I am twenty six years old, and I over the past few months I have developed a certain phobia that my GP called carcinophobia. Which I would say is a specific form of hypochondria. Next week I will have my first appointment at the psychosomatic department of the local hospital and I could not be more nervous.
All my life I had been nervous whenever I felt something was wrong with me, or that I might be sick, and whenever a trip to the doctor was necessary I suffered from extreme anxiety. But all has changed after a very nice vacation a few months ago, during which I knew that a girl I knew had a brain tumor. After reading a few articles online about brain tumors and what the symptoms can be I was convinced I had a brain tumor, even though I had no specific symptoms, not even headaches. And that’s how it started.
Over the next weeks, I rushed as much as 6 times to the ER or to my GP convinced something was wrong with me: lumps on my back (lipomas), unequal pupils (physiologic anisocoria, confirmed by 4 different doctors) and finally having a side of my abdomen bigger than the other. That was when my GP told me that this has developed to a phobia and confirmed to me that I had been suffering panic attacks (I did not know they were called such, when someone shakes all over, heartbeat goes over the ceiling, feeling of dizziness and nausea…).
In December, I took an appointment at the psychosomatic department, which will be in a week. During this time I suffered from a normal cold, which convinced me that I had leukemia, lymphoma or throat cancer because of the relatively enlarged lymph nodes and tonsils. Despite the assurance from my GP that the size of my tonsils/lymph nodes was not concerning, I could not believe her. That is when she prescribed anti-anxiety pills for me to take twice a day.
Knowing that I have a phobia, does not make me less scared about being sick. It does not make me believe that there is nothing wrong with my body, and that is my main issue. I am hoping to find help, and maybe some support from people with similar problems in this forum.