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Panic over health

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Old 07-19-2006, 09:28 PM   #1
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glemis HB User
Panic over health

I have to discuss this with women that I think will understand....

Every couple of weeks I go through this panic about my health. If I get a pain in my breast I'm freaked out until I get a mammogram and ultrasound to convince myself that I'm not dying. I occasionally get this electric zing feeling up one side of my head and I'm convinced that I have a brain tumor. My latest panic is over my moles. I'm convinced that some of them are changing into melanomas. When this comes over me, I spend hours researching the internet and medical journals to try and diagnose myself. My husband kids with me and asks me what I'm dying of today? Last year alone I had a full body scan, an endoscopy, 2 mammograms and 2 ultrasounds, along with a whole battery of blood and urine tests. My doctor said my blood work was good enough to get me into Harvard. So why do I panic like this every couple of months? Perhaps this is just hormonal. Can anyone relate?


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Old 07-19-2006, 09:35 PM   #2
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Howitt44 HB User
Re: Panic over health

You sound like me! I was diagnosed with asthma 4 years ago and have since research every type of lung disease you can think of - googled, search, and researched until I have thought I had every disease I read about. It takes up so much time and energy. Sometimes I think these computers are a pain in the you know what! But at least you had all the tests - I'm scared to get them!

Old 07-20-2006, 06:38 AM   #3
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marymk HB User
Re: Panic over health

Hi Joyce,

You've just described my life for the past year. I am constantly thinking that I have some new and dreaded disease. I've never been to the Dr. so much in my life. I've had blood work,manograms, ultrasounds, sonograms, an EKG - I wish I could get a whole body scan, just to have everything checked out.
I haven't had a colonscopoy yet - I'm 48 and my GP said I should get one at 50.
I also see a dermatologist now - I went last year to get a mole checked. He almost laughed at me - it wasn't a mole at all - just scar tissue from a bug bite or sting. I still check it every now and then (even though he told me to forget about it). The good thing about seeing a derm - I've had facial acne for the last 6 years or so, and am now getting it treated - they say probably from hormones also (I never had much as a teen).
I think this health anxiety is a part of 'peri'. I even get frustrated with myself about it. I NEVER used to worry about any of this, now it's all consuming. That's how I found this board. The internet can be scary - I try not to look up my symptoms anymore


Old 07-20-2006, 07:14 AM   #4
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Mandarra HB UserMandarra HB User
Re: Panic over health

Hi Mary,

I know how you feel. I have had health anxiety all my life, now that I'm 48 it's totally out of control. Every little thing triggers a panic in me, I obsess and worry to the point that I need to take a tranquilizer. I belong to a health anxiety support group on the net and the cardinal rule is "never, never look up symptoms on the internet" you will drive yourself to the looney bin because they often give you the worst case senario. Any symptom leads to cancer on the internet and this just isn't so in real life.
I do think our hormones are going crazy and this causes us to be extra sensitive to everything. Try and talk yourself out of the "worst case" thing. I force myself to go to the doctor when I have something going on so that I can get a professional opinion and not a made up disease in my head, and believe me it is no easy thing for me to see the doctor, I am a huge chicken and doctor phobe. Good luck hun, you are not alone.
Mary (also)

Old 07-20-2006, 09:52 AM   #5
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twanger HB User
Re: Panic over health

WOW! This is me. My health anxiety got really bad when I started menopause. Up until that time I was pretty much normal.

I am now 3 years post and the anxiety has remained ( I'm sad to say). Most of the other symptoms are gone or at least diminished and I have more energy than I ever had. However, this anxiety remains.

I think that our bodies go through such a turmoil with the decreasing hormones that we think that there has to be something horrible wrong with us. I know that is what happened to me.

The only solution for me is to go for a long walk and then tell myself that there can't be too much wrong with me if I can walk 4 miles so I'll just enjoy the life I have now. It works sometimes.

Old 07-20-2006, 10:52 AM   #6
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Belle2003 HB User
Re: Panic over health

I am the same way.(age 48) I get some weird pain or lump and I immediately think the worst. At least you follow through with the doctor. The only time I followed through was with a lump in my breast. It turned out to be a cyst, but because it was small and not an egg like my last cyst I worried myself sick until the doctor said otherwise. The mamogram was not conclusive and neither was the ultrasound. Even the needle aspiration had to be sent for analysis. All the while I was freaked out.

I cannot tell you how many times I thought I had some horrible illness and then the weird pain/symptoms went away. My poor husband must think I am a nut.

I am glad to hear that I am not alone.

Old 07-20-2006, 01:08 PM   #7
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mrod HB User
Re: Panic over health

You are definitely not alone!! I will be 42 in Oct. so I assume I am experiencing Peri. I started with the anxiety about 2 months ago. My worst part is shortness of breath-constantly yawning and sighing. I have had blood tests, EKG, stress test, chest x-ray and pulmonary function tests. Everything is normal!!! I went back to my Dr. today asking about allergies, GERD, and heart and lung problems!!! He said I am fine and it is ANXIETY!!! He wants me to take .25 mg of xanax 2 times per day. I was taking it once or less and it did nothing. I hope this helps-but feel better that you are not alone with this health fear. My husband and family are patient but getting fed up with me!

Old 07-20-2006, 02:40 PM   #8
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Belle2003 HB User
Re: Panic over health

Dear mrod:

I have read that celexa helps with obsessive complusive problems. Do you think that an obsession over health could be an obsessive problem?

Celexa has helped one of my relatives, but I hate taking prescription pills every day. I also worry about my families health too. My husband and kids say I worry too much and that it will be what harms my health. I sure hope that they are wrong.

Old 07-22-2006, 06:40 AM   #9
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laineyk HB User
Re: Panic over health

Hello, add me to your list...I do claim to be the QUEEN of this that would make you all my "court". I have always had health anxiety to one extreme or less but now that I am 47 & in peri...I am a basket case most days. I take zoloft & klonopin (that I have tried to wean off but not doing to good in that areana) This last week I started getting wicked bad headaches, neck pain (thought I had meningitis) then I found a white sore on the back of my throat and my appeteite has been nil (everything has tasted weird)...Finally went to the Dr. yesterday (I am afraid to go the Drs cuz I don't want to find out something awful) and he did a strep test and it was neg. told me I have bacterial infection w? sinus and put me on Levequin...Today the sore has gone down quite a I am not dieing this time. I am a born again Christian & I really should not have this constant fear & yet I am unable to beat it. Gods not through with me yet apparantly.
Glad to know I am not alone.....God Bless you all, Lainey

Old 07-22-2006, 07:48 AM   #10
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Re: Panic over health

I have been having the headaches and neck pain, etc. My doctor told me it was a sinus infection also. Naturally, I thought that it was meninigitis, brain tumor, or West Nile Virus. I still have the headache and it is a little better but I think that maybe he missed something.

That is how bad this health anxiety is.

Old 07-22-2006, 08:56 AM   #11
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Wizard HB User
Re: Panic over health


Like the rest of you, I've become a constant panicker over my health. It seems like I went overnight from being this person who never saw a doctor to someone who visits every couple of months for a new ailment (that I don't have).

I freak out over every little thing and no matter how much I try to convince myself that I don't have a major illness, I worry, worry, worry.

My symptoms have had me convinced at times that I have MS, ALS, Fibro, Sjorgens syndrome, heart disease, cancer of the leg, breast cancer. The horrible thing is that I can get a mammogram and then still worry that I have breast cancer even though I have this perfect mammo that tells me I don't. I had both an u/s and an xray of my knee and still worried about leg cancer. The tingling in my legs has me constantly worried about some kind of neurological disease.

I feel like I've become a walking basket case overnight. I'm embarrassed to go to the doctor anymore.

I don't want to turn to continual use of AD drugs so I am trying to use exercise and vitamins but gee.....this is not fun.

The main hope I can offer is that the obsession with health does go away. My sister is about 3 years ahead of me in all this and she went through a terrible bout with anxiety. She used to have panic attacks over the simplest little things and worried about her health obsessively. She actually visited a neurologist because she was convinced she had MS. She had tingling in the right side of her body. He told her she had a pinched nerve in the left side and she decided she was just paranoid and nuts about illness. This all occured about 3 years ago and today, she doesn't worry about illness anymore. One day, the anxiety just disappeared so keep up the faith everyone. There will be an end in sight.

Old 07-23-2006, 11:26 AM   #12
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Howitt44 HB User
Re: Panic over health

That's a relief! I am on the verge of going to my doctor and having him prescribe drugs for me. But I think I'll keep doing what I'm doing (supplements, exercise, eating good whole foods, and using my friends as a sounding board). Thanks.

Old 07-23-2006, 01:14 PM   #13
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1awesomegranny HB User
Re: Panic over health

I could have written everything in this anxiety is like being held prisioner by your mind...I for one am sick of it. I'm tired of waking up with racing random thoughts, nausea, dull headaches, brain fog, eye problems, body 'zaps', irregular periods and the many numerous things that happen every day that send me into anxiety/panic mode. I'm just sick of myself, the doctors and life lately....thank you so much, hormones!! Three years of this crap is enough, hope it ends soon.

Old 07-25-2006, 02:28 PM   #14
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Re: Panic over health

the health anxiety of perimenopause has to be one of the worst things. I also have had the fear that I have so many different things wrong with me. Hormones are causing such havoc with different parts of the body that it is easy to convince ourselves that we have these different ailments.

Its seems that as soon as I stop worrying about one thing another takes its place.

Old 07-25-2006, 04:36 PM   #15
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heitara HB User
Re: Panic over health

that's my profession in life: I worry.
The other morning I started making a list of all the worries I have during the day and I ended up considering that I shouldn't complain if I'm tired most of the day. So much energy wasted! I think I had all the diseases in the world, and they're always fatal. If I feel lightheaded, if my heart races, if I notice a new spot on my skin, if my stomach aches, if my neck is stiff. Panic starts and I have no control over it. And if by any chance for a few hours I don't have any reason to panic about, I think about a tzunami washing me away.
Ladies, I've always been a worrier but lately is getting really scary. So I can relate with everything you say. I'm a google-freak too and the more I read the more I get worried. I'm a writer and for my job is good to be sensitive and have a good imagination, but you're supposed to stick to your scripts or books. Not me. I dramatize life. And menopause is making everything worse. I guess we just have to hold on tight and hope the ride will be over soon. There are good days when I think "c'mon...enjoy a phase of your life that you need to experience because it will be one in a lifetime". Then I get a heart palp, or a cramp, or a hot flash, or a sleepless night and my good purposes vanish in the fog...brain fog, of course.


"I'm not young enough to know everything". O. Wilde

Last edited by heitara; 07-25-2006 at 04:38 PM.

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