I'm new here, and was hoping to get some advice. I'm a 37 year old guy who has a history of health anxiety. I've been seeing a therapist about it for some time, and was making good progress.
About a year ago, I got a mysterious symptom - it started to hurt when I used the bathroom. Thinking it was a urinary tract infection, I went to the doctor and was put on some antibiotics. They didn't work. Fast-forward, I was referred to a urologist, had every test known to man (leading up to a CT scan and a cystoscopy) and was put on a bunch of medications, but nothing was ever determined.
I was extremely panicky in the beginning, but tried to put it out of my head when the tests came back normal. Unfortunately, even when I calmed down, the symptoms stayed with me. It has been a year now, it still hurts to go to the bathroom, but nobody has answers. I recently had a follow-up with the urologist, who said that it may be a chronic pain thing (urethral syndrome he called it) that will go away in time.
Problem is that it is driving my health anxiety nuts. I keep thinking that if I let it go, I'll eventually find out that it is something horrible or that the damage will be irreparable. They always tell you that sore spots that don't go away are a reason for concern... I can't get comfortable just letting this go. I'm sure that my anxiety about it is probably making the situation even worse than it is.
My question: Does anyone have any advice in how they have dealt with living with symptoms that are chronic? How did you get comfortable knowing that they are here to stay, and how did you learn to trust the doctors and the tests?