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Old 11-20-2010, 09:43 AM   #1
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HIV Hypochondria. Why?

Hey all,

I tried doing a search for this but didn't come up with exactly what I was looking for.

Before I get into the topic, just a brief history on me. I had unprotected sex with a female friend of mine about 5 months ago. After that I went out to some pretty low class bars for a couple nights and found myself to start to not feel well. I naively go online just to check out my symptoms and immediately start freaking because the internet tells me I have HIV.

To ease my mind I went and got a blood test done for HIV and it came back negative. I was relieved. Then I looked online again and realized that I prolly got my test too early and it wasn't conclusive. Freak out again. I actually got a hold of my friend and she agreed to get tested to help me out. She tested negative, just like I thought she would. However, my symptoms persisted. Keep in mind I never really had any ars symptoms.

So, I continued to stress regardless of her test because of my still not feeling well. I sat and waited for what seemed like forever for the 3 month date to approach. When it did, I went straight to the hiv clinic and got tested with an oral test. Surprise surprise, it was negative. In fact, I told the counselor who was performing the test of my worries and he pretty much scolded me and told me that based on my symptoms, low risk factor, and history that I had just wasted one of his tests.

I am now over 5 months past my low risk factor (unprotected vaginal sex with a proclaimed hiv negative female) and I still don't feel the best. This is where the hypochondria sets in. I have recently seen the term worry well online as well. My symptoms are a weird head feeling, wake up feeling drunk (without drinking), dry mouth, some tingling throughout body, groin pain (in the prostate region), irregular mucus bowel movements and sometimes painful urination. The first thing I tell myself is 1.) these aren't ars symptoms, 2.) ars symptoms don't last for 5 months, 3.) I have been tested for god's sake!

In all actuality I prolly have parasite issues from the dirty bars I used to frequent, or I could have a yeast problem due to the 5 years of constant acne antibiotics earlier in my life. I wanted to post this topic to see if anybody has any insight into why people have such a hypochondriac response to hiv? Personally, I think the internet definitely did it for me. Googling or searching for anything immediately tells you that you have hiv. I even had the feeling that maybe the oral test was done wrong, even though the professional sat right in front of me and watched and then proceeded to do his job.

The biggest thing for me is that I don't feel well and after loads of doctors visits, I have been told that I am healthy as a horse. However, I am not. So to get back on topic, what do you think is the reason for such worries? Is it the fear of death and the fear of hiv in general? Does the internet fuel the fire? Or is it stress? My doctor believes it's stress...... Maybe as stupid as I think he is for that diagnosis, maybe he is right? Discuss please...

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Old 11-20-2010, 10:11 AM   #2
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Re: HIV Hypochondria. Why?

I'd say it's the fear of catching the virus. You know that if you have it it's not going away and I know that what I felt immediately after my encounter was regret which led to extreme stress and anxiety.
I've yet to reach the three month mark yet but a few hours after my encounter I had a headache and general flu-like symptoms. These all went away when I was told by a doctor that I was at very low risk of catching hiv. Even still I couldn't stop myself from going on the internet and searching each and every thing that happened to my body and surely enough that was a symptom and after i read that it was a symptom it got worse. Sometimes I just stop and read the messages that the people on this forum left on my thread and that calms me down. All i'm really worried about now are what I believe to be small swollen glands on my thighs which i'm choosing to ignore because if I look it up on the internet I'll basically be torturing myself.
So yeah in short I think that the advice on the internet is VERY helpful however searching your symptoms on google isn't doing anyone any favours.

 
Old 11-20-2010, 10:19 AM   #3
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Re: HIV Hypochondria. Why?

this turns into a very very sensitive topic...

you have laid out the correct answers to most of your questions.
the internet is the main cause from what i can see.

i just read an article that came out a few days ago that
stated that 1 in 5 people in the usa experiance mental illness
of some sorts.

this phobia is just being reconized as a legit phycological condition right now.
they had a big thing about it just receintly in china
alot of it there goes towards the distrust in the government and the
info they provide.

from what i understand the best thing for someone going thru this is
to educate them the best you can,
and get them into professional counciling.

 
Old 11-20-2010, 10:36 AM   #4
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Re: HIV Hypochondria. Why?

I think another thing for me was the fact that the fear consumed my life for so long that it is hard to erase it. Three months of worrying every day is a very long time. My 3 month negative test was relieving but I do believe that you are right smiteler. It is a huge psychological problem.

It makes me feel very selfish and ridiculous. Its selfish because I tested negative and still worry, while there are millions of people that actually live with it every day. I know time will probably be the factor in recovery from the succumbing fear.

 
Old 11-20-2010, 11:17 AM   #5
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Re: HIV Hypochondria. Why?

i think every person is battling thier own demons in some sort of way.
i'm sure i'm one of those 1 in 5 they speak of in my own way. lol

don't beat yourself up or blame yourself for what you can't really control.
just try to learn and not repeat your mistakes.
its all you can really do.

Last edited by smiteler; 11-20-2010 at 11:20 AM.

 
Old 11-28-2010, 09:19 AM   #6
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Re: HIV Hypochondria. Why?

Quote:
Originally Posted by guestname View Post
Hey all,

I tried doing a search for this but didn't come up with exactly what I was looking for.

Before I get into the topic, just a brief history on me. I had unprotected sex with a female friend of mine about 5 months ago. After that I went out to some pretty low class bars for a couple nights and found myself to start to not feel well. I naively go online just to check out my symptoms and immediately start freaking because the internet tells me I have HIV.

To ease my mind I went and got a blood test done for HIV and it came back negative. I was relieved. Then I looked online again and realized that I prolly got my test too early and it wasn't conclusive. Freak out again. I actually got a hold of my friend and she agreed to get tested to help me out. She tested negative, just like I thought she would. However, my symptoms persisted. Keep in mind I never really had any ars symptoms.

So, I continued to stress regardless of her test because of my still not feeling well. I sat and waited for what seemed like forever for the 3 month date to approach. When it did, I went straight to the hiv clinic and got tested with an oral test. Surprise surprise, it was negative. In fact, I told the counselor who was performing the test of my worries and he pretty much scolded me and told me that based on my symptoms, low risk factor, and history that I had just wasted one of his tests.

I am now over 5 months past my low risk factor (unprotected vaginal sex with a proclaimed hiv negative female) and I still don't feel the best. This is where the hypochondria sets in. I have recently seen the term worry well online as well. My symptoms are a weird head feeling, wake up feeling drunk (without drinking), dry mouth, some tingling throughout body, groin pain (in the prostate region), irregular mucus bowel movements and sometimes painful urination. The first thing I tell myself is 1.) these aren't ars symptoms, 2.) ars symptoms don't last for 5 months, 3.) I have been tested for god's sake!

In all actuality I prolly have parasite issues from the dirty bars I used to frequent, or I could have a yeast problem due to the 5 years of constant acne antibiotics earlier in my life. I wanted to post this topic to see if anybody has any insight into why people have such a hypochondriac response to hiv? Personally, I think the internet definitely did it for me. Googling or searching for anything immediately tells you that you have hiv. I even had the feeling that maybe the oral test was done wrong, even though the professional sat right in front of me and watched and then proceeded to do his job.

The biggest thing for me is that I don't feel well and after loads of doctors visits, I have been told that I am healthy as a horse. However, I am not. So to get back on topic, what do you think is the reason for such worries? Is it the fear of death and the fear of hiv in general? Does the internet fuel the fire? Or is it stress? My doctor believes it's stress...... Maybe as stupid as I think he is for that diagnosis, maybe he is right? Discuss please...
I can COMPLETELY relate. The only difference is that I used to be pretty promiscuous. So I was terrified of having the HIV test and went to my doctor for another test entirely and started crying that I had HIV. She tested my blood for HIV behind my back and called saying it was negative. I started to think I had syphillis when my vision started to get worse. Researched it constantly. Went to gynecologist who said syphillis was very rare and told me to see a psychologist. Made her do syphillis test and it came back negative but she said because of my eye problem I might have some weird eye disease. Worried about weird eye disease. Came back negative. The whole reason I didn't feel see well was because I had been given steroids in the emergency room because I thought I was having an allergy attack. Anyway, steroids gave me steroid psychosis. I called psychologist who said I was imagining the steroid psychosis because I thought I had it. I am still constantly thinking about this psychosis. When I don't think about it, I don't have any "symptoms." The second I start thinking about it, they come back and I think I am "hallucinating" and "delusional." The funniest thing about it is that I always "hallucinate" at night when I am not sure if I am asleep or not. Can someone give me some tips for not worrying about this? It is taking control of my life. I am doing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and it is REALLY working for the OCD and I recommend it for everyone with all forms of OCD but he only recently started to see that I have it and how bad it is and it won't go away in one day. Any coping skills?

 
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