| | OCD, Phobias & Second-Guessing Reality?
My apologies in advance if this post is kind of rambling... basically I'm wondering if anybody has experienced anything similar to what I'm dealing with.
I've struggled with generalized anxiety disorder and depression off and on since I was 12 (I'm now 25). I also had issues with hypochondria and OCD (minus the compulsion part) and was terrified of germs and diseases. I did a lot of second-guessing myself during my teenage years, self-medicated to the point where I was the life of the party for all the wrong reasons, and finally got help. I had been doing much better for many years and while depression would come back every once in a while, the obsessions and hypochondria were mostly gone. A few weeks ago, however, I got very ill while on a trip outside the country. I had wicked bad diarrhea for a few weeks, which didn't scare me too much, but that was followed by crippling headaches and neurological problems... and that started to set off a whole chain reaction of worrying about my health. It got to the point where I was absolutely convinced I had a terrible illness that was going to kill me very soon in the worst possible way. I started having panic attacks on top of the headaches I was already having and basically completely losing it, sobbing alone in my hotel room. I cut my trip short and came back home to get tested and find out what, if anything was wrong with me. So far the doctors haven't found anything, and my infectious disease doctor doesn't seem too concerned, so I'm hoping that it was just a bad stomach bug or water-borne parasite, and all the headaches and other issues were just after-effects of weight and nutrient loss. I've definitely been feeling better and gaining weight since I got back, and I'm less worried about what I might have picked up on the trip.
But the problem is now I've got illness on my mind, and one in particular: rabies. Ever since I was a kid I had a fear of it, probably because it's almost untreatable once it starts and it's such a horrible way to die. I wasn't bitten by any animals while I was traveling and the doctors say it's next to impossible that I have it, but I can't stop worrying about getting it now. Specifically, I constantly worry that I've been bitten by a rabid animal and didn't know it. For example, I went hiking in the woods with some friends and got scratched by a plant, and started wondering if it wasn't a plant but some rabid bat or something. And today I was outside in the yard in the afternoon for about two minutes, taking out the trash, and suddenly the idea of bats just popped into my head, out of nowhere. And then I started wondering why it popped into my head, and told myself it couldn't just be out of nowhere, and withing a minute I became convinced it was because there actually was a rabid bat that bit me right then and there and then flown away, and I had blocked it out. And that set off another panic attack, and I've been obsessing about it all night.
Basically I've started second-guessing reality all the time, wanting to go back and check what happened but of course I can't. Even as I write this I know it sounds ridiculous but I can't separate the knowing it's crazy and irrational from feeling that it's real. I feel like my imagination has been hijacked or is holding me hostage, like I can't separate what's real in the past from what isn't, like I'm having false memories. It's like anxiety, OCD, and hypochondria all wrapped up into one big mess. Has this happened to anybody else? Am I finally going crazy?
Last edited by YellowSubmarine; 07-02-2012 at 07:03 PM.