Health anxiety is ruining my life :-(

Posted , 7 users are following.

Hi all,

I've suffered from severe anxiety for about six months now. It started with headaches and fatigue, then I started getting panic attacks a couple of months later and now I am obsessed with my health and when I might die.

Today, for example, I woke up with a heavy right leg and also pain in my thigh and calf. My first thought was blood clot and now I've wasted another whole day worrying about it. This happens all the time to the point where I've become agrophobic and find it very difficult to continue with work and any activities I used to enjoy.

I've had six sessions of CBT so far and I'm not finding it great to be honest. I'm just so so tired of constantly being aware of my mortality and scanning my body for symptoms 24/7. Even when I'm out, like last night when I went to a comedy gig, the whole night I was scanning my body checking everything was ok and preparing to make a quick escape if necessary.

Can anyone else relate to this?

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7 Replies

  • Posted

    I can. I hear exactly what you're saying.

    it gets easier with time, and I used no panic helpline and recovery groups.

    relaxation can really help, I've got a 5 minute relax on my phone.

    i also found doctor Claire weekes books really good, they are old fashioned and have treatments which aren't used now, but she explains really well what is happening.

    listen to your panic, and remind yourself that you haven't died before, and you will learn to live with it.

    ive had anxiety, panic and agoraphobia for about 13 years now, and I've had better times and rough times like you are. Once I started to accept things, the health anxiety eased.

    im not going to pretend to be better, because I'm not, BUT I see my old self now more. 

    I hope you find some peace.

     

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  • Posted

    Yep exactly how I feel. It comes in bouts for me, like I can go weeks worrying and checking things and then I may be okay for a few weeks but then it's back again. Sometimes I get a pain in my leg and think yep it's a blood clot. Or I have a headache and it's a brain tumour and the list goes on. It's horrible it really is. And I can't even give you much advice as I'm just as bad really, all I do is try and do things to keep my mind off it. Not that it works sad
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  • Posted

    I did type you a lengthy reply but it's been sent for moderation as I included names of other organisations.

    things do get easier, relaxation really helps, even if it's sounds useless, it does.

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  • Posted

    I completely understand where you are coming from. I'm exactly the same and have been for some time at first it was more to do with my phobia of being sick which is still a problem but since January it's all about my heart health it doesn't stop the constant worrying. I've hat cbt and did nothing for me other then tell me about anxiety which I already know. I guess we as health anxiety sufferers need to first accept it's health anxiety and not a real physical illness. But I agree it's all the checking that mentally drains u. I just try to stay as active as possible even when I feel like I'm gonna drop down dead as sometimes my chest pains are so bad. Stick with it and maybe try writing down how u feel I sometimes find this helps express how I feel. Have u seen ur doctor and talked about the problem. Are u ok on any meds?

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  • Posted

    Hi Tigerlily - Obviously the first thing to say is that you need to pay attention to physical symptoms and get them checked by your health professional. Hang in there with the cbt, it is about learning new mental skills and that can be difficult when you are afraid or in a strong emotion.

    We are all mortal. You don't need to be aware of it any more than you are aware of gravity. It is just a fact. Not good, not bad, just a fact and we are all in the same boat!

    You will be able to overcome this when you find the right way for you to interrupt the cycle of thoughts and feelings that gets triggered when you notice a physical sensation.

    It is something that you can absolutely learn to do .

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  • Posted

    I know exactly how you feel but keep at the CBT and carry on doing what you've learnt in your sessions in your own time. Be open minded about it. I'm on a break of CBT and it's the best thing you do.. There will ALWAYS be ups and downs and CBT doesn't get rid of the anxiety, it helps you learn how to deal with attacks! It took me 13 sessions before I was given a break and in the 2.5 months I've had off I continuously find myself looking back at what I done in sessions but I 100% feel better!

    Have you ever been offered meds? I'm on citalopram with mine and both together have changed my life to how I was!

    Keep at it! Things will get easier! All the best!

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  • Posted

    Yes. Have you had a full health check? 
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