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Health Anxiety - I am losing my mind, I think.

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Old 09-24-2006, 06:34 PM   #1
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rachel1982 HB User
Thumbs down Health Anxiety - I am losing my mind, I think.

Hi everyone! I've spent a great deal of time reading through your posts and I am so glad I found this board. I have been suffering from anxiety as long as I can remember. It is mostly in the form of health anxiety, where I always think I am dying of some uncureable disease. Lately it has been so out of control. Looking back, I think it has become this bad around the time I got pregnant with my second child, who was born August 16th. Anyway, I can't seem to shake the feeling that I have some sort of cancer that the doctors are overlooking. It all stemmed from this stupid lymph node under my chin. One day I just noticed it (about a year ago) and since then I have convinced myself (due to symptom searching ) I either have Leukemia, Hodgkins or HIV. It's silly I still think this way considering I have been given numerous blood tests and they have all come out fine, but I can't stop thinking this negative crap and it's making me feel like I'm really losing my mind. The docs (I've seen at least 5) all seem to think this gland is completely normal and has probably been there all my life and I just happened to notice it one day out of the blue. I don't believe the doctors anymore, I keep thinking they overlooking something or not taking me serious (like they think I'm crazy so they are dismissing my fears). I know I'm being irrational but I just can't seem to control it.

Anyway, I went to a Psychiatrist for the first time last week and was diagnosed with GAD and mild OCD. Not surprising considering I have pretty much self diagnosed myself with this years ago. I guess I am just now starting to get sick of it controlling my life. She prescribed me Lyrica as I have been on SSRIs (Prozac, Wellbutrin and Paxil) and they never seemed to do much for me. This is a newer drug from what I understand used to treat chronic pain and forms of anxiety. She also gave me a prescription for Ativan to take on an as-needed basis. I haven't filled them yet but will this week so I can't give any update to whether or not they are helping.

Anyway, I just wanted to introduce myself. Sorry for the novel, guess I just needed to get that off my chest. Anyone else suffering from this sort of thing? It would be reassuring to know that I'm not alone.

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Old 09-24-2006, 10:04 PM   #2
Join Date: Sep 2006
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shorty21 HB User
Re: Health Anxiety - I am losing my mind, I think.

hey there, i totally can relate to how you are feeling i to have a hard time believeing my doctors, i constantly think i have a life treatning disease dispite the fact i have had several test(ct of head and chest, spinal tap, 2 ekg's, boocoos of blood work, also i wore a heart monitor for two days) i always think i have something that all of my doctors have over looked. i have been to the ER atleast 10 times in the past 6 months and my PA at least 30 times. I definatly know how you feel and what you are going threw, i guess what i can tell you as many doctors and friends have told me, and everyone on this board, if you had cancer your blood work would have detected it, your white blood cells would be extremely elevated, now i am not a doctor i can only tell you as i have been told because i to fear all the time i have brain cancer, or some kind of cancer or anything life threatning that would clam my life, i hope this thread helps in comfurting(sp) you i truly know how difficult it is, and i also know that sometimes it dosent matter what people say you have your self so convensed of something that is what you believe when it comes down to it, i hope you feel better and that i help at least a little.


Old 09-25-2006, 07:36 AM   #3
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Leela_C HB User
Re: Health Anxiety - I am losing my mind, I think.

Hi rachel1982. Welcome to the board. I, too, have horrible health anxiety. I just posted about my obsession with my heart. I think with anxious people that we have one little thing happen (or found) and it just spirals out of control from there. I wish I could offer you some suggestions, but I need some myself. I just wanted to welcome you. I'm sure you will get plenty of support from the members of this board. I sure have.

Old 09-25-2006, 02:09 PM   #4
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NYPeaceOfMind HB User
Re: Health Anxiety - I am losing my mind, I think.

Hey Rachel,
I am 30 & also have a swollen lymph node under my neck...have had it since getting mono last year. I went through the same exact experience & my doctor had the same conclusion... Since all of my tests have come back perfect, it has helped me zero! Unfortunately, I am still anxious & have problems "turning it off". My anxiety also causes me joint & muscle pain, chest tightness & heart palps... You are not alone & you might want to consider having a biopsy done if it will make you feel any better... Good luck & definately keep seeing the psych! Congrats on the baby too!

Old 09-25-2006, 03:36 PM   #5
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rakuz66 HB User
Re: Health Anxiety - I am losing my mind, I think.

Oh yes, I have terrible panic issues with incurable diseases. You are definately not alone.

Old 09-25-2006, 08:18 PM   #6
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Mvhrt HB User
Re: Health Anxiety - I am losing my mind, I think.

Anxiety and my belief that i am constantly ill are what powers my wild imagination and builds all sorts of irrational thoughts. I'm not as bad as I used to be, but can return to that state of mind really easy if I slip a little in my cognitive thinking. I went through a 8 month span of extreme anxiety and panic attacks (daily 5 or more) plus I was diagnosed with this anxiety crap six years ago... during this last 8 month span I lost 35 pounds due to the fact that i was so whacked out that I couldn't even swallow food without thinking I was choking. I have been on many meds including klonopin, xanax, valium, effexor, paxil, celexa, zoloft, lexapro basically if you name it i have been on it. I have been off meds for about 4 months now and have shocked myself by how well i'm doing.
I believe that issues with death or even illness are really expression of fear of losing control.... I'm a major control freak as everyone in my life likes to offer... when you feel like you are not in control of something such as not being able to stop and illness or even death it can send your mind irrationally thinking. I would take every tiny symptom I had (whether it was there or not but when you are panicy it is definetly there) and I would search the internet until I was good and scared... really bad idea. I have believed that I have had all sorts of cancers... all sorts of other things as well such as brain tumors (i hear that one is common), and even AIDS. I can relate very well to everything that is being posted on this thread.
How I got to where I am now in my mind took a lot of work... work that for the longest time I felt I was incapable of doing. I basically had to reconstruct my thinking. Every irrational thought that crossed my mind had to be deleated and replaced with another one as quick as possible.. after I was able to do that much I was able to reason with myself... like i'd say to myself well if i'm dying there isn't much I can do about it so why freak out? Or if I have a terminal illness than there is nothing I can do about it. I had to learn to let go of the control and I believe this is a key thing in getting better. There of course is no getting better it's all about managing and maintaining your anxiety, like i said before... one wrong slip of my mind frame and I know how easily i can fall right back in to where I was before. It's hard... I KNOW.
I'm certainly not an expert {REMOVED} what i'm saying is i'd be happy to answer any questions... i'm willing to help and i like to help. Anxiety boards really really helped me, just reading what other people have gone through and how similar their situations were to mine was a huge relief.

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Old 09-25-2006, 08:31 PM   #7
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Marconis HB User
Re: Health Anxiety - I am losing my mind, I think.

Rachel, you are not alone. Hypochondria is actually my worst form of anxiety. Every little ache I have is suddenly related to some life threatening disease. Ive found, like many others, that I am addicted to symptom surfing. Stop...we must stop. I know it's hard, but you can do it. Youre going to be fine.

Talk it out with family members...The best thing to do is joke about it, trust me. In the end, youll be laughing at how silly it is. I know Im not one to talk, but mine is a cycle so I cant really say Ive "conquered" it. Hang in there.

Old 09-26-2006, 05:56 PM   #8
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Virgo33 HB User
Re: Health Anxiety - I am losing my mind, I think.

Hi Everyone,

I am new here but have read anxiety discussions over and over and over again, just in case I have missed something or to try and see if anyone can relate to what I am feeling and have been feeling off and on for 17 years. I am 33 now and just recently (in the past 3 months) started having debilitating anxiety attacks again, they all revolve around fearing that I have a serious medical condition, cancer, hiv, anything strange you name it. In 2001 I experienced my first severe depression and became agoraphic from the anxiety symptoms, actually became depressed because of the anxiety and so and so forth. I ended up not being able to eat, sleep, work, think straight or function properly for about 2 months until I finally admitted myself to the ER and made them find out what was wrong with me. Nothing they said except mild OCD and Depression with anxiety. I was somewhat relieved and started Zoloft within 2 weeks I felt better and went on for 4 years feeling pretty normal again. Fast forward to now, I stopped the Zoloft a year ago and had only mild panic attacks until 3 months ago when they became more constant, to the point that I couldn't work and started calling in and spending alot more time with the doctor. She again said, anxiety and depression with OCD, I still was not convinced. This time I want to sleep all the time, still have an appetite most of the time, feel hot all the time, achy sometimes, dizzy sometimes, depersonalization sometimes, nausea in the morning, shortness of breath sometimes, you name it I pretty much feel it. I just want to know if anyone else lives with the symptoms on an almost constant basis or if I truly am a freak of nature. BTW scared to take the meds and have blood tests schedules for this week, hoping that will relieve some of my anxiety. I am truly worried that it's something terrible because of the way I feel, almost like I always have the flu or something? The feeling hot thing really has me concerned. Anyway sorry for the babble I would just like some input.

Old 09-27-2006, 01:13 PM   #9
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NYPeaceOfMind HB User
Re: Health Anxiety - I am losing my mind, I think.

I have just started dealing with anxiety/panic attacks for the last 4 months & I have dealt with symptoms every day since my 1st panic attack... My anxiety symptoms differ from yours, but it seems like everyone has their own unique combination of symptoms. You most certainly are NOT a "freak of nature" & many people struggle with what you are feeling. It has been extremely hard for me to accept that what I feel is directly related to my mind, even with a clean bill of health from wayyyy too many doctor visits... I find therapy to be very helpful & do talk to your doc about your symptoms & have some tests done... You have been through so much already, so give yourself some credit. You are a strong person & you have come a very long way! Best of luck & believe in yourself!!! You can beat this again...

Old 09-27-2006, 02:17 PM   #10
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Virgo33 HB User
Re: Health Anxiety - I am losing my mind, I think.

Thanks for the response, I appreciate your input, we are all so unique it's no wonder we have our own set of symptoms to deal with. I actually feel pretty good today but always afraid to say that on days like this for fear that something will creep up on me, I need to learn to embrace days like this and move on through this. I will keep ya posted after I see the doc.

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