Help, my health anxiety is through the roof.

Posted , 3 users are following.

I'm a 31year old mum of one. I've had health anxiety since I can remember and counseling twice; once age 9 and once age 13, though neither times really helped.

I've always sort of muddled through having the occasional melt down, but I think it's easier to muddle through when you can just go out and forget or try to)

My big fear is cancer. EVERYTHING is cancer. Since september last year I have been slowly spiraling out of control. It all started because I felt tired all the time (I do have a 2 year old son) maybe not absolutely physically fatigued, moooore kind of brain fuggy and detatched. Difficulty to concentrate, yawning when talking to people, forgetful, unable to feel really happy etc. I have to point out here that I have a wonderful home life with a great partner and an adorable, if slightly difficult son. AAaaanyway, in October I got a really bad shoulder and neck pain (possibly from doing 7 hours of knitting) and the next day had to call in sick to work because it felt like my lungs were compressed and I couldn't breath. I eventually went to the Dr's in tears with a long list of about 20 symptoms. She was sympathetic to my dribbiling hysterical mess and sent me for full blood tests and a chest X-Ray. The week of waiting was awful. Then I got a letter from the surgery telling me my white blood count was low. I had a complete breakdown. dizzy sweating, unable to breath, feeling sick, could nt eat etc etc. It was around this time that I had a little thought pop into my head that just went, "This will be your last christmas" more like a prediction I guess. Horrible.

So I went back to the Dr and she appologised, said that the letter shouldn't have been sent and there was nothing to worry about with all tests being fine. She offered me some counseling which I agreed to set up.

A month later my mum was diagnosed with secondary breast cancer in her spine and pelvis and given weeks to live. She had been undergoing tests for a bad back for ages and her breast cancer was 14 years ago then suddenly, BANG. Cancer.

This was the final straw. I had at the time an outbreak of possibly IBS, left side pain and tender left ovary. I was now convinced it was Ovarian cancer. The breathless uncontrolable shaking happened 3 days after the news.

My mum was taken into hospital and given further advice that she would be given treatment and could expect to walk again, in fact today we are waiting to find out the latest prognosis.

Since then I had further tests from the dr which came back only with a marker that I could possibly have gallstones (another drs trip in tears) and we've moved 150 miles away due to work .

I find it incredibly hard to think about my mums condition without immeaditly worrying that I, too have undiagnosed cancer, which in turn makes me feel like a horrid selfish person.

My symptoms have changed now too, my back and shoulders click when I breath in or move, I have lumps in my shoulder blades ( which my partner says are muscle knots) and I'm now convinced I have breast cancer thats travelled to my brain ( my oartner has also checked my breasts and assured me ther are no lumps)

I guess my question is HOW DO I STOP???

If I goto the drs I get so petrified while i wait for results I can hardly breath , and the relief only lasts a day before I find another symptom I fogot to mention. This is ruining my life and it's horrible for my family. I can't even motivate myself to make new friends because I just keep thinking that by christmas I wont be here.

Sorry it's such a long post.

oh, I'm top end of a healthy bmi, eat mainly good food (just a little too much good food) ex smoker of 4 years, drink occasionally.

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5 Replies

  • Posted

    Well I really feel for you, health anxiety is one of the worst things I deal with. As soon as one fixation starts,another appears! And we are so convinced that it means something terrible. Its not even important what the symptoms are,we can and do make ourselves feel whatever we are scared of. All I can say is, it's your anxiety in general that needs attention, the health obsessions are just a symptom, when the anx is under more control,  so too will the health obsessions. I know you've tried therapy, but this can work differently at different times. There are also different types of therapy, CBT is the most common and for me the most useless. I think talking to your GP about different therapy options might be really worthwhile. Hang in there! 
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    • Posted

      Thank you for your reply, it really does help, I'm sure you're aware smile

      Yes, I know I need to talk to my GP again..... need to register with one first!

      I have been trying CBT, I am quite good at talking myself down SOMETIMES, other times my countervoice is just too strong. It's just so hard. If i worry I feel worse, if I don't worry, I start to worry that not worrying is almost an invitation for something bad to happen (gosh, I really do sound crazy)

      What do you find is most effective? Especially whe you seem to be plauged by a myriad of symptoms >

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  • Posted


    know where you are coming from ,I am exactly the same we are our own worse enemy but think health anxiety does this and how you stop it I don't know.

    Sorry to hear about your Mum but we have come along way with a Cancer so fingers crossed, my Husband had it 3 times and has yearly checks and has been in remission for 7 years .

    I lost a sister in January to Alzhiemers so you can imagine where my thoughts always are.

    Let us know it goes




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    • Posted

      Hello smile Thankyou for taking the time to reply.

      It is truly horrible and destructive to those around us too. How did you cope when your husband was diagnosed ( I also find myself worrying about my son or partner getting cancer )

      My mum has just been told to expect years smile Not bad for a 70 year old young woman! I know that treatment is s much better than even five or ten years ago. My imagination only stretches to a fast diagnosis to death turnaround. Always the worst .

      I'm very sorry to hear about your sister, Alzheimers is in my family too and is a terrible thing to witness. I know my father, although a fairly fatalistic chap, often takes the online tests to try and detect any vague hint of memory issue. I look forward to being terrified of that at some point (if i'm lucky enough to make it that far)

      All I want is to wake up feeling refreshed without that constant fear of impending doom. The ability to think of the future without also thinking "but you probably wont be around for that".

      My brain is not my friend!!

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    • Posted


      you ask how did I cope you find the inner strength from somewhere,he was the perfect patient that made it easier,used to come home from chemo be sick then go back 2 days later for another lot.That is my fear now if it returned the state I am in now could not cope.

      The trouble as you say the brain we tend to see all the negatives when anxiety kicks in its breaking that cycle and thinking positive thoughts easier said than done.

      I know your thoughts I have thought that for nearly 3 years but still here,I know not living the life we want  but just live in hope one day we will get better.

      Keep posting on here does help.

      will always get back to you  when I am on

      Chin Up

      Joan xx

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