Hi all I am a 32 male who suffers from depression and anxiety. My situation and condition has greatly improved since I started CBT and going to some support groups where I can voice my issues and not be judged. The one condition though that has not been helped and has actually gotten worse is my hypochondria. It never used to be that bad but lately it is really killing me. I am self diagnosising myself with things like colon cancer. I have been to the doctor numerous times and seen a specialist regarding my so called stomach ailment. I got myself worried that it was colon cancer and the doctor looked at me for 2 minutes and told me I was fine, he wasn't going to send me for unneccessary tests. This past week I had a little bleeding with my stool, but I also strained to go the other day and that is the likely cause. I have now made this a mountain. I go online which is the worst thing to do and I look up the symptoms of colon/rectal cancer and immediately diagnose myself with it. My support staff around me tells me to cut it out. I am making the situation worse and will eventually make myself sick. I know inside I am fine, but I keep thinking that if I don't go to the doctor and have all these tests done, that somehow I will have a cancer or something life threatening. I go see my therapist tonight and will surely talk with him about his for the millionth time. Eventually something will sink in that I am healthy and that my little bleeding here and there is the hemmorroid that I probably have. I have to tell myself that the doctor would have found something doing his digital exam and that Xrays would have shown something. My blood work is fine, no anemia. So I need to look at the positive and start living for myself and my 8 year old daughter. The last thing I need to do is to make my daughter worried because her daddy is going to a million doctors and taking a million tests. Enough is enough. Thanks to all who read this long rant and any encouragement is always welcomed. I use all the positive support I can. Thanks again and God bless!
I am with ya on this one...I too think that I suffer from many diseases. They change from week to week. I obsess, I have panic attacks, and makes my life a living hell..My fear has developed so much that I cannot read, hear on tv, billboards, or even say the word of a certain disease...I have gone to my doctors so much I think they are sick of seeing me..Which would take me months to build up the courage to go, just to be told Im fine...But then sometimes I go to see "specialist" because I think my family doctor is wrong..I feel like a dog chasing his own tail!
Im having a really bad morning now, and Im sure my day will get worse..Last night I was watching tv in bed and something came on about this "virus" and I wasn't quick enough to grab the clicker and change the channel..I should have just left the room but I was frozen with fear for a couple of minutes. I got a earful of something I didn't want to hear..When I have these obsessive thoughts and anxiety, I start cleaning my house..I just got done washing all the doorknobs and light switches with lysol wipes...But it's not over yet....
I know what your going through, I live with it everyday...Something we try to control, but can't...Your not alone, I hope you find some comfort here, I know I have..
Thanks to you both for your replies. My problem right now is my OCD. Unconciusly I sometimes don't realize my cumpulsions until I have already put them in motion. I saw some blood after a bowel movement and then thought I saw blood in my stool. So I ran to the drug store and bought one of those colorectal kits where you drop a piece of paper in the bowl after going and it tells you there MIGHT be bllod present in the stool. Well 2 test were negative but this morning the third was positive. I flipped out and had a panic attack. Mind you the test does say that it MIGHT be blood, there could be false negatives and it does not take the place of a fecal test performed by a lab. But in my mind I now have colon/rectal cancer. My first instinct is to run to the doctor and then that means a million tests. I'll get myself worked up because of the tests and make myself sick. Always happens. Good chance it is a hemmorroid, or because I strain to go sometimes could be the source of blood. Could also be because of excessive wiping because I am a clean freak. But what I need to do is not run to the doctor or specialist. Keep telling myself that I am fine. I have been to the doctor and the simple tests both gave me where good enough that they didn't want to send me for unnecessary tests. I didn't tell them at the time that I had a little blood, but I am sure upon examination something would have been noticed. My therapist thinks my hypochondria is a result of something that I feel is missing in my life. Something makes me unhappy. I need to find it, but for right now I need to stop thinking I may have cancer, stop worrying about that stupid test being a positive, stop thinking about what if I don't go to the doctor and it is a tumor or cancer and live my life. What do you think? What should I do? Should I forget it and move on? Or should I be going through the hassle of doctors? Only asking for advice and I really appreciate it.
My therapist thinks my hypochondria is a result of something that I feel is missing in my life. Something makes me unhappy.
As a former sufferer of anxiety, I think OCD comes from a lack of security that started in childhood. When you lack security and are afraid, control is what you think will bring security. A lack of control or the unknown are very unnerving. What did I do? I increased my security so that then I didn't need total control all the time over everything in order to TRY to feel secure. How do you increase your feelings of security? Understand what happened to you that made you feel so insecure in the first place and then develop yourself emotionally from there.
Thanks for the great reply! I have an 8 year old daughter who is my world, and maybe it's the thought of leaving her one day that troubles me. My grandmother died when I was 7, my mom came down with lymphoma when my daughter was 7. That's when this depression started to happen. I felt like I was living my life all over again looking at it from my daughter's eyes. Seems weird, sounds weird. My hypochondria is a form of control. If I have a disease, it gives me something to worry about and fuel my desire to live life to the fullest. I am understanding that, and am giving myself symptoms. I see blood from an area that usually raises questions and I run with those questions. I run mad. My therapist tells me that nothing is 100% perfect. Everything including the human body has little quirks and does things that we can't explain. Sometimes though it's the fear of the unknown that makes me obsess. I need to live for today. It's hard because I always thing the worst. I think that blood in my stool is automatically cancer and then I start giving myself other symptoms of it. Drives me batty. I need to just step back, monitor the situation. If it gets worse then it is something critical, but if it comes along once in a blue moon, then I need to not think the worst. I am fine and will do my best to believe it.
Figures..I type how this whole deal, then hit a wrong button and lost it all...
Im going to keep it short and sweet..
This may work for you, it has helped me..Over the last couple years I have come up with little tricks to try and help me..Because I am afraid to seek help for OCD but on track to do so..
Yes it is a battle of the mind...Control is a issue here..We want control of our thoughts..Most people get an intrusive thoughts but push is aside rather quickly..But we don't...
I have good days where I can pass my obsessive thoughts aside within a few minutes or a couple hours...Somedays I can't..I think about it all day and dream about it as well..Now on these bad days, as I call them..I try and not let it control me...I will read a novel in one day, keep my mind focused on something else besides diseases..Or I will leave a radio on all day while Im home and sing..I focus on the song and the sound of my voice...Basically just turning my attention to something else..Forcing my mind to switch gears..I even come up with stories in my mind..Funny things to try and make me laugh, like if I won the lottery..How would I spend the money? I even go online when Im in this thought process and look at million dollar homes and boats...Postive thoughts!! Funny thoughts! Laughing does help...My step son will come up with funny stuff and before I know it, Im laughing hard..I even try to relive happy times in my family and find myself smiling...Little story here you might find cute..I think of this often to get a chuckle..My son plays sports, going to the games is hard for me because I also have social anxiety..For years (which my husband and I didn't know till a few months ago) that at these games my daughter (who is younger than our son) used to stand close to the sidelines and throw the "loser sign at him", and sticking out her tongue to try and distract him.(he is a goalie) Now, I do it at the games..(it eases my social anxiety) and makes my son and I laugh..Kinda of a inside family joke..Anyways, didn't mean to rattle on, but hope this finds you well and helps...
I really appreciate your kind words. Today is getting better, had a long talk with mom. She made me make her a promise that I would not run to the doctor. All the doctor will do when I mention blood, is send me for a million tests. What will that accomplish? It will only feed my OCD and anxiety. Can't say that the thought of what if I don't go and it is something dangerous? doesn't still play in my mind. I always seems to look at the negative and the worst case scenarios. My therapist says 30 years like this does not undo itself in 8 months. Might take me 30 years to solve it. So I need to stay focused and work hard to live happy and as healthy as God allows me. I also do a lot of praying to my Higher Power. Helps me to know that something is always with me and allowing me to be free and give me the choice of do or do not.
My grandmother died when I was 7, my mom came down with lymphoma when my daughter was 7.
That's when this depression started to happen.
I felt like I was living my life all over again looking at it from my daughter's eyes. Seems weird, sounds weird.
My hypochondria is a form of control. If I have a disease, it gives me something to worry about and fuel my desire to live life to the fullest.
Sometimes though it's the fear of the unknown that makes me obsess. I need to live for today.
Hi Kbenner, what a trigger this was for you. You must have been really close to your grandmother? Was it your mom's or your dad's mother? Did that parent take the death really hard? How did you feel back then when she died? It doesn't sound weird to me.
So your hypochondria gives you something to focus on to distract you from your feelings? I guess your family didn't deal with your grandmother's death too well so you weren't able to either?
Oh the fear of the unknown, been there, done that. You can get more comfortable with it, I did. I think that I basically resolved all of my unresolved feelings and, therefore, was able to calm myself (those unresolved feelings have a way of keeping you anxious). When you are anxious it seems that you just can't handle anymore so the future is scary because you already know that you can't handle what you have (but you can if you deal with what you have already).
In June I had surgury and ever since then I have been to so many doctors. Not a one of them has found anything wrong and they prescribed an antidepressent. I took them for a month and quit taking them. I do see a counselor once a week. The counseling does help but I still have days where the panic takes over and I want to go to the doctor. I usually find something to keep me busy. Take walks, take a ride in the car, or I just talk myself out of going to the doctor.
Last week I wasn't able to talk myself out of going to the doctor and she said I may have to go on the antidepressent again.
I know depression causes different symptoms but they seem so real.