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Old 12-31-2004, 02:57 PM   #1
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SeraphisCain HB User
Hypochondriacs/anxiety sufferers - Does anyone realize how we feel?

Maybe this is just because I'm really really annoyed right now, but here goes:

I'm a severe hypochondriac, and also have anxiety/panic disorder, which many of you here will know is a bad combination. I constantly think there's SOMETHING wrong with me. And whatever that thing is, I'll feel the symptoms of it. Strongly. And I'm sure there's others here going through the same thing. And thinking back on it, I've been this way forever. I can remember being six years old and thinking that I had breast cancer (and I'm a MALE.....I think I saw a news report on TV about a guy who had breast cancer, and that's what started it.....). And for years as a child I can remember being afraid of HIV/AIDS. I was completely terrified of it, though I had no idea how you got it. I just knew that it killed you. There just seems to be no end to it. I've been afraid of being sick forever. It's come and gone a few times throughout my life, but now it's just so bad that it's really ruining my life.

So I guess my real issue is, do the "normal" people out there, the people that get the luxury of being perfectly healthy and not having anxiety/panic disorder know how we feel. In my experience, it's always "Oh, it's all in your head" or "You just need to relax" or "There's nothing wrong with you".....Now, that may be true, but they don't understand that I really FEEL all these symptoms. It's not like thinking I'm having a heart attack and feeling perfectly fine. It's like thinking I'm having a heart attack and having chest pains, numbness in my left arm, ect. They just don't seem to understand what I'm going through.

I really just wish I could feel normal again. Like I did 2-3 years ago. When nothing was wrong, life was good. Now it's like everyday there's a new problem. Some new deadly illness that I think I have. It's starting to get to the point where I think that I'll never beat this at all. Every night when I go to work (I work 3rd shift, in fact I'll be at work when 2005 hits, yay.....) I feel tired, wiped out, certain that I won't make it to the end of the shift. And it's frightening. It's scary as hell. Every night, in constant fear that I'll just pass out and never wake up, or that some crazed guy will come in and rob the place and shoot me or something (gas station job). It never seems to get better. Every day I just want to quit my job and stay home, find a new job, whatever.....

The list of things I've "had" goes on and on and on.....Various cancers, heart attacks, strokes, aneurysms, deadly infections.....If you can look it up, I've probably "had" it.....

Nobody seems to understand what I'm going through at all. And I find myself completely jealous of the "normal" ones, the ones that don't have to go through this. The ones who feel the way I USED to. Does anyone else feel like this? It's a horrible feeling, that consumes your life. I know it's consumed mine.....

Last edited by SeraphisCain; 12-31-2004 at 03:00 PM.

 
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Old 01-01-2005, 12:26 AM   #2
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Re: Hypochondriacs/anxiety sufferers - Does anyone realize how we feel?

Your message rang a bell! It's really the pits, being illness phobic. Right now I just woke up again, 2:18AM, feeling like I'm dying, not even a bad dream. I live alone, which adds to the fear. I have had horrible sinusitis for the past few days, staying home, weak, afraid to take antibiotic, afraid I will react and no one will know, because I live alone. I then get angry because God allows me to get sick--is this sick or what? It's a vicious cycle. I see a therapist but once a week, which doesn't cover the rest of the week when I fall into helplessness. Like I have no self when I'm alone. Looney tunes when I go days without human contact. I am also 4 days off of zoloft which I have been tapering off of. I have no clue which I am having symptoms of--withdrawal or infection. I just want to give up because it seems my head isn't screwed on right. Please I need some feedbacks on reality here--that's the best thing about this website. Thanks for listening.

 
Old 01-01-2005, 02:08 AM   #3
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Re: Hypochondriacs/anxiety sufferers - Does anyone realize how we feel?

I know how you feel. I have the same problems, and when I have a pain, say i.e. (in my left arm). I start to think about symptoms of heart attack/strokes, and read up on it in medical books and online, and the more I learn the worse I feel. I get to the point where boom, I'm in the ER getting tons of tests. They always come out fine, and my pulse usually gets up to about 155bpm when I panic like that. I hate when other "real physical" problems exist, and when I go to the Doctor they want to start off by asking me about my anxiety meds, and tell me I may need to up my dose.. It's a whorrible thing, and I have been on almost every medication out there since I was about 5-6 years of age. I am now 22. I am starting to look into natural meds to find releif from some panic attacks I get, and have been on the same medicine for 8 years now.. I am glad to talk with anyone who needs some help through this since I can fully relate and then some.

 
Old 01-01-2005, 02:30 AM   #4
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Re: Hypochondriacs/anxiety sufferers - Does anyone realize how we feel?

Thanks for your helpful reply. Any suggestions on how to deal with this situation?

 
Old 01-01-2005, 03:34 AM   #5
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Re: Hypochondriacs/anxiety sufferers - Does anyone realize how we feel?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jbrdbr111
I know how you feel. I have the same problems, and when I have a pain, say i.e. (in my left arm). I start to think about symptoms of heart attack/strokes, and read up on it in medical books and online, and the more I learn the worse I feel. I get to the point where boom, I'm in the ER getting tons of tests. They always come out fine, and my pulse usually gets up to about 155bpm when I panic like that. I hate when other "real physical" problems exist, and when I go to the Doctor they want to start off by asking me about my anxiety meds, and tell me I may need to up my dose.. It's a whorrible thing, and I have been on almost every medication out there since I was about 5-6 years of age. I am now 22. I am starting to look into natural meds to find releif from some panic attacks I get, and have been on the same medicine for 8 years now.. I am glad to talk with anyone who needs some help through this since I can fully relate and then some.
Your story sounds quite similar to mine. And you're only 1 year older than me. It's good there's someone else here that's around my age who can relate to what I'm going through. I know exactly what you mean about having a small symptom and reading about it until it explodes into something bigger and you end up in the ER getting tons of tests done. I've gone through that at least 50 times.....Probably more. And trucky, I know how you feel too. For the first several months of my current fight with anxiety/hypochondria I lived alone too. That, I believe, makes it all the worse. I hope things get better for you soon.

 
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Old 01-01-2005, 09:17 AM   #6
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Re: Hypochondriacs/anxiety sufferers - Does anyone realize how we feel?

Damn i am feeling you on this...i go thru the same...had a headache yesterday knew really its a head cold but i couldnt stop thinkin i had menigitis...my life is {REMOVED}a 34year old male crippled since 16years old with this illness tried everything...when i take drugs they just make me feel too weird so stay off them..plus i am convinced i gonna get a rare side effect.

One thing though dont blame God...he only created us..he cant help defected people, its part of life...its easy to say...but the only help for us chronic anxiety sufferers is ourselves..we got to strengthen up...but alas i know its an impossible task for me as the feelings are just too damn real....but we alive and thats good aint it?Remember just try to keep smiling thru the pain.

Last edited by ms_mod; 01-01-2005 at 09:31 AM. Reason: If you have to use *** in place of a word, then that word doesn't belong on this board. Thanks, ms_mod

 
Old 01-01-2005, 06:37 PM   #7
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Re: Hypochondriacs/anxiety sufferers - Does anyone realize how we feel?

Hey!
I totally relate to you. I am 34 and have lived with my hypochondria/anxiety since I had my first attack at 21. It has taken me a good 10 years to comes to grips with it. But I have. My solution may not help everyone but this is what I do.

1.) No medication. No point in relieving one deadly disease for side effects that make me think I have another. It defeated the purpose for me.

2.)This is the hard one. Accept you have anxiety. It's not a heart attack, cancer or a stroke... it is far worse...anxiety. At least the others will eventually kill you and put you out of your misery.LOL

3.)Self esteem. You can't have high self esteem and anxiety. It's impossible. The cure to the anxiety comes when you gain the self esteem. Just because we have anxiety doesn't mean we are not "normal". We have an issue just like everybody else. There isn't one issue worse than the other.

4.)Breathe. My Dad always tells me close your mouth and breathe through your nose. It has never failed me. If your to far gone...get a paper bag. Once your breathing is restored, the nervous thoughts will subside.

5.)Physical activity. It will keep you in great shape, clear your mind, and help regulate your breathing.

These steps are hard, and may take time learn. But I promise you it will make you better. Ten years ago I was a recluse, agorophobiac, social misfit, who was in group therapy. I today teach in the very room I had that therapy and realize that no matter if this anxiety comes back, and it probably will, I will be in control.....

Good luck and I hope you have a healthy, anxiety free 2005....

Vercuah

 
Old 01-02-2005, 02:03 AM   #8
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Re: Hypochondriacs/anxiety sufferers - Does anyone realize how we feel?

Thanks so much, SC! Can I get some coaching thru this? It's Sunday 4AM (when I usually wake, the last of several times in the nite), and my throat is on fire, I am terrified of this going into my lungs, afraid of pneumonia, I live alone, etc, etc, etc! I need reassurance I will be ok. I don't see the ENT doctor till the 13th of January, and I am petrified of going to my regular Doc at the clinic--afraid of getting pneumonia or the flu (outta extra shots here in TX!) Like I have to hold everything up myself. I take the amoxycillin, hoping that'll hold off any bacterial infection. Just need encouragement till I'm over this--I havent been out of the house for days. --Trucky

 
Old 01-02-2005, 03:41 AM   #9
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Re: Hypochondriacs/anxiety sufferers - Does anyone realize how we feel?

Wow, trucky, I really feel bad for you. Mainly because I've been exactly where you are now. At one point I barely left my apartment for a couple months, save to go to the ER. Now I think the only reason I leave my apartment is to go to work, and that's simply because I know I'll lose it all if I lose my job. And working 8 hours a night alone at a gas station is really difficult when you've got anxiety/hypochondria, believe me. I really hope you get over this soon. Take care.

 
Old 01-02-2005, 08:03 AM   #10
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Re: Hypochondriacs/anxiety sufferers - Does anyone realize how we feel?

I always think about normal people. I remember-we were all normal once. Remember going to the mall and enjoying it; and going to a bar and having a beer and relaxing and having a good time. Remember not walking the mall thinking about getting dizzy or where the exits are in case of an attack, but thinking about the stores and what you are going to do next. Those were the days...Anyway normal people live their life like that everyday. No worries about fainting or off balance or shortness of breath. I think they take it for granted. Hope I didnt depress anyone with this post!!!

 
Old 01-02-2005, 12:25 PM   #11
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Re: Hypochondriacs/anxiety sufferers - Does anyone realize how we feel?

i am completlely jealous of people who do not suffer...2 years ago, i just moved from italy to the states (military family) and my anxiety was at its peak. I finally got to My new high school as a freshman, and i was so jealous. All of these people..can be fine all day and live their day, when i had to suffer having constant battles in my mind. I wished every day and prayed that i could just actually be bored in class like everyone else and think of nothign instead of anxiety. I got my wish, for a year and half, i had a break, i dont know why, but it was a break that i was so thankful for. Now itscome back in the last 3 months, and my life is a living hell again. Its bad, i feel for you, i feel for all of us here on this forum. Its like a second life to me, at 16, here on these forums and they are the steps to recovery. I wish all of us could have a normal life, but we are all not that lucky. thanks for listening.
-Lachlan

 
Old 01-03-2005, 05:43 AM   #12
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Re: Hypochondriacs/anxiety sufferers - Does anyone realize how we feel?

Ah yes, to feel normal again...

I'm working on it at the moment. For the first time in my life I'm seeing a Therapist who is teaching me deep relaxation and puts me on the bio feedback machine. I'm purposely avoiding meds, and so far I've been happy with the results. About a year and a half ago I couldn't even go to work and sometimes not even to the grocery store. I felt chained to my house and was constantly depressed and anxious. I ended up quiting my job which was adding to my depression, and it was the best thing for me.

Like everyone else here, I get jealous of other people who are "normal." They have no idea what we go through everyday. And I hate when they say "It's all in your head." or "Oh, just take a deep breath and you'll feel better."

Yeah Right!!!

I'm a bit of a hypochondriac as well, which doesn't help. If I go to a Dr. I always think the worst things that could be wrong with me. Which makes me not want to go and find out if there is something really wrong. I have to be "real" sick to see a Dr. There have been times during bad anxiety attacks that I swore I was going to die!! Almost had hubby take me to the ER, but chickened out, and after waiting out my anxiety attack everything went back to normal. No need to visit the ER. Also, it doesn't help that I'm alone most of the day while hubby is at work and it's near impossible to reach him since he's a package driver. When I'm alone all the bad thoughts seem to get worse, and when I'm not alone I usually feel better, and having him home distracts me from my inner torments...

Just remember folks the grass isn't always greener on the other side. There have been times when I've been jealous of my "normal" friends, but then find out they have their own troubles as well. And suddenly I realize that my anxiety isn't so bad afterall...

 
Old 01-03-2005, 10:44 AM   #13
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Re: Hypochondriacs/anxiety sufferers - Does anyone realize how we feel?

My 9 yr battle w/ trying to find what's wrong with me because of my physical symptoms ended a few months ago. I was dx'd with anxiety/depression.

Through out these past 9 yrs , I've thought I had (and went to dr's to be checked for): MS, MG, Lupus, pls, etc. : and my last one this year was parkinsons (grandpa had parkinsons and grandma had progressive supra nuclear palsy).

Through out these past 9 years I've had many mri's, 2 cat scans, lots of blood testing, 2 emg's, jaw x-ray ( do have tmj), visual field testing, sinuses checked, colon checked, 2 barium swallow tests.

My symptoms actually do fit the illnesses that I look up , but can also be explained by other (non life threatening ) things like: tmj, endometriosis, Gerd, fibromyalgia ( these things I have been dx'd with).

Anyways, why didn't I listen to the family dr when he said that GERD can cause throat spasms? Why didn't I believe that TMJ could cause the eye pressure-face pressure-ear pressure-neck pain???

It's like I totaly put those ideas out of my mind and went straight for the big illnesses? Can you do this without really even realizing that your doing it???

The sad thing is, Sometimes I still think I could have young onset parkinsons!!!!!!!! What's wrong with that thinking!!!! Even after the dr at CC told me I don't have it!! He dx'd me with Anxiety and sent me home w/ the minnesota multiphasic personality test!!
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Old 01-03-2005, 11:19 AM   #14
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Re: Hypochondriacs/anxiety sufferers - Does anyone realize how we feel?

Quote:
Originally Posted by luv2read
My 9 yr battle w/ trying to find what's wrong with me because of my physical symptoms ended a few months ago. I was dx'd with anxiety/depression.

Through out these past 9 yrs , I've thought I had (and went to dr's to be checked for): MS, MG, Lupus, pls, etc. : and my last one this year was parkinsons (grandpa had parkinsons and grandma had progressive supra nuclear palsy).

Through out these past 9 years I've had many mri's, 2 cat scans, lots of blood testing, 2 emg's, jaw x-ray ( do have tmj), visual field testing, sinuses checked, colon checked, 2 barium swallow tests.

My symptoms actually do fit the illnesses that I look up , but can also be explained by other (non life threatening ) things like: tmj, endometriosis, Gerd, fibromyalgia ( these things I have been dx'd with).

Anyways, why didn't I listen to the family dr when he said that GERD can cause throat spasms? Why didn't I believe that TMJ could cause the eye pressure-face pressure-ear pressure-neck pain???

It's like I totaly put those ideas out of my mind and went straight for the big illnesses? Can you do this without really even realizing that your doing it???

The sad thing is, Sometimes I still think I could have young onset parkinsons!!!!!!!! What's wrong with that thinking!!!! Even after the dr at CC told me I don't have it!! He dx'd me with Anxiety and sent me home w/ the minnesota multiphasic personality test!!
Boy reading all this makes me feel not so alone!!
I am the same as most of you. I have been diagnosed with Aniexty/panic disorder too and I always think I have some terrible illness that is going to kill me.
Last may I noticed a vein on the left side of my neck (It was not visable before) along with that I started having strange neck pain, almost like spasums. I put off going to the Dr. for four months because I have a phobia and fear of Dr.s too! I finally went and the Dr. did a quick and I mean quick feel, listen and talk and told me I was fine and it's all in my head!!!! I was furious because I knew this was not the case. Here it is January and it still hurts from time to time. Your Post about Neck pain made me curious as to what kind of neck pain you have. What is associated with TMJ and or fibromyalgia? I am so angry that once labeled with this disordered everything is dismissed and in "your head". I can't keep Dr. hopping either been there and done that. My nightmare with the diagnosis came last January. I went for a yearly appointment with my Neurologist (I have migraines) he noticed my heart racing at 121 beats. I spent a good month being a human pin cushion, had EKG Echocardiogram, chest Xrays, tons of blood work all of which turned up nothing!!! I have had this aniexty problem every since my first child was born 9 years ago. Prior to becoming a Mother I was a Happy Go Lucky person who enjoyed life. It's not that I don't enjoy Life so much I just worry all the time. Living in the What If's is what I call it.
If you could share your TMJ and Fibro story that might help me figure out what on earth is causing this neck pain!
Thanks to all for letting me Vent!

 
Old 01-03-2005, 12:32 PM   #15
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Re: Hypochondriacs/anxiety sufferers - Does anyone realize how we feel?

Hi Bell,

My symptoms started also after the birth of my second baby 9 years ago.

My first symptoms was dizziness. Then my hand and arm started to burn-and get stiff when using it. Then my legs started to burn-get stiff-heavy going up the steps or trying to do the treadmill.

Then I developed endometriosis. After son was born, my side of family and hubbies side of family got into a big fight over some things. Husband and I were not talking. Just yelling and fighting real bad.

I was crying all the time. Couldn't even finish breast feeding because I wasn't eating and milk dried up.

I was dx'd with fibromyalgia in 96. I also heard from everyone that this was a "waste basket" dx. Well, I knew something was wrong. My body didn't feel right!! So, that's what started this 9 year searching.

I developed TMJ a few yrs later. Probably from all the stress from the families not getting along. I was grinding my teeth 24/7!!

I started developing eye pressure, face pressure, forehead pressure, neck tightness, popping on left side of jaw. (TMJ).

Meanwhile, whole body tightness, whole boby pain when doing physical stuff. Sever fatigue. depression.

6 yrs into symptoms, developed throat spasms. Throat closing off on me when overtired, or trying to get to that tickle in my throat I would cough and then my throat closed off. Developed GERD (acid reflux).
Which I didn't believe because of all my other symptoms.

Developed tremor in hand-wrist about 3 yrs ago after doing things physical: pulling weeds, mixing mashed potatoes, washing dog, etc. Was not on any anti-D's then.

This year developed positional thumb-wrist tremor. One dr says Essential Tremor. One dr says no to ET. One dr. says effexor xr not the cause of tremor. Dr. at CC (Cleveland Clinic) says tremor caused by effexor. Another dr at Ohio State says tremor not caused by effexor.

Two dr's say I have ankle clonus and hyperreflexes. Two dr's say my in office exam is normal.

So, I don't know if I'm a true hypochondriac or just confused from so many dr's giving me different opinions!!!

Anyways, the neck tightness is there 24/7. Feels like I'm wearing a collar neck sweater or something. Drives me crazy!!! My whole head is tight-pressure feeling- little pain though.
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