My health anxiety story

Posted , 4 users are following.

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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  • Posted

    I'm exactly like this. Although I haven't had a serious illness I believe I am living with an undiscovered one. I am rarely sick and never extremely tired so this would point to the fact that I don't have one. I focus on everything small I see and convince myself I have all the symptoms. I thought I was having heart failure a couple of weeks ago and ended up in the emergency room. I have had blood tests and chest xrays done and the doctors seen nothing on these. I keep thinking about death and dying and it's ruining my life. I'm gonna start tablets soon to see if they help.
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    • Posted

      I'm sorry to hear that Tara. 

      I'm the same. I find the smallest thing then convince myself it could be something, then no matter how much Im reassured I can't get it out of my head until I've had tests etc and then I move onto the next thing. 

      If only there was a quick fix but I don't want to be put onto pills that are going to completly change my personality either. 

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  • Posted

    glad ypur cancer scare was not cancer! (i am always convinced i have undiagnosed cancer). your docs really seem to be highly insensitive to your health anxiety, though. can you change doctors? i would try talk therapy if i were you, to try to break your cycle of needing reassurance. i can totally relate to wanting reassurance - i have that need, too, for my health anxiety - but it sounds like you could benefit from some help to put it all in perspective and relation to the actual situation. hang in there and seek some support!
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  • Posted

    Hello danjames, you are in a vicious circle and it needs to be broken. This might amuse you and everyone reading this post, but think about this for a few moments. Look at the lives of the closest relative to man the bonobo chimp. Have you ever seen a chimp that has anxiety or depression. Banobo's family life is all about three things a cohesive family unit, lots of sex, this is used to passify others and act as a bond. I am not advocating you going out and having sex with your family members, it is not in our culture nor is it lawfull! The last thing is apes eat a lot of BANANAS. Bananas have a chemical in them that makes chemical changes in the brain but nowbody knows why? but it does keep them happy.

    Changing the reactions your internal thoughts and external thoughts. Internal thoughs. You forgot an important interview and on thinking about it you say to your self I'm stupid and useless. This is called altered thinking, this can then set off a chain reaction inside you that affects the way you feel and what you do. This can make you feel really bad and can lead you to have real physical feelings. External thoughts is where you actulally see things that might be beyond your control, with regards to your  interview. " I could not get to that interview because there was a train strike on at the time" or  "I never had a clean shirt to put on" You can see the difference between the two.

    There is a really good thing to come out of the dreaded circle and that is it can also rotate in reverse. Just by looking at things diferently is a change for the good.

    internal feelings and thoughts "I didn't really forget that interview because the what job was, was to repetative and I would have been too good for it. I will look for a better job to suit my tallents" also If I had really wanted that job I would have prepaired for it the previous day ie "A clean shirt that I had washed myself". These are the good feelings

    The circle has 4 sections that follow on from each other. They are Altered Thinking which turns into Altered Feelings causing altered Physical Symptoms and unfortunatelly turns into Altered Behaviour

    If you looked at the situations above, you are one your way to change the way you think and feel. That small change will start to change your life for the better.

    Dan don't blame the doctors for the way you see the world. Your world is focused on only you at the moment, if you argue with me on that subject then you are in denial. Ok some doctors are old school and their bedside manner is off putting but don't give up. Because of the way you feel at the moment any one that disagrees with what you think is right can expect the way you see doctors and other professionals. With any talking therapy it is up to to you to make the change not the counsellor. They are there only to get you to talk about your problems and get you to see how you can change something in the pattern of your thoughts or life style so that you can go forward. Talking therapies do work. in the 80's there was a study of 3 different types of talking therapies that used different schools of thought. After thousands of hours spent in observing counselling sessions and comparing the results they found that all 3 theories of counselling worked. They summerises that any talking therapy was theraputic to the person with the problem. Best of luch Peter

     

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  • Posted

    Have you looked into mind body healing? It is used in many cancer clinics and is very helpful. The more docs you see the more diagnosis you get. I have ailments and it sucks but you are not one dimensional. Physical is part of it not the whole of it. 
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