Ahhh, I have anxiety/panic disorder, and am a severe hychondriac. My main fear is cancer, but I am most fearful of death and dying. Why, oh why, do I keep reading scary stories on the cancer forums??? I go to the lung cancer board and read about how people are coping with and dying from cancer, and I work myself into such a state of panic.
I feel like I am totally wasting my life here. Of course I think I am dying from something now (I always do), but what if I am totally healthy and am wasting my life by reading cancer boards???? One day I really may need to post there, and I am not enjoying my life right now, or the fact that I am healthy.
I can't stand being like this. Can anyone else relate? I just got done reading the boards and want to cry. I am dizzy and lightheaded, and it is hard to breathe.
During the day I am fine, and stay away from this stuff, but when I am bored at night I go and read this stuff. I hate it so much. I just wish I could stop obsessing about diseases. I have been like this for years, and I live in constant fear of terminal illness and death. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.
The following user gives a hug of support to Bette76: Thescaredone (06-25-2011)
I hear you! I know what your going through. I still can't beleive that anxiety makes me feel like this. I've had the cancer fears, mainly a brain tumour or heart attack. I also fear dying and death. Just recently they have put up advertising boards with heart attack messages saying if you feel a chest pain don't ignore it. For about 2 weeks after those board went up I couldn't stop thinking I was heaving a heart attack.
Mostly my anxiety is thro my headaches and tension, sometimes its a lumpy throat or trouble breathing. I'm 26, fairly health. I play football, gym 4 times a week. I should be living my life more rather than worry...
This might not help but I find this good for me. Get CD/Mp3 with calm, relaxing music and listen to it till you fall asleep. Its helps calm me down and I get a great sleep. Next day I feel alot better with thigs.
i know how you feel.. i do the same thing.. i also go to the lung cancer board because my mom passed away from it in september... heres what helped me.. when you go to healthboards and you can see all of them listed and how many posts each one has,, compare the serious ones to the less seriuos.. i mean,, there were like 5000 posts to cancer, and like 80,000 on the anxiety boards, or the skin problem board, etc.. makes me feel better to see that the things i fear, really are far more rare than what the docs tell me i have(panic,anxiety) anyway,, hope that helps.... amanda
Im the same way i've been crying non stop thinking I have a brain tumour and Im gonna die, go blind, etc etc. I have barely been eating and have pain and stiffniss all over. My brain is also 'numb' as if there are no thoughts there. Making me fear I have a brain tumour
I found that trying to stop thinking about it helps. You need to keep your mind busy and train your mind to stop thinking about these things. I used the Linden Method because I had the hypochondria so bad and it worked within 2 weeks.
When you have these thoughts (which mine were every minute of every day) put the stop sign up and do something else, crossword puzzles, hobby, anything.
If you keep researching your going to find something that relates to your symptoms. You are feeding your obssessions.
It's really tough to do - but if I can do it you can too.
you are NOT alone. i often feel like i am the only one. i suffer from anxiety and hypochondria. i have episodes of anxiety where i think i have a terminal illness and i go to the doctor everyday for weeks and try to get reassured that i have nothing serious. my friend says that it seems like i'm trying to find something wrong with me. but i'm not, because it is my biggest fear! i eventually get through it with meds and CBT. right now i am just getting over it. i am still fearful though about my anxiety and i sometimes think i am crazy. i was reading a book about anxiety and it said when you have anxiety you tend to overestimate a situation and underestimate your coping skills. i know, however, that i am afraid of death and dying like you. i'm hopeful there is help for our anxieties.
Hi there Bette 76,
I do know how you feel, more than you may realise (and so do many, many others). My Dad suffered from hypochondria for most of his 85 years and yet was never seriously ill (apart from malaria during WW2) untill the day he passed away (very suddenly and unexpectedly) last year from a thrombosis. I (and others including my Mum) ridiculed him mercilessly about his constant ill health fantasies and I never understood how how real the fear of illness can be untill about 2 months ago when I freaked out about a visit (see my other posts) to a neuro. How the tables have turned!! Now I am the hypochondriac and obsess about neaurological disorders constantly! What has helped me is reading a book by Shad Helmstetter Ph.D. called "What you say when you talk to yourself" (hope no-one minds me promoting his book on this site). He talks about our own "self talk" and about how much of it is negative and self-destructive and gives techniques to help overcome this . It's helped me a great deal and although I don't know whether it will work for everyone it's worth a try. You should be able to find the title easily if you are the U.S.A./Canada as he is an American author (there are probably other similar books on the market by differant authors). I must ask you a question. Do you spend alot of time alone? My work is very solitary, tedious and is not mentally involving which gives me far too much time to think and therefore my mind easily slips into a negative self-obsessing state. When I'm in company the health fears diminish greatly. Obviously I don't know your own lifestyle but if it is similar it might be worth considering a change (as I am) if I may suggest it. Someone suggested that ill health illusions are a form of OCD. I wouldn't disagree as I suffer from OCD, albeit only mildly. At the present time I'm undergoing a course of "cognitive therapy" focusing on my own health anxieties (I've been diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder and have suffered with anxiety since a child). It's too early (have only had a 1 hour session) to judge its worth but things look promising. A final word of advice, find some positive reassuring information about your health and then STAY OFF ANY HEALTH SITES!!! If you need to, trash the computer, or maybe a less dramatic course of action would be to lock it in a cupboard and throw away the key/sell it/give it away/disconnect the modem!!! Remember that time spent worrying about health is time not spent doing something more productive (I'm sure you realise this) and yet all of us anxiety riddled individuals still do it. Some sage once said that "money wasted can be recovered, material objects lost can be replaced but once time is spent it can not be recovered" or some such statement. That certainly made me think when I read it. Do I abide by that philosophy all the time? No (otherwise I wouldn't be on this site), but when I remember it and take action, I do analyse the time I waste and try to steer my personal "ship" from the stormy waters of health anxiety to calmer seas. Hope some of this helps and not hinders you.
Last edited by skiesofmars; 12-15-2006 at 02:35 PM.
Wow, thanks everyone!!!! Ok, so I guess I am not alone at all! LOL I just wonder why so many of us have this. I definitely think it is something we are born with, though, as my grandpa had OCD, too. And I have had this since I was 11 (19 years) so I know it is something that is not going away.
alefever...sorry to hear about your mom.
cookie- omg my brain tumor fears are the worst. I know exactly what you mean about fearing vision problems. I don't know what I would do if I got double vision or something - and I can't believe I actually sit around "waiting" for it to happen, imagining the worst.
I know the best advice is to stay away from the cancer sites - why am I drawn to them like an alcoholic to alcohol?? The damn obsession. I will really try and keep my mind occupied . I really do go through phases for a month or so at a time, when I am "normal." This is just a bad time for me right now, as I am only working part-time and am searching desperately for a full-time job. I need to stay really busy or I start slipping.
Thanks again for all of the responses. I hope we all can have a semi health anxiety free weekend, and try to enjoy ourselves a little!!!!!!!
Whenever I get a panic attack I am unable to sleep. I fight it because my brain is telling me that if I do fall asleep I will never wake up. Just typing it makes me start to feel anxious. But of course I always wake up just fine. I had a complication after one of my pregnancies and my lungs filled with fluid. It was as close to death as I've ever come and when I lay down at night I can still feel that fluid and start to freak that it's happening again. And my lungs are just fine.
I am always convinced that I have cancer, I check my moles constantly as my aunt and first cousin had melanoma. I have had a sore throat on and off for a couple weeks and am convinced that is cancer as well. Every ache, every pain is my liver or my kidneys or my heart. It sucks feeling like this all of the time.
I have great company though. My mom is bipolar and my uncle (her brother) suffers from panic attacks and is OCD as well. At least I'm not all alone in this.
when you go to healthboards and you can see all of them listed and how many posts each one has,, compare the serious ones to the less seriuos.. i mean,, there were like 5000 posts to cancer, and like 80,000 on the anxiety boards, or the skin problem board, etc.. makes me feel better to see that the things i fear, really are far more rare ....
Thank you, this helped me alot! I quit smoking a few months ago after smoking for 25 years. Now I read the lung cancer boards on here and worry that I did major damage to my lungs. I try to stay away from the cancer forums, but I can't.
Betty, I was kind of like that too. I always felt like I had some problem or another and would go crazy, until recently I just said I wasn't going to do it. Stop going to these sites. Go out and get some magazines with scoops of your favorite stars. Get some good books from the library. Work on some project. Basically keep your mind and scheduleso occupied with what you have to do next that you won't have time to think about dreary things. Rent movies, enter sweepstakes, listen to the radio, whatever to keep you busy. Try not to be alone, but around people. It really helps. Soon you'll realise you feel much better.
I am totally just like you! I am having a terrible time now myself. Always worrying about "c". Just went to the dr regarding blood pressure. Dr. wanted a blood test and checked off complete blood count with platelets as one of the things he wanted checked. Had the blood drawn this past Tuesday and have been making myself sick thinking that for sure he's going to tell me I have a blood disease and it's fatal. I then look these diseases up and can't eat or sleep. Always worrying about death and dying also and have a very hard time just going about my every day life. Contact me if you want to discuss - I'm a 55 yr old female
Betty, if you haven't went to your doctor yet I suggest you do so. And if he has seen you and gave you a clean bill of health then that is all you need to know. You may have shortness of breath and chest pain because you are constantly surfing the lung cancer forums and your tension is being centered in your chest region. So first thing, get checked by your doc if you haven't done so already. Secondly, don't surf other diseases. It can only make your anxious mind wander more than it already has. You aren't alone though. Take care
I have this too. I'm half way through a course of malaria pills having just come back from Goa. I cant sleep, only an hour or two a night, by drinking a bottle of wine. If i stop taking my malaria pills, I would beable to take sleeping pills, but then I might get malaria. If I carry on taking them, my alcohol consumption may give me liver disease. I've ben having palpitations and am about to have an ECG
I have severe hypochondria about my heart. There is usually not one minute of any given day that i do not think i might be having a heart attack. If i get any pain that is any way related to being a symptom of a heart attack i instantly think oh no here it comes the big one!!!! I have jaw pain, back pain, left arm pains usually off and on everyday. I dont have chest pain alot but i do get it sometimes. I have been to several doctors and they all say the pains are not related to my heart. I have had every test done besides a cath and they all show my heart is fine but i can not get it out of my head and i can not let it go and move on. This has been going on EVERDAY for almost a year, im getting to the point where i cant deal with it anyomore. I dont want to take an SSRI, i do take ativan as needed and i am in group therapy for anxiety..........its not helping very much.
I have to add that I'm exactly the same way .
When I was young I found a medical book and have read through it so many times !
It's still with me now under my bed side table and I look in it whenever I think something is wrong - I know the symptoms to almost anything.
Wish I wasn't like this .
It's horrible to be so worried .