I have been watching this site for just over a month and finally decided to join it as I've found it quite reassuring at times.
Just come back from ANOTHER doctors appointment and she actually said to me today "You are suffering from health anxiety". Those were such reassuring words. I wanted a diagnosis of something but was terrified of what it might be.
A bit of background.. I have thought for years that I display symptoms of IBS. It was never that big a deal and it never interfered with anything and I was never concerned about it. After a particularly bad day with it, I typed my symptoms into google and BAM!! I went from chrons, to ulcerative colitis (my sister suffered terribly with this) to bowel cancer. Of course, all of this was just in my head. So anyway, off to the doctors I went and she gave me peppermint oil capsules and told me there was no urgency to do any testing yet. Felt very reassured..... for about an hour!!! Back on google, looking up more things and within a week I was suffering terribly both physically and emotionally. I was getting this awful rush of fear, like a wave, starting from my head and gushing through my body. I felt terrified. But I don't know what of. I couldn't sit still, very restless. Couldn't eat, couldn't sleep, sweating, shaking, crying. Constantly asking my partner to check this or that. I went back to the doctors and she prescribed me citalopram and said it sounded like anxiety. So (WITHOUT GOOGLING THE SIDE EFFECTS) I started to take them. Within 48 hours, I rang my dad at 5 in the morning, absolutely hysterical saying I felt like I was dying. He drove 3 hours to come and see me and by the time he got there I could barely breathe. He took me to A&E where they gave me diazepam to calm me down, and some sleeping tablets. Again they said it was anxiety. Could anxiety really make me feel like this?????? WOW!
This was 3-4 weeks ago. I've been taking the citalopram for 25 days now. I've also been attending a 6 week stress management course. Group sessions in CBT which is actually really good and I'm finding it useful.
My actual physical symptoms have been based mostly around my bowel movements. I would often pass very loose stools. Explosive and very much urgent. I HAD to go right away. During my week of hysteria this turned to actual watery diarrea (sp?). I was also passing mucus and my stools turned a yellowy colour. Sounds like ibs right??
My doctor told me that she was almost certain it was anxiety causing this. She said that if I was still concerned when my anxiety had calmed down then she would do some testing. In hindsight, this was a very good idea because if she had told me to have tests, this would mean she thought something was wrong with me which would mean I had cancer which would work me into mass hysteria.
Things seemed to settle down after 2 weeks of citalopram and diazepam, alongside the stress management and a progressive muscle relaxation cd.
Suddenly I became very constipated and couldn't go to the toilet. One evening I sat there and decided I wasn't moving until I went. Anyway... after much straining, I managed it and relief until I saw BLOOD!!! One of the warning signs!! Panic set back in and I've been working myself up sooooo much and have a huge obsession now with poop. To the extent that I am actually dissecting it to see whats in it. Not normal behaviour I know!!!! During this time I've been googling EVERYTHING!! I even googled how googling can effect your health. Which actually led me to this site.
So to sum up.... after the doctor reassured me this morning that blood from straining is nothing to worry about. Says I have health anxiety, isn't concerned enough for further testing, told me that my symptoms are common with anxiety, and told me to STOP GOOGLING!!!!! Right now, I feel ok! Reassured and pretty chilled out. I really am going to try not to google anything health related. It really does make me feel worse. Im pretty sure all the focusing on my stomach/bowels that Im doing is making them feel worse too right??
If you got to the end of this post and are still awake, then well done. If not, then
but hey, it helped me to write it all down :)