I'm wondering if anyone is going through or has sucessfully overcome health anxiety and what you did/how long it took? I've always had a bit of hypochondria that flares up from time to time. I've thought I had a brain tumor a few years ago. Now I'm 10 months postpartum with my third and its back with a vengenace. I'm convinced I have a terrible neurological condition. I've been to the neurologist and got a clean bill of health, but I am so focused on it that every twinge or weird symptoms I focus on and despair about. I want my life back free from anxiety. The anxiety is really affecting my life. I'm in counseling cbt therapy and I do all sorts of natural supplements, but so far nothing works. Is anyone else going through this?
In my case a lot of my issues stemmed from finances. I was pretty much homeless a number of years, and I have never had affordable health insurance since becoming an adult. So getting sick totally stresses me outm and the few times I have needed medical care it has been clinics and county hospitals, etc. Its hard to feek like I can truly be an advocate for my health. Add gaving a fear of failure or being weak, and I am a mess. For example in my fear of going to the dentist, my biggest fears are being judged for the state of my teeth and fear of cost. I am using taxes to go, which is also how I have afforded things like eye exams.
The plus side is I have learned many ways to aid my health at home.
Yes, I go through the exact same thing. I have been to doctors far too much lately thinking something is wrong. From a neurologist for my constant headaches to the Ob-gyn for a mammogram (at 38) to my routine dermatology appointment making me obsess that I was dying of melanoma while waiting for my biopsy result. I obsess Googling health issues or whatever I think i have at the moment.
It is all consuming. I, like you used to be a bit of a hypochondriac, but a year after my 3rd child it can occasionally feel out of control. I do my best to think positive but it is very hard to get these thoughts out of my head. My doctor did recommend some anti-anxiety meds which I did not take as I am too nervous to take them although I think they could help. Also, she did recently find I am gluten intolerant which did cause some of my symptoms and I also have a weird stomach bacteria that I need to treat which can cause anxiety and other random symptoms. I am not glad I have it, but in a way glad she did find something wrong since my husband (and I felt the doctor) just thought I was totally making everything up or it was pure anxiety! Anxiety can cause real pains though so it is hard to differentiate between what is a "real" disease and what is caused by anxiety.
Anyway, I could go on and on. If you want to PM I would be happy to chat or respond here.
Thanks for your reply. It is reassuring to know that I'm not alone in this. Somehow knowing that this is a real condition, health anxiety, can at times relieve the dread I feel at being absolutely convinced there is something very seriously wrong. Its not a good way to live and I am trying to get a handle on it and reclaim myself as best as possibe as to not live in this constant fear state, but once you go down that path, you have to travel back and its a rough journey. I too don't want to do meds, Im terrified of them. So trying to do all of this alternative stuff to help.
Yes, I have found a couple forums dedicated to health anxiety. There are a lot of people that have this and the list of symptoms people have is extensive. I have found that having at least one person to talk to about it that understands really helps the most and keeping busy. I realized mine gets worse after Xmas until about this time in Spring since we are pretty much stuck inside, it is flu season and 2 of my kids are in school so I have more time to think about "things" and there are more illnesses going around.
My doctor always encourages healthy eating of course, Omega-3, Magnesium supplements and exercise. It helps a bit but not enough to go away completely. I fear I will end up like my grandmother honestly - she is now 84 and has never had a serious illness but she has been terrified of dying practically all her life!! She does have Alzheimers now which is probably a good thing in her case as she is not aware of her decline now.
I think just being aware that it is health anxiety and being proactive gives us an advantage of getting a hold on it or I hope :-)
Has anybody heard about the Buteyko breathing method? I was sent this link about http://learnbuteyko.com/buteyko-for-stress-related-conditions/-id like to know what you guy think for myself so any comments or suggestions would be much appreciated - many thanks LB