Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Trosa, Sweden
Hypochondria and Anxiety from drug trauma
My whole life I was never that concerned with my health. I would get a cold, no big deal, stomach flu, great, i get to miss some school! When I turned 15 I became a heavy marijuana smoker and LSD user. When I was 19 I had a traumatic experience on LSD and have not done any drugs since them (I am now 22). The experience I had was that I thought my brain was slowing down, and that I had killed a key part of my brain during that last trip. For 3 days afterwards I walked around dizzy, with a kind of 'out of my head' feeling. Worried, I went to the hospital to see what was wrong. The doctors found that I was dehydrated (I was neverm uch of a water drinker before that) and gave me some water through the IV. I went home and drank another gallon (i've never peed so much in my whole life).
Since that point I have had panic attacks, usually related to small feelings I get in my body that I assume are signs of a more serious condition. such as a subtle tingling in the face, hands or feet. These are the most common things I feel. Lately I have been worrying more and more about these symptoms, and in turn the symptoms have become more intense, and the first thing on my mind. The tingling has turned to weakness, and in my mind, this means the movement centers in my brain must be disrupted by something. Suddenly thoughts of "O my god, I have an aneurism!, what if it pops??!?, maybe it's a tumor! did I have a stroke I didn't notice?" scream trough my mind. I went to see a doctor, and he ran a blood test, and did some tests to see if my brain was functioning properly (kind of like a roadside sobriety test) and I passed all tests with flying colors. The doctor told me I'm probably just having anxiety about my recent move. (I moved from the US to Sweden 4 months ago) After he told me that I went home feeling on top of the world. The symptoms disappeared, and all was good for about a week, until the symptoms started creeping up on me once again.
Well, they are back at full force now, and the fear of death has returned. I am just about ready to go back to the doctor again, just so he can reassure me that I'm fine, and maybe get a cat scan so i can see for myself that there is nothing wrong with my brain. What makes things worse, since I believe this was brought on by drug trauma, I have an intense fear of pharmecuticals. I don't even take headache pills for fear of adverse reactions. Logically thinking, I KNOW there is nothing wrong with me. I don't feel any symptoms until i check to see if I'm still feeling symptoms. I know, I know, "Just stop checking" you say, but it's very hard to not think about it.
I have recongnized that I have hypochondria, and this experience just decribes one of the many small ailments that has turned into major health catastrophies in the past few years. Others I have had, I thought I had salmonella for a few months, I went to the emergency room with chest pains, thinking I had angina, I had an operation when I was 12 (didn't really scare me much. i thought it was kinda cool) for an undescended testicle, and I've heard rumors to the tune of "sufferers of undescended testicle syndrome have a bigger chance of testicular cancer" so that thought is always at the back of my head as well.
When I try to sleep at night I have lingering thoughs about the uncertaintly of death. not knowing what happens next, that scares me and keeps me awake at night. This is starting to put a strain on my marriage, and my regular life, missing work because I have multiple doctor visits, or I'm to afraid to move, when there is nothing really physically wrong with me. the hardest thing with my wife is trying to make her understand that even though it is all in my head, the fear is very real. I can make myself temporarily chill out and relax, but for the most part, it is very difficult to stop thinking about my impending death, or becoming a vegetable, or losing the use of my hands (which would keep me from doing the things I love the most, like computers.)