View Full Version : Health Anxiety
12-18-2011, 11:40 AM
Welle hello all, i have been meaning to come on here for ages and get some help.
I recently got diagnosed with HA and it is stopping me run my normal life some days.
Earlier this year a close friend of mine almost died with meningitis, and this is where i belive my HA to have kicked in, i have always tended to look at things in a negative light, but now it has got a bit silly.
I am a single mum with two girls and i work part time too , so i keep myself as busy as i can , however recently i have been thinking I - or one of my children have brain tumors, i have evn had a CT scan to prove nothing is wrong, but that was months ago and i now thinking that in that space of time it has started .
My doctor is aware of how i feel and i am waiting for an appointment for CBT.
I have had a rather bad cold for 3 weeks now and it has gone to my chest, I have been moaned at by many friends to go to the doctors ,which i did and i am now on anti bios for a chest infection.
Anyway, my point is... today i had a wiff of burning, only for a very short time but i have got myself very worked up.
I try not to google things, but some things you just hear , so now it is back in my head that its a tumor. I FEEL LIKE A FOOL. PLEASE HELP :(
12-18-2011, 12:03 PM
Firstly, I wouldn't feel like a fool! You're taking care of things at a good pace. You've seem problems, and several times in your post you've mentioned great solutions to fix them! I know with anxiety, we can be very hard on ourselves, but you're going in a good direction :)
The CBT is great with health anxiety. It takes time to get there, but you see lasting changes. I guess thats the downside to free health care in this country, we can wait quite a while to get an appointment.
I did suffer awful hypchdria at one stage, and would diagnose myself each week with blood clots, brain problems or schizophrenia. Those were my poison at the time! A little advice I've picked up along the way. Don't indulge your fears when they arise. It's like being afraid to leave the house. MAKE yourself leave the house. You might panic, but you will make it. The more you do that, the more you stave off the debilitating aspects of panic attacks and anxiety. You don't have to do everything in a day, anxiety is all about small victories, very small victories at times. In this case, force yourself not to view them as an alarm to danger, but just utterly irritating, and continue with your day even though you feel like you are dying :). It's just anxiety. When you catch yourself having these thoughts, you could even label them, like "wow, that is an irritating thought", and sometimes you may even chuckle at it. It doesn't happen over night, but over time you notice your mind starts to pick up these chains of thought, and you notice you can dismiss things more easily.
Health anxiety is a lot about panic build-up. It works on feedback. This works for good or bad. In the case of negative thoughts, it needs to get nipped in the bud. i.e. a little bit of panic makes you feel like something terrible will happen, and then the panic starts to feed on itself and grow. The mind is so powerful it can deceive. But it's very encouraging that it's also something that can be tamed and brought under control.
A lesson my therapist taught me, was to write two columns, Old Thought/New Thought. "I think I might have a brain tumour" then next to it, in brighter ink, write "I have just been stressing out, I am OK". Your therapist will build on that idea greatly, but it's an easy way to begin to retrain your mind to think alternative thoughts.
Then go do something you like! I have a bit of a cold, I'm eating ice cream, watching movies :)...
12-18-2011, 12:15 PM
Thank you, i have good days and bad days, and i never thiought i would say things like that it just sounds so unlike me.
I am quite good and self help and i try and help myself in many ways.
I also try and face things that get to me, cos with being on my own with kids its a case of having to do it or no one else will.
when you say you had a problem with HA some time ago, how did you get through it, i just keep thinking that now theese thought are in my mind they will never leave, i seem to notice every single change in my body , and with the kids too, they tell me they have a headache i think the irrational, tumor, they have cold / flu. i go into overdrive and think it is meningitis.
I darn't tell many friends i actually feel this cos i know what they would be like... don't be silly. Which does not help lol.
12-18-2011, 12:46 PM
I think I just got over it thought by thought. I remember always looking for the cure, the strategy, medication, health plan that would fix me. I guess the cure just came from doing tiny little things differently. I would just play down the thoughts. I wouldn't fight them, or disagree with them necassarily, but sort of de-construct them. I'd often get thoughts and symptoms that I would quickly say "this might be a blood clot", and it would paralyse me with fear. But I countered that thought with "It is VERY unlikely to be a blood clot. I have anxiety, and this is actually a classic symptom of that!", or I'd say "You're scared of a blood clot because a family member got it. It's natual to be scared, this is a symptom of fear, not anything medical."
In the end thoughts came and I would merely say "Oh yeah, theres that anxiety again". I think as time passes, you find a new default pattern in your head. I've read so many medical books, I'm thinking of enrolling to med school lol. A day doesn't go by where don't I remember symptoms of some illness. I've seen too much lol. It just doesn't scare me any more. It's out of my head in a hundreth of a second and I'm on with life. I think my mind turned off the alarm. When you're scared of something, it's evolutionary to keep it at the highest state of your awareness. By playing it down, and counter-balancing it with something more rational, over a period of time the mind realizes it doesn't need to go from 0-100 anymore, and it can think more rationally and realistically about things. I won't lie though, it takes time :)
My friend who was anxiety sufferer told me to imagine all the great people; Buddha, Darwin, Jesus, Dickens, Aristotle, Confuscious, Abe Lincoln, M.L King, Ghandi, Alexander the Great etc... Of all various times and places they've lived, of all the conflicting beliefs, and idea's they've all had, they've all agreed on one thing: We are what we think about. The more you practice rational thoughts, the more rational you become. I think that's why CBT will help you a lot. As we write this, it's so basic, a therapist will really be able to see your fears, and work on deconstructing them. I look back on my anxiety now, and sort of see it as a little man, dressing up as a 20ft giant lol :)
12-18-2011, 12:57 PM
Thank you, you have been very helpfull to me... do it get to med school lol. :)
12-18-2011, 04:51 PM
hi ive been reading all through and have taken some points on board for myself! i just wanted to say one thing for years i suffered in silence only my partner mom and doctor knowing what i felt, i went for counselling and learnt to talk about it more i dont shout it from the roof tops but if things pop up in conversation i will say i suffer with anxiety and tell them some things that have happened and you would be supprised at the response people are more understanding than you think i even found found out that one of the school moms has been there to and we are now great mates! Try talking about it with friends a problem shared is a problem halved an all that!
12-19-2011, 12:12 PM
thank you kell, i do talk with mates about certain things , i just don't go too far in depth of it, for instance, my daughter was poorly last week and i start pacing up and down the house on edge my heart pounding in my chest. I dare not tell my mates them kind of things cos they will just say .. thats what mothers do .. worry. x
12-20-2011, 05:18 PM
im like that to i find i frantically clean if the kids are ill the bleach comes out im a nightmare, but each time when you have a calm patch and reflect i know my head over thinks my way into blind panic but when im in it i can't see a way through. I have to relax everyday ie relaxation tape or yoga because if i think im fine and stop it for a bit it creeps back up. Open up and talk each time go a bit more in depth in conversations ul prob find they understand or have even been there or are there themselves.
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