I guess no doctor has ever told me that I am a hypochondriac probably because I tend to keep my worries to myself until I just can't stand it anymore. I believe I am. I worry about every little thing that happens with my body to the point of diagnosing myself with cancer numerous times. It is always something bad! I am going through a time like that right now. I feel for you. It is not fun. I feel like I am not really living life and I tell myself that but I can't seem to stop the thoughts. I think I am going to have to go talk to someone and possibly go on some medicine. I had a rough time like this a few years ago and they prescribed an antidepressant which did seem to help. How is it for you?
The first time I remember freaking out over somethign like this, I was 11. I had some chest pains (probably congestion from allergies) and I had called my parents from my neighbor's house where I was being looked over, and cried to them about how I thought I was having a heart attack.
It's been this way since, but recently it has gotten really bad. I think it started getting out of hand when I started getting panic attacks. I'm not quite sure what it was.
Recently I was having breast pain, and called the doctor to check me...afraid I had breast cancer... I was irritated when she blew me off when I asked her if inflammatory breast cancer was a possibility, and spent the rest of the night going insane. I finally realized that I had a real problem with my hypochondria at that point, especially when my boyfriend pointed out that I have a tendency to get a little OCD, and continually examine myself, and poke and pick at certain areas, obsessing over it all day and all night.
For months, I'd been obsessing over everything and anything, in regards to serious, life threatening health conditions... you name it: lymphoma, brain tumors, lung cancer (I do smoke... and that doesn't help my hypochondria), breast cancer, pregnancy (though it isn't life threatening, I'll explain in a bit why it's a bad concern), Lupus, etc.
Pregnancy isn't necessarily a terrible concern, and it isn't necessarily life threatening, but the anxiety over pregnancy is the problem. I'm talking... I can abstain for the entire month, and still believe that somehow, magically, I'm going to end up pregnant. When I am sexually active I use condoms, and I am on birth control... every month I **** away some 40 dollars or so on multiple pregnancy tests, never believing them... I barely believe it when I get my period.
My recent anxiety has also been centered around swollen glands. Throat and armpits... if I detach myself from my disorder for a second, I think it's safe to say they swell very minimally...but it causes me to obsess over what could be horribly wrong with me that's causing that. I've been to the doctor for it, and had multiple blood counts taken... everything is perfect according to the tests. Went as far to make sure everything was orally okay at the dentist and so on and so forth. But it's always hard for me to believe that everything is okay when they tell me so. Everytime I feel a little swelling in my underarm or throat, I go literally insane. I'm still convinced I have cancer, even though I keep trying to talk myself out of that, because I know I have a problem.
In the past I've been diagnosed with OCD and body dysmorphic disorder, and I have suffered from eating disorders (both anorexia and bulimia) for many years... It seems that since I've been on a good path, and recovering from my eating disorder, the hypochondria has gotten way out of control.
I have a counselor, but I'm not quite sure how to bring it up... I've been seeing her for years, and telling her of multiple physical ailments, but never admitting that I have an issue with taking them too far...
I was considering going back on anti-anxiety medications but I'm not sure I want to do that...
Last edited by ms_mod; 08-09-2007 at 11:14 AM.
Reason: Removed unnecessary quote. Ms_Mod
A few more things... it is terrible to the point it interferes with work and my overall way of living.
I miss lots of work, going to the doctor on nearly a weekly basis, and when friends want to go and do something physical, I always decline...not necessarily because I dont' feel well, but I've got anxiety over the fact that I might end UP not feeling well and having to go home.
People seem to be getting annoyed with my constant complaints and overreactions over my physical ailments and I see why but I cant seem to stop it.
I'm as far as saving old perscriptions and stuff, "just in case"
And yes, I am one of those people that visits WebMD on a daily basis--- I go there hoping to find information about my symptoms that will tell me I'm okay...but you know that's never how it goes. All that always comes up is cancer cancer cancer! And I end up losing my mind over it.
I lose sleep over it, wake up to panic attacks... etc.
Also, do you think swollen glands, could be a symptom of anxiety itself?
For the record, I began having panic attacks at 18 when my parents initiated their divorce. I'm 21 now and the panic attacks and anxiety haven't gotten any better...
Last edited by ms_mod; 08-09-2007 at 11:15 AM.
Reason: Removed unnecessary quote. Ms_Mod
I feel so bad for you because I am in that same state of mind right now. I have always worried to some extent that I had something bad wrong with me. When I was 12 I started having bad headaches and was sure I had a brain tumor so I didn't tell anyone for a long time. I actually had migraines. It seems like this becomes more of a problem for me if other things are going on in my life to stress me out. I went thru a really bad time after my first daughter was born. I was sure I was dying and no doctor would listen to me. They just told me I was depressed. I finally took the antidepressant just to prove them wrong and guess what it helped so so much. I now am needing to have a medical test which the doctors have told me is just to be sure nothing is wrong but I have researched on Webmd also and have diagnosed myself with cancer. I am always poking myself too looking for something wrong. I worry and worry to the point of making myself sick which then gives me more reason to know I have something horrible.I worked really hard to lose weight this year and now instead of being proud of what I have done, I tell myself that I have cancer because weight loss is a symptom of that. My husband does not understand and tells me everything is going to be OK. If only that would work! I have an appointment today with a therapist and I think I am going to ask for drugs! This is no life and I want to enjoy my kids! Please go talk to someone. I wish I could be there for you because I know how it feels and no one really understands.
Thanks so much guys;
It's good to know that someone understands, even though I hate to think of anyone going through this too... it's terrible.
To feel just paralyzing terror everyday that you're going to die of some serious illness, (while you're probably NOT going to..) is a really crappy way to live... I feel insanely trapped in it lately... And although I realize I have this problem, realizing it, doesn't completely matter. I still obsess, obsess, obsess over every little ache, pain, swelling, etc.
I've got swelling in my armpit lately... It's most likely NOT a lymph node, because I've researched where lymph nodes are located in your armpits...and this is too high, almost at my upper arm. Yet, I can't get it off my brain, and I keep worrying endleslly about it... that it's a tumor, or a sign of breast cancer.
My mother is a hypochondriac too, and even she thinks I'm obsessing over it way too much. I've asked her at least 50 times today whether or not she thinks it's something to worry about, or if she thinks I could have cancer and she keeps telling me "No, honey, I don't think you have anything to worry about...if anything at all, it is probably just a cyst"
And for a few short minutes, I feel a bit of relief hearing that...but it doesn't last. In no time I'm back to staring at it, rubbing around at it, freaking out, trying to think of ways I can figure out what it is, what I could take to make it go away... I keep thinking in my head, I should see a doctor"
Then I remember I see a doctor about twice a week.... and I feel totally embarassed about it. To the point where I want so badly to keep going back to the doctor, but I'm afraid to, because I'm sure they all already think I'm nuts.
I've been struggling, trying really hard the past few days trying NOT to re-examine myself over and over for any little "medical flaw" and poke and prod at parts of my body... it's more difficult than it should be. I'll catch myself rubbing my neck checking for swollen glands... realize, and stop, and sit on my hands...only to feel an insane amount of uneasiness in not re-checking over and over again. I don't feel at ease, unless I'm constantly checking it... and yet, I'm entirely sick of "having" to keep doing that, just to feel better... if "better", is even the word for it.
I went to a concert last night, and kept having repetitive thoughts about, what would happen if I was truly sick with cancer or something terrible, and if I should even be out and about, instead of resting... Kept worrying that at some point in the night, I'd have to be hauled away in an ambulance.
It's RIDICULOUS. But I just can't seem to stop.
I kept worrying that the lights shining in my eyes at the concert, would give me a seizure...though I've never been actually diagnosed with epilepsy (I always think I have it)
Last edited by ms_mod; 08-11-2007 at 07:16 PM.
Reason: Removed censored word. Ms_Mod
While I don't see a doctor twice a week, I do see them a hell of a lot. My local GP always listens to what I say and does thorough checks on me and they always come back perfect. I'm always dead worried about everything to do with my health and it just overtakes everything. Weirdly though I have good period and bad periods. I can go a couple of months living a normal life with little anxiety troubles here and there and then I can have a month when I struggle to leave the house and go to the dairy down the road.
I've never been on meds or anything but I have been perscribed beta blockers. I don't take them though because I'm pretty sure I'm going to have an allergic reaction...
My problem at the moment is something I'm guessing to do with my inner ear. I've always had a bit of trouble with it so I can pretty much guarantee that its just being a pain again but I'm just so worried about it. I've spent the last 3 days just smelling adrenaline, heart racing, breathing fast or not at all and wanting to get out of wherever I am. Also I need a phone next to me at all times to call paramedics if I need to and there always needs to be a clear way for the paramedics to get from the road to me. The other weird thing is that if I've got something to take my mind of everything ie. watching my brothers rugby game yesterday, I feel absolutly fine and have no inner ear symptoms at all. Which is a little fishy to me. I have been really busy lately and normally what happens is if I take everything slow and easy I'll slowly come round and be pretty much normal again. I'm guessing I won't rest though until I've seen a doctor or 3 about this current problem and when they give me the all clear I'll slowly start to relax.
this sounds exactlly like me too. i believe at times i am hypochondriac also. never been told. i am so obsessed with my health it gets in the way of everything. i have had ovarian cysts, cervical cancer, esophageral cancer, brain tumor, asthma, MS, migraines, endometriosis, blood clots, and list goes on and on. everyday new thing new worry until i have fifured out the more i think about it the worse it makes it. i have had shortness of breath lately. and all i have to do is think"short of breath" and here it comes and then start focusing on being short of breath. i know i have bad health anxiety but when does it cross the line to hypochondria??
Hi, A person with hypochondria has a preoccupying fear of having a serious illness. This conviction persists despite appropriate medical evaluation and reassurance of good health. If you experience this kind of health anxiety for 6 or months then you may have hypochondria. It can also come and go.
I've got it and it is a terrible way to live. I have been taking Celexa (an anti-depressant) for a few weeks and I think it's helping. I also take ativan when I start getting very worried about some symptom. What often happens is that the symptom I am worried about is brought on stress/anxiety, so when I take the Ativan, the symptom goes away. Ativan is a muscle relaxant and it helps with anxiety.
If you are continually obsessing about your health and body (and I am: lymphoma, throat cancer, tumours, MS, breast cancer etc) I really recommend talking to your doctor about it. I know it is ruining my life (and my family's), and it's a terrible way to live..... Right now, it's really nice feeling like myself again. I felt badly about taking meds, but the relief from the constant worry, touching, obsessing about symptoms on the internet, etc....is worth it. Anyways, just thought I would post because I can really empathize with all of you and I know how difficult it is having hypochondria.
It's a nightmare, I am going on holiday wednesday morning and terrified of flying. So since last week I have had antibotics for a tooth infection, the medication was then (well I am convinced) killing me. I have also been the hospital for loads of blood tests and to book in for a scope as I am convinced there is something sinister going. I have been suffering from reflux, nausesa, wind pain and hopefully and probably all this is caused by anxiety and worry. Today I think I have lymphoma and skin cancer and my tooth is no better after a week of antibiotics so I am thinking maybe there is a tumour.
I think I am mental, but in my quest to get a grip on it I am thinking I know way too much about all of these mentioned illnesses and that is never normal, I am defiently a hypocondriact (spell).
Anyway I have spent so much time stressed and in docs and hospital I am now miles behinf with my holiday pakcing, buying things I need and changing money. Nightmare!
Hi, I saw your post and I know what you are going through.....I hope you can enjoy your trip...
I have been on celexa now for 5 weeks and feel somewhat normal. This drug doesn't make me as drowsy as paxil did...so I am hoping I can stay on it and try and live normally for awhile....Again, hope you get everything done. Good luck with your tooth. I am sure it is fine (but, I know that is not reassuring!!!)
Also, I had similar digestive issues you mentioned about 2 years ago. It all went away after I had a scope...
ps. how about some ativan for the fear of flying????? works for me...
Last edited by tetianainto; 08-20-2007 at 07:39 PM.
I was glad I read your posts! I have health anxiety/hypochondria also!!! I am currently obsessing over checking my breasts! I go through phases with this - looking to make sure I don't find anything to worry about! (Last summer - 06 - I went to 3 different gyn's to get breast exams! It's like I know the first one is most likely right, but I need that reassurance from a 2nd and maybe even a 3rd! I feel reassured for weeks or months, and then something triggers the anxiety and there we go again!
Any thoughts to share would be greatly appreciated! Also, I am on Effexor for OCD -
Hi! Sorry, I just realized you posted to me!!! Sometimes I forget where I've posted, although it's usually in the anxiety or ocd or women's health boards!!! Anyway, yes, Effexor has helped! (wish it would eliminate all hang-ups though!) I had been on 225 for, gosh, maybe 3 or more years for OCD - in June/July of this year my doctor saw me and we decided with the health anxiety being a problem lately that she would increase it to 300 mg - she said lower doses of Effexor has been proven to greatly help with depression, while higher doses of it tend to be greatly helpful with Anxiety - hope this helps - (I have noticed a difference for the better with the increase from 225 to 300 - take care!