Do any of you end up feeling like a hypochondriac because you feel all these physical symptoms, only to be told by doctors that it's probably anxiety?
I think I'm a generally healthy person ... that is, I've never been diagnosed with anything serious, and I have no history of serious diseases in my family. Yet, I am always sure that something catastrophic will happen to me. Over the past 10 years or so, I've had several instances where I had ongoing concerns about my heart. I was sure that I was having symptoms of a heart attack. I'd go to the doctor, and he'd listen to my heart and say that due to my young age and lack of risk factors, I couldn't be having heart trouble. I was glad for the reassurance, so I'd usually be okay after that. I've also had recurring fears about my eyes (I'm very nearsighted and have been convinced that I'll develop serious eye problems as a result).
A couple weeks I had another incidence of this type of thing. It started with a heartburn-like chest pain, which went away but then came back over the next several days. I started to get a tight feeling in my chest, and worried it was my heart. Finally after worrying myself sick over a weekend, I went to see a doctor, who did an EKG and said that it was normal. She thought it was acid reflux maybe, and anxiety.
Even now, I'm feeling like I often have trouble getting a good breath, and I keep yawning to get enough air. But I notice that when I'm not thinking about it, I don't have so much trouble.
I guess my question is, do you guys have trouble differentiating what's a serious concern and what's in your head? I tend to search the internet every time I have a health concern, and I end up thinking I have all these serious conditions. I honestly can't tell how much is real and how much is mental. I feel like I'm going crazy!
Are there any meds that help with this specific problem? If so, what are they? Sorry for the length of this post.
Hi there sugarplum, reading your post was like reading about myself. Im CONVINCED i have a heart problem, but 5 ECG's have all come back normal. My mother has to hide our doctors book because i tend to read up on all different illnesses and find i have many of the symptoms! This constant yawning your having is called Over Breathing. Its one of the worst symptoms i get. Im forever trying to take a deep enough breath to feel satisfied. By the end of the day, im completely worn out. Now ive started worrying my lungs are gonna collapse because of all the yawning i do!
Hi Tracey, thanks for the reply. I guess part of why I continue to be anxious is because I haven't really had ALL the tests I could have ... I have only had an EKG, but no ECG or stress test. I am conflicted about that -- on one hand I want to have it done, because then I could absolutely rule out any heart problems. But on the other hand, the act of going to doctors and having these scary tests done causes more anxiety in itself. I don't think I mentioned in my first post, I have a huge fear of going to doctors. I get really nervous and my BP goes up and I'm convinced they're going to find something really bad wrong with me, so I absolutely hate going. It's a cruel irony, because going to doctors is the only thing that will convince me that I *don't* have these illnesses that I worry about, yet I'm too anxious to go to them!
Oh well ... I have an appt. scheduled with my doctor on Oct. 6, and I plan to have a complete physical, so I'll ask him at that time about having more tests done.
being a hypochondriac can be nerve wrecking on the mind. i always feel the doctor is missing something as well. every pain or discomfort i get, im always demanding a reason why and this drives me into worrying. sometimes i just wish i was stupid. seriously, it seems like people who have access to all this medical info get this problem. i am actually thinking of becoming a primary care physician and going to med school. i think it would bring peace to my mind if i did such a thing. anyhow, we simply need to retrain our minds to think correctly. i dont think it is bad to be concerned about your health but try not to be too obsessive. although it is very hard, try to blow off your symptoms. there is going to be a time where you will have to find some trust in your doctor. if it takes more tests to convince do that. that's how i am too
sugarplum i know exactly what you are talking about. i dont worry about heart problems but other things which is a LOOOONNGG story. i dont know how to stop thinking about these things. right now i am taking my temperature like 2-3 times a day b/c of a sore throat and headache. last night i woke up with complete body sweats but im not sure if its something wrong or just stressed out to the max while im sleeping. every doctor i see tells me i check out fine. i dont know what to do. i have tried meds i dont agree with any of them they make me lose appetite which makes my situation only worse. i dont know how to stop this thinking but its going to kill me in itself if i dont. im at wits end. i already see a pschologist and pschitrist in a week. i need a roommate whos a doctor or something to live with me. im scared of dying a slow death and STILL having people say nothings wrong with me.
for months i was totally convinced i had brain cancer because of headaches that i had. i finally went to the doctor for anxiety and he gave me paxil. i haven't been that crazy with all the diseases but i have been able to control it!! hope this helps
Hello all. I went to the er a couple of weeks ago because I could hardly breath and my chest hurt bad when I would take a breath. I went through tests, x-ray, millions of questions...and it was an anxiety attack. I felt so stupied. And I told the doctor he was crazy! He explained to me that people with anxiety disorder are a lot more in touch with their body and surroundings than normal people. And I probaly pulled something, and the more I thought about it, the worse I got. And now that I sit back and think about it, I believe every word of it. It does make sense. We worry about everything. We seem to notice so much more. And because we worry so much, we will stress about it. I hope you are indeed ok!! And the best of luck to all of you! Sincerely, Lori
I always thought of myself as a hypochondriac, and tried to ignore my symptoms, out of fear of looking bad to my Doctor. 6 years I dealt with terrible pains in my chest area, along the sternum. I would be left in tears from the pain, but determined I was just being a baby. Anyway, gradually the pains got so bad one day when I was driving with my kids! I had trouble driving to a spot where I could just sit and endure the pains til they were over. Then I went to the ER, and they said it was heartburn. My worst fears were realized, and I believed I was a hypochondriac. But my family forced me to see my Doctor. Turned out I was filled to the brim with gall stones and had to have my gall bladder removed. Point being, I personally have to force myself to see the doctor, in spite of whatever he may think about me. The symptoms always should be taken seriously, hypochondria or no. In my small opinion. Hope that helps a little.
[This message has been edited by GinnyUSA (edited 09-27-2003).]
I'm a hypochondriac. Over the years, I have thought I had heart problems, MS, a brain tumor, and now I'm afraid I have a lung disease. I have been tested for asthma. Two test said I have it, the last one was normal. I don't know who to believe. I sleep well, so I am only short of breath when I am awake andthinking about it. Like now, reading these messages!
I hate this!
Hi - just to follow up my own post, I have a doctor's appointment on Monday and I keep obsessing over it. I keep trying to think of the right questions to ask to make sure that I get checked for everything that I'm worried about. When I look at it objectively, I realize I'm always trying to diagnose myself instead of just waiting to see what the doctor says. I always have to go in there with several things in mind that I think I might have, instead of leaving it to him to ask the questions. It's good to be prepared and informed, but I think I take it too far.
By the time Monday comes I'll probably be a wreck ...
I was just diagnosed with anxiety, agoraphobia. I have often wondered if I was a hypochondriac too. I agree with everything that everyone has posted on this thread. Our knowlegde of medical conditions does cause us to worry more. I was a CNA, and a Medical transcriptionist for a short time hence the poor spelling and grammar. I have also read that we as chronic worriers are more sensitive to our own bodies and environments heightening the painful effects and stressing us out even more.
Even my husband has called me a hypochondriac in the past and he is also sick of me being freaked out or worried that I am going to die! I have given up on trying to get him to accept and support me while I try to get myself well. I would love the support but am determined that no matter what the cause of my pain or worry, I will get better with help, and you will too.
Making a list of questions is a good Idea, we all calm down when we are organized. I can never sleep the nite before an appointment of any kind regardless of preparations. Just keep in mind it is the first step to recovery and will help you feel better. My best advice is to be completely honest with your doc about everything nomatter how personal and if you cry let it out; he will probably listen even more if you do.
Thanks, losingit. I know what you mean about how your husband reacts. My boyfriend is like that too. He tries to be supportive, but he can't understand why I react the way I do. He just kinda acts like "here we go again" every time I tell him about a new health concern that I have. I fully admit that I worry too much and maybe I jump to the wrong conclusions, but that doesn't mean my concerns shouldn't be taken seriously. I bet he would feel bad if he dismissed my fears as "silly" and then I actually was diagnosed with something! (But don't get me wrong ... I'm certainly not hoping to be diagnosed with anything.)
Glad to hear I'm not the only one who can barely sleep before an appointment. It's just one of those things where I can't see past it. All I can think of is how it's looming in the horizon and I have to get through it before I can think about anything else.
My family and boyfriend constantly call me a hypochondriac. I do the same thing! It's nice to hear that I'm not alone in this. I never feel like I'm getting good clear answers from ANY doctors, and so I feel like they're not looking hard enough at the problems. Any the trouble is that many symptoms, such as headaches, nausea, soreness, etc can be associated with a million different things, which doesn't help any! Right now I'm trying to figure out if everything I suffer from is psychosematic and self-fixable, or a condition that I need real help for (such as meds). If anyone gets a chance to read my post from today on anxiety, please respond!!
I hate to say this but I am SO glad Im not the only one out there going through this. My two biggest fears right now are lung cancer and blood clots. Thankfully I have a really nice doctor who fully understand my problems. While he believes that it is part of my OCD that Im having chest and leg pains hes still willing to run all the tests I need to put my mind at eases.
My husband on the other hand doesnt really understand all this. Weve been having allot of problems lately and with my illness our marriage has gotten into dangerous territory. He has said that he is tired of waiting for me to get better.
Ive gotten to the point where Ive chosen to focus on my health first and worry about him later. At this point I cant do both and if he decides to leave I have two little girls I need to be able to take care of. Hes also threatened to use my illness to take them away from me. Its a mess. I just keep telling myself that its got to get better.