How do you cope with Health Anxiety?

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Julie1014
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 1245
   Posted 3/13/2009 10:16 AM (GMT -7)   
I was wondering what everyone's coping techniques are when it comes to health anxiety/overanalyzing symptoms.  If there is a thread that already exists on this topic, I couldn't find it.....
 
If I have a headache, it must be an aneurysm.
 
If I'm short of breath, it must be a blood clot.
 
If I'm dizzy, I must be having a stroke.......
 
etc, etc, etc..... shakehead
 
I know these thoughts are not rational, but lately it's been getting the best of me.  It doesn't help matters any that my Crohn's is not doing well and that I AM sick right now, lol!  It seems when I am sick and at home, my Panic/health anxiety shifts into overdrive.....
 
Thank you so much for any suggestions you may have.  I'm really struggling right now.  Blessings Julie
 
Diagnosed with Crohn's March 2006, Fibromyalgia November 2008
Asacol 3 times a day, Remicade 10mg/kg every 4 weeks, Prednisone 10 mg, Miralax,  Prevacid 30mg, Vit B12, Vitamin D, Slow-FE (Iron), Hydrocortisone enemas
Imuran stopped 9/8/08 (possible Pancreatitis)
Paxil 40mg daily (for Panic disorder)
Xanax .5mg three times a day, 1mg at bedtime (for anxiety attacks)
 
 
 
 
 


Celey
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Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 1284
   Posted 3/13/2009 12:02 PM (GMT -7)   
I have the same problem, Julie... When I'm well, I have little to no health anxiety... Like... Right now, for instance, I have a cold. To me, it is just a cold and will probably fully go away within a day or two. No harm done. :)

But when I am sick.... It's like I go in the completely opposite direction... I freak out over anything... and I get scared to death every time I have a lot of pain because I'm worried about an obstruction or some other horrible problem....

I dunno if I can really offer you any advice since, like I said, I'm well right now.... When I was sick, I hadn't gotten over my health anxiety....
I think I am being picked on by life, sometimes. But's that okay. Life and I are good buddies... I know life doesn't mean no harm. It just is the way it is. I can accept that.


FitzyK23
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 4219
   Posted 3/13/2009 12:15 PM (GMT -7)   
What helps me is to come up with all the not scary things it could be -- but that is dangerous because if it leads to researching you can find more scary things. I guess I don't really have health anxiety but I like to be over educated about everything. So if I have a bad headache for too long instead of thinking aneurysm I think, tired, stress, allergies, loud noises, jaw pain, neck pain, bored, etc. The list of not scary things is usually longer than the list of scary things.

Also, I give myself a time table. I'll say, ok, this is probably just a rash but it could be skin cancer. Skin cancer will not kill me in 2 days. A rash should start going away by then. So I will wait the two days. Usually I see tons of improvement and am relieved. If not, I go to the doctor. Giving yourself a waiting period before running to the doc is usually enough for the anxiety attack to pass.

Or you could date a doctor lol!!!


27 Year old married female law student (last year!!). Diagnosed w/ CD 4 years ago, IBS for over 10 years before that, which was probably the CD. I am sort of lactose intollerant too but can handle anything cultured and do well w/ lactose pills and lactaid. For crohns I am currently on Pentasa 4 pills/4x day and hysociamine prn. I also have bad acid reflux and have been on PPI's since age 13. I have been through prilosec, prevacid, and nexium. Currently I am on Protonix in the morning and Zantac at night. I also take a birth control pill to allow some fun in my life.


Julie1014
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 1245
   Posted 3/13/2009 2:14 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you both for the replies and letting me know I'm not alone. FitzyK23, your post just made me laugh so hard that I startled my cat! I needed that laugh, lol! That's just what I need..... to date a doctor! I'd probably send him to an insane asylum, lol!!!!!:-)
Diagnosed with Crohn's March 2006, Fibromyalgia November 2008
Asacol 3 times a day, Remicade 10mg/kg every 4 weeks, Prednisone 10 mg, Miralax,  Prevacid 30mg, Vit B12, Vitamin D, Slow-FE (Iron), Hydrocortisone enemas
Imuran stopped 9/8/08 (possible Pancreatitis)
Paxil 40mg daily (for Panic disorder)
Xanax .5mg three times a day, 1mg at bedtime (for anxiety attacks)
 
 
 
 
 


nervymeg
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 2721
   Posted 3/13/2009 4:23 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Julie,

I think I have the reverse problem! I have to be dragged to a doctor! That said, I have self diagnosed myself with every mental diosrder under the sun!! I think its a good idea to stay away from internet diagnoses. They are really broad. And when you marry this doctor can you find out if he has a cute brother? lol!

Stay in the moment..

Meg


Co-moderator Anxiety/Panic
Panic Attack Survivor
 


stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 3/13/2009 4:23 PM (GMT -7)   
Julie1014

I usually tell members to lose their google button...........in other words do not look up ever sx and start working on your obit but stay in the moment.
 
I had the skin thingy, and it turned out to be skin cancer but while waiting for the biospy reports I just went along with a 'what are you going to do about it............deal with it if it is positive"  and that is just what I did.
 
I was scared but I had only two choices, deal with it or hide my head in the sand and as I don't live near the beach so I dealt with it.
 
I hope this helps you in some small way.
Hugs
Kitt
 
 

Kitt, Co-Moderator: Anxiety/Panic & Depression
&  Moderator GERD  Forums

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nervymeg
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 2721
   Posted 3/13/2009 4:27 PM (GMT -7)   
Kitt is not an Emu so her head stays out of the sand! Live today. Live it well. Get it checked out, but never let it rule your life. It's really hard I know!!

Co-moderator Anxiety/Panic
Panic Attack Survivor
 


Julie1014
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 1245
   Posted 3/13/2009 4:29 PM (GMT -7)   
You guys are best!!!:-):-)
Diagnosed with Crohn's March 2006, Fibromyalgia November 2008
Asacol 3 times a day, Remicade 10mg/kg every 4 weeks, Prednisone 10 mg, Miralax,  Prevacid 30mg, Vit B12, Vitamin D, Slow-FE (Iron), Hydrocortisone enemas
Imuran stopped 9/8/08 (possible Pancreatitis)
Paxil 40mg daily (for Panic disorder)
Xanax .5mg three times a day, 1mg at bedtime (for anxiety attacks)
 
 
 
 
 


mom2three
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 97
   Posted 3/14/2009 5:08 AM (GMT -7)   
I have HUGE health anxiety! I can totally relate. The smallest ache and pain becomes a terminal illness :)

I don't have it 100% under control by any means, but here are the steps that I took a few months ago that really helped:

1. I had a physical. Totally healthy.

2. I stopped researching on the web. It doesn't help - it only makes you more nervous.

3. I used a CBT log sheet that my therapist gave me (I started making copies and writing down...now I can "complete" the form in my head). Basically, when you feel a pain, shortness of breath, etc. - on the left hand side you write down what your mind immediately goes to (I'm having a heart attack, I can't breathe, I'm dying, etc.). Once you have completed that list, you must write a percentage down of how much you truly believe in that statement (from 0-100%). On the right side of the paper, you write down more positive/logical thoughts (I overate and have indigestion, I ran up the stairs and I'm lightheaded, I slept wrong and my shoulder aches, etc.) and then rate those thoughts with how much you truly believe them (0-100%). I'm sorry if this sounds complicated to write - I wish I could just show you - but it really puts things in perspective!

Good luck! It's the WORST. I'm a total hypo too, so you're not alone :)
Panic Attacks (since age 10) & General Anxiety with a little OCD thrown in there
Biggest Challenge - Panic; Biggest Joy - my 3 cute kiddos (ages 1, 2 & 5)
 


benzsl
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 3/14/2009 6:32 AM (GMT -7)   
Julie-
Great advice from others. Last couple months I know exactly what you mean. Started with racing heart beat - I am having heart attack. Went to ER got checked out, everything fine. Then had upper back pain, had x-rays, that is ok. Then warms flushing feeling through legs, hands, and head, that is sapose to be related to anxiety. Now it is headaches - I just tell myself if something (like a heart attack/stroke) was going to happen it would have happened by now which clams me down. It is difficult at times, but as time goes on you realize it is all contributed to anxiety.

ZLSJ
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 263
   Posted 3/14/2009 6:45 AM (GMT -7)   

I'm certainly in need of some tips/pointers as I have been driving my wife crazy for the last 3 months with my HA.

I've had a physical and all the normal bloowork, 2-EKGs, Thoracic spine x-rays, 3 chest x-rays, multiple other blood tests (CEA, CA19, Lipase, Amylase, bilirubin, celiac screen, etc)....everything comes back fine.

Do I feel 100%? No, because I seem to be getting new issues on a weekly basis. Newest one is a tightness/pressure in the back of my head, not really a headache but a different sensation, my neck is sore too. The minute I feel the sensation to me it means I have some sinister disease. The hard part is that I can't get the thoughts out of my head...they're in my head likely 16 of my 18 waking hours.

I find even if I stay away from google it helps only slightly.

Any words of wisdom anyone could offer would be great.

Thanks

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