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Author Topic: Irrational fear of being allergic to everything. :(  (Read 3301 times)

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Offline HeatherNicole13

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Irrational fear of being allergic to everything. :(
« on: October 17, 2012, 04:31:22 PM »
I've become SO convinced that every new food I try, I'm going to have a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) . Sometimes even foods I've eaten before. For Example, I grew up eating peanuts all the time and have never had any problem, but I'm terrified to eat them now because of the severe reactions some people have from peanuts. I'm scared that I will randomly develop an allergy to it. I've never actually had a bad allergic reaction to food. I've had a mild reaction to star anise and macadamia nuts (just an itchy throat and swollen lips.) . I have asthma too, and I've read that asthmatics have an increased chance of anaphylaxis. I've never eaten shellfish because growing up, neither of my parents liked it so we never had it. I want to try crab and lobster now, but my fear stops me because shellfish is such a common allergy. It's not just those two things, it's almost any food. Eating at restaurants gives me such anxiety because I can't read the ingredients in the food, to see if there's anything in it I MIGHT be allergic to.  I can not enjoy anything because I concentrate on imaginary sensations in my mouth and throat. I think my lips are tingling and my throat is closing. And even though this anticipated allergic reaction never happens, I still continue to believe it will. Every time I eat something, THIS will be the meal that kills me. The only foods I'm not afraid of are fast food, which is probably ruining my health.  I didn't even enjoy my 21st birthday. My boyfriend bought me different types of flavored beers, and I was so scared the entire time drinking them because alcohol never lists ingredients. It's not just things I eat either, I haven't dyed my hair in months because some people have bad reactions and die. I miss my pretty black hair, I look terrible with my roots growing out but I can't bring myself to dye it, even if my skin patch test is fine. I tried once, but I freaked out 10 minutes in, and had a severe panic attack while washing it out far too early. I'm so mad at myself. I used to be so adventurous. I'd dye my hair without even doing the patch test. I'd be excited to try new foods any chance I got. I have no idea what happened but it's really bringing me down. =\ Anyone else have this problem?
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Offline KimberlyBryanne

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Re: Irrational fear of being allergic to everything. :(
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2012, 05:38:43 PM »
Omg. Reading your post was like reading my own thoughts. I'm so scared of having a severe allergic reaction to shellfish that I won't even eat at a seafood restaurant even though I can order chicken. Seafood is my boyfriends favorite food and sometimes I'm scared he will think I'm crazy and will break up with me so when we first started dating I would order chicken and just push it around my plate worrying that it may have even touched seafood. My throat feels funny as soon as I get around it. My throat starts tightening and I imagine myself just dying in the restaurant. I won't even eat chinese anymore because idk what they put in it.  Its ridiculous and hard being this way but are you on any meds? I just got prescribed celexa today. I really hope it helps. All my fears and anxiety is ruining everything good in my life. I feel like I'm crazy. I know this probably didn't help much, but it always helps me a little knowing I'm not alone in my fears. I hope you overcome this! I know firsthand how bad it sucks.
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Offline Mrs.G

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Re: Irrational fear of being allergic to everything. :(
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2012, 05:57:49 PM »
I am currently battling the the exact same fear.  I'm going for allergy testing Monday, to hopefully ease my mind a bit.  You are definitely not alone in this!!
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Offline hypo8888

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Re: Irrational fear of being allergic to everything. :(
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2012, 07:09:31 PM »
I have the same exact fear as well!  Sometimes I start panicking and really feel that my throat is closing up, it's a terrifying feeling :(
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Offline mikepol2

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Re: Irrational fear of being allergic to everything. :(
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2012, 06:50:54 AM »
Wow me too, with both foods and prescription drugs!  I'm terrified of using a new prescription for the first time, and won't take my arthritis medication any more because of the possibility of developing an allergic reaction even though I've used it before.  I'm also a mess lately with both beer and coffee, imagining that my throat and mouth are swelling when I drink them.  I take a low dose Xanax every once in a while when I'm having a really bad day with hypochondria, and yesterday was one of those days.  What makes it worse is that 2 years ago I went to an allergist for the skin test and am allergic to the normal grasses, weeds, etc so I know it's possible to be allergic to things.  What a horrible way to go through life.
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Offline hypomom

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Re: Irrational fear of being allergic to everything. :(
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2012, 11:00:29 AM »
I could have written this.  :( I haven't dyed my hair in months and had a panic attack the last time too and rinsed too soon because of it. I worry about resturants mostly but had a pb & J sandwich a while back and it made me have a full blown panic attack worrying about it. I have gotten hives that lasted for over 6 weeks and they did all kinds of allergy testing to all sorts of foods (all negative) and the usual trees, pollen, mold and I am allergic to dust and dust mites and mold. BUT they said the allergies are so mild it didn't cause the hives so dx'd me with an "unknown allergy" which totally freaks me out. Deep down i think the hives were from stress but the thought of an unknown allergy out there freaks me out! I am also TERRIFED of meds with the exceptions of tylenol and gasX!
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Offline mommabear

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Re: Irrational fear of being allergic to everything. :(
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2012, 11:20:40 AM »
Yeppers another one here that could have wrote this exact same post!!!!!!
It started for me when all of the sudden I got allergies, never had them before. I became terrified that I would eat something, (even if I've had it before )and I would worry I'd have a horrible reaction to it. It applies to food, medication (prescription or not) vitamins, herbal tea, and a biggie for me is of course hair dye! I'll just add that if you did the patch test on you arm with your hair dye and had no reaction after a couple of days, I'm sure you're safe to color your hair. It takes me months to get the courage to color my hair, and when I do it's a guaranteed panic attack while I'm doing it! I don't know as for the food allergy fear maybe you can get allergy tests done, just so you know. Sometimes if I fear a food or pill or whatever I'll take a tiny amount to see if I do indeed react to it, if not (actually never have  :spineyes:) I'll take bigger amounts slowly......... It's tough having these fears and probably take time to overcome. You're defo not alone though!!
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Offline HeatherNicole13

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Re: Irrational fear of being allergic to everything. :(
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2012, 04:51:30 PM »
Omg. Reading your post was like reading my own thoughts. I'm so scared of having a severe allergic reaction to shellfish that I won't even eat at a seafood restaurant even though I can order chicken. Seafood is my boyfriends favorite food and sometimes I'm scared he will think I'm crazy and will break up with me so when we first started dating I would order chicken and just push it around my plate worrying that it may have even touched seafood. My throat feels funny as soon as I get around it. My throat starts tightening and I imagine myself just dying in the restaurant. I won't even eat chinese anymore because idk what they put in it.  Its ridiculous and hard being this way but are you on any meds? I just got prescribed celexa today. I really hope it helps. All my fears and anxiety is ruining everything good in my life. I feel like I'm crazy. I know this probably didn't help much, but it always helps me a little knowing I'm not alone in my fears. I hope you overcome this! I know firsthand how bad it sucks.

   Seafood is my boyfriend's favorite too! He also really likes all kinds of ethnic foods, especially Indian and Thai buffets. He always wants me to go with him and try everything, and I'm sitting there freaking out with every bite! I feel like he might break up with me eventually over this, but for now he mostly Just jokes around about it, "It would be so hot if you fearlessly shoved this piece of crab in your mouth!" Lol. I feel bad because when we started dating, I didn't have this fear and I'd eat any new thing he put in front of me. He even convinced me to eat octopus, haha. Chinese used to be my favorite, but I can't enjoy it anymore because I worry the entire time eating it. I feel like they use really weird spices or something that I might be allergic to. I also worry I'll die in the restaurant, I think out this whole horrible scenario that my throat will start closing and nobody will think to call an ambulance, or it won't get there in time. And I'll just die on the floor of the restaurant :(. I am not on any meds, I was prescribed Celexa also, but I could never bring myself to take it because of fear of a bad reaction or side effects. I suppose sometime soon I should just force myself to take it and try my best not to freak out. It would be worth it if I could stop feeling like this. Your reply did help me a bit knowing somebody could relate to me completely. :)
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Offline Jimboe88

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Re: Irrational fear of being allergic to everything. :(
« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2012, 02:14:51 AM »
I am allergic to shellfish and i will not eat anywhere that sells any sort of shellfish. Anytime i try something new i rub it on my lip first to see if i start itching and swelling haha.  My dad is also allergic and will eat anywhere he goes to japanese steakhouses where they grill your food right in front of you with shrimp right there with it and he doesnt even tell them he is allergic! We went fishing at the beach once and he accidentally poked himself with a shrimp under his nail and his throat started swelling and he ended up at the hospital but he just keeps pushing through it and tries to get me to do the same. So i can definitely relate to you and i guess give you inspiration that we can maybe be that tough about it one day.
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Offline vardnas

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Re: Irrational fear of being allergic to everything. :(
« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2012, 12:24:48 PM »
I had this fear, too, and it really is awful, isn't it?

I wish I could tell you it's easy to get over, but I can't, really. I found that my food fears lessened as my overall anxiety lessened, meaning months of therapy and the like. Are you doing anything to treat your anxiety now? If not, I recommend you do so. It takes a while to start feeling better, but once you do, you'll find that all of your fears will decrease and eventually subside.

Another thought is just to try and combat your fears with logic. I mean, to think that you'll develop an allergic reaction to anything you eat is irrational. I say that having had the exact same fear, by the way. I would avoid a lot of the "high risk" foods, especially peanut butter, but still, you have to eat, right? So part of it I think is simply challenging yourself and eating something you're afraid to eat anyway. You'll know pretty soon whether or not you're reactive. And true allergic reactions are not subtle.

These are hopefully some things to think about at least. Hope it helps.
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In case anyone is still confused:  googling your symptoms will cause you to remain in a state of extreme anxiety. Stepping away from the internet is the first step toward lasting peace.

Offline mikepol2

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Re: Irrational fear of being allergic to everything. :(
« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2012, 11:41:33 PM »
Went to the family doctor today and asked for a non-NSAID drug for arthritic knees because of fear of a sudden acute allergic reaction...she said sorry, NSAIDs are it!  But she also said the Zyrtec (and I assume other similar antihistamines) are about the safest drugs you can take.  I take 1/2 Zyrtec every day or every other; my hands and feet itch if I skip a day, but my mouth gets very dry and makes sleeping uncomfortable if I take it every day, bummer.  So tonight I was wrestling with my son and afterwards felt like my windpipe was ticklish and narrow, and had a minor freak-out.  And then thought how ridiculous this all is!  Every once in a while you have a little breakthrough moment where you see yourself from the outside and realize how exaggerated your reactions are.  I guess my point is that you could have a reaction to anything at any time, but you could also hit the lottery.  Let's accept the fact that we'll all hit our own lottery some day, and not keep trying to play fortune teller to find it!  Feel better everybody!
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Offline Mika

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Re: Irrational fear of being allergic to everything. :(
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2014, 06:39:04 PM »
Oh my god, I honestly thought I was alone in this. About a year ago, I suddenly became very afraid of food, convinced I was allergic. At the same time, I became having extreme panic attacks whenever I ate something. It's not just food either. It's drinks or medications too. I haven't been in a restaurant or eaten fast food since then. I've lost 20lbs because of it. I'm 24 and I currently live back home with my mother, because it got so severe I lost my job and my apartment. I've been on  variety of pills that have lessened the daily anxiety, but never did anything for eating. I also see a therapist once a week.

I've been eating toast, rice, and water for the past few weeks, it's gotten so bad. I feel like I'm wasting away and I DON'T KNOW what to do about it anymore... I want help so badly. I don't want my whole life to go on like this...I feel out of control and I hate my life so badly right now...
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Offline amandas

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Re: Irrational fear of being allergic to everything. :(
« Reply #12 on: May 22, 2014, 12:45:50 PM »
Hello! I'm new to this forum and I also joined after reading these posts. I recently developed this fear and anxiety back in March 2014 when my boyfriend moved away to work. I was fine then BAM out of nowhere I had a full blown panic attack. My only real anxiety is eating. I have literally convinced myself {pretty much overnight} that if I eat anything my throat will swell up and I will die. I think the fear of something happening to me while I am alone in my apartment is the root. I'm not use to living alone {we live together} and from that fear comes the food allergy fear. Food allergies do not run in my family. No one in my immediate family has an allergy {or any allergies other than seasonal for that matter}. I think twice or three times before I make or order something. I LOVE seafood and am now terrified to eat it. 3 months ago I was eating peanut butter out of a jar and now I can't even think about it. I can't enjoy going out to eat because in the back of my mind I'm scared something will happen to me. Nothing has EVER happened to me EVER. I'm an active healthy 28 year old with no medical issues to speak of. I find I'm better when I am around people, family, friends but still think about it way too much. I use to LOVE and ENJOY going to new restaurants and making new meals at home but now I just can bring myself to eat anything other than cucumber, tomato's and popcorn. It's a terrible feeling and everyone looks at me and says STOP you're not allergic. My boyfriend sits there and says STOP YOU'RE FINE. You can't live your life in constant fear and I never had before this HUGE change in my life happened {my boyfriend moving away}. He is coming back next weekend so I'm PRAYING this lessens....and hopefully just goes away. I'm a very social person and I can't even think about living a life in fear like this. I hear each and everyone one of you! Your mind is powerful! Try not to let it take over your life.....!

xx.
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Offline lilmsflynn

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Re: Irrational fear of being allergic to everything. :(
« Reply #13 on: May 22, 2014, 03:11:08 PM »
I really feel for you, I have battled the exact same fears for almost two yrs now. I am now petrified of almost everything. This includes shampoo, conditioner and lotions as well. I never eat out and worry about contamination . I'm not able to take medicine at all as I just know I will be the one person who dies. I had an allergic reaction , taken to hospital, was tested by specialists for allergies, both skin prick and bloods and turned out I'm just allergic to myself. The actual fear of being allergic is causing me to have reactions. Now if I just worry about an item I react. It's horrendous and my world is now so small. I am afraid all day everyday.  I have no idea how to get over this fear and it is definitely soul destroying. I wouldn't wish this in my worst enemy!! Trying cbt but not really helping yet, early days and I seem to be going backwards!  I hope you can find someway of getting some help as it really is hard and it tends to escalate , fear just breeds more fear . 
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Offline HeatherNicole13

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Re: Irrational fear of being allergic to everything. :(
« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2014, 07:03:59 PM »
Hey guys! I can't believe I posted this almost two years ago...Unfortunately, I'm still dealing with these same fears. I was actually googling how to cope with irrational fears of allergies, and came across this old post of mine. The fact that I posted this two years ago, and have still yet to have any sort of severe allergic reaction should be comforting to me, but no matter the length of time, it's always going to happen "any day now" and I feel like I'm just gambling with my life, with every new food I try. A part of me realizes that this is all 100% in my head. If I have a few alcoholic drinks, I can eat anything without being afraid. The reaction never happens. I live with my boyfriend now, the one I mentioned in the first post ,and he's always encouraging me to get over this fear. I want to break free from this, and I feel like I'm getting close. I've developed a pretty intense love for Indian food, which is awesome because that stuff contains so many different spices and ingredients. Of course I still worry, but the taste motivates me to eat it anyways haha. I'm hoping that one day I'll see the end of this for real. I'm probably missing out on so many delicious and healthy foods due to fear nagging me in the back of my head. I still find myself reading ingredients when I buy foods and look for things I think I've never tried, "just in case." I don't have full-blown panic attacks as frequently anymore which is a huge relief. If any of you have any updates or advice for me that would be amazing. I hope all of us can overcome this thing and enjoy everything life has to offer 
:)
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