Health anxiety ruining my life

Posted , 4 users are following.

I'm at 21 year old male and this condition is ruin my life. As a kid I always worried a little more than most but never obsessed about it. I have been an athlete my whole life and really take pride in the shape I'm in. In high school and then in college I suffered a collapsed lung while playing baseball, both times it required surgery but I never thought about it once when it was over. As I got closer to my senior yr in college I realized I wouldn't come back and graduate but instead play the game I love so much for a living, it's honestly the only thing I know I'm good at and that's when everything started.

My first panic attack happened after getting hit in the face with a baseball, on the way to the hospital I kept thinking that I had some sort of internal bleeding, then my heart was going crazy, I couldn't breathe, my whole body went numb I thought for sure I was going to die. Obviously that wasn't the case but after that every time I would work out I felt as if my heart beat was irregular, I would get dizzy, short of breathe and literally run out of the gym. I started having panic attacks up to 10 times a day, I would look up every symptom I had and of course it got me to believe I had a blood clot in my lungs or a heart desease that was going to kill, it was all I could think about, I thought for sure I was just going to drop dead at any second. I went to every specialist possible all saying my health is great but I needed more, I was a regular at my doctors always getting tests done nothing was good enough for me. I started getting fluttering in my chest, chest pain, weak feeling in my body, hot flashes yet everyone said I was okay. I stared check my pluse every 30 seconds to make sure I was still alive. Clearly baseball had to be put on hold so I could get some help, and then I found out that I need shoulder surgery the one thing that can put a definite end to my career that almost hasn't even begun yet. Now I find myself thinking more and more about my health, I have again started to see specialist, all saying I'm fine but I can't stop thinking, for someone who has always looked a lot younger than he age, I can see myself aging quickly in the last 11 months. I can barely sleep at night, I take medics that's seems to help a little but the thoughts are always there, always having to know what the worst possible outcome of my symptoms are, it is ruining my life and doing it fast. I guess I'm just hoping that someone that has gone through this and found a way to make it better could help

Thank you for taking your time to read this

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  • Posted

    It sounds to me like your identity as a baseball player / athelete is being threatened. I don't know exactly what athletics mean to you and your sense of confidence / self-importance, but I do know from experience that releasing rigid pillars of self-identification and letting go of who you thought you were can be incredibly relieving. In fact, I think that this is a necessary part of growth. So basically I would suggest taking a few minutes to consciosly accept that you might not be a baseball player or an athelete, but instead you might be someone very different, even better or wiser, who knows. Think of it as an exercise in ego death smile

    Any ways, that has worked for me. Let me know if anything doesn't make sense. Cheers.

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    • Posted

      Thank you for the response

      To answer your question, being a baseball player is all I've ever wanted/known. It is everything to me, I was 1 year away from a college degree but decided to play instead which is all I've ever wanted. All through elementary, middle, high school that what I knew I was going to be and never thought about a fallback option. I've always told myself that I don't want an ordinary life, I didn't want to work a normal job and so far I haven't. I would be lying though if I said that this last injury doesn't have me thinking what if this ends it all? I really wouldn't know what to do with myself and that scares me, I've never had a plan B for my life

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    • Posted

      I would say that your lucky in the sense that it's clear what the source of your worries are. Obviously I don't have a quick fix but it addition what I mentioned above I would suggest that you reflect clearly and directly (perhaps in writing) about the question of "who you are". After all, it is your assumed identity that is in under threat, not necessarily the core you. Even if you wind up being totally fine and have a long successful career in baseball, I think that it's worth having a more flexible and resilient sense of self than what you've described. Completely tying up your self worth with one role can certainly be motivating and propel you to succeed, but trust me you can succeed without it.

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  • Posted

    Had panic since I was a teen good athlete etc I'm 39 now still feel exact same as your saying always think something is wrong I used to be in great shape too now I'm not in bad shape now just not like when I was younger it's very scary and frustrating

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  • Posted

    You're just like me, but I've suffered anxiety all my life and my health anxiety started when I was around 12 and I'm 18 now so I might have some tips on how to deal with it.

    First of all what you need to know is that 9 times out of 10, your anxiety is all in your head. And I know, it's hard to convince yourself that, whenever you're panicking just try to remember that and breathe.

    I'm no doctor, but your symptoms sound a lot like anxiety.

    Health anxiety is a process

    1. You feel a weird pain or feel something wrong

    2. You google it

    3. You find all these scary possibilities on google and are convinced you have a life threatening disease or condition

    4. You start panicking

    5. Your anxiety creates more symptoms - rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, fluttering of the chest, heart palpitations, etc etc

    6. You panic even more because you think those symptoms are coming from the "life threatening condition" you have when they're really from anxiety.

    So basically, you create your own symptoms and panic.

    The first and biggest tip I can give you is to STAY OFF OF GOOGLE. Google is your worst enemy, I could search "Causes of headache" and possible causes would come up as "Brain tumor, stroke, etc" when in reality my headache is probably caused by something simple like stress or lack of sleep. Just completely stay off of google for anything health related.

    Second tip, Distract yourself, and I know it's hard but try to create a calm environment, hang out with someone, talk to someone, start a new tv series, try something new, it might be a good idea to stay away from the gym for a while if it's increasing your anxiety.

    Third tip, stay away from caffeine or junk food, this is just gonna make your health anxiety so much worse for obvious reasons.

    Fourth tip, Herbs. I know, I know you're probably like "that won't help at all" but you should give it a shot, it can only help. When my anxiety is really bad I make some Lavender tea. Lavender really helps to soothe anxiety and stress.

    Fifth tip, try meditation.

    Try not to think the worst - You're not dying, you don't have a pulmonary embolism/blood clot, if you were you probably would be in extreme pain or be in the hospital by now.

    Medication is personally what I found to help me the most, it's not for everybody, but if your meds aren't helping all that much you might want to talk to your doctor about trying a new one, it can take a while to find the right one for you.

    Honestly, I wish I could tell you there was some magic cure to health anxiety but there isn't. But the right medication and lifestyle changes can help tremendously. Don't let anxiety cripple you, live life.

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your response, the anxiety process you described is pretty much exactly what happens on a daily basis. I too have felt the best when taking medicine but they seem to work for a month or 2 then wear off. My doctors can't prescribe me certain kinds of meds because they interfere with baseballs drug policy, same goes for trying a holistic approach I have to be careful with what I take. Just your response helps me realize that other people go through the same exact thing and that it is all in my head

      Thank you

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  • Posted

    In our early years of our teens and mid/late Twenties many worry about their mortality.

    Generally this can become pronounced if an accident happens happens at this time, like in your case.

    If you are having an opration on your arm or some other part of the body that can cause an overreaction and you become oversensitised to any damage you may feel you have, this can show up as an Anxiety. It is up to you to understand these fears and make positive moves to get past and conquer these feeling as belive me when I say throughout your three score years and ten.

    When we are suffering Anxiety you may need to take strong medications and bcause of that you will become more needful of tests and diagnosis for problems you do not have, you make a rod for your own back and your concerns can become more problematic and you start down a roadway that really you do not need to follow as your Health Concerns become self fulfilling.

    You need also move on from fears of Death, you have no choice but understand that we cannot do anything about that and when we are called we go and that is it. You can stamp your feet, make a tizzy or any other tantrum, you will die, you cannot stop that get over it and enjoy your life and live it like there is no tomorrow.

    Believe me you need to move on. I was like you in some ways and now I am a Pensioner, all the time I waisted in my teens twenties worrying about the end of my life, I was crazy. Yes I have had close calls, they are part of life, and we use these problems as a learning time and pick ourselves up again and move on.

    Enjoy your Sport stop worrying and live your life, why worry about a raft of problms that may just be minor, try and enjoy your Sport, life is on big adventure, Live it.

    B.

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