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Author Topic: Introducing myself and my anxiety!  (Read 145 times)

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Offline LebronGOAT

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Introducing myself and my anxiety!
« on: December 12, 2013, 01:04:54 AM »
Hello community, I was a temporary lurker until I finally took the initiative to join the site.

my health anxiety has grabbed a hold of me since the past summer. Googling every symptom and eventually clicking on a link entitled "something something cancer" led me to a world of fear. It's crazy how every chance you get with a peace of mind it eventually gets substituted with the next disease. It's a vicious cycle that I thought was never going to end.

 But things are getting better and I hope to close the chapter with my anxiety. And I think that's the hardest part, battling the residual mess that I had left with my debilitating anxiety. At anytime, my anxiety could flare up again with a symptom that I would have brushed off last year. I accept it as a part of my life, but I know there will be a time where I can let it go.
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Online crikee57

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Re: Introducing myself and my anxiety!
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2013, 03:01:49 AM »
Hello LebronGOAT,

Welcome to the forum.  It is great to have you as a member.  This is a wonderful place to get advice and support from people going through similar situations.  The members here are very helpful. It is nice to know we are not alone.

Feel free to explore the forum.  There are lots of useful topics to read.  Feel free to post and ask questions.  If you have specific concerns or questions start a topic in the appropriate section to get the best feedback. There is also a chat room for members 18 years and older that you can access once you have made three meaningful posts in the forum. 

I have often been amazed how my anxiety can cycle from one symptom to another.  As soon as I calm down about one thing, it moves on to the next.  It is very frustrating, but also proves how strong the mind can be even creating symptoms to convince us we have the diseases we fear.   The only relief that I have found is through acceptance.  Finally accepting that the fears are not real and what I am experiencing is anxiety and nothing more.  As I accept the anxiety it weakens and I have far fewer panic attacks.  I hope you are able to close the chapter as you hope but also hope you can find the support and information you need here.

Again welcome to our community.
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It's not what's in front of us that stops us.  It's what's inside that holds us back.

Offline canadiangirl0000

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Re: Introducing myself and my anxiety!
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2013, 02:41:33 PM »
my health anxiety has grabbed a hold of me since the past summer. Googling every symptom and eventually clicking on a link entitled "something something cancer" led me to a world of fear. It's crazy how every chance you get with a peace of mind it eventually gets substituted with the next disease. It's a vicious cycle that I thought was never going to end.

I have done the same thing. Sometimes googling symptoms is the worst thing you can do, but so impossible not to look into it. Sometimes things like this save us, I just had a recent experience with that myself. But other times it causes unnecessary anxiety over nothing when we end up becoming perfectly fine.
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Offline LebronGOAT

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Re: Introducing myself and my anxiety!
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2013, 04:20:38 PM »
my health anxiety has grabbed a hold of me since the past summer. Googling every symptom and eventually clicking on a link entitled "something something cancer" led me to a world of fear. It's crazy how every chance you get with a peace of mind it eventually gets substituted with the next disease. It's a vicious cycle that I thought was never going to end.

I have done the same thing. Sometimes googling symptoms is the worst thing you can do, but so impossible not to look into it. Sometimes things like this save us, I just had a recent experience with that myself. But other times it causes unnecessary anxiety over nothing when we end up becoming perfectly fine.

Right, moderation is key. It's great to look something up online, but it's best to know exactly what you're looking for before you do so. Every symptom gets exaggerated when we have anxiety, we tend to pick up things or notice something we probably have seen before. That's what I learned and identifying these fears helped me a lot.
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Offline dani_leigh

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Re: Introducing myself and my anxiety!
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2013, 12:07:44 PM »
I too suffer from health anxiety. It started a couple of years ago with eye floaters that I became acutely aware of. I ended up in an emergency appointment at the eye doctor after losing vision due to an ocular migraine (which I had had before and knew full well it would result in temporary loss of my vision) telling her I was certain I had a retinal detachment. Do you know how ridiculous I felt after my anxiety subsided and I was able to think rationally? Good grief I cannot tell you how relieved I was when that eye doctor left so I never had to face her again? :spineyes:

What I do know about googling symptoms is that the anxiety can be seriously reduced with a technique called response prevention. If you are familiar with OCD you know that people with this disorder have obsessive thoughts (contracting germs, someone dying, etc.) which they attempt to relieve by repeating compulsive behaviors (hand washing, counting, checking, etc.). They have trained their minds that the only way to alleviate the stress is to do the compulsive behavior which does work but only for a time. Its a very similar process with health anxiety. Our minds are so convinced that we have a condition which we need to discover so we go WebMD'ing (yes I just turned WebMD into a verb  :bigsmile:) to calm our minds by discovering the true diagnosis. Of course, you and I both know that we then worry about the diagnosis and google the symptoms, treatment, causes etc. until our fingers bleed.

Next time you get the urge to google do everything to prevent yourself from doing it. Turn of your phone, shut down the computer, leave the house, read a book, color a picture. You WILL have to sit through the anxiety and manage the desire to google your heart out but I promise you that your anxiety WILL fade. You ARE strong enough to sit through the anxiety without googling. The more you do this the less health anxiety will have control over you.

Many blessings on your journey with anxiety.


Dani
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