Just a question...

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*I will start by saying in the end i think its all the same because fear is fear. *

This forum is a mix of many different anxiety disorders and some with a touch more that is intertwined. Ok saying that the label Health anxiety confuses me. I have ailments so i do know where my fears stem from at this time, mind you again the end result is still mixed with panic attacks and such and all the what ifs are there. People who have panic attacks get horrid symptoms and i can absolutely see how that forms health anxiety. But there seems to be another grouping on here that i think is OCD  but viewed as health anxiety? The obssesion  part.  Is this HA where you are healthy and just you prophesize or focus on illness?  That one confuses me because i think i have health anxiety from my issues of health ailments but never recieved that as a diagnoses i just thought thats what it would be called. I came from the ptsd route into panic disorders so im just trying to understand what HA actually consists of.   I am positive the labels make no difference at all and again fear is fear and it sucks on every level i just want to understand this HA label that is used so easily and seems to have the whole panic disorder thing going on so why would it have a seperate label? This is why i hate these labels that are given they are so broad and almost useless but i just want to understand them.


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  • Posted

    What is the first and main issue with anxiety...our health. What do our thoughts try to tell us...that something, everything, is wrong with our health. That is common to both GAD and HA.

    I was curious about the HA designation, so your post made me really think about it. I think it is all the same. The medical community likes lables. They are taught to identify a problem by name. Not really understanding anxiety at all, not having been there, they create names for things.

    Now social anxiety is a different thing. I sure do experience general anxiety, but I have absolutely no problem with social situations..ever!!

    Just wanted to toss my two cents in, Lisa.

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  • Posted

    From my understanding.... Health anxiety is when you feel pains and automatically think the worst. For instance, if I feel a pain in my chest I automatically think I have cancer or that I am going to die. Then it spirals out of control and all of the what ifs start. You can't stop thinking about it which seems to make the pain worse. In some cases I find myself going to the doctor constantly. Health anxiety is also hypochondriasis. I probably spelled it wrong. You always think there is something wrong medically. I was having ear pain constantly. I went to my doctor and urgent care twice. I felt what feels like a bone but bigger on that side behind my ear so I was convinced I had a tumor or cancer or something. I finally went to a specialist and he couldn't even feel the so called lump I was talking about. He said I was fine. I finally let it go. I still have pain from time to time but it goes away rather quickly because I don't freak out about it. Now I freak out about other things. I think your case is valid for sure! Just in a different form because you do have ailments. I hope this helps

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  • Posted

    Maybe that's the new term for hypochondriac, but I don't know. My younger brother used to always think something was deathly wrong with him, but he was young, and healthy. I don't think he's grown out of it, but it's on a more mild level, or so he has people believing. He's never gone and gotten checked out by a psychiatrist, but there's obvious anxiety running through him.

    I don't get health anxiety like that, only when something is going on. About 4 months ago my white blood cells were through the roof, and red blood cells were dying off, so I was being tested for leukemia. Liver enzymes were out of whack, and I was really sick, so the doc tested me for hep. He also sent me for a CAT scan to see if anything was brewing. The waiting in between tests and results really sent me into panic mode. Once I was told that a mass was found on my pancreas, that was too much, and I just lost it. In the end I needed to have my gallbladder out asap. Half of it was calcified, and could easily rupture. After surgery I was told that the gallbladder fused itself to my liver, was loaded with stones, had no bile, and wasn't working. Once in awhile a stone would escape, and that's what was on my pancreas. There were 5 incisions, and one wasn't healing very well, so I had a lot of anxiety over that, because I've had MRSA in the past. So, I guess I get health anxiety, more like constant panic attacks, when something is going on, and if I have to wait for test results.

    It's like we're all in the same boat, but paddling with different oars.

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    • Posted

      Im more similiar to you in that i get panicky when something is going and awaiting tests too, at this point even taking tests because i want to hear im good. oh these damn panic attacks are cruel. I am sorry for all your experiences and issues. I too have issues ..this sucks and its a double whammy to coexist with panic attacks and so much worry. And i like your analogy of being in the same boat with different oars.
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    • Posted

      It's extremely hard waiting for results, and when anxiety is added to the mix, you're right, it's a double whammy. I started to have a panic attack while in a waiting room before an MRI. That's typically not me, so I knew I was really bad anxiety-wise at that point. Aside from being sick, I had lost my mom to cancer just months before, so the timing was really bad.There were several complete meltdowns at home, but I think the body really needed that release. Xanax, and my meditation app were my best friends. lol

      I'm sorry that you have to deal with health issues as well. For what it's worth, I think having to deal with anxiety and panic attacks, along with the problems life throws at us, means we're stronger than most, and smarter than the average bear. We've weathered plenty of storms, but we're still standing, even if we wobble at times, it still counts. That take a lot of character.

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  • Posted

    Hi Lisa,

    I have oftened pondered this as well.

    I must start by saying that I don't have any kind of anxiety disorder. However, if I'm waiting for test results I am keen to know what they are - but I'm very pragmatic and I view it much as I view the weather forecast - why do people watch it? The weather won't change just because you know what it's going to be. I don't need a weather forecast to tell me if it's raining or snowing - I can see that from my window. And if I'm very hot outside, the sun is shining. Same with blood tests - for me. I just wait, interested to know. But if my children have blood tests because they're ill, I do get concerned - even though they're grown up now.

    Having said that, I think most people on this forum know that my husband is dying. So I don't worry about his blood tests, either - because he will die, anyway. In fact, he's stopped going for them now - too depressing - and we've discussed that he wants to die at home and are in agreement about withholding treatment that will make his life miserable.

    I originally came to this website because of my own addiction to benzos. Then I graduated to the alcohol forum, because my husband is dying of alcoholism, and I got a huge amount of support from the good people there. I have tackled my own addiction, which started along time ago due to a previous, violent marriage, and because I was a nurse and midwife I could steal sleeping pills from the drug trolley.

    I am now in treatment and really, almost off them. I have stopped smoking, too, about eight or nine weeks ago. And last week I started to tackle my unhealthy eating habits.

    But the question of what constitutes anxiety does occupy my mind. Because I spent so many years nursing and delivering babies, maybe I have a different perspective. Nursing really sick, dying patients became my forte after I stopped being a midwife, although I'd love to deliver just one more baby. Just one!

    And I also qualified as a Specialist Dementia Nurse, which is now my abiding interest in the health field. And of course, that includes terminal care, too, eventually, although I'm shocked by how many people don't realise that dementia is a terminal illness.

    OCD? Worrying about actual ailments? I have had one panic attack in my whole life. I have been part of the Anxiety Forum for quite a while now, because I feel that people who post on this site are in desperate need. I can read, respond, and be there. I cannot (often) say - yes, I have that, too. But I CAN say that my experience tells me that thousands of people DO suffer very badly from never-ending worry about their health, and they have a huge range of symptoms which have, quite frankly, astonished me. And one thing, too, that I have noticed, is that these particular people don't believe their results, no matter how many tests they have done. Personally I cannot understand that. But I would never be so crass as to say so to people - well, ok - now and again, when I'm not in a good mood, I've been less than supportive.

    But I know which posts push my buttons and I don't answer them. It is unfair to someone who is suffering ANYTHING to tell them that I, or anyone else, thinks that it's time to stop googling everything and get on with their lives.

    Having said that, google is very much to blame. It feeds people's fears. But we're stuck with it now.

    The Anxiety Forum has far and away the most members, of any forum on this site.

    I felt very upset and anxious when my cat disappeared for three days last week. I cried and cried and thought he must be dead. But I didn't get tingling in my arms, weird feelings in other parts of my body - I was just plain SAD and WORRIED about something that anyone who loves their pets would be desolate about.

    He came back after three days, uninjured but very hungry. So if I can make a comparison - once he was back, I stopped worrying. I didn't consider sticking up posters of him in case he wandered off again (i.e. I didn't go back to A & E for yet another ECG) Do you see what I'm trying to say?

    Perhaps this isn't at all helpful, because I'm not coming in from an anxiety sufferer's standpoint.

    That doesn't stop me from trying to support mega-anxious people, though!

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    • Posted

      You do a bang up job, Tess. You fill a void in this forum...an objective view of it all, and your wide knowledge of drugs. No one else that i have "met" here has those. Your mid wife background shows in your careing for people, and replying to them as if they are your "babies" Don't you even think you aren't needed, or of going somewhere without Darth Vader being sent to fetch you back.

      Your cheering teamrazz

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