Hi s22:) Well, it's great you are being proactive and trying to educate yourself on what you might be able to do to help yourself. HAHFYNs by Dr. Weekes is a wonderful book....I first read it about 25 years ago or so. To me it is quite helpful for us to attempt to educate ourselves through reading about mental health challenges and it is inspiring to read about others who have learned how to better help themselves. Through positive reinforcements (through reading books and articles, etc), we can help with the 'rewiring our minds' process.
A major key is getting an 'all clear', overall, health report and then moving away from medical intervention. And, good lord, this is hard for a peep who is really struggling with HA - I understand:) You have seen the Doc(s)...your eyes are healthy. I take it that your eyes are your current health obsession. So being that you've tested OK for your eyes, there is little (to no) reason for you to return to the Doc to get rechecked in the near future. During this 'near future', you should spend your available energy and resources in learning how to best help yourself for your mental health challenges. HA / ADs are mental health challenges. Of course, we have physical manifestations and 'symtpoms' that make us scared, as we have HA / Anxiety. We have normal reactionary human functions, also, that we respond to as being 'not right', as well, as we are perceiving them through our anxious, fearful minds. When an HA mind feels something is 'not right' our tendency is, often, to embrace actions and habits (spurred on by our fears) that keep us locked up in our current fear cycles. We will google / internet self-diagnose. We will seek out med information online and through other sources. We will ask other peeps their opinions (seeking their reassurances). We will schedule further Doc visits looking for further med testing. We will self-check vitals and body parts / organs looking for something wrong. Etc. All the above are COMMON, textbook HA habitual actions. Through these counterproductive actions and habits, we will HEAVILY influence our mindsets. We will drive our thinking into worst case scenarios, as we are frantically embracing measures that MUST protect us - somehow / someway - we feel. The, "OMG, something is WRONG, I must do something to protect myself and the well-being of my family!" scenario with which we are all too familiar. Or, that these counterproductive actions will help us peg down our overall anxiety, we believe. They can, at times, help us relief some anxiety, but this type of relief is always fleeting, at best....and in the long run, quelling our anxiety through these type of measures are more harmful than good, IMHO.
With anxiety disorder(s) / health anxiety, we will have some measure of intrusive thoughts...there, simply, is no way around them, too often. But, we CAN learn how to not fully react to them, out of fear. We CAN learn how to not let them steer us into fear-driven counterproductive habits and actions. Seeing as we will, likely, always have some sort of intrusive thinking patterns pestering us, at times, the key would seem to be in our patterns of behavior which follow some of our fearful thoughts. It is through repeating NOT allowing our wild, fearful thoughts drive us into bad habits that can, eventually, help in our healing path. It is through NOT allowing physical manifestations and 'symtpoms' drive us into bad habits that can, eventually, help with our healing path. And, then, through repeating this acceptance (of the thoughts and manifestations), we can, hopefully, begin to reduce the DOMINANT fears and peg them down to more manageable fears....and then peg them down more - and more - and more, etc. We have to reduce the DOMINANCE first. Reduce the POUNDING, driving compulsions. How do we do this? Overwhelmingly, it is through our actions and habits. Embracing the good habits and decreasing and ceasing the bad ones. From there, once we have gained some successes and, hopefully, gained some firmer footing on a healing path, we can continue with our positive measures and exercises and techniques and further our understanding of what we must continue to do in order to give ourselves the best chance of moving down our healing path longerterm.
It is also not easy to 'rewire' our minds. But, they got 'wired' FOR anxiety - someway / somehow - and it makes perfect sense that we can learn ways to 'rewire' it back to more trust, more calm, more security, more certainty and more strength. We CAN learn how to live well alongside our mental health challenges. They do not have DOMINATE us...they do not have to DEFINE us. Our actions and habits matter.....they SOOOOOOO matter:)
It takes time.
An action can be therapy, as well. An action can be taking meds, too, if that is determined to be the best protocol by all involved.
In our lifetime, though, we - ourselves - will always be the most powerful helpers in our journey. Nobody wants to take meds, really...nobody wants to have to see a therapist forever. Of course, these things have helped MANY. But, it will always come back around to our own self-help actions and habits as the major definer in our longterm healing path:)
You CAN do this.
Peace and Feel Well:)