Health anxiety - do's and don'ts?

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 1952
   Posted 8/12/2008 2:36 PM (GMT -6)   
Since my good friend Health Anxiety is back messing with me again, I thought I'd start a thread about what's good and what's bad to do when you're in the grips of it.   I know several of us regulars on here fight HA a lot and it might be helpful to remind ourselves about the most effective ways to tackle it.
My biggest DON'T is "Don't surf the Internet for medical information."  Even when I think it will help me by giving me more information about the condition, it almost always makes things worse because there are far more horror stories out there than success stories.
My best DO is "Do take a friend to your appointment as a second set of ears."  Having my boyfriend along when my doctor explains why I *can't* have disease X is great for those times later on at home when I start freaking about having it again.
Does anybody else have do's or don'ts that really are powerful for you?

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 354
   Posted 8/12/2008 6:09 PM (GMT -6)   
surfing the net for info is a very bad idea for me also - my health really stresses me out and I do have a chronic disease but there is a fine balance between being informed and stressing out so much it is causing my UC to flare!
Jessica 27/F 20mg pred
dicyclomine 10Mg as needed
Citalopram 20 MG
omeprazole(for acid reflex)
Tried (Entorcort EC 9ml/day and Prednisone, Asacol ,colazal, Culturelle)

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 8/12/2008 6:42 PM (GMT -6)   

Hey Percy,

Health Anxiety, the worried well. For these people,  their suffering is genuine, and their pain often greater than if something really was wrong with them. Cognitive behavioural Therapy, a form of psychotherapy which tries to understand and modify behaviour, is one option,

Music is an extremely powerful form of expression. It combines both words and sound to deliver a message. Certain songs that one hears on the radio can trigger specific memories in one's mind. There is no doubt, there is a fervent connection between music and our feelings. Music is the way I stop the "stinkin thinkin" thoughts and the "what ifs?"

I immerse myself in the music and even sing.........of course noone is around to hear me. shocked

Good thread Percy.



Kitt, Moderator: Anxiety/Panic & Depression
& GERD  Forums
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Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 2721
   Posted 8/12/2008 8:23 PM (GMT -6)   

Hey Percy,

What a great thread. I'm sorry your health anxiety is giving you troubles....Want me to come round and put the frighteners on it?! I have to say staying away from the "net is the best advice. Regular blood tests and a good relationship with your doctor are also handy (when I find a good doctor I'll let you know!)



Co-moderator Anxiety/Panic
Panic Attack Survivor
Weekend Warrior Princess

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 1952
   Posted 8/13/2008 6:19 PM (GMT -6)   
Another good "do" for me: I have two very supportive doctors, and I can easily ask them why my symptoms don't actually match the condition I'm scared that I have. Web sites can tell what the symptoms are, but only doctors can tell you what the symptoms *aren't*. My docs have helped to settle me down enormously this way.


Elite Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 8/16/2008 7:27 AM (GMT -6)   
Very good thread Percycat

Health Anxiety is a real life ruiner IMHO
I know so many with it

The biggie I think is the internet and well meaning friends

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 708
   Posted 8/18/2008 6:35 PM (GMT -6)   

Do's and dont's:  Good idea percycat.

I think the biggest don't has already been stated and that is "NOT SURFING THE NET".  I cannot tell you how many different doctors have told me "don't go on the internet".

My biggest do is listening to music as Kitt said.  I put on whatever my favorite song is that particular day and sing out loud to myself (thankfully, noone else can hear me singing) and as you sing, you can immerse yourself in the words and the music itself and it puts the anxiety at bay for a while.

I also agree with Kitt that CBT is a very helpful tool.  I went to therapy and learned CBT and it has helped me quite a lot over the last few months.

Thou shalt smile and have a nice day.  It frustrates those who have other plans for thee.
Anxiety 2007; IBS 2004; Chronic Hives 2002.
Medications:  Allegra, Zantac, Xanax, Darvocet.

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