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Old 08-15-2009, 10:36 PM   #1
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Extreme Health Anxiety and Panic Disorder

To start I'm a 26m with history of anxiety/depression. About a month ago (july 21) I was bit (small bite) and licked a lot by my friends dog who had an open wound of an unknown source (which he also licked). Once I returned home, I began to research rabies pretty obsessively and made a case for myself that I had contracted it. This sent me into an extreme panic attack and I ended up at the doctor's office explaining my situation. He tried to reassure me that I was simply suffering from a panic attack, so he prescribed me with Xanax. I have not felt the same since this initial attack. Since then I have suffered from 3 more attacks. The last one I needed an ambulance because my whole body had gone numb and I broke out into a cold sweat. After having doctors tell me not to worry about rabies I started to wonder why I had no appetite and no desire to do anything. I found another article on the internet linking panic attacks with pancreatic cancer and again I convinced myself I had pancreatic cancer. After weeks of not eating/sleeping well at all I had a CT scan of my entire abdomen and no masses were found. Had tons of bloodwork done, stool samples, etc, and physically the doctors can't find anything wrong with me. The day after the CT scan was the day I woke up with tons of diarrhea and extreme anxiety (anxiety seems to be especially bad upon waking). Wondering why I could only get 3 hours of sleep after being reassured I did not have pancreatic cancer I began to research more on the internet. I started reading about rabies again. This is when my whole body went numb and I broke out in a cold sweat, my mom called 911. By the time we made it to the hospital all my vitals had stabilized and I was feeling a bit better. The first thing the doctor said to me was to take rabies off my list of fears. He then checked out the CT scans that had been done from my previous hospital visit and said everything looked great. After doing more blood work/urine samples/etc he strongly suggested I see a psychiatrist. What really terrifies me is that on the ride home I began to think about rabies again and I can't stop thinking about it. An endless streams of WHAT IF'S run through my head and I have not been functioning well at all. I'm still afraid, every single day, all day, constantly worried that something is dreadfully wrong with me physically. Reality seems to have lost all its flavor. I no longer eat regularly, sleep regularly. I no longer feel like me. It seems like the bulk of my day is spent DREADING death. I keep running it through my mind, over and over again, and I keep using the internet compulsively. It's been almost 4 weeks since my first attack, will I ever feel like me again? Just felt like sharing my story and was wondering if anyone could relate?

Last edited by ntness; 08-15-2009 at 10:44 PM.

 
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Old 08-15-2009, 11:34 PM   #2
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Re: Extreme Health Anxiety and Panic Disorder

I am sorry that the dog bite caused you so much anxiety but it was going to happen it just happens it was a dog and not something else. Since the dog is alive and well you know it isn't/wasn't rabies so now you know that the rest of your panic attacks are just that ...panic attacks but they are out of control. You will feel a lot better once you have someone to help you deal with the mental health issues you are now struggling with. I have a son who is a hypochondriac and sometimes when he is tired or under stress it can get away from him. I am glad you are getting help because it can complicate your life in so many ways...he suffered too many years before he got some serious help. Good luck

 
Old 09-29-2009, 12:53 PM   #3
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Re: Extreme Health Anxiety and Panic Disorder

I used to have the same phobia (and sometimes still do) about Rabies, as I had an incident in childhood that scarred me. The repetitive thoughts are related to OCD, just so you know, and seem to have a greater occurence when my hormonal levels fluctuate. Also, I have found that I use my irrational fears as a smoke screen for things that I don't wish to deal with that are REALLY bothering me. Basically, it is learned "thought substitution." When you get down to the real reasons you are distressed, possibly by doing an self inventory (see a 12 Step program, as an example), you will find that your repetitive thoughts will decrease and your anxiety lessens. In the mean time, know that you don't have Rabies or whatever other illness you come up with, and that there is someone out here that understands your fears.

 
Old 10-26-2009, 04:31 AM   #4
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Re: Extreme Health Anxiety and Panic Disorder

Mabuhay!

Whoa! i thought i was the only having this kind of thoughts. The problem with me is that i already underwent an anti-rabies vaccine regimen but still my mind is so freaking full of what IF'S Its just so tiring. I don't want my parents to worry about me like these and they don't deserve this kind of situation.

I know there are a lot of people out there who are in a really deep mess (poverty) compared to my situation. And here i am wallowing in my own little world of why me? its just so frustrating and its really affecting my outlook in life.

 
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