I have suffered with anxiety, also incorporating ocd and hypochondria for a long time but it just seems to be getting worse as time goes by, (i'll try and keep this as brief as possible- IF possible!)
I have loads of different fears and things that make me anxious or things i obsess over but my main one really is I have worked myself up into a state where I am CONVINCED that i have an infectious brain disease, or im petrified of getting one, i found out recently there is a name for fear of brain diseases- Meningitophobia.
I know this is going to sound totally ridiculous to people reading but to me it is an entirely serious threat and takes over completely! but basically I have got to this stage where i have convinced myself that my brain is infected which makes me feel constantly 'contaminated', and not only that but i am petrified of the idea of infecting other people with the 'brain disease', and have made up all manner of ways that this could happen, and even though i know that they are physically and medically impossible, but i stil tell myself they COULD be real, i spend way too long researching on the net about brain and skull anatomy to try and reassure myself that my 'ideas' just arent feasable but i always doubt things or think what if they got it wrong... bla bla bla its just HORRIBLE!
And because of the anxiety I am like 'fixated' on my head and 'imagine' strange feelings I just convince myself even more that my brain is 'leaking' or whatever, and I get really bad physical anxiety symtpoms as well, headaches, burning skin sensations, irregular breathing, feelings of panic, random shooting pains, the list goes on and these symptoms just contribute even MORE to my fears, its just a vicious circle!
An example- for instance if I get like post nasal drip sensation, which i KNOW is normal and common i am thinking omg!! it could be coming out of my brain and could be infected! *starts to feel panicky* then my mind is going at 100 miles an hour, on one hind im trying to reassure myself thats im being stupid and its just anxiety and i have experieneced it before and just calm down and it'll pass, but then the anxiety part of me is making me doubt my rational thoughts, anyways then i'll be like in the bathroom SCRUBBING my teeth to 'clean' my mouth out and trying to clear my throat as much as possible and then drink water to make sure its throughly clean, although sometimes i will have to do this repetitively as it still feels 'contaminated' by which stage i just feel totally exhausted and drained from all the anxiety and wanting to get 'rid' of the horrible 'dirty' feeling... i also have to carry water on me everywhere i go so if i get this anxious feeling i can have a drink to 'wash' it away, (the anxiety is a lot less bad when im out because im not 'allowed' to over react to it, if that makes sense?! when im at home i am more likely to full give in to it and spend ages in the bathroom
I will get a weird sensation or pain in my scalp, which i feel as going into my brain, and then i will suddenly feel, or be aware of like a Postnasal drip in my throat or saliva production in my mouth which i am convinced is in some way contaminated, because i 'feel' the pain go right through my head even though if i am less anxious i will just feel it as a slight twinge in the scalp or head and dismiss it, its when im more anxious i will really focus on the feelings and my mind seems to exaggerate them :S
Sometimes I have even just imagined that as im breathing, the air is going directly to my brain (as in not through the blood vessels) and then i feel like i am breathing out contaminated air and might infect people! Also then my clothes, hair, whatever else i have breathed on will feel 'contaminated' sometimes after i have calmed down i am okay but othertimes i will still be convnced the clothes are contaminated days later. its just AWFUL and i feel like im going crazy! I know its just anxiety but its not like i can even avoid the thing that makes me anxious and progress through it slowly bit by bit.....
Also another side thing of this anxiety is because I am washing my teeth a LOT i am now worrying that I am going to cause myself to develop mouth, throat or stomach cancer and all because of stupid anxiety, and i'll actually end up making myself sick when if i didnt have the anxiety it wouldnt happen... also because i get myself so tense and tired from all the worrying i worry that maybe i actually DO have a disease that causes the physical symtpoms and its NOT just anxiety, im like maybe i have hiv or something else?! It just goes on and on... i know that things such as relaxation and exersize help me but most of the time im too anxious and tense to have the motivation to do them
Im not even registered with a GP at the moment so I cant even go and get an appointment, but even if i did i wouldnt know what to say cos i am aware even as the words come out of my mouth (or onto keyboard
) just how RIDICULOUS they sound and im worried he'll think im just weird, i am pretty open with my anxiety in general i will talk to anyone about it lol but i just dont go into 'specifics' cos i know peoples response will be 'what?! thats just stupid snap out of it!'
I have so much I want to do with my life and I enjoy my life and am happy without anxiety and it makes me so angry that i am like this and also very worried that i am risking my long term health by all of the physical and emotional strains i am putting on my body, i have already gained a lot of weight in one year due to eating to ease anxiety and i really want to get my life back on track!
Can anyone relate to this at all or offer any advice? I'd be *really* appreciative of some support