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Author Topic: Scared of illness,death & doctors  (Read 5291 times)

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Offline StardustSteph

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Scared of illness,death & doctors
« on: January 02, 2010, 03:04:25 AM »
I have become a terrible hypochondriac lately. I am terrified of having things like appendicitis, pulmonary embolisms, and heart attacks. Every single twinge of pain I have I am afraid I'll end up in the hospital. I always have cramps in my stomach and chest pains. It's stupid because if I'm properly distracted these symptoms go away. I haven't been to the doctor in over a year. I always read about hypochondriacs going to the doctor constantly, but I am terrified. I have convinced myself 100% that if I go to a doctor they will find something terminally wrong with me, and I'd rather not know and just die and never know something was wrong? Does this make sense? It's entirely irrational.  Also even though I am not entirely agoraphobic the thought of going to a doctors office and waiting will surely send me into a horrible panic attack. It's very frustrating and I am so lost in how to deal with this. Everyday it's something new one day it's my stomach the next it's my chest it's always something. It inhibits me from enjoying life because I'm so worried about how I feel 24/7. Any advice or support?
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Offline laa43

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Re: Scared of illness,death & doctors
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2010, 05:45:07 AM »
Well you are not alone. I am the same way. I'm not the typical hypo.........I don't go to the doc out of fear of a diagnosis of something horrible. I'm 45 so the chances of the are much greater than of someone in their teens or 20s. Also, if I DID go, and the doctor told me I was fine, I believe them and leave totally relieved and never look back. I haven't found many at all like me here. Everyone tells me "everyone is fearful of the doc" but at least they still go. I do not. So yes, it makes total sense to me. I am in therapy largely because of this (among other reasons) but still no progress on that front (I am quite stubborn and to this day still don't see me making any headway towards the doctor visit. The good news for you is that you are so very young and the chances of you having something seriously wrong with you are slim to none. My advice is don't waste this opportunity to go ahead and start seeing the doctor now and every year for a check up. Every year you put it off makes it that much worse to do it. I'll bet you a million bucks that your problems you can chalk up to anxiety. Take someone with you if that will make it better for you. Don't be like me!!! You are fine!!!!! The fact that even you admitted that the symptoms go away when you are distracted should make you feel better that nothing is wrong with you. Take care......laa
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"What lies behind us and what lies before us are mere trivial things compared to what lies within us"....Emerson

Offline marc

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Re: Scared of illness,death & doctors
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2010, 08:05:17 AM »
I agree with laa's assessment.
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If you're going through hell, keep going.
Never, Never, Never, give up.

Offline olethros

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Re: Scared of illness,death & doctors
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2010, 09:46:12 AM »
I know how you feel ... in your mind, you can replay the scene where the doc tells you that you're dying over and over again.  I do this often.  In recent times my fear has been tumors.  But in the past I've worried about lymphoma, leukemia, colon cancer, and other things.  Didn't have any of those issues.  I was even worried to go to the eye doctor this last year because I was afraid they'd see evidence that I had a brain tumor.  But again, nothing.  The only thing they saw is that my eyes aren't very good!  :happy0151:

You're not alone in this, which alone may make you feel better.  A lot of people have a hard time understanding when it comes to this kind of thing.  And I can't totally blame them - as you say, it is irrational.  So to someone who is of sound mind in this matter, it would look completely ridiculous!  But to us, it's so real.  It's tough to deal with, but it can be dealt with.  I would add my approval to laa43's advice.  Don't let it take control of you now.  At the risk of sounding corny - you can do it! :)
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Offline indianahusky

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Re: Scared of illness,death & doctors
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2010, 11:49:25 AM »
I know exactly how you feel. I too have a huge fear of doctors because of that dreadful moment when they say, "you're a goner". My biggest fear is the GYN. I haven't been to one in years. It's been one of the many things that has held me back from having kids. I also had some bad experiences w/PCPs over the years(one actually made fun of the possibility of me having a panic attack) which didn't help.

I did finally find a PCP that I could trust(I could never be totally doc free because of work-needing notes and stuff and I need my scripts for xanax and wellbutrin). On my first visit, I came right out and told him(through tears of terror mind you) about my anxiety issues and bad experiences w/other docs. He's understanding of my fears and has been helping me work out my GYN fears as well. It wasn't easy though.  It wasn't until my panic/anxiety and depression got so bad from not knowing and/or my symptoms got so bad, I had no choice.

I know it's hard and very scary when thinking about seeing a doc. I'm trying to get in the mindset now to go for a problem I know will probably require bloodwork or worse, but the symptoms are starting to take it's toll on me. Try to start looking for a doc that you can trust and understands your fears now before you have an emergency that only a doc can help you with. The last thing you need is end up with some jerk like what happened to me, during something that can be frightening for HA-ers like us. I had a "woman" issue over the summer that HAD to be addressed by my doc. There was nothing I could do to make it go away on my own. Was I terrified? Yes, but at least I could go knowing he would be understanding.

It's hard I know, and only you will know when you are ready to go. It's easier to avoid when you are young-I know. I did it. But as we get older, things come up that we can't avoid, so working it out sooner rather than later might be a plus. It stinks I know. I guess just try to take some comfort knowing that you aren't alone.

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