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  • How to deal with health anxiety when real health problem?

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    Old 08-20-2006, 01:05 PM   #1
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    Unhappy How to deal with health anxiety when real health problem?

    I've been plagued with health anxiety and generalized anxiety disorder for quite a few years. I worry about EVERYTHING. I've always been convinced that I had some terrible deadly disease -- usually some kind of cancer, but also things like MS or ALS. So far, I haven't been found to have any of them. I have been diagnosed with ulcerative colitis and anxiety.

    Now, though, I have a REAL health problem to worry about. Blood tests found that I have a low white blood cell count, specifically the neutrophils. A "safe" level is above 1500, and mine was 800. The doctor wants to monitor my count with a blood test every week for a month. If the count doesn't go up, then I'll have to have a bone-marrow biopsy to determine if I have something very serious like leukemia.

    The hemotology doctor thinks that it's possible that a medicine I'm taking for my ulcerative colitis could be causing it, but my gastro doctor says he's never heard of that, even though it's listed on the medicine info pages as a VERY VERY rare side effect. And since I've been taking the medicine for five years, I think it would've been caught before now if that was the case.

    I am of course totally freaking out. I'm terrified of dying and am convinced that I have leukemia and will die. My mind automatically goes to the worst possible outcome.

    At least with all the past incidences where a disease was "all in my head," part of me could hold onto that possibility because the tests didn't show anything wrong. But now when the tests DO show something wrong, what can I hold onto? How do I deal with my health anxiety when I really might have something terrible wrong with me???

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    Old 08-31-2006, 06:07 AM   #2
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    Re: How to deal with health anxiety when real health problem?

    so, how are you doing now? i know exactly what you are going through...

    Old 08-31-2006, 12:25 PM   #3
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    Re: How to deal with health anxiety when real health problem?

    i know exactly what you're going're saying to yourself, "what was my prob before when i used to worry over nothing, now i actually have something to worry about!" well don't stress over it, it's not worth it. it's most likely from the med you are on. stress and anxiety will make everything worse. do you have any physical symptoms presently?

    Old 08-31-2006, 04:52 PM   #4
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    Re: How to deal with health anxiety when real health problem?

    I know it's easier said than done but try not to worry unnecessarily. I go from "pimple to tumor: myself but it's never productive. If your low white cell count is listed as a rare side effect, it's quite possible that could be it. I had a next to nothing chance of getting pregnant and I did (twice!) after 40 and have two beautiful children. I was also on the wrong side of medical odds while trying to conceive so I know what it's like when rare things happen, good and bad. I'm sure you're ok but hang in there...

    Old 10-26-2006, 11:09 AM   #5
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    Re: How to deal with health anxiety when real health problem?

    This is a major fear of mine. How are you doing now? How are you getting through your fear??:

    Old 11-01-2006, 01:14 PM   #6
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    Re: How to deal with health anxiety when real health problem?

    I hope you are doing better now. It is hard to have medical issues and naturally you're worried. I know what you're talking about,believe me. Just know that you have good doctors that will figure it all out and go from there. If you start thinking about the worst case scenario and diagnose yourself with cancer,it will only make you very nervous and serve no purpose for you. Keep your trust in these doctors and know that they will help you. Good Luck!

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