Posted 9/9/2008 11:22 AM (GMT -6)
I'm trying to figure out if I am a hypochondriac or just have health anxieties. I guess it doesn't really matter...it all comes down to the same thing...stress about my health.
I've always worried too much about my health. I was always convinced I had some rare disease or, of course, cancer. I remember being maybe 12 or 13 and convinced I had leukemia.
Other times I am really calm about stuff. I had severe migraines but I never thought I had a brain tumor. I knew they were migraines.
I read on the Mayo Clinic site about the symptoms of being a hypochondriac. I have many of them. I don't "doctor shop" however, or go in for unnecessary tests. If a doctor tells me I am okay, I go with that. But I do worry excessively about new symptoms that come up. And at my age (49), a lot of things are falling apart.
Last year was my worst health year ever. I had a very serious depression, followed by a stricture in my esophagus, followed by a melanoma. I also had a painful frozen shoulder and a dumb condition called "burning mouth syndrome". My latest problem has been urinary tract infections and overactive bladder problems. Now I believe all of these problems were real...I wasn't making them up or anything...but it seems like all I do is complain about and deal with my health. I KNOW that half of my symptoms and problems are made much worse by stress and anxiety. For example, I do have GERD, but if you took the anxiety out, it'd be a ton better.
I'd love to be free of some of this anxiety and worry. I mean, I have to realistic. I am 49. I am going to have some health problems. Some day (gasp!) I will even die...although I hope that is far in the future. But what's the point of living your life with all this stress and worry? Shouldn't you enjoy life while you're here?
I am working through a book called "The Cognitive Behavorial Workbook for Depression" by William Knaus with an online group but we are only on Chapter 2. Maybe it will help...although it's not specifically for anxieties.
Thanks for reading...this is such a good place to vent.