Health Anxiety is ruining my life! Is my mind playing tricks on me?

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I have had health anxiety since I was 34. I am almost 42 years old and it still consuming my life. My coworker said it seems like I always need something to worry about. I don't see it that way. Now that I am getting older I constantly worry about my health. I have gained weight but I am afraid to lose weight. If I lose a few pounds I start to think I am sick and dying. Recently I found a weird brown spot in an unusual place and honestly I didn't think much of it until my boss had a biopsy for skin cancer. I immediately went into panic mode and made an appointment. My anxiety was so out of control that my sons father stopped talking to me. We didn't talk for almost two weeks and I had not one anxiety attack because I was so focused on thinking he was with someone else. We are now talking again and he explained that he doesn't understand anxiety and I need help. Now I am back to having anxiety. I feel every single twinge of any pain and think I am dying. I am now freaking out because obviously I am going to die one day. But how? When? Will it hurt? Will I be alone? Where will my kids go? I don't have much family or support. I see elderly people and it causes anxiety. Disease commercials freak me out. I am starting to think my coworker may be right. How come I didn't have anxiety when I was consumed by something else? Any thoughts?

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  • Posted

    Your mind was preoccupied with thoughts of your son's father, and didn't have time to worry about health concerns. You've pretty much found help in your own question. When the mind is busy with other things, it doesn't give anxiety a chance to ruin your day. That's not to say it won't creep in once in awhile, but it's to show you that you have the power to control it, so don't feed the fear. You might need the help from meds or therapy, but a doctor can get that sorted out.

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    • Posted

      Thank you. I do have a psychiatrist and I am prescribed xanax. Xanax helps but I hate taking meds. I think the part that sucks is that I have to be completely consumed with something else that is negative for the anxiety to stop. When I have random pains and I start to worry I take xanax as a test. If the pains go away I know my mind is making it worse. Nine times out of 10....the pain goes away. Anxiety is the worst thing that has ever happened to me. Thanks so much for listening!
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    • Posted

      Saying...I hate taking meds....when your body is begging for help, is like saying...I hate ropes...when you're drowning and your body is begging for help, but you refuse the rope being tossed to you.biggrin Lighten up and do what is good for you, Being on meds is like using crutches when your leg is broken. Think about what you need right now, not what you don't want. Of course, your choices are all yours. Think about this withour predudice.

      No matter what you decide, we are all here for you. We are backing you up...you are not alone, Honey girl.

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    • Posted

      Thank you! My therapist basically says the same thing. She tells me to take my xanax before I freak out but I wait until I freak out. I guess I am past the "as needed" stage. She said if I take one in the morning the chances of an anxiety attack is less likely. Xanax makes me tired and I don't want to become dependent. On the other hand..... This is my life and one of the tools I need right now is my medication. I know stress is a trigger so I am also working on stress management.

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    • Posted

      Good thinking, dear one!!! If your med makes you sleepy, and taking a nap isn't possible or doesn't help...ask for another med. It takes a try or two for many people to find the right med that suits them. You sound like you are getting a handle on this. We are always here for you...you are not alone.

      My med makes me sleepy, too, but I am retired and live alone, so I can lie down whenever, and the med does a good job otherwise. Find something or someone to laugh at...lol

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    • Posted

      I know exactly what you mean. I'm 45, and have had to deal with anxiety since I was 23. I've gotten to the point of basically telling myself off when anxiety gets bad. Sometimes it helps, usually because I end up laughing at myself. I also have the help from Xanax, which is a lifesaver at times.

      There's no need to focus on something else that's negative in order to get relief. That's anxiety making you think that. Try focusing on something positive or fun. I like to put my earbuds in and get lost in the music. You know that saying "Dance like nobody is watching", do that. lol It doesn't matter if you can or can't dance, or if you have rhythm or not. Put on something upbeat, and go for it. lol That helps to get rid of energy bugs too. smile

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    • Posted

      Yes, xanax can be a life saver. I feel like it flips, the anxiety switch! I will definitely take your advice! I find myself saying "stop! You are fine! " over and over..... It helps but not all of the time.

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    • Posted

      I was not one for meds either. I lived in a small town and meds for the brain was a no no. The anxiety consumed me so bad that I could no longer function, I was totally broken. I saw a psychiatrist and got on sertraline and got my life back. 13 years ago I started and I am now on 150 mg/day and I will never stop taking it. I decided to wean myself off at one point and I got extremely sick again. I take a pill for my thyroid, so why not my brain
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    • Posted

      Exactly! Anxiety is real and I am so thankful for medication. I tend to try to wean myself too and my psychiatrist tells me not to do it. I had to come to terms with the fact that she is the expert! I don't want to rely on medication but obviously my brain is sick so to speak..... I wish I didn't have this horrible thing. At least it can be managed.... Right?

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    • Posted

      Yep, I've just resorted to kinda cussing myself out, but in reality I must be telling off the anxiety. Laughing is always good as well. If something like Impracticable Jokers is on, I'll watch it, even if it's a rerun.

      My psychiatrist told me the same thing as yours when it comes to xanax. Take it to prevent an attack, because once one starts, you're stuck waiting for the pill to kick in. So, if it's a high anxiety day, I'll take preventive measures.

      This forum is really great, because there's always someone around to talk, and everyone is so helpful. We may not be therapists, but we're experienced vets. smile

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    • Posted

      I'm fairly new, too. I think I've been here for two weeks or so. Discussions can start off serious, but sometimes turn funny, and before you know it, hours have past and you're laughing. smile

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    • Posted

      I heard that if you break a mirror, you get 100 years of anxiety. Guess my naked tush must have wiggled too hard, because that mirror didn't just break, it broke into flames as well.

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    • Posted

      It is very manageable, I would be a very sick woman if I didn't stay on it. I'm also learning techniques on how to deal with negative thoughts that enter my mind but the pills allow me to live, work and enjoy my friends and family. You'll be fine, don't ever give up!

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    • Posted

      How many people refuse the rope thrown to them, even though they are drowning! Anorexics, like people with anxiety, can be helped...but are so focused on their story, on what they believe is true, they don't recognize the actual truth....they don't even see the rope.

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