This is not ment to "flame" or upset or point fingers at anyone. Its just something that I believe deserves to be known. Maybe severe health anxiety is not seen in here as often as the panic disorder in its self. But I bet I'm not the only one that feels this needs to be said.
Well IMHO people living with hypochondriasis, or *health anxiety*, suffer from a disorder that can be quite different from just the panic disorder in its self. Its really one of those things that, if you dont have it, you may not really understand it. See, the beauty about this disorder is that you can believe that you are dieing from anything! Even a regular person, if they think they are about to die from something, they will go to the hospital to get help. Well the hypochondriac or person suffering *health anxiety*, they believe TRUELY, that they are dieing sometimes. Sometimes its quite often. Its not just the panic disorder where your able to distinguish between the real emergencys and just the anxiety. Its analyzing every body symptom, "what if" thinking, catastrophic thinking, and along with catastrophic thinking comes thoughts that you are dieing sometimes. Thoughts that you need to seek help immediately! Where as the person with panic disorder that doesn't suffer from the severe health anxiety, they associate the problem as, just people having panic attacks the way they do only, they are impatient on waiting for a doc apt. This is not true! We with the severe health anxiety go to the ER because we REALLY think we have something life threating!
I have been to the ER so many times and TRUELY believed that I might die! I wasnt there because I had a concern that I just felt like having checked because I didnt want to wait to go to my doctor. I was throwing up and pacing the floor, really terrified! Now people that dont live with this disorder dont understand that, even what seems to be so minor, can be so real and so terrifying to the sufferer!
I could go on all day but I just have to get this out there! Its real! We try to over come this disorder and get control of our thoughts so we can get better and NOT go to the hospital. In the mean time, its really upsetting when people treat you like your just going to the ER because you simply dont feel like waiting on a doctor's apt. Especially when you are sick and throwing up from nerves, shaking uncontrollably, hyperventilating, and really truly believe that you fit right in the ER because you might be dieing!
Bottom line, "If you (anyone), thinks you might have an immediate, life threatining condition, you are going to seek help in the emergency room". A person like me with severe health anxiety, TRUELY BELIEVES they are dieing and need that help sometimes. If you dont have this disorder, (not just the panic disorder), then you might not understand it. If you feel that you are dieing, whether you are or not, you belong in the ER! People with severe health anxiety sometimes CANT tell the difference between whats a real danger, and whats not. We are trying to over come this just as much as those suffering from just the panic attacks. But the disorder is real! We cant help it! We dont go to the hospital just for kicks, or because we are just impatient! We are terrified! No matter how rediculous the fear may be to others! We cant help it! We go to therapists and we take the meds like we are supposed to, ( I do anyway). We are trying! Bare with us, we arnt just trying to take up other people's time in the ER. I always feel bad when I find out it was nothing. I feel bad that I might have took up someone's time. But then I remember, that just means I have to keep fighting. I'm not going to just die some day because people had me convinced that I didnt need to go to the ER and unless it was serious, and I COULDNT tell for sure if it was or wasnt, but it felt like it was! Thats what severe health anxiety is!
*Also, if you do go to the ER just because your impatient on waiting for a doc apt, please stop! The ER is for emergencys! But if you truely believe its a life threateing emergency, GO! You may be wrong, it may be just panic or health anxiety getting the better of you. Then again you may need to be there. If you cant tell the difference and cant get in to see your doc right away, dont be afraid to seek help because you may really need it!