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  • Anxiety-induced symptoms versus real disease symptoms



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    Old 03-07-2005, 11:16 AM   #1
    GreyGoose
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    Red face Anxiety-induced symptoms versus real disease symptoms

    I wonder how many people here have fretted for days over having some sort of horrible disease (ie; rabies, AIDS, cancer, etc) and then went into a full-blow panic attack (which has some pretty scary symptoms of it's own) and then mistook the panic attack symptoms for symptoms of the disease they thought they might have.

    For example, I had what I thought was a bat fly over my head the other night and when I came home I noticed a paper-cut on my left middle finger. I had my hands in my pockets the entire time I was out on my short walk and the bat (or whatever it was) only flew over me once and yet when I saw this paper-cut, I just completely flipped out and started searching the net for "rabies" and "bats". Big mistake because now I know all the symptoms and so every time I feel some sensation in my body, I start freaking out.

    Everything I remembered about my walk, read on the internet and saw indicated that there was no way on earth I could have been bitten but just the fact that I was outside and saw what I thought was a bat flying over my head was enough to send me into a major panic attack.

    I have seen the occassional bat here and it was the right time at night for a bat or two to be flying around and yet it just flew over my head about 25 feet and did not touch me. It's the thought that "well what if it got me and I did'nt know it?" that scares me and yet out of all the pictures I've seen and articles I've read, it does'nt look anything like a bat bite at all and I was doing all sorts of things around the house the other day so it's highly likely that I could have gotten a paper cut.

    Even the doctor at the ER told me that if I was his daughter, he would not be getting me the shots and the nurse (who has actually given the shots before and dealt with rabies patients) told me that it was a papercut and that I needed to take deep breaths and try to relax.

    The thing is, anxiety and panic have some pretty scary symptoms themselves and so every time my heart skips a beat or I feel a prickly sensation or hot flash, I'm thinking " oh no...rabies!!!". Every time I get a little ache or pain somewhere or ANY type of sensation, I think this. How do you distinguish??.

    To make matters worse, my room mate called me in last night and there was a movie on TV about some guy who had gotten bitten by a rabid dog and they showed this guy hacking, coughing, hyperventilating, drooling all over himself and at the end of the movie he get's really aggressive and shoots himself. Yeah, I REALLY needed to see that!!...ahhhh!!!.

    To make matters even worse, my sinuses have been acting up and I've felt like crap ever since I got home from the urologist's office the other day so how do I know if it's rabies, a cold I caught while I was at the uro's or the symptoms from a huge panic attack?. Of course, after seeing that movie last night I am feeling like I have some of those same symptoms and it's scary plus I find myself ticking down the days before my death and that's even scarier!.

    So I guess the main thing here is the question of wether or not a person can misinterprate the symptoms of a panic attack for the symptoms of some disease they are obscessing over. I'd sure appreciate some input on this because I am so freaked out right now it's just unreal )-:

    - Thank you so much!!!!

     
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    Old 03-07-2005, 01:40 PM   #2
    hry33
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    Re: Anxiety-induced symptoms versus real disease symptoms

    sounds like some hypochondria, many worry too much about their health
    it can be very difficult to tell the difference between real illness and anxiety so every new problem should be reported to a doctor, IMO

     
    Old 03-07-2005, 07:36 PM   #3
    MKLowTone
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    Re: Anxiety-induced symptoms versus real disease symptoms

    My word, yes, it is SO easy to think that a panic attack is something more - I was constantly certain that I was going to have a heart attack but it was just my chest tensing up from all the anxiety

    Deep breaths, finding somehting else to concentrate on (both at the time and generally in your life) and exercise all help keep these feelings under control and stop you thinking so much about what might possibly be wrong with you

     
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