Health anxiety question

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laurar
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Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 730
   Posted 5/22/2008 10:34 AM (GMT -7)   
I"m sure this has been discussed before, but does anyone here have health hypochondria?

My particular issue is that I'm often worried that I have other mental health issues, such as schizophrenia, bipolar, and personality disorders. I've been reassured by numerous friends, family, doctors, therapists, etc. that I do not have symptoms of any of these other illnesses. Logically, I know that they are right but I still worry about them anyway. When I'm really anxious, I'll get on the internet and search different symptoms and then convince myself that I have them (I know, BAD idea). I'm noticing that as the Wellbutrin I'm taking has started to take effect, I'm not worrying about these things as much anymore.

Therapy has helped me work through this alot, but I'm just wondering if other have this issue as well.
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stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 5/22/2008 3:24 PM (GMT -7)   

laurar,

Hi this is Kitt and yes many people have health anxiety.

In the A & P Forum we usually refer to the newer term, Health Anxiety so this disorder does fall under the A & P Heading.

People with health anxiety  are overwhelmingly convinced that even innocuous physical symptoms are an indication that they have a serious disease or illness. They aren't reassured by doctors or medical tests showing that they're in good health. Instead, they may turn to doctor after doctor and demand test after test in search of a diagnosis.

Although people with health anxiety  have often been the butt of jokes and ridicule, this severe form of health anxiety is nothing to laugh about. Health Anxiety  is a serious mental disorder that can sometimes consume the lives of those it affects, even becoming disabling.

I would like to suggest you discuss your concerns with your physician as you may not have health anxiety per se but I am not a professional.  You do not talk of going to the physicians or having a lot of other physical complaints.  Worrying seems to be your major problem. You are in my class...............try to stay in the moment and let go of the worries.  See you PCP and let he/she advise you.

I am glad you posted here and please browse the forums and you will find others with the same concerns and fears as you have.
Hugs to you

Kitt


 


 
Kitt, Moderator: Anxiety ~ Panic 
Not a mental health professional of any kind
It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.~Mahatma Gandhi~
 


paniccu
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Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 1009
   Posted 5/22/2008 8:07 PM (GMT -7)   
I am having health anxiety right now actually! That's why I popped on to the forum. My worries do not consume my thoughts every day, but they keep creeping up every once in awhile, especially when I have real physical symptoms, like right now. I am very concerned that I have MS and I hopw it's just anxiety and the disc degeneration that I was recently diagnosed with. Until it's ruled out I won't be convinced! That and Cancer are my biggest fears.

laurar
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 730
   Posted 5/23/2008 6:47 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for the responses. I actually do worry about physical stuff too, like cancer, but I've been trying not to freak out about it too much. I've been really up front with my doc about my anxiety issues, so she knows I have a tendency to over react sometimes. stkitt, you're totally right about just staying in the moment. That is the absolute key when it comes to dealing with anxiety. i notice that on the days I meditate I worry alot less, and am actually able to laugh at myself some of the time.

Paniccu, I totally understand what you're dealing with! Hang in there. Something I try to do is talk to a few friends about what I'm fearing to see if they think it's rational and warrants making a doctor appointment. If it is, I make the appointment and then try to keep busy, or meditate in the meantime so that I don't worry. I keep reminding myself that I'm going to get it taken care of, and that worrying won't change the outcome at all, except maybe for the worse since the anxiety puts a strain on me physically.

Sigh. What a strange affliction, but I'm glad we're all here to support each other.
Diagnosed Ulcerative Pancolitis

Probiotics
Fish Oil
Vitamin C
Slippery Elm
TURMERIC!!!


paniccu
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Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 1009
   Posted 5/23/2008 1:48 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Laurar. Hope you are having a good day today. I did speak with a friend earlier. I realized I need to call the back specialist who's number I have already lost (will call my doc when they are open on Tues for it) and start from there. Would it be weird to type up a list of all my symptoms and hand it to him at the appt or helpful?

percycat
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 1952
   Posted 5/24/2008 5:01 PM (GMT -7)   
Paniccu and Laura,

I do exactly that to help deal with my health anxiety: I make a list of all my questions and symptoms, but I tell my doctor verbally rather than having him read it (*I* read it). No particular reason for not having him read; maybe it helps me feel more engaged with his thought processes, so that I feel more confident with his diagnosis and treatment suggestions.

Good luck!

percycat

mitcl74
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 38
   Posted 5/24/2008 5:43 PM (GMT -7)   
I have the same fears - that I don't just have ocd and panic like my therapist says, but maybe a worse mental health condition.  I do fear the other things too, like cancer, aids, etc, but the mental illnesses scare me the worse.
 
We all seem to be in the same boat. 
Best wishes

nervymeg
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 2721
   Posted 5/24/2008 11:14 PM (GMT -7)   

Laura, panniccu, I've had to ban myself from health web-sites, and don't even let me NEAR a DSMIV!! Oh noooo! I had to do an assignment on Borderline Personality Disorder yesterday and it took three people a few hours to convince me I didn't have it.  I think this is a fairly common problem with us anxious types...but at least we know ALL the things we don't have at the end of the day!  Take care and stay off those sites.

Oh and Laura, I think it would be really helpful to take that list along so you don't miss anything.  I hope it goes well.


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laurar
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 730
   Posted 5/25/2008 6:57 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for the responses everyone. Meg, you are so right on about not looking at the DSMIV. My degree is in psychology, so you can imagine how wild my imagination runs knowing as much as I do about abnormal psychology. It's great to be able to touch base with everyone here and realize that I'm not the only one with these issues. I've been taking a low dose of Wellbutrin for about a week now, and it's definitely helping to take the edge off my anxiety/mild depression and I have been more able to let go of these ideas when I get them. The advice about making a list is great, and Paniccu please let us know how your appointment goes.

Have a great weekend, everyone!
Diagnosed Ulcerative Pancolitis

Probiotics
Fish Oil
Vitamin C
Slippery Elm
TURMERIC!!!


wen4003
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1193
   Posted 5/25/2008 11:24 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Laura,
 
I too suffer from health anxiety, but I don't worry about mental illnesses too much as I aready know what they are.  I worry more about my health such as developing cancer as I do have a pre-cancerous condition in my esophagus.  But I also worry about other health issues.  So don't feel alone and keep posting to let us know how you are doing.  We are here to help.
 
Take care,
Wen

Co-Moderator Anxiety/Panic Disorders

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