Hello everyone :)
I just found this forum when I googled anxiously for "bone cancer afraid". I think that alone tells you something about my problem.
I'm a 24 year old woman from Germany, and in my 6th year of med school now. I greatly enjoy medicine, but it also brings me many worries. There is a certain cycle that's been repeating over and over the past couple years:
1) I have a relatively minor physical issue of some sort, but mostly shrug it off.
2) I learn about a disease that would explain that physical issue.
3) I'm filled with a terrible fear and anxiety that I might have this disease. I research it, and the more I read up on it, the more afraid I get, and the more I feel the symptom.
4) I have experienced some serious emotional breakdowns, overwhelmed by the fear of being (deadly) ill.
5) I get an appointment with a doctor and get reassurance that I don't have that terrible disease.
.... aand then it starts again.
The most common disease I'm afraid of is cancer, but I'm also very afraid of autoimmune diseases, neurological diseases, and ... well, pretty much everything else. Here's a list of all the things I've been seriously afraid and in some cases almost convinced that I have them, in the past couple of years:
- Brain tumor
- Colon cancer
- Skin cancer
- Ovary cancer
- Thyroid cancer
- Stomach cancer
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (... this was the worst.)
- Multiple sclerosis
- Myasthenia Gravis
- Crohn's disease
- Colitis ulcerosa
- Hashimoto Thyreoiditis
- Antiphospholipid Syndrome
- Von Willebrand disease
- HIV infection (after a tiny tiny incident in an operation room involving the surgeon's scalpel and my hand ... but my glove was still intact, and the patient was an elderly lady with no known diseases)
- Hiatal hernia
- Ovarial cyst
- Reflux esophagitis
- serious tooth infection
- all kinds of heart issues
- pulmonary embolism
- ... (likely forgetting some here)
- and currently, bone cancer.
What I actually do have:
- anxiety disorder
- some benign thyroid cysts
- a chronically elevated blood sedimentation rate, but no reason has been found so far
- back pain, and a recent MRI showed a small lumbal prolapse
- occasional pain in my left shin when standing, since a couple of months
- occasional tinnitus
- occasional vertigo
- reduced vision in my left eye, and thus reduced ability to see things 3D (I had strabismus as a child, but was operated, thankfully)
- iron deficiency
I want to undergo psychological counseling / therapy. (That is, if the x-rays on Friday show my leg to be healthy .... see?!?! This is my problem right here.)
I do not only suffer from hypochondria, this is just the most common manifestation of my general anxiety disorder, I think. I'm also terribly afraid of a dozen other things.
- "Hypochondria by proxy" -- super afraid that my family members might be sick.
- afraid of driving
- afraid of flying
- afraid of leaving on the oven, or any electronic things in the flat
- afraid of many animals
- afraid of confined spaces
- afraid of exams
- and tons of other things.
When I say "afraid", I don't mean the sort of small anxiety that many people experience when flying or having an exam. I mean it's so bad that I often have to take medication because of it, and break down into a crying bundle.
... well, felt weird to write all of this down. I hope I didn't bore anyone :) and that I might connect with some people with similar issues.
Take care everyone!