H i everyone,
First of all, thanks to everyone for posting on these boards...it is so helpful. I am a 55 yr old female who has had health anxiety since the birth of my second child at the age of 40. For some unknown reason it really kicked in big time when she was about 5 months old. I went on Paxil about then when I was worrying that I had everything imaginable. After gaining 30 lbs on that, my dr. switched me to Effexor which I have been on. I am on the lowest dose and helps control my day to day anxiety thoughts, but when I have to go to the dr for anything or my annual gyn or mammo visit, I worry for weeks before thinking they're going to find something for sure! I have a physical this Monday and I can hardly eat or sleep. I went for the blood work yesterday and I'm so scared it will come back with a terrible problem. Going for my mammo every year is torture and it takes all I've got in me to get there. Is anyone else worried everytime they go to the dr for anything? I'm not the type of person that goes to several drs for tests, or if the tests reveal that nothing is wrong I don't believe it...I just can't get myself to go to the dr without weeks of anxiety, dread, sleeplessness, stomach knots, etc. I'm always expecting the worse!. I'm crying as I'm typing this because I so wish I wasn't like this...it has taken over my life at these particular times. I'm sorry this is so long. Thanks so much for listening and be well. Linda
I feel for you because i can relate...Going to any kind of doctor makes me very nervous...I think it is because i am always worried they are going to find cancer. Next month is my mammogram and i am already starting to worry about that...My father had colon cancer years ago, so i really should be scheduling a colonoscopy for myself, but i just can't get myself to do it because i am worried they will find cancer.....Having a health phobia can be a very hard thing especially as we get older and need lots of testing...I wish there was some medication that could help with this...
I have health anxiety, health phobia, whatever you'd like to call it! I was diagnosed with OCD in 1996, have been on anti-depressants, (am on Effexor currently) and have decided to see a psychologist who specializes in OCD and anxiety - had my first visit with him this past Thursday - I know what you ladies are going through - in my case, though, I get 2nd and 3rd opinions on things - I'm embarassed I just admitted that! I am 41 with a great husband and 3 awesome kids - I feel that I'm not the wife and mom I want to be and that they deserve because of my ocd and anxiety! Anyway, if I had my way, I'd have a monthly mammogram for reassurance (and a monthly blood test!) - (my latest anxiety is breast cancer) my mom died in October of 2005 from leukemia and, although I've had health obsessions since before she died, I have to admit they've gotten more frequent and worse since she died. Whenever I do have an excuse to get bloodwork or a breast exam done, I feel reassured for a day or a week or so, and then I start obsessing again! I would love to hear from you both!
I cannot imagine myself going to the dr numerous times for blood tests or monthly mammograms. Getting there once a year is torture for me. I have just been on the internet searching statistics for leukemia, etc. getting frightened out of my mind. I'm so sure that I'm going to go to my physical on Monday and my blood test is going to have the dr send me for more tests, etc. My anxiety is so high that I can hardly sleep at night. After I do fall asleep I am very restless and wake up early. I constantly have the fight or flight feeling, like I can't stand being in my own skin. After I get reassurance from my dr that all is well I'm on my merry way until the next exam whether it be mammo, gyn, dentist, etc. This is a terrible affliction and I wouldn't wish it on anyone. I do the statistic thing where I look up how many people are diagnosed each year with leukemia (44,000) and compare that to other diseases and the likelihood that I will get it. It is a viscous cycle that leaves me exhausted and so upset. I so wish I could control my negative thoughts.
Supermom3 - please don't feel I was being insensitive about your mom. I didn't think about what I typed regarding leukemia until after I had sent it and then thought about what you had typed about your mom. I'm sorry if I upset you.
lin14534, I'm like you i would like to put off having test done, because i feel when you have test done they always seem to find something....My current fear is breast cancer and colon cancer..I would truly like to get over this phobia also, but i think i have had it all my life. I can remember being a kid in high school and always thinking i had cancer. I just hope that i didn't pass the trait on to my 3 grown daughters..I think 2 of them might have a slight case of it. I don't remember my mom always thinking she had cancer, but i do know that she would always be real caution with us so that we wouldn't get sick....Not alot of people know that i have this phobia but it is kinda a joke in our family that if anyone has anything they will ask me what i think it is because i have looked up so many symptoms i could almost be a doctor...but my diagnoses are always the worst possible thing it could be..
Yes, just like you I remember thinking these things when I was young also. I remember when I first realized that some day I would no longer be here on this earth. I was 10 or younger and remember lying in my bed very frightened just thinking about dying. Maybe my anxiety started way before I thought it did but just got so much worse in perimenopause. I hate that I always expect the worse! Why can't I just go to my physical and not be so frightened I'm going to hear something terrible from the dr? My sister is so different from me, she is so calm and matter of fact. My family members and also female friends at my former job all know how I am and how I obsess about medical issues. My husband and one of my daughters is opposite of me and my younger daughter (15) has some anxiety issues like I do. Are you around my age? (55) It's hard having to go for all these tests year after year. I guess I feel that if I am ever diagnosed with something terrible, I won't be able to handle it.
I don't have any symptoms, but there have been two people that I know recently that had leukemia that really upset me. One was a 79 yr old neighbor of my parents who had had his annual physical, everything fine with blood work, etc. and four months later he started getting bad pains in his check area, went to the hospital and was diagnosed with leukemia. Four months after he had his complete physical and everything was fine!! He died a few months after being diagnosed. The second person is a guy I went to school with (we're both 55 now). Went to his dr for a physical, no symptoms, dr felt that his spleen was a little enlarged, sent him for a blood test, and he was diagnosed with CML. I guess this is the kind of leukemia that you just watch and wait, no treatments in the beginning which can go for a couple of years and when it hits the "blast" phase thats when it gets bad. It just so happens that I was in the hospital waiting room with my dad who was waiting to have a colonoscopy a few years ago and in walks this guy with his wife (both went to school with me). He had woke that morning with big knots in his armpits and knew that something was wrong. He was immediately admitted and after being put on chemo, etc. he had a bone marrow transplant and has been pretty good now for a few years. He was very lucky they found a matching donor. Anyway, whenever I have to go to the dr I freak that he's going to find something. It could be my gyn appt., annual physical with my GP or my mammogram every year. For my physical tomorrow, of course he sent me for a blood test before I come in, and all I can think about is that I'll have some kind of bad thing show up in the blood test. It is a fear I can't seem to shake and had a pretty bad night last night. Hardly got any sleep anticipating my appt tomorrow morning. I don't feel I could handle any bad news and I see myself losing it right there in his office. I truly have to get a handle on this...I'm so sorry about the loss of your mom. I can understand why you fear cancer. Thanks so much for listening and responding to me. It helps to know that there are others out there who feel the way I do. Please keep in touch any time. Are your fears as bad as I feel mine are?
As far as my fears being as bad as yours or not, I am the type who wants to constantly know that nothing's wrong with me! When I get in one of my anxiety phases, I'll wake up in the morning feeling positive, and then I'll think, "before I get on with my day, I need to obsess and re-think about the health hang-ups for a few minutes!" how pathetic does that sound!
I'm sure your blood tests and physical will be fine! Try to be positive and reply and let me know how things go tomorrow!
Linda, I have a good feeling that all your blood work will turn out fine and will be waiting to hear tomorrow how everything went. I am 48 years old and I have been on birth control pills since i was around 30 for hormonal reasons and now i have gotten into my head that i am going to get breast cancer because i have been on hormones for so long...so that is why everytime i go in for a mammogram i am just sure i will be getting a call back..I am not due for a mammogram until October,but i am already dreading it..I am a christian so when i start to let all my health phobias get to me i try to calm down and think that fear is a tool from the devil and I am letting fear rule my life instead of having faith in God. If the worst does come to pass and i get cancer I will try to believe that God let that come into my life for a reason, and God will help me through it.. That does seem to give me some peace.
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My goodness, I see I am not alone at all in my fears. I do not go to the doctor all of the time but when I know pap and mammo is due I start stressing a month prior to a point I get depressed. Then I go for the tests and truly freak out the entire time awaiting my results. I will look up all I can on the internet and start thinking the very worst scenario-then my heart beats fast and I feel so much panick. I start to eat excessively-and I know this sounds horrible-but my brain says EAT! If you are dying your weight does not matter-then I will gain around 5lbs in the waiting of my test to then find out they are normal but now I have to freaken lose weight. I go through this every year and it truly consumes me. My mother has advise me to take it easy because these necessary test are a normal part of life and I should not worry until it is totally necessary. Yeah right -easier said then done.