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Author Topic: Feeling increasingly alone and unable to talk about my concerns  (Read 686 times)

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Offline bhandley

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Feeling increasingly alone and unable to talk about my concerns
« on: January 27, 2013, 01:47:42 AM »
I am expressing all symptoms of IBS, but also all the symptoms of colon cancer, and today I saw more pink which I am almost certain is blood, its not on the stool, its part of it and affecting the general color of it, yet some days its not noticeable, then some-days its really noticeable.
I'm very concerned and almost feel like this guarantees its colon cancer since you don't bleed with IBS.
I have no friends to talk to, no family is around at the moment and my doctor is unconcerned, although I have only reported bleeding twice to him so far and now total at 4 times. I need a FOB test but he wouldn't grant me one last time. I don't think I could deal with having cancer. I just don't think I have it in me.
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Offline mollyfin

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Re: Feeling increasingly alone and unable to talk about my concerns
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2013, 07:41:40 AM »
It's really hard when you feel like no one is listening to you.  I don't really have any advice because I never know what to do either, but you're not alone, if that helps at all.
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Offline sassparella

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Re: Feeling increasingly alone and unable to talk about my concerns
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2013, 08:33:31 PM »
Having no one to talk to makes everything harder. My family are sick of my health anxiety so I have no one to talk to as well so I know how you feel. Maybe now you've had more bleeding if you go to the doctor again he will give you the test this time. Make your fears known to him, tell him how you're feeling. I'm sure you don't have cancer and will be fine, but for your own peace of mind you need to speak to your GP again.
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Offline a14

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Re: Feeling increasingly alone and unable to talk about my concerns
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2013, 09:23:20 PM »
Have you taken an actual stool sample to your doctor yet? It might be embarrassing, but it could also be more convincing if he sees what you're seeing.

I absolutely understand the feeling of being isolated with my problems...sometimes family just won't put up with it. It's definitely nice to be reasoned with or comforted in person, but I hope that we're at least some help here. Best wishes to you.
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Offline Hohum

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Re: Feeling increasingly alone and unable to talk about my concerns
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2013, 11:27:50 PM »
It is very hard to deal with HA when there's nobody to talk to about it, but ultimately the strength to manage it comes from within you - nobody else.

I have caught your other posts about your IBS issues. Anxiety makes us take little, regular symptoms, put them all together, and blow them out of all proportion. 2+2 suddenly equals 5 in our minds. However, a little rectal bleeding does not mean colon cancer. IBS symptoms do not mean colon cancer. Just because you have something that you know is a symptom of something bad, doesn't mean that's what it is.

You need to work on your anxiety by whatever means you can. It's a lifelong battle, and this won't get any better until you really say that enough is enough and start dealing with it. Sure you could go back to your GP and plead for a FOB test. You'd get a clear result, but after a week or two you'd be back pleading for a colonoscopy. After that came back clear, there would be a massive sense of relief...until the next thing comes along.

I have been down this road myself, far too many times to count before I finally said "no more". It never goes away, but it does get easier. Just takes a long time and a lot of commitment to get there.

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Offline smsinbklyn

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Re: Feeling increasingly alone and unable to talk about my concerns
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2013, 12:08:39 AM »
I'm so sorry that you are going through this.  It's scary to be worried and have no one to talk to and worse when you do talk to people and they don't take you seriously. 

We all go through it.  I am hungry right now and my hands are shaking so I'm sure that I'm NOT hungry but I have Parkinsons.  I worked out too hard last night and my legs were trembling and weak and I assumed it was ALS making me that way and not my hard workout.  And so forth and so on.  It's a vicious cycle and then the anxiety starts making symptoms for you and it's just round and round again.

Do you have a shrink/therapist/psych that you can talk to first?  Maybe they can help you with your stress about the situation and send you to the right doctor if they think it's warranted.
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Offline bhandley

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Re: Feeling increasingly alone and unable to talk about my concerns
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2013, 08:19:04 AM »
Thank you all for the support, it really does help to know that I am not alone, although it doesn't lessen my pain.
I am annoyed because I actually did get a lot better yet something recently has caused me to regress on my healing path and I am now full panic attacking, self checking and physically hurting myself from doing it so much, looking things up online and trekking up to the doctors office nearly every other day. This is such a back step and of course I can not involve anyone in this back step since not only is it embarrassing for me but my friends and family do not have the patience nor the knowledge to say anything to help, therefore I stand alone in my struggle. Even people on this forum have little patience for people engaging in self destructive behaviors like this.

I actually have been back to the doctor complaining about seeing more blood and he has granted me the FOB test even though he does not think that I am actually seeing blood. I remain skeptical. I really hope I am not seeing blood but now I have to muster the braveness to take the test although I feel vulnerable and scared that I am now about to take the first step in my 'diagnosis of bowel cancer'. These thoughts are killing me.

I do have counseling in the pipeline. I am based in the UK so am working these issues out through a NHS system which has taken a very long time (3 months since the doctor referring me for CBT, and another 6 months since I originally went to the doctors about my health anxiety - so 9 months in total). I have been 'chasing' the mental health team for an appointment for the last month only to be told repeatedly that I will be called back, so finally today (when I went to the doctors for the FOB test) he has agreed to get a receptionist to follow it up as they bear more authority.

So now all I have to do is await the counseling team to contact me, and fill these stupid little pots and hope to god that I do not have intestinal bleeding.

Thank you all so much for the responses.
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Offline Hohum

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Re: Feeling increasingly alone and unable to talk about my concerns
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2013, 09:01:32 AM »
This is such a back step and of course I can not involve anyone in this back step since not only is it embarrassing for me but my friends and family do not have the patience nor the knowledge to say anything to help, therefore I stand alone in my struggle. Even people on this forum have little patience for people engaging in self destructive behaviors like this.

The great thing about these forums is that people truly do understand what you're going through. I think you'll find that the patience and support here is almost limitless because of that - so you really do have someone to talk to. Friends and family who don't suffer from anxiety can be sympathetic, but they can't truly understand unless they have the same issues.

It's true that some people here are more "tough love" than others (myself included), but it doesn't mean that we're impatient or don't care. I can completely relate to where you are right now mentally speaking. About 8-ish years ago, I went through my own colon cancer scare right around the time my IBS symptoms first started to appear too, and I was completely freaking out - Googling symptoms, getting a plethora of tests, etc. Also I didn't have insurance at the time, so all the test were out-of-pocket. Looking back now it seems so ridiculous, but at the time it was absolutely all-consuming. Every day when I woke up there would be a brief, blissful few seconds before my anxiety hit, then it was all downhill from there. This went on for many months.

Maybe you need the all-clear test to move on. It's much easier to combat HA when you're not focussed on any current "health scare" because you can actually step out and look at your own current situation, and what's happened in the past, and start seeing the patterns. So here's wishing you a happy "all clear" in advance and hopefully the NHS can get their act together in the near future and get those therapy sessions started!
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Offline bhandley

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Re: Feeling increasingly alone and unable to talk about my concerns
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2013, 09:26:03 PM »
Thanks for sharing, i'm glad someone understands what I am going through based on their own experiences of the same thing. The thing is I am one of the people who get the all clear test but then move onto the next system in the body or I start to think that things have changed since the test. The thing about cancer is its so insidious, its a little creep which can pop up out of no where and for no particular reason. You can be normal one day and all it takes is one cell to go wrong and you have cancer the next day, it can lurk unseen for a long time or it can bring you to your knees and near death in a few months. I can have the all clear given to me and then wonder if the minute after whether that all important cell creation has gone wrong already.
I certainly need to move on from this crippling fear because things will just get harder if I get older as my chances of cell production going wrong increases. I think a lot of problems stem from having people my age die in the past and the youngest I knew personally was 16 when I was 18. Also one of the big problems was when I took the time to learn why cancer forms and how it forms and once I realized that it wasn't anything to do with a foreign pathogen so to speak, and that it was just a normal body process gone wrong it made it all the more scary.
Hopefully counselling starts soon. Am sick of this.
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Offline Hohum

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Re: Feeling increasingly alone and unable to talk about my concerns
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2013, 11:37:26 PM »
True, but by that logic, every time you leave the house you're in danger of dying. You might get stabbed by a murderer, hit by a car, struck by falling debris from an aircraft, be exposed to a toxic pathogen, attacked by an animal, struck by lightning...the list goes on. Everyday life is not without risk and getting cancer is one of many, many risks we all face daily.

I think cancer is so focussed on and feared by those with HA because we truly believe that by being hyper-vigilant we can do something about it. Like somehow that if we spend our lives running to the Doctor for every tingly leg or dull ache in the ribs, eventually we'll be right and catch something early on. But honestly, what an awful way to live in the mean time. Some of us may "guess" our condition tomorrow, some in 30 years, and most of us will never get it right. I truly believe that those who can strike a balance between being responsible but not obsessive about their health, have the best quality of life and outcomes overall.

Also as has been said many times before - cancer is not a death sentence. On the whole, far more people survive and are cured these days than not. And every year, those numbers improve and the treatments get better and less brutal to endure. Comparing where we are now in terms of detection, understanding and treatments to 50, 25, even 10 years ago, is astounding. But for all the treatments and screening we have now, no amount of extreme vigilance and worry is going to stop the process. Regardless of how alert we all try to be, if something is going to happen it's going to happen. Same goes for all the other risks I mentioned, which barely any of us give a second thought to.

In the end it's a personal choice, like so much of our lives. Do I work out, or do I sit on the couch? Do I order some cake after my meal, or do I have fruit? Shall I spend my days obsessing over cancer, or not? All choices which can benefit or adversely affect our health in some way. Responsible, but not obsessive, is the way to go.
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Offline sassparella

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Re: Feeling increasingly alone and unable to talk about my concerns
« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2013, 12:05:56 AM »
Hohum is right there is always risks in life and cancer is but one. I spend a lot of time worrying about dying and am not really living. Don't be like me, I wish I could just say 'to hell with it' and not worry any more and live my life to the fullest but I can't.

I'm glad the doctor agreed to your FOB test hopefully this will help put your mind at rest. Remember there's always people here who will talk to you, I know it's not the same as having someone at home but it's helped me a lot to have people around who understand how I feel and make me realise that I'm not alone. That's one of the worst things about HA is feeling alone that no one understands what you're going through when every one is saying 'just snap out of it'. But we do understand as we have all been through it.

Sending you best wishes and good luck with the FOB test.
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Offline bhandley

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Re: Feeling increasingly alone and unable to talk about my concerns
« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2013, 02:28:36 PM »
Yes true hohum it is poor logic to live by, but I actually find myself starting to think about the little things more and more each day, driving and car accidents is a major one and has always played on and off my mind especially on when people make a silly life endangering maneuver. I could see myself developing agoraphobia if I am not careful about my next steps.

The reason I don't think about most other things though is because although I probably in most cases am not in control of things I feel like I am, for example I think if I just drive safely then I wont get into an accident, if I chew my food properly I wont choke and die, if I look both ways before crossing the street I wont get hit, if I dont go to australia I wont be bitten by a deadly animal, etc, if I pay attention to every little health detail I can catch it early, or even if I eat right and exercise I wont get sick. I know by this logic pretty much everything I think and the creed I currently live my life by is completely wrong. But I have major control issues, I guess CBT will address this? I find giving myself up to the idea that I can't have my life span exactly the way I want it terrifying and all to difficult to wrap my head around, but specifically I don't want cancer to halt my life span, mostly because of the idea of chemotherapy and the notion I have in my head that you have to be one of those 'fighters' and positive thinkers in order to survive cancer and chemo, which I don't think I would be, I think I would crumble and give up.

I really hope you are right about medical advancements, I do get a feed into my facialbooks telling me medical news updates which often reminds me how many amazing advancements are happening as we speak but we are a long way off for a cure to cancer.

Also thanks sassparella, I am so scared of the FOB test, I have already submitted the first sample today (I didnt want to keep it all in the fridge and submit them at once). I just have a sense of pending doom about the tests, as I always do though, and I am in that place where I am avoiding committing to anything even in my head in case of a bad result. I'm not planning life or thinking about the future and if I do think about the future, even if only in my head and not verbalized, I always have to add 'as long as/if my results are ok and im not dying' etc. Horrible huh, I would love to instead adopt a positive thinking attitude but I feel if I do that that I would be tempting fate and then I would get bad results. This is all very tiring and horrible logic to live life by.
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Offline NeverAgain1

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Re: Feeling increasingly alone and unable to talk about my concerns
« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2013, 11:54:39 PM »
Thank you all for the support, it really does help to know that I am not alone, although it doesn't lessen my pain.
I am annoyed because I actually did get a lot better yet something recently has caused me to regress on my healing path and I am now full panic attacking, self checking and physically hurting myself from doing it so much, looking things up online and trekking up to the doctors office nearly every other day. This is such a back step and of course I can not involve anyone in this back step since not only is it embarrassing for me but my friends and family do not have the patience nor the knowledge to say anything to help, therefore I stand alone in my struggle. Even people on this forum have little patience for people engaging in self destructive behaviors like this.

I actually have been back to the doctor complaining about seeing more blood and he has granted me the FOB test even though he does not think that I am actually seeing blood. I remain skeptical. I really hope I am not seeing blood but now I have to muster the braveness to take the test although I feel vulnerable and scared that I am now about to take the first step in my 'diagnosis of bowel cancer'. These thoughts are killing me.

I do have counseling in the pipeline. I am based in the UK so am working these issues out through a NHS system which has taken a very long time (3 months since the doctor referring me for CBT, and another 6 months since I originally went to the doctors about my health anxiety - so 9 months in total). I have been 'chasing' the mental health team for an appointment for the last month only to be told repeatedly that I will be called back, so finally today (when I went to the doctors for the FOB test) he has agreed to get a receptionist to follow it up as they bear more authority.

So now all I have to do is await the counseling team to contact me, and fill these stupid little pots and hope to god that I do not have intestinal bleeding.

Thank you all so much for the responses.

Health Anxiety is anxiety.  Ultimately, you will have to "cure" yourself.  CBT is one way of working on it, but in some ways has been shown to be lacking. Can I suggest the so-called "third wave" of CBT call, ACT.  You can find information about it on web sites, and one of the first proponents of it is Steven C. Hayes, who authored a book for consumers, called "Get out of Your Mind and into your Life".  It is a little bit different from the usual stuff.  Some have said it is confusing, but I didn't think so, and there is scientific evidence of it's helping in behavioral problems.  Go to Amazon and take a peak inside, and decide if it might help you.

Until the General Anxiety is dealt with, in my opinion, you will have its subset of Health Anxiety, because the root of the problem has to be discovered and understood and/or changed or changed thinking. Allow yourself to have the fear, but then try to change your thinking about it by changing your description (words) about it.  We assign meaning to words and then sensations to words and if they are negative the cycle escalates. 

This self-treatment, while you are waiting for the so-called experts, might help.

It did me.
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Offline sassparella

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Re: Feeling increasingly alone and unable to talk about my concerns
« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2013, 12:01:14 AM »
bhandley I feel like that all the time. I daren't think positive as I feel I'll be tempting fate. My psychologist calls it superstitious thinking but I can't get over it, I wish I could. Like you I always add a 'if things are ok' or 'if the test results come out fine' etc to things.
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Offline bhandley

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Re: Feeling increasingly alone and unable to talk about my concerns
« Reply #14 on: January 30, 2013, 02:05:20 PM »
Thanks for the support and thanks for the recommendation. I will check it out once I am done reading 'hope and help for your nerves', and 'its not all in your head'.
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