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Hello, I'm new to the forum but thought I would post about my experience of living with health anxiety. I'm not entirely sure why? Maybe it will be good for me to open up about it and discuss with others about their experiences and maybe get some help. So..here goes.
I'm a 26 year old guy, I've never been particualrly confident in myself and suffered from panic attacks and an anxious feeling in my stomach for as long as I can remember but my health anxiety really kicked off a few years ago when I had a cancer scare. I convinced myself pretty quickly that I was going to die and my life literally felt like it was crumbling around me. I was even making plans for when I died (sounds silly I know) but it hit me hard. Luckily everything was okay and after numerous weeks of waiting for scans and continuous reassurance from the doctors I found out what I had wasn't cancer and it was treated pretty quickly.
Since that event though I feel like I've been left with a continous need to be reassured with everything. I also feel like I get ill more? Or I just notice things more? The thing is I can even tell myself in my head that it's ridiculous but it doesn't make the "what if this time, it's something serious" feeling go away.
I've seen some terrible doctors which hasn't helped, on some occassion they've even been the ones to tell me that Im suffering from something serious. One Doctor even left me in a consulting room for 45 minutes thinking I was going to have to be rushed in for an operation. She literally printed off details about the procedure I 'needed' and left me reading it until I was eventually seen by another Doctor. I've also found that as a result of health anxiety I suffer from severe stress which went undiagnosed for years. One Doctor was convinced I was suffering from a really nasty infection because my heart rate was up, got right up in my face and told me that he was going to let me go home BUT if I had the slightest change I needed to rush to hospital...helpful huh?
This has left me with a distrust with both how I feel in myself and doctors in general as well as panic attacks, stomach issues and a constant feeling of being ill with something or another.
I wish I was able to build up confidence in myself and get over this. I don't want to go on to antidepressents but I feel like everytime I go to my doctor she doesn't take me as seriously because she knows I panic.
So that's where I'm at now in life.
Have any of you had similiar experiences?
Does anyone have any help on how they've managed to deal with/overcome anxiety?
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