I'm a big hypochondriac along with having GAD. I wonder just how many of us who have anxiety disorder also have hypochondria. How does your hypochondira affect you and what are your symptoms like? Do you have a general worry about your health most days, or is it sparked by a new physical symptom?
My symptoms are pretty much whatever I "want" them to be, if that sounds weird. What I mean is, is that I always think I have a lot of chronic health problems, so that when I am "convinced" I have it, I magically start getting those symptoms.
Funny you should mention this because I feel like I always have some type of health concern. Then being a complete anxiety filled person I go and search the internet and get myself into more distress. Then when I finally make an appointment with the doctor I am really a wreck. For the last 6 months I have been focusing on lung cancer. I finally got my pcp to give me a chest x-ray a month ago. Yes for a couple of weeks I had relief and then it started creeping back...I started thinking what if the chest x-ray missed something. I hate being like this.
For me my symtoms are mainly heart related. I too had a chest xray with nothing found but who knows what they missed. I also had an ekg, but then again how did they find nothing on such a short test.
I also worry about cancer in my spine, since my lower back hurts all the time. Even tho my lower back has hurt since around 1999 or so.
It's awful, isn't it? Any wierd little thing that happens to me, I think "here I go again." I already know when I find something that I can't just blow it off like other people. I just know that I'm going to worry myself crazy until it goes away. Then when that goes away, it will be the next thing. I try really hard to keep myself from getting on the internet and looking stuff up because that just makes it worse. You will find things that just reinforce your fears or create new ones. Anyone else do that too?
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YES!!!!!!!!!!!!! And I hate this !!!!
However I do have real health problems, too many in a short period of time, which have made me the anxious, panic ridden mess I am. I don't think up problems & then develop symptoms for them.I am frightened of all the real health issues I have & worry way too much-- but mostly because I just want to feel normal & am sick of always having something wrong with me.
and I sick of feeling so anxiety ridden all of the time-- it makes me physically ill so it's like a merry go round effect.
It stinks !
I totaly understand, I feel like I cannot talk to anyone about it because my partner just tuts and calls me a hypercondriach in a sarcastic way but I hate feeling this way. the other week I convinced my body I was suffering with symptoms of HIV but when I went for a test it was negative, then I though perhaps the result was wrong, What is wrong with me? HELP
Lord knows we wish there was help for all of us, if there is I would love to know and quit wasting my life away. Yesterday I had a HORRIBLE headache, back of neck, dizzy, KNEW I had a brain tumor ( I have had sinus the past few days too) BUT knew is was tumor or having a stroke. Am some better today but still don't feel great. Have NO energy, no motivation, no cares, just obsessing about myself. HATE IT ! Husband DOES NOT understand and I keep thinking (to myself) of all of the tests I need/should have done, MRI, chest x-ray, heart cath, you name it, it's been several years since I"ve had any done so just know there is something really wrong that is ruining my life. Pretty pathetic isn't it ?
It's not pathetic at all! You can't help the way you feel and you are certainly in good company. I try doing some thought blocking where if I start to worry about some aspect of my health, I say something to myself something like "Those aren't productive thoughts, they are just distracting you from what's important right now." or "Those kind of thoughts are just needless worries, try to focus on something else." Sometimes it does help, but usually, I find myself going right back to my worry again. Maybe I'm not working hard enough at it? Do you all find it hard to dismiss these scary health thoughts throughout the day? Do you find yourself just keep going right back to them? Do you ever wonder what you would think about if you didn't worry all the time?! ha ha
I am the same way and feel that no one is really understanding this. I feel fine sometimes and other times it is horrible. I did start some meds today but of course I fretted about those too, still am.
I just want to feel "normal" again. I am so tired of concentrating on something other that the obvious. It is exhausting.
OH MY GOSH!!! Everyone...this is so me right now. I hate this - I really do. I can't seem to let go of this horrible anxiety. I'm 37, highly educated, great job, wonderful family, but for the past 3 years, this anxiety that SOMETHING is wrong just gets worse and worse. I don't know what to do. I want out of this cycle.
My newest thing is the big C. I found a lump in my armpit about 5 months ago, yes a lump! You know what everyone thinks when you find a lump!
I went for a mammogram and ultrasound and it ALL came back just fine - "clean and clear" it was just a normal lymph node that I felt. I even went for a 2nd opinion at a major breast center in a very reknowned medical center where I live in a major city, and even the breast surgeon said the same thing, "it's a normal lymph node." So why, why can't I let this go? Get this, and I can't even bring myself to tell my husband because he's convinced I'm wacko by now...I have an appt. with a 3rd surgeon tomorrow just to be sure, for extra piece of mind. The only people that seem to understand is my ob/gyn's office who said "you have to do what you need to, to get piece of mind, even if it's as far as a biopsy." So, I'm going to ask for a biopsy tomorrow. I can't stop feeling it, so now it's sore and I'm just flat out plain scared. I can't work. I can't concentrate. I HATE THIS.
In the back of my mind, I keep thinking that if this were anything of any seriousness, something somewhere would have shown up. Someone would have suggested further investigation. So I do have that going for me. I have no history of cancer in my entire family - I'm healthy and I feel fine... I just keep feeling this lump - even my ob/gyn said, I'm just real good at finding them.
Did I say I hate being this way? I'm just glad to see I'm not alone.
I, too, have GAD and hypochondria. My worst episodes are sparked by some sort of real physical symptom, although in many cases I may be mentally exaggerating the symptom. Sometimes I will almost "imagine" that something is much worse than it is (for example, a pain in the chest that would be caused by a number of benign things), and that will spiral out of control as well.
Once I am convinced I have the particular terrible health issue, then I get panicked and usually can't breathe deeply or get dizzy, adding more fuel to the fire...
I am just (hopefully!) on the downside of a three-day episode here today. I was panicking over my hearing after having some ear issues when I went to a very loud rock concert this weekend. Doctor did a hearing test and tested the curvature of my eardrums, and all is thankfully normal. I swear I will never abuse my ears like that again, I have gone to too many loud rock concerts in the past ten, fifteen years. From here on out it's earplugs or no concert.
My point with the above is - now that I find myself on the downside, I am exhausted. Worrying is very tiring.
I am new but wanted to just say that I too am suffering from constant health anxiety. I am crazy about checking my skin, mouth, eyes, nails etc. for visible symptoms - it is amazing what one can find and obsess about! I cannot walk down the street without analyzing everyone else for similiar skin issues.... (or watch a movie, look at a magazine...)
My husband is so tired of my daily panicing! Do you ever feel like if something were really wrong, that nobody would actually believe you because you have "cried wolf" so many times. Ugh. I am so weak however (or scared of bad news) that I fear doctors.
My hypochondria has gotten worse, in that I now relate things that happen on TV to a serious illness. I am actually begginning to diagnose people based on things they do in a show, or things they complain of. For example, when someone complains of a headache on a show, I say outloud "Chiari Malformation" , which is a brain malformation and a symptom is headache. Another example is that someone stretched their leg all the way up to their shoulder, and I automatically said "Gee she has Ehlers Danlos (sp?)" I don't know if this has any relevance, but I am trying to show that hypochondria has actually taken over my life, as it is on my mind every single day in every single situation.
Marconis - I do the same thing! Not that it is funny, but sometimes I feel like I would breeze through Med School because I am already so well versed on illness...
The worst part about my health anxiety is that I consistently symptom-hop. One day (or for many) I am completely obsessed with a spot on my skin, but then I will find something new and scarier to replace my initial fear. Once the new fear is gone, I will either have already found a new one, or I will just move onto the next one down the list. To me, I find myself stuck in a cycle of thinking that I have too many things happening to me to really be okay... I really wonder how I will ever get over this health worry....
Yes, mine is almost exactly like that. Ill find one disease, and then Ill find one that better suits my "symptoms", and Ill keep doing it until I feel satisfied. I say satisfied because if I cannot find out what is "wrong" with me, I seem to get angry and even more anxious. I also noticed that more people come to me when they have questions about health, and I usually seem to give them an intelligent response, which is an upside, I guess . You are not alone.
Thank God for all you people! I was sitting here thinking I was so alone in feeling this way and I get in here and read about myself in every one of your posts! It's so good to find people who understand. (Btw, what was I doing when I found this message board, you ask? Why...I was online looking up all my symptoms and what horrible disease I most likely have.)
Last night and so far today, I've been suffering the "out of it", unreality symptoms of my GAD, so, of course, I'm sure I have a brain tumor or something. Logically, I know that spending countless hours in front of a computer will give you that tunnel, disoriented, dizzy feeling (I'm a graphic designer, so I really have to focus on the computer...for eight hours a day and then I freelance on the side, so that's a few more hours in the evening). Like I said...LOGICALLY, I know that. But I'm such a hypochondriac that my symptoms jump from heart disease one day to lung cancer the next, to a stroke or brain tumor, to ... well, you get the picture.
I'm so thankful that I've found people who understand and feel the same way. Everyone thinks your crazy, or you're afraid they will, or you think maybe their right, so you don't talk about it...
I have to keep coming back here now that I know I've found people. I've been diagnosed, btw (since I'm new here) with GAD, OCD, PD, depression and hypochondria. I've been in therapy since April, suffered from these things all my life, but they've become truly unmanageable since the beginning of the year when several stress factors together seemed to make them all full-blown. All at once. Lucky me.
It's so nice to find that I'm not alone is this constant worry and anxiety about my health! I do the exact same thing with finding one symptom and worrying about it...then when that one goes away, there's something new to replace it. Also, like someone said, or some other symptom that I deem as scarier or worse will make me forget the symptom I was initially worried about for awhile. I also find myself looking for things to worry about. I don't know what I would do with all the time I had on my hands if I didn't worry all the time! I think sometimes of all the countless hours of my life I've spent worrying. I am so "good" at worrying that when other people are talking to me, I can hear them and worry at the same time. I don't even think they notice it. It's terrible. Do you all do that too?
Usually, the big ones (cancer/hiv). I suffer from anxiety/ocd and take celexa. I usually get these panic attacks after I have "somewhat" of an exopsure. By this I mean, shaking hands w/ someone, then realize I have a scratch on my finger-paranoia sets in. Currently, it is asbestos cancer, as I helped tear out an old floor which contained asbestos. This one isn't easy to shake. I've been dealing with it for weeks now, althouigh my doctor says I'm at very lw exposure. Problem is, I need definite answers, not low-risk, I want to hear "no -risk". Although I rationally realize life doesn't come with guarantees, I create instant panic and I make it worse by scouring the internet for solutions that aren't there.