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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone else going through this? I have hypochondria that comes in waves, I will be okay for a few months after dr resassurance, and then after a few more months, it will return again. It is so exhausting and gives me such bad anxiety. I am constantly sure that I have MS or ALS or cancer etc.. It is so frustrating because otherwise I am very happy and have a great life. I recently read online about someone who could see black floaters in their eyes and now I have them and I never noticed them before reading this. About 6 months ago I read about someone who had tingling sensations in their hands and feet and thought I had it too.I also feel muscle twitches often and I do realise that after Dr resassurance that I am ok, that these are classic physical symptoms of anxiety.Ugh I iwsh I could just make this go away. I will be looking toward some treatment I guess... Also, it goes beyond myself to my DH and 2 children, whenver they are sick, I go right to the worst case scenario and make myself just sick with worry...

Anyone else live with this?
 

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Yes to everything you said! Seriously, down to the floaters. I read about them too and now I see them constantly. Hypochondria is so exhausting. It comes and goes for me too, but I am having a lot of issues lately. Minor things, like headaches or colds, will set me off thinking me or my family has the worst possible disease. I was a complete wreck during the whole swine flu thing and then when we actually got it and it was over I was indescribably relieved. But there is always some new thing. This has been going on for years, and you would think by now I would be able to know that what I am experiencing is just hypochondria but I still get all worked up about every little thing. For me, I know that caffeine has a major effect on my anxiety so quitting that is my first goal. Also, I NEED to stop with the Dr. Google! I learn about so many new diseases and symptoms that way. Beyond that, I don't really know what would help me.

I am sorry you are going through this. It is so awful. I wish you the best of luck in getting help.
 

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Yep,big time hypochondria. This book helped me a lot http://www.amazon.com/Its-Not-Your-H.../dp/1572309938

Is there a hypochondria thread?

What I learned from that book is that our bodies make a lot of "noise". Our hands and feet tingle, and we get headaches and floaters and we have lumpy breasts etc. etc. Bodies are really weird. Take a look at the diseases you think you have. Do these disease present with vague symptoms? like
Dry mouth
Heart palpatations
tingly hands and feet
night sweats
headaches
sluggishness
tightness in your chest
occasional ringing in your ears

The list could go on and on but generally these symptoms mean nothing (especially if you're a hypochondriac)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for replying! I think you are right, and my symptoms are all very vague,
tingling
eye floaters
heart racing
sweats
weakness in wrists or knees
muscle twitches

all of which, not surprisingly, are symptoms of anxiety and hypo. itself. So frustrating, I just wish I could turn it off. Ill check out that book, thanks!
 

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You are so not alone. Try to stay off any medical websites. You really *musn't* research your symptoms. The other day I had a little belly ache and I went on web md and was convinced I had a zillion different diseases. Um yeah, it's just acid reflux from drinking too much coffee. I know how awful it is to have health anxiety. I've been convinced I had AIDS,Cancer, Lupus, Crohns disease, Bipolar depression the list goes on. And when I say I was convinced I mean I would break down and cry in fear. Now I know how to control it and I don't have much of a problem anymore (except for the whole tummy thing last week!). The most important thing is that you recognize that you have a problem. That's the hardest part. You are on the road to recovery!
 

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Oh, one more thing. Dr. Google is very bad. It makes you really anxious, but it can also influence how you interpret your symptoms. If you become convinced you have some disease you may actually start experiencing symptoms that you didn't originally have. I used to think I had AIDS and started experiencing night sweats AFTER I read that AIDS can cause them. So stay away from the internet.
Also try chiropractic or acupuncture. Sometimes muscle twitches or tingling can be relieved by these methods. In other words you may actually be experiencing something that can be fixed.
 

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I would not classify myself as a hypochondriac in that I do have legitimate health issues, which make me anxious in general about my health... I've had some bad doctors, some missed diagnoses etc...

Anyway, I post because it has been helpful for me to formally study A&P, pathophysiology and biochemistry because once you understand the body, you know which symptoms really mean something and which are just noise. You learn to triage yourself a bit and sort out what is emergent and what can wait until you can talk to the doctor.

I've also learned how to properly evaluate medical studies and am widely read enough on medical issues to weigh new information pretty rationally.

This education has been enormously helpful. It might assuage your concerns too. Assuming you have the time and money to do that, which is a whole different issue I know.

ETA: In general, vague symptoms aren't really all that vague when part of a pathology. Feeling kind of achy but going on about your life just fine is not the same thing as feeling achy and calling in sick for three days. The symptoms lists don't refer to any time you have XYZ, it's usually a reference to a marked, pronounced pattern that will materially disrupt life. If that helps.

V
 

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hmm.. I guess in a way I do. I have panic disorder, and for the first year, I was convinced I had a blockage in my heart, and was very worried to why the doctor wouldnt' agree to do a heart catherization. I was sure I had heart problems. I got night sweats one time, and went to the E.R. for fear I had AIDS (this was during a panic attack) I went to the E.R. for a lump in my breast, that one turned out that I did need surgery, but it wasn't cancer
I am very intune with my body, and since the panic disorder started, my body is LOUD. I mean, I can hear my heartbeat and tell you my pulse rate without touching anything. Anyway I can identify with what you are going through! **hugs**
 

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So do any of you have any information about how to control hypochondria? I read online that hypochondria is linked to OCD, which totally makes sense in the case of someone I know and care about, who is constantly suffering from some illness or another. Would it make sense to treat for OCD, as the root problem?
 

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I almost hate to do this because I really think you should stay off of medical sites
but here is the link to the Mayo Clinic's treatment recommendation for hypochondria. It also links to a definition and cause of the condition. Goodness... I hope this helps, dear.

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hyp...ents-and-drugs
 

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The way I got better (and trust me I am soooo much happier/less anxious) was to realize that I had a legitimate mental illness. I was sick, I had hypochondria. I went to a psychiatrist who offered me Zoloft, but I didn't take it. I did some psychotherapy with her which helped a lot.

I would not classify myself as a hypochondriac in that I do have legitimate health issues, which make me anxious in general about my health... I've had some bad doctors, some missed diagnoses etc...

Anyway, I post because it has been helpful for me to formally study A&P, pathophysiology and biochemistry because once you understand the body, you know which symptoms really mean something and which are just noise. You learn to triage yourself a bit and sort out what is emergent and what can wait until you can talk to the doctor.

I've also learned how to properly evaluate medical studies and am widely read enough on medical issues to weigh new information pretty rationally.

This education has been enormously helpful. It might assuage your concerns too. Assuming you have the time and money to do that, which is a whole different issue I know.


While I think this is helpful for someone who has a little bit of health anxiety, I don't think it will actually "cure" hypochondria. If someone has an irrational fear of bridges or airplanes it doesn't help them to go to engineering school or flight school. A person can't rationalize their way out of OCD.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by scottishmommy View Post
The way I got better (and trust me I am soooo much happier/less anxious) was to realize that I had a legitimate mental illness. I was sick, I had hypochondria. I went to a psychiatrist who offered me Zoloft, but I didn't take it. I did some psychotherapy with her which helped a lot.

I would not classify myself as a hypochondriac in that I do have legitimate health issues, which make me anxious in general about my health... I've had some bad doctors, some missed diagnoses etc...

Anyway, I post because it has been helpful for me to formally study A&P, pathophysiology and biochemistry because once you understand the body, you know which symptoms really mean something and which are just noise. You learn to triage yourself a bit and sort out what is emergent and what can wait until you can talk to the doctor.

I've also learned how to properly evaluate medical studies and am widely read enough on medical issues to weigh new information pretty rationally.

This education has been enormously helpful. It might assuage your concerns too. Assuming you have the time and money to do that, which is a whole different issue I know.


While I think this is helpful for someone who has a little bit of health anxiety, I don't think it will actually "cure" hypochondria. If someone has an irrational fear of bridges or airplanes it doesn't help them to go to engineering school or flight school. A person can't rationalize their way out of OCD.
No I don't mean to trivialize at all. I wish I could think of a good example but my brain is not cooperating at the moment. I don't trust my body. It has failed me. I don't trust doctors. They have failed me. It produces quit a bit of anxiety for me whenever I have a symptom of anything so, in that sense, I can really relate to what you ladies are talking about.

The education allows me to go through the symptoms and rule out anything serious--this gives me enormous relief. Most things are not serious. Serious things become really insistent about getting some kind of attention, you can't ignore them/go about normal life.

V
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks so much for replying everyone.
I wish I could just be rid of the part of my brain that is so anxious about all of this. In the past year i havehad MS, ALS, Cancer, Going Blind, Muscle deterioration...etc. It is beyond upsetting. I have had it off and on since I was a very small child, and I really thought it would go away. Today I had an bit of a meltdown as my left ahnd is tingly and my floaters in my right eye are making me crazy! anyone who has ever had them know the more you look, the more you see!!

What is truly upsetting to me, is that IRL I am a counsellor to survivors of sexual assault and I have had much training in behaviour etc. I understand what is happening, and yet its like this part of my mental health is totally disconnected from the rational side of me.

I saw a DR, actually 2, last year (went for a 2nd opinion as I was sure the 1st was wrong), and both Dr's flat out said I am fine and its anxiety, but I still cant shake that they missed it. I do have posture problems, physical therapy helps, but I do get pins and needles in my spine from time to time , for which I have been told there is nothing can be done about posture except trying to correct myself. Afer I went to DR for that, the Dr said, do you get tinglingépins and needles anywhere elseÉ I said no, as I didnt, and he said ok great. I went home and looked up DR GOOGLE and I immediatly had the pins and needles and was google-diagnosed with a nervous system disease. Ugh, so difficult. Prior to this episode I have been fine since June of last year, then around January it came back while we were moving, I guess tress triggered it

Thanks for listeniing and I am sorry for anyone else who has to live with this.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Violet2 View Post
No I don't mean to trivialize at all. I wish I could think of a good example but my brain is not cooperating at the moment. I don't trust my body. It has failed me. I don't trust doctors. They have failed me. It produces quit a bit of anxiety for me whenever I have a symptom of anything so, in that sense, I can really relate to what you ladies are talking about.

The education allows me to go through the symptoms and rule out anything serious--this gives me enormous relief. Most things are not serious. Serious things become really insistent about getting some kind of attention, you can't ignore them/go about normal life.

V
((hugs)) I think what you are trying to say is that true pathology causes symptoms that really interfere with life. For example a slight tingly feeling isn't aything, but numbness to the point of not being able to pick up a pencil is a big problem. Hypochondriacs are crippled by the fear of having a disease, not physical symptoms.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by scottishmommy View Post
((hugs)) I think what you are trying to say is that true pathology causes symptoms that really interfere with life. For example a slight tingly feeling isn't aything, but numbness to the point of not being able to pick up a pencil is a big problem. Hypochondriacs are crippled by the fear of having a disease, not physical symptoms.
Thanks for the distinction--I did not know that.


Sorry!

I was trying to be helpful.


V
 

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You werehelpful! It's good for people to know that there is a difference between thinking they are sick and actually being sick. You pointed out that people who really are sick have symptoms that really disrupt their life. Thank you for pointing that out!
 

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I suffered from obsessive thoughts, many of them hypochondriac in nature. It was exhausting and really stopped me from living my life, because instead of enjoying my family, I was constantly obsessing about what disease I currently had.

I started taking Lexapro about 2 years ago, and it has literally changed my life. I feel like I'm actually living! I worry about things still, but not obsessively. I have fun. i laugh! Even my dh has noticed a profound (and positive!) change in me.

Meds aren't for everyone and aren't the only way to go, but they've been great for me.
 
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