I really do hope I am onto something. Things right now just seem so clear.
The thing is, with these "new" worries you get - your new worries are proof that your therapy method is not addressing the primary cause - the root of the problem. Think about what common trends all of these health anxieties have? What common fear is being evoked? What characteristics do most or all of these problems have? Take out a pen and paper and write down the shared characteristics of your health anxiety as a whole, and not as an isolated set of various disease fears. Come up with a catchphrase that applies to the shared characteristics and fears of all of your perceived diseases.
I think I might have cracked it open. I literally just had this epiphany tonight. It seemed so logical, and I thought about it before as a possibility, but really, I think the key is somehow unifying your worries and noticing the common triggers, keys, and trends that all of them have.
For instance, my fears over the past few weeks have been:
Brain eating amoeba
What do all of these things have in common, I ask myself?
Psychologically speaking the commonalities include: I am afraid I think because they all result in death. I fear death because I fear separation from this world, from my loved ones, I love to experience in this world, and am afraid of having that experience, memories, and senses taken away from me. I am more afraid of losing my family members, especially my fiance who I would ironically take a bullet for, but am also afraid of dying.
I am afraid of the unknown with all of these, of sudden death, prolonged death, and the fear that doctors missed something in their many tests. I am afraid, with all of these, of being past help, being past the scope of modern medicine, and being unable to help myself. I am afraid of whatever symptoms I have getting worse, past the point of tolerance, where I cannot live my life without pain or complete immobility or being bed-ridden.
I am afraid of not having lived life fully, or not living it in the selfless way I have envisioned myself. Past that I am afraid of the beyond, which haunts me. I am afraid of either hell, or nothingness. Eternal suffering, or eternal nothingness and disconnection from this world and its experiences.
Medically speaking, all of these fears have in common a few things: Firstly, they all assume - they all take isolated symptoms and lump them together. They take what I view as being unisolated, related symptoms, and they get applied to an illness I read about on google, or I personally know about just from academic or personal interest. They all result from a self-diagnosis, every single one. Any doctor will tell you that they go to another doctor to diagnose them because one is incapable of passing an objective diagnosis on themselves. All of these fears assume that because I am afraid of something, it is, instead of using what life on this planet is governed by - logic and faith. Logically speaking, debunking every single illness on that list works in reassuring me (by stating symptoms, and thinking critically whether or not I am blowing it out of proportion) because it is based off of fear.
As I wrote on another thread. If we were to try to logically debunk a tiger standing in front of us, about to rip our arm off, it would not work because that fear, that anxiety is based off of a real live threat. There is a tiger in front of you, and boy is it ever looking hungry for human flesh.
I also came to the conclusion that the symptoms experienced during an anxiety disorder do not matter. It does not matter if you are peeing foggy, having chest pains, or having tightness around your neck - they are all symptoms. The fact that the mind labels them as being "new fears" is testament to its impeccable ability to skew reality and negatively view the body's workings.
Logically speaking, the mind and body do hiccup occasionally. We do hurt. The second we are born we are not feeling 100%, and we never will for our entire life. Logically speaking, feeling perfect without physical symptoms is a utopia that is unobtainable by everyone. This means our symptoms are just a product of being human, and while symptoms are tell-tale signs of an illness, using logic and statistics - have you been to the doctor lately? If so, even the simplest of vitals will show irregularities and doctors will run tests, especially in the US, but also in other parts of the world too, because 1. it gets them money, 2. If they sense something is wrong it is their obligation to correct it, and 3. Legal repercussions of misdiagnosis.
I think people should stop viewing their mental illness as a series of anxieties, and series of individual disease fears, and start trying to unify all of their fears under a set of common theme, AND THEN logically debunking them.
I used my own personal story as an example, but please everyone, fill out this style using your own story. Unify your anxiety disorder. De-scatter it, find the mental commonalities that all of your disease fears have. Work from this sense of unity. Knock it down to one fear, rather than scattering it or viewing your problem as just one disease fear after another.
It is not numerous disease fears. It is one set of root problems causing all of your frustration, perceived helplessness, and crippling fear.
Let's turn the tables on this problem and make it into something we can use to help others, to empower ourselves, to grow stronger and to become resilient.
Directions for this thread:
Only if you are comfortable, post your own version of my post using your health fears, all of them together, unified, and create a regimen that aims at logically debunking all of them at once.
Good luck, I look forward to hearing your responses.