Illness or anxiety?

Posted , 5 users are following.

Hey guys. I've been experiencing health anxiety now for about 8 months. It all started from a melanoma scare (luckily all came back clear). Since then though I've obsessed about every illness under the sun.. From cancers, to heart attacks to strokes to meningitis, everything I could think of. For the past two months though, I've experienced constantly dizziness (such as feeling off balance), headaches, forgetting everything, depersonalisation, lightheaded , weak knees and numb muscles in face and arms, feeling like I'm falling etc. I don't sleep well anymore.. I always wake up in panic attacks or it takes me ages to fall asleep. I'm worried because I don't know if it's anxiety or other things, today has been really bad, all day I've been feeling like this, at work I've had to block off panic attacks, crying, and losing my cool. Is all of this because of anxiety.. Or is my anxiety bad because I'm actually experiencing symptoms of a severe illness?? I honestly don't know what to do anymore, I feel like a lost cause, my relationships are affected, and my work life. I miss the old me, I feel like I should just call it quits and give up.

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  • Posted

    Hi yes they are all symptoms of anxiety. It's crazy the amount of different symptoms there are. I have suffered from anxiety and health anxiety too although I don't have actual panic attacks at one time I was in a constant state of panic. It was horrible. Just wanted to let you know you're not going to feel like this forever. Mine is now totally under control and I although I do still worry about my health it is in no way controlling my life ?? One thing I always found difficult when I was poorly was that I couldn't even remember a time when I felt normal and thought getting better would never happen. The good news is it works both ways, when you feel well you will find it hard to remember what you feel like right now! I promise you.

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  • Posted

    the trouble with health anxiety is that even though the symptoms of any illness we imagine will appear, they are realy symptoms.  Its just that the cause of them is the anxiety and not the illnesses we fear.  its very hard to accept, therapy can help to deal with the root cause of the anxiety though
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  • Posted

    To start you are not a lost cause. You need a lot of knowledge on all this. I sent you some some stuff in your message to help you gain the knowledge to understand what is going on. We are human machines. Our mind language comes in "thoughts" our bodies language comes in "feelings" these two interact all the time. When the same thoughts occur...or. The body sensations occur..they form a connection..like a shortcut. They work both ways. A program if you will. So eventually you get a pain the body say i got this, i remember this feeling we panicked it dangerous  okay and shoots off the fight or flight. response. So be very aware of your thoughts and try not to react to the negative ones. Not ignoring them but acknowledging it, respond to it ..rationalize it out here as you would learn in cbt..and do not react to it. The same in reverse. A habit takes 21 days to squash. A preprogrammed situation like a anxiety disorder can take up to a year and that with constantly being in top of it. Along with this you will have to change. Basically your personality which is difficult but doable. How you reapond, how you cope, how you think all have to change.  You can not do the same thing, think the same thoughts, have the same reactions and expect different results. Wont work.Just wanting the change wont be enough there has to be a reaction that different. Every new knowledge, tool and skill you acquire will also cause a connection and when used over and over will hopefully eventually squash the old ones. Setbacks happen, life hapoens thats okay but a lot need to go into over riding your automatic reactions at this time. There's a mal funtion. Those aches and pains you feel are a reaction to the fight or flight response of chemicals shooting thru you, muscles clenching, body tensing all the negatives here. Hopefully you have a good strong diet to aid your body in dealing with all this.They are the "symptoms" of a panic disorder.  they can effect 70% of your body so be aware they can go away, change, bully you..etc.. You worried you have a disease becasue you have no understanding and knowledge about what is going on. Self preservation is in play here. I feel like im dying i must have something really wrong with me..and off to google you go or the doctors or the emergency room whatever poison you have chosen. Saying that always have a full exam so you know you are all clear to focus on anxiety.How can you even think all these negative thoughts, all the adrenaline, cortisol and epinephrine shooting thru, with lack of sleep and a poor diet would not give you symptoms? Of course it does and it would and yea youre  going to have headaches its so busy in your thoughts and so filled with negative thinking you are not leaving any room or time to relax. We all do it. Youre not alone. But its time now to understand it all. You have to retrain yourself basically theres no other way. Some use meds to help, some dont..you do need cbt, therapy and skills and tools to handle this. And by all means what you "feel" is real, but not dangerous or a disease. Some people do have ailments and an anxiety disorder too but they are still two seperate entities. I throw to you huge air hugs and just know and believe in time you will understand this very well and denial will be gone and you will be able to focus on your healing and recovery. 

     

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  • Posted

    I agree with Lea and JMC. You are fortunate that you know it is anxiety. People, like me, who did not know, truly believe they are horribly ill or going to die.

    In that state, somehow I got myself to urgent care and was seen by a doctor who fortunately recognized an anxiety attach when he saw one, and prescribed an anti anxiety med. I didn't then know I was dealing with acute anxiety, but that med saved my sanity. I then came across this forum where I learned many ways to help my self.

    I would highly recommend meds. If your doctor won't prescribe, find someone who will. Too few doctors really understand or even believe what happens with anxiety. A psychiatrist will spot it in a visit or two and prescribe. Check it out. Once they have calmed you and you feel like you have your life back you will find many ways to deal with this...and this is one of the places to find that.

    All will be well, actually, all is already well..., with anxiety, expecially at the beginning, we just don't know it.Take care and stay in touch, Jackie.wink

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  • Posted

    I want to start by saying you are not alone. Trust me, my life went from active to being anxiety's slave in an instant. Im convinced they just haven't found out what's wrong yet.

    I'm short of breath, palpitations, dizzy, severe dry mouth, I have to force myself to breath, internal tremors you name it. When one goes away a new one appears. It's an exhausting cycle. But you know what? I won't let it win. I'm not going to be a slave to anxiety. I'm tired of it. Im giving it the middle finger and moving on with my life one baby step at a time.

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  • Posted

    All the symptoms you said you've been getting lately is exactly the same as me! And I too have obsessed with different things. First it was my heart, then my lungs, and at the moment it's a toss up between brain tumours and meningitis.

    It's like every single symptom is screaming "severe illness! I'm gonna die" but everyone else tells me to 'get over it' - if only they knew how bad it was.

    I think I'm finally coming to terms that this is what anxiety does to people, and it only gets worse the more you let it take over. I know this and yet I can't stop myself from worrying. Anxiety sucks.

    I hope your symptoms ease up for you, maybe going to a doctor and getting checked out would put your mind at rest once he tells you that there's nothing to worry about? I know it's easier said than done but sometimes having clear tests results, solid evidence, right in front of you helps show you that it is anxiety you're dealing with, and not some severe illness.

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