.

    now I still have the shaking but I am having really bad headaches and phantom smells of smoke. Of course I googled it because...that’s what we do 🤦‍♀️ So now I’m convinced I’m about to have a stroke or a brain tumour or even MS still.

    I saw my doctor yesterday and my bloods came back fine. I mentioned the numbness and tingly and he said it could be anxiety. He didn’t want to do anything until we got my other tests back. But now I have the headache and the smell so I’m freaking out all over again. And I’m just so fatigued.

    finding it all just so hard at the moment.

    I hope you’re doing okay.

  11. Marto9014
    Marto9014 avatar
    9 posts
    29 May 2020 in reply to AMMoverthinking

    Thats no good that you're struggling- if its any comfort so am I! Having an MRI next week and it feels like forever away. Like I said, anxiety can manifest itself in so many different ways but its hard not to assume the worst possible outcome.

    Agree re the fatigue too. Anxiety is taxing! Hope you find some comfort in knowing that these are all very likely anxiety symptons. These boards are great for seeing that other people have the same thing happening.

    Hope you start feeling better

    1 person found this helpful
  12. IMiss Me
    IMiss Me avatar
    1 posts
    29 May 2020 in reply to AMMoverthinking

    Hi AMMoverthinking.. This is my first post on this forum and I really feel for you with your symptoms. I can totally understand where you are coming from. I feel like the best thing we can do is to get reassurance. If there is something sinister going on, early intervention is so important, so being in touch with your body could save your life... but remember in most circumstances we think it's the worst case scenario when in fact there is simple explanation for the symptom. I wish I would heed my own advice.

    I've also been going through a bout of anxiety.. I didn't realise it was something I had until a doctor informed me a lot of my symptoms was a textbook case for anxiety. I also had a nerve feeling in my arm which she suggested was from the tension in my neck pressing on the nerves and causing that feeling. Made sense.. but then I started getting other symptoms, the latest being intermittent blocked ears and a waive of nauseau.. I suddenly thought I had a brain tumour. My doctor assured me this was not the case as my blood results were perfect and that it can also be caused by anxiety. My doctor gave me some peace of mind saying if you did have a brain tumour, your bloods would have shown something amiss in your results.

    To give you some more peace of mind, you are not alone. the numbness, the tingling, the tension, pain and shaking are all your bodies way of dealing with the stress your mind is putting it under. I read an article that explained anxiety.. it might help you too "when your mind worries, it puts the body into flight or fight mode. when in fight mode it sends blood to the important areas, heart, organs etc. This can cause a tingling feeling in your body because the blood is not circulating to those areas like it normally would. The overload of blood/adrenalin to the heart can cause pulpitations and increased heart rate. It then becomes a vicious cycle of anxiety vs symptoms. I had a misdiagnosis of RRV 2.5years ago and now I'm left wondering what it was and if it's caused permanent damage. Im waiting to see a rheumatologist to explain weird muscle and joint aches, but in the meantime my mind and body is playing tricks on me.. I totally know how you are feeling. It's dibilitating and makes you question what is real and what is not. Night time for me is the worst, but I'm booked in to see a counsellor so hopefully that will help to put in place some action to deal with these thoughts. I hope you find some relief in your results also.

  13. jemma09
    jemma09 avatar
    64 posts
    29 May 2020 in reply to AMMoverthinking

    Hi there AMMoverthinking

    Thank you for sharing what you are going through. It sounds like you are having a tough time. Health anxiety can be so exhausting for both the body and the mind. I get health anxiety too and I understand what you are going through. It can really hard to try to reassure ourselves or keep our mind off of our symptoms/feelings. The problem with Doctor Google is it tends to suggest not so nice things to us.

    So, let's look at a positive here. You have already seen your doctor, which is great! Good on you for speaking with someone you can trust. Doctors have the medical knowledge and training to make sure you are okay. They also know you as a person and your history (compared to Google which is not individualised). As you said, your bloods have come back okay which is a great first step. :)

    Is there anything that you find helps ease your health anxiety or symptoms? For example: there are apps that can talk you through breathing exercises, mindfulness or even imagining a relaxing place. One is called 'smiling mind'.

    I hope you can find some comfort and you start to feel better. All the best and stay safe! :)

  14. jemma09
    jemma09 avatar
    64 posts
    29 May 2020 in reply to Marto9014

    Hi Matro9014

    Just saw your reply and want to wish you all the best with your MRI. Good on you for advocating for your health and making sure you are okay. I understand it can be tough waiting to get a procedure and receive the results. That was me a couple months ago. If you like - ask if they have music at the MRI, I found it quite relaxing to have something nice to listen to.

    We are here if you need to talk or of load any concerns.

    Stay safe and be kind to yourself :)

  15. AMMoverthinking
    AMMoverthinking avatar
    23 posts
    29 June 2020 in reply to jemma09

    Thanks all.

    Despite being immunocompromised I returned to work (teaching) as my students needed me and I realised that the isolation and stress from all that wasn’t helping.

    My doctor didn’t do too much to calm my mind though. Everything I raised he said, ‘it’s unlikely but could be...’ not what I needed to hear.

    Anyway the trembling has stopped or at least not happening as frequently. Still obsessing over my health and it’s so draining.

    I’m now obsessing over inflammatory breast cancer. I had a breast ultrasound only a month ago but google says that doesn’t catch IBC. It’s just so draining that my brain looks for anything to obsess over.

    anyway I just needed to get that down.

  16. Meg_611
    Meg_611 avatar
    22 posts
    30 June 2020 in reply to AMMoverthinking

    Hi there,

    i can relate so so so much.
    I have been suffering with so many odd symptoms over the past years, have had all the tests you can think of: brain mri, chest, abdomen and pelvis ct, breast ultrasound, lung capacity test, endoscopy, colonoscopy, echo cardio gram, stress test And while a few bits and pieces were found ( all okay and manageable) I found no answers to my symptoms. So I’m at a crossroads- have I got nothing and this really is all anxiety, or have they missed something?
    when I read through other people’s posts is easy for to relate and from an outsiders views think ‘that’s classic (health) anxiety’ but it’s so hard to apply the same logic to myself!!

    i saw a few people of here mention a book by Dr Claire Weekes called complete self help for your nerves. I am about 1/3 of the way through it and it has helped me a lot!! I definitely recommend it. She talks about being trapped in a fear-adrenal—fear cycle which I definitely have been for the last year ... I hope I can break free

  17. maccaz
    maccaz avatar
    24 posts
    30 June 2020 in reply to Meg_611
    What kind of symptoms do you get? I will have a look at that book too!
  18. Meg_611
    Meg_611 avatar
    22 posts
    30 June 2020 in reply to maccaz

    For about 6-8 months I was

    lightheaded, dizzy, muscles spasms on weird areas like top of my boob, back of shoulder, side of thigh, little brain zaps in my head, lots of pressure build up on my head especially upon standing, felt funny sleeping on my right side - made me feel dizzy, headaches, dry sensitive to sudden sounds- I would get startled and it made be feel wobbly in the head, tight throat/lump in throat, ear pressure, pressure behind eyes. Pain under ribs. So many symptoms- Not all at once - they jumped around my body !

    that book is online for download and there are YouTube videos too x

  19. AMMoverthinking
    AMMoverthinking avatar
    23 posts
    30 June 2020 in reply to Meg_611

    Thanks I’ll look the book up.

    I get bad mastalgia and that sets my mind spinning. I had a breast ultrasound only last month but the mastalgia is back so the anxiety kicks in again. One breast is bigger than the other which as I said has me freaked out about IBC. Hubby says they haven’t changed and I’ve read it’s common for one to be bigger than the other but of course that does nothing to lessen the anxiety. I know I have dense breast tissue and the left is worse than the right (also the bigger boob) so that continues to freak me out. Online says if one feels more dense than the other to investigate. I literally just have had that done but again my mind just spins with all the negatives. I hate that I can’t control it.

    When I get like this I struggle to be a good mum. I just don’t want to do anything. Don’t feel like cooking, eating, any of it.

  20. Meg_611
    Meg_611 avatar
    22 posts
    1 July 2020 in reply to AMMoverthinking

    It’s SOOO hard not to google , but try really hard to distract yourself and prolong doing it. Even if you say to yourself okay I’ll let myself google it tomorrow- you might feel better tomorrow.

    i have lump boobs and so it’s hard to know what’s a normal lump and what isn’t. I was also getting some pain and kept poking and prodding which made the pain worse ! The sonographer was amazing and explained how breast tissue changes as you age (I’m 36) and she found no areas of concern so that put my mind at ease.
    Have you spoken to a counsellor etc about your anxiety?

    I have quite a few times and it is really helpful.
    have you tried any of the meditation apps like headspace?

  21. maccaz
    maccaz avatar
    24 posts
    1 July 2020 in reply to Meg_611
    I have all of those same symptoms and same deal, multiple doctors forced me to accept it is anxiety. The spasms etc are so distressing lol. I'll see how the book goes, thanks!
  22. Meg_611
    Meg_611 avatar
    22 posts
    2 July 2020 in reply to maccaz

    So you have constant heart pounding feeling too?

    My heart rate is normal and I have been checked by a cardiologist with stress test and ultrasound of my heart and all is fine. But my heart always feels like it is pounding so hard- and my pulse in my neck is so prominent it feels like it makes my whole neck throbs and when I lie on my back I can see it pulsating and moving my neck with my heartBeat

  23. JEF15
    JEF15 avatar
    6 posts
    3 July 2020 in reply to Meg_611

    Hi @meg_611

    Sounds like what I am dealing with right now. My heart pounds so hard and I can see it in my neck pulse, which then I stress over why, is that normal? So then I stress more. Its a never ending cycle and im sick of it. I dont know if I shrug it off as anxiety or i have an health concern im ignoring. Just thought Id let you know your not alone in these feelings :)

  24. Doz86
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Doz86 avatar
    179 posts
    3 July 2020 in reply to JEF15

    Hi JEF15,

    Thanks for sharing such a personal post.

    I too throb when anxiety is high. I'm usually not breathing deep breaths at the same time.

    Make sure you talk to you health care professional next time you see them.

    Regards,

    Doz

  25. AMMoverthinking
    AMMoverthinking avatar
    23 posts
    4 July 2020 in reply to Doz86

    I’ve had every test under the sun on my heart and lt was out down to my anxiety.

    Really can’t shake this breast issue lately. From all the poking and prodding and googling I’ve come up with one is more dense than the other and now I’m obsessing again. As I said my last ultrasound was only a few weeks ago but that does nothing to calm me.

    I’ve made an appointment with a female doctor on Monday to see if she can calm me down. Google just keeps telling me the worst. I honestly feel like I can’t get on top of this. My other doctor doesn’t seem to take me seriously despite the fact that he knows my families mental health history. It’ll be a long two days before I see this new doctor. I honestly just feel like crying.

    hope you are all doing well.

  26. Tugboat
    Tugboat avatar
    22 posts
    5 July 2020 in reply to AMMoverthinking

    Hi AMMovrthinking

    i have had health anxiety for 30 years .... it has covered just about every part of my body. Every bit of pain I have for more than a couple I think cancer straight way. OMG how draining is that, I cannot focus on anything other than my pain, then do the Dr thing and here we go test after test... over the years I have not had any major issues however enough still to make me worry. The one thing I refuse to do is google..... this would really spin me out! I am currently having anxiety over a blemish on my face which I have had for ages, but a freind said you should keep an eye on that.... SO HERE WE GO ANXIETY AGAIN. I have been to the dr and he has prescribed cream so hopefully that will help otherwise further testing....arghhh ANXIETY... I check the blemish every couple of hours which is ridiculous but I cannot help it.Seeing the Dr Thursday. It’s great we have a forum where we can discuss our crazy thoughts. Love to you ❤️

  27. AMMoverthinking
    AMMoverthinking avatar
    23 posts
    5 July 2020 in reply to Tugboat

    Thanks. It really is so exhausting.

    I did a similar thing last year about a lump I have in between my nose and I. A family friend commented which lead to a whole heap of worry. Mum has said I’d always had it, I convinced myself it was growing. My GP said he didn’t think it was anything but could be so gave me a referral to the dermatologist. Dermatologist looked at it and instantly went oh that’s a mole and I bet you’ve always had it. Did a thorough check for me overs whole body. Instantly I was calm. Until the next time popped up.

    Good luck at the doctors. Im currently in the process of taking myself in and out of cancelling my appointment but I know it’s for the best.

  28. Meg_611
    Meg_611 avatar
    22 posts
    5 July 2020 in reply to JEF15

    Hi Jef15

    how long have you had these symptoms for?

    My heart rate is normal rhythm but I feel like my heart is better twice as hard as it should

    when i lay on my back with a pillow my neck visibly throbs with my pulse

    does this happen to you?

  29. AMMoverthinking
    AMMoverthinking avatar
    23 posts
    6 July 2020 in reply to Meg_611

    Hi everyone.

    Just an update to say I went and saw a new doctor. A female this time. I thought about cancelling but my husband came with me to make sure I’d go in. She was lovely and we had a good chat. We’ve made a double apt for Friday so we can work on a mental health plan.

    Hope you’re all doing well.

    2 people found this helpful
  30. Meg_611
    Meg_611 avatar
    22 posts
    6 July 2020 in reply to AMMoverthinking

    That’s great news!
    I hope your appointment goes well on Friday too :)

Stay in touch with us

Sign up below for regular emails filled with information, advice and support for you or your loved ones.


Sign me up