im 22yrs old and i believe i am a hypochondriac at some level. always feeling as if any ache or pain is a sign of death. im am so scared all the time. i feel so alone and confussed. it's as if i am the only person on the face of this earth thats mind is corrupted with these thoughts of impractical thinking. i just need someone who can help to maybe guide me to understand what i am going through, to atleast know that im not alone in this. im sorry if i sound a bit crazy cuz trust me i feel the same way 24/7.
You are certainly not alone. And you are certainly not crazy.
Hypochondria is very common. (I used to be a major hypochondriac).
A simple cold and I panicked it was pneumonia.
A headache and I was sure it had to be a brain tumor
A little tingle or any kind of odd sensory feeling became, in my head, a fatal neurological disease.
Drove myself (and my parents) crazy with my constant fear and anxiety.
There is nothing wrong with being reasonably vigilent about your health. It only becomes a problem when no amount of reassurance helps .
My folks would take me to the doctor. He would reasssure me I was a healthy speciman.
That would "carry" me for maybe a week. And then I'd start worrying about something else, SURE that he "missed" something.
This kind of un-reassurable anxiety is usually an indication that you are anxious about something ELSE that may be totally unconscious and unidentified. It's a kind of what they call "conversion" anxiety. Where you are subconsciously worried about something unrelated to your health and somehow can't resolve it or deal with it so you (not on purpose) "convert" it into fears about your health.
Have you actually had a checkup with a doctor recently?
It certainly would put your mind at ease, at least temporarily.
Therapy really helps as well, if you find that you keep getting frightened all the time no matter what anyone says.
And stop reading medical books (bet you are, no?) or searching symptoms on line (come on, fess up!). You realize of course, that every medical student thinks they have EVERYTHING the more they read about symptoms.
Tell me more about what you fear most. Maybe I can help you get more perspective on this.....
I believe many people consider themselves hypocondriacs these days. But we are told time and time again to be cautious about our health, and to be constantly checked upon by doctors to prevent those scary, sudden illnesses or life threatening ailments,,,,like breast cancer, colon cancer, skin cancer, and brain anyurisms.(sp?) I dont know if this is such a bad thing. I guess if you are coming down with some kind of symptom every day....this could be a concern.Seeing a therapist could work wonders for you! But regular check ups and a little bit of worrying, only keeps you on top of things in some situations. This also says a lot about the person you are. You must really love your life, and the people in it right now, and you want to make sure things stay the way they are. There is definately nothing wrong with that! Find good friends to help you through this!
[This message has been edited by Krismo (edited 04-23-2003).]
How kind of you to comment on my message.
Kudos to YOU for your thoughtfulness!
I hope stayinalive stays in touch with us....I don't know how much help I can be online but I sure know what hypochondriacal fear feels like and perhaps it will help her just to know she's not alone.
P.S. I just read your "addicted to the boards" post. I'm sure we'll be in touch again then!
dearest kuku, bass, and kris. thanks for reaching out to me. it makes me feel so good knowing i am not alone. this is something i have been dealing with for about 2yrs now and its getting worse. yes i read my medical book all the time. infact i rely on it too much, for what i don't know cuz it only scares me more. im not exactly sure what it is that has made me this way and worring is good to a point but i don't think that the way i worry is good. i am always scared of cancer, anorisms and brain tumors. my biggest fear is death. i have mad an appointment with a phsychiatrist for friday. i hope it helps but then i think about it how will they actually find out what it is that makes me this way. i had lost my twin sister 6yrs ago in an accident and sometimes i wonder if that is what has brought this on. and then again its been such a longtime since that happened that i don't see how it could be it. i so much hate the unknown and the possibility of anything. i just wish i could stop. my mom tries to comfort me and it helps to a point but she does't really understand. she tells me that i just need to concintrate on something else but thats the problem i cant! zuzu how did you get out of you hypochondrism. thanks for reading my post. i don't feel so alone anymore. stayinalive8
You did a very healthy thing for yourself by making an appt. to see a therapist. Good for you. You will find, very early, that just talking to a therapist will start calming you down ......
He/she will help you, over time, sort out all kinds of feelings you may have. I don't know what triggered your anxiety about your health...it could be many things , but the death of your twin was a HUGE traumatic event in your life and may have something to do with your ongoing dread of things unknown, of not feeling "safe" anymore.
Regular therapy over time helped me stop the panic, and helped me recognize that whenever I was in panic mode about symptoms, it was always really something else that was bugging me. Once I dealt with what was REALLY underneath the hypochondria, I stopped being so frightened all the time. Don't worry yet about "how" the psychiatrist is going to help; just talk about yourself, and your fear and everything that bothers you....
In the meantime, try to remember that serious illness doesn't "come and go", that symptoms of serious disease don't usually "travel" from one part of the body to another, or shift or change from day to day. I don't know exactly what sensations are bothering you (notice I say "sensations" instead of symptoms!) but try to keep in mind that brain tumors and cancer and aneurisms do not remain unchanged for two years. Sometimes the longer you have these physical sensations, the better a sign it is that it is ANXIETY and not disease. The mind is an amazing thing. Fear and anxiety can produce virtually every symptom we know! The more you focus on your health and body the worse you feel. I understand your mother suggesting you try to concentrate on something else, but right now you have worked yourself up into such a frenzy it's hard to think of anything else. I used to go to my parents almost daily..."Daddy, I think I have a brain tumor, Mom, I think i have leukemia",and they would comfort me but it wouldn't last. A few days later...once again, "'Daddy, you don't think this tingle is MS do you?" And my dad would take me to the doctor, to try to reassure me...The doctor would tell me everything was normal and not to worry. Three days later: "Daddy, Mom, I have a new pain....maybe it's bone cancer." And once again they would tell me that I was okay, and that the doctor found NOTHING, but I still worried, until I went into therapy and came to grips with all kinds of other "stuff".
So, my dear, see the therapist and let us know how the first session goes. It takes time, but just making the appointment is the first, best, and biggest step forward!
Your problem is very familiar to me, as my daughter has this tendency.She does have an anxiety/panic disorder.
Even though in this day and age a lot of people worry constantly about a variety of things, you may have a treatable anxiety disorder.
There is help out there for these kinds of problems.
Try to relax( easier said then done I know)and check out the problem with your doctor.
I was just reading this and had to tell my story. I am 23 and also identify with what you are going through. My boyfriend and I have been together for five years...he suffers from anxiety and panic disorders (he did long before we met) It was so new to me, and I didn't understand. I would say, can't you just realize there is nothing to worry about??? Nothing is going to happen. I DID NOT GET IT. That is until last summer when for some unknown reason to me I totally started freaking out about my health! I thought I was surely dying of cancer, AIDS, you name it, I had it. I would read things and say, yes, I definitely have that. I was so bad that I was freaking out my family, friends, and co-workers. My mom was getting scared because I would just burst into tears at the sight of anything on my body that looked or felt weird to me (and believe me they were are normal things) It got so bad that I had to take a leave of absence from work because I was so stressed and scared that I got to the point where I couldn't function. I thought my glands were swollen all the time (and before reading something about glands and HIV, I didn't even know where glands were or what they did) I was sure I had lymphoma or HIV or some other horrible disease that was going to kill me. I went to six different doctors telling them that my glands in my neck were swollen only for them to say, no they aren't, I promise. Like the others who have posted, it would get me by a week or so and then all over again I would start to get scared and thinking they were wrong. I am not going to say that I am totally over this fear (even though the docs have assured with test and physical exams that everything is fine) But I have learned to cope with it better. Don't think there is anything wrong with you or that you are alone feeling this way. I have been so reassured just by reading all the other posts from people who do this same thing (even some who are worse that I was, if you can believe that) Death is scary, and the unknown is scary, I am scared of anything that could cause death or is related to death (I won't even fly for the fear that I will die in a plane crash) The thing is, you can't let it rule your life. I know that's hard, I am still trying to take my own advice. But I am getting there and sure you will too. Just talk to someone about how you are feeling and find out why. It did me a world of good. I also can understand fully now what my boyfriend deals with, and never would I wish an anxiety attack on anyone....it's the worst. Good luck to you and if you need to talk I am here!!!
you don't know how wonderful you all are. i mean that from the bottom of my heart. knowing that you understand where i am coming from makes me feel so much better. im not the type that just uses every type of ache or pain sometimes its just out of the blue i will feel fine, and then i get so scared i cry and cry and worry. i look back at the last 2yrs or so and i think to myself why do i care about dying or getting something that my not be treatable when all this time i could have been living like any other person and feel great about things. and that i one thing i still don't understand how can so many people just not think about it. i think about it all the time and i just blows me away that they arent'. im so greatful to yous for shareing with me. thank you all sooooooooo much. i will let you know how my appointment goes tomorrow. stayinalive8
well i went to the therapist today, things went well. she made me ball my eyes out like a baby. she told me that my anxiety stems from my sisters death cuz it was sudden just as all the illnesses that i fear are. im so glad that i went i just wish i wouldn't have waited so long to go. thanks so much zuzu and others for all your help. you are truely wonderful people and i hope the best for you all. your incouraging words have helped me so much to understand what it has been all about. thanks stayinalive8
I'm so glad you liked this therapist! Are you going to see her on a regular basis?
Please let us know how you are doing......Give yourself (and therapy) some time, and gradually you will sort out a lot of your anxiety (about yourself) and grief ( for your twin sister) and be able to start functioning so much better, and not be consumed with fear. Take it one step at a time.
Love. zuzu xxxx