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Old 01-27-2009, 06:58 PM   #1
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Anxiety. Fear of Health Problems, Cancer, Dying

I am a 24 yr old female who is going crazy inside my own head almost everyday for the last 3 years. Im not sure but I think it started after I had my son who is now 31/2. I am always feeling sick and always think I am dying of cancer or something terrible everytime I feel a little off. I used to go to the doctor 2 times a wk at least because of many different things and everytime was told there was nothing wrong or it was something minor. After hearing from the doc they couldnt find anything wrong with me whatever I went to see them for got better almost instantly. I think I am making myself feel sick. I get so worried I have panic attacks, cant sleep, and I cant enjoy things that should be fun cause in the back of my mind I keep thinking what if Im dying. I am so afraid to die and leave my son behind. We are each others everything. I also have swollen lymph nodes in my neck that have been there and not getting smaller for months now and I keep touching them every few minutes. Does anyone know if touching swollen nodes can keep them from going away? Im scared again, that these swollen nodes mean cancer and as I used to go to the doc every wk now I have become scarred to go because I am afraid to find out whats wrong with me. I feel like Im going crazy. Can anyone help or offer any advice Please?:

 
Old 01-27-2009, 08:23 PM   #2
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Re: Anxiety. Fear of Health Problems, Cancer, Dying

It sounds like your a hypochondriac. If you always go to the doctor and there is nothing wrong with you, you need to keep telling yourself that you're ok. I have anxiety and everytime my foot hurts I think its something worse, but I tell myself theres nothing wrong. Maybe you should look into an anxiety medication to help you with your worrying. Or maybe just some Xanax to help you relax. If there was something wrong with you, your doctors wouldve found it. You just have to keep reassuring yourself that nothings wrong or youre gonna live your life in misery.

 
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Old 01-28-2009, 08:33 AM   #3
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Re: Anxiety. Fear of Health Problems, Cancer, Dying

I know exactly how your feeling. I started feeling the same way about 3 years ago also after the birth of my daughter. I am all she has in the world and if something happened to me she would be forced to live with her dad who is worthless. My dad lived with heart problems as far as i can remember and that is what my fear became. I always worry about my heart, i went to several doctors and had hundreds of test done. They all showed my heart is fine. My issues started one day and sent me into a horrible panic attack and from that night till now i worry 24/7 about my heart. I was given several different anti-depressants but took none of them because im scared of the side effects. I did start taking ativan as needed and it helped alot. I would take it as needed then started taking it once a day at bedtime. I did that for about 2 years i guess and for the last month i have not taken any and im actually doing alot better with my problems than i have in 3 years. I continued to pray about my hypochondria and one night i was really having some symptoms that i once again thought was my heart....i said in my prayers that i am turning all this over to you God and my life is in your hands and im done worrying about this all the time and begged him to help me. Since that night i have given up the ativan and i do not worry as much as i did before. There will be days where i get a few symptoms that worry me but im able to let them go almost as soon as they start and my mind seems able to rationalize that im going to be ok and to not worry. Things stand right now also that if something was to happen to me my daughter would not go to her dad anymore, i took care of it legally and that has helped my worry alot also. Just keep telling yourself that your fine, this is all in your head...i do believe us that suffer from hypochondria and anxiety really make ourselves feel worse with all the worry. Talk with your doctor to see if they could give you medicine to help take the edge off, i was very firm on not taking anything but the ativan did help. Good luck!!! It helps coming here to see we are all suffering with the same thing and were all still alive

 
Old 01-31-2009, 09:05 AM   #4
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Re: Anxiety. Fear of Health Problems, Cancer, Dying

Hi! I'm completely new to this board. I haven't introduce myself yet so I hope that it's ok to start posting. If not, I'm sorry.

I feel like you and I are long lost twins after reading your post.

I'm a SAHM to a beautiful 4 year old girl who is everything in the world to me. At the beginning of this month I felt a pain near my left ovary and started looking online to see what it could be. I came up with various illnesses including ovarian cancer. The next morning I woke up with a terrible backache (everyone says it's from bending down and putting too much stress on my back). Remembering that lower backache is a sign of cancer I start freaking out. I got to one Primary Care Physicican worrying that I have cancer but telling him that maybe it's a UTI. He said he's 99.8% sure that I don't have cancer, took a urine sample, and gave me a prescription for antibiotics. I then developed UTI symtoms that night. The slowly went away but my backache was still there. Two days later the urine culture came back negative - no UTI. I start wondering why my back still hurt. I go to my OBGYN worrying it's ovarian cancer. She did a pelvic check and ultrasound and found a small cyst on my left ovary that is going away. Then I start wondering, well if it's not ovarian cancer maybe it's cervical, endometrial, or bladder cancer. I start researching those. Worrying that I'm dying, I start getting panic attacks...something I never got before in my life. The panic attacks are terrible in the middle of the night.

In full panic mode I go to my husband's doctor fearing that maybe it's colon cancer. She didn't seem concerned about that but said maybe it's something with my kidneys due to the location of my backache. She also gave me a prescription for Xanax. I got an ultrasound of my kindeys that day and after panicing for a day about the results and maybe that I had renal cancer everything came back ok. My mind was at ease for a day and then the panic returned. Why does my lower back still ache. I took a Xanax...backache diminished to a dull ache. Next morning I wake up with horrible shakes and no appetite. Now I'm worried about having no appetite and can barely bring myself to eat. My panic is getting worse and my family is upset at me because they know it's in my head but I'm afraid to believe that it's all in my head because what if I really do have cancer and wait too long to get treatment. Today I got back to the doctor with my stool samples to test for blood to make sure there is no blood there (symptom of colon cancer). The test came back perfect...no blood...so no colon cancer. My back is still achy. I spoke with the doctor for a little bit and she took my blood which will be back on Tuesday. Gave me a prescription for a back x-ray to put my mind at ease that it hopefully isn't a pelvic lesion which can cause a lower back ache (read horrible stories about that going untreated and young moms dying). She also gave me the number of a psychiatrist that I may want to talk to if all of my tests come back ok. My appetite feels better. Back still aches. I just want all of this to go away. I can't stop thinking and worrying about this stuff. This has been the worst month of my life. I'm hungry, nauseous, my energy is depleteing and I'm starting to feel depressed. It's affecting my life in bad ways. Everyone tells me that people who have cancer do not act the way that I am but I'm a worryer by nature.

Last edited by ms_mod; 01-31-2009 at 06:24 PM. Reason: Removed unnecessary quote. Ms_Mod

 
Old 01-31-2009, 01:17 PM   #5
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Re: Anxiety. Fear of Health Problems, Cancer, Dying

You guys sound just like me. My health anxiety also started when I had my daughter 13 years ago! I was also a single mother at the time. I don't think we can ignore that common thread. It must be the overwhelming feeling of responsibility. Just know that it does get better. I was doing pretty good for years but lately I have been worse. I am currently stressing over my blood pressure. I have always had really low blood pressure and then one day on a routine visit to my doctor my blood pressure was high (I had just gotten a nasty voice mail from my sister). I knew my bp was high due to the stress but it just sent me into a tailspin and now I have been obsessively checking it. Needless to say the more I check it the higher it goes and you know the deal. It sucks but I am hopeful that as my daugher gets more and more self sufficient I won't worry about my death so much.
I sent you all my good positive thoughts.
Ivy

 
Old 01-31-2009, 01:48 PM   #6
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Re: Anxiety. Fear of Health Problems, Cancer, Dying

I got the same fear 1 month before my son was born 4 years ago- conquered it within two years slowly and then felt great but it just came back full force 4 months after my daughter was born. But my husband has also been abusing me for 8 years which I failed to realize until it all blew up with his latest physical assault.

Now we are in a bitter custody battle and heading for divorce. My whole world is shattered as I have no friends or life since everything was through him.

I am devastated. I would have lived a great life without the fear if this latest incident never happened.

The first time, I got over it by just getting on with life no matter how I felt. Took lexapro, focused on my family and my amazing son. went on a cruise, tons of flights, trips despite my fears , just lived.

Now, my marriage is dissolving, I see my 4 year old son every other week for a week at a time because of temporary custody arrangement ordered by the judge and my daughter who is only 8 months every 3 days for three days at a time.

There is so much uncertainty and grief this time for me so I will likely never recover.

But, if all else is in tact for you,
Just do things you love, live, challenge your fears, take a who cares what happens attitude (because nothing will), feel the fear and do it anyway basically and then one day your fear will disappear and you feel so at peace and find that it was silly to live in fear full of confidence and enjoying life.

Last edited by tulum; 01-31-2009 at 01:49 PM.

 
Old 02-01-2009, 08:46 AM   #7
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Re: Anxiety. Fear of Health Problems, Cancer, Dying

Hi hmp,

You may want to consider having your hormones tested. These go haywire during pregnancy and perhaps you were left with an imbalance which is causing all of the symptoms you are describing, including the anxiety. You cannot go on living like this and you need to get yourself checked out for yourself and for your son.

As for the lymph nodes, they can do this from time to time and in my youth I used to have a couple of lymph nodes that came up and remained that way for some time before going back down. When I was a child this worried my mother and my doctor and I was tested for lymphoma but it wasn't that. The lymph nodes in your neck are usually the ones that fight off viral infections like flu virus etc.. so you may have been exposed to something (perhaps through your son ? little children pick up everything when they are at that age). I personally take a multivitamin everyday (just the basic one) plus 1000 mg of vitamin C (the slow release type as too much vitamin C at one time is a waste and you end up flushing it down the toilet in your urine). I sincerely believe in vitamin C, especially in winter when we are exposed to more bacteria and viruses because we don't go outside in the fresh air as much.

My personal experience has been less colds and flu and my lymph nodes never come up like they used to (sometimes I can feel them a little but nowhere near what used to happen ... like two marbles side by side). After I hit the age of 40 I also began to eat better (more fruits and veggies, protein and less carbs .. snacks consist of nuts that are high in calcium, magnesium and omega 3 like almonds and walnuts) and I now limit my alcohol intake to only a couple of glasses of wine on the weekend (I used to drink 1-2 drinks per day). I walk when I can get the opportunity and let me tell you that this helps A LOT for anxiety as it increases the serotonin levels in your brain and makes you feel better. A simple 30-40 minute walk with your son everyday would do the trick .. a good idea is to make this a daily routine and to have a little treat afterwards like stopping off at a coffee shop or taking a snack with you to the park or something like that.

Get yourself checked for these things because anxiety like you are experiencing, especially if it something new that was not present before your pregnancy, can mean a hormone or brain chemical imbalance. While you are having yourself checked, try to take control over your destiny by trying out some of my suggestions. I recently went through a few years of exactly what you are describing as when I hit the 40 year old mark, I started to have all sorts of problems and each and every time I was convinced it was some sort of terminal illness (my doctor also got to know me better during this time). In my case, I am convinced that I had a hormone imbalance after being 20 years on the birth control pill. One year after being off of it, I am much better (not to mention my irregular bleeding has stopped .. although I am left with an 8 cm ovarian cyst on my left ovary which we are watching with regular ultrasounds).

I hope I have been of some assistance. Hang in there and remember that what you are feeling is only temporary.

All the best,

Estria

 
Old 02-01-2009, 11:35 AM   #8
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Re: Anxiety. Fear of Health Problems, Cancer, Dying

I just wrote a reply to someone else, I'm new at this, but, you should try Yoga, it has been a miracle cure for me. It's cheap, easily available, this experience for me, having gone only 25 times has changed my issue's that I'm a new person.
Good luck,
Boulderhof

 
Old 02-10-2009, 09:48 AM   #9
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Re: Anxiety. Fear of Health Problems, Cancer, Dying

I understand what you are going thru. I don't have any children yet but I am constantly afraid of terminal illness and disease. Even if I have NO symptoms, I am in fear that I have something lurking inside my body. It doesn't help that my father in law passed away from pancreatic cancer last June only 3 months after being diagnosed.
I am on 60mg of Cymbalta and that has helped greatly. I also take Xanax from time to time. I am thinking I should try therapy too.

 
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