Chat Now!   Member Gallery   Anxiety Zone Wire   Games   Social Groups   AZ Member Blogs   Health News  Bored?

Author Topic: What drives our specific fears?  (Read 442 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline sad_dad

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 66
  • Rec's: 0
  • Gender: Male
  • Personal text
    • Poke This Member
What drives our specific fears?
« on: January 01, 2014, 05:50:40 PM »
Why are some so scared of something like MS? Others cling to cancer? Others focus on the heart? And still others obsess over super rare things like the Brain Eating Amoeba? etc. etc.

Me for instance. I am focused on cancer. I had some heart worries until those were essentially put to rest by doctors and testing. Yet I have never even considered MS. Furthest thing from my mind. Though I read a lot of fear on this board of that disease. I never think of rare disease like the Brain Eating Amoeba. My fears are focused on the more common causes of death.

Just wonder what causes each of us to have our own specific focus and fear.
Bookmark and Share

Offline djmom

  • Just Joined!
  • Posts: 1
  • Rec's: 0
  • Gender: Female
  • Personal text
    • Poke This Member
Re: What drives our specific fears?
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2014, 07:13:47 PM »
Hello,

I am new to this forum, but sadly, not at all new to health anxiety.  My focus seems to be cancer also; aways has been.  Started in my mid teens and has lasted 25 years since then.  The numerous- valid- legitimate health issues I faced compounded an occasional bout of HA into full blown panic on almost a weekly basis.  It became so overwhelming after I had a (benign) tumor removed …I felt that I had 'lucked out', and the next issue would take me from my husband and kids.  I wanted to escape my brain so I sought professional help. 

I had started having significant improvement with intense therapy and occasional anxiety meds.  After about a year, I finally was feeling it was controlled and my health thoughts were "normal",  when out of the blue,  my father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  After caring for him through hospice, He passed 8 weeks later.  Several months after that my husband almost died and had emergency surgery that required over 6 months of rehab.  Since those episodes, my HA has become disabling.  I was diagnosed with PTSD, yet somehow the legitimate mental Dx from psychiatrist made me feel no better.    I still feel like every bump, lump, ache or pain will somehow be my deadly diagnosis.  Still doing the therapy, tried different meds, still down the "it's got to be a deadly cancer" rabbit hole.  I am not giving up on trying to gain control over this fear.  Hoping I will prevail.  Wishing the same for all who suffer with this panic and fear.

I found your question about why certain diseases become the focal point for some, but not others.  I have many theories….just wish there were easier answers to calm our fears.
Bookmark and Share

Offline Koth1989

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 30
  • Rec's: 0
  • Gender: Male
  • Personal text
    • Poke This Member
Re: What drives our specific fears?
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2014, 10:12:30 PM »
Any number of things.. It's an obsession. People become obsessed with different things. For HA types, obviously it's deadly diseases, typically ones that people actually get, which is why most aren't hung up on the brain eating aliens. Can you imagine an HA sufferer worried that they may have the common cold or a pimple? No, because we typically don't obsess other things we find dull.   It also makes sense if someone you cared about had a certain disease, you become worried about it because you know first hand that it is real.

Just my .02 from a psych student
Bookmark and Share

Online patmob

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 282
  • Rec's: 6
  • Personal text
    • Poke This Member
Re: What drives our specific fears?
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2014, 06:24:32 AM »
I'm a heart worrier.   My dad died of a heart attack when I was 11 and my brother died of one at the age of 43 so I think that has a LOT to do with it  In reality, my dad had very bad rheumatic fever as a kid which they told him at the time would destroy his heart - he was never supposed to see 30 but he lived to 53.  My brother has substance issues so that didn't help there.

Its funny, I really only worry about my heart - I think because its truly you're here one second and dead the next if something goes wrong.  Cancer, getting hit by a bus would all end in the same result but i dont spend 10 seconds ever worrying about them.
Bookmark and Share

Offline Gemmaa0207

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 89
  • Rec's: 0
  • Gender: Female
  • Personal text
    • Poke This Member
Re: What drives our specific fears?
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2014, 06:45:23 AM »
Mine is almost identical to you sad_dad mine started initially with palps but after testing and therapy it doesn't usually enter my head. My big obsession is cancer it really drains me constantly having these fears it's so upsetting. My grandad died when I was 2 year old so I don't remember he had bone cancer and he found out and died 4 months later he was a healthy man only 49 so I've been told and I just can't understand how people just get it! I've had other members of my family had it but they were old i.e 80s. The older I've got the more I understand it, it seems to be everywhere on TV, posters, bus stop, *****, google u name it. I think I have these symptoms and think the worst! My partners dad as prostate cancer and recently had brachytherapy I think and he doesn't let it get to him he talks openly about it he looks healthy but has this horrible illness. It just scares me so bad yet some people go there whole lives without contacting it. So why be afraid if it's gonna happen it will and u have to deal with it but I can't help worry :(
Bookmark and Share

Offline Bertz1985

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 33
  • Rec's: 0
  • Gender: Female
  • Personal text
    • Poke This Member
Re: What drives our specific fears?
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2014, 12:13:23 PM »
My fears change yearly.  I've been afraid of MS, HIV, brain tumor, and cancer.  The only thing they have in common is that they are deadly.  That's what my main fear is....death.  Or maybe it's the fear of the unknown.  I don't know what happens when we die and that scares me.  The thought of never existing after death terrifies me!
Bookmark and Share

Offline Paty8804

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 127
  • Country: mx
  • Rec's: 0
  • Gender: Female
  • Mood: Thoughtful
    Thoughtful
  • Personal text
    • Poke This Member
Re: What drives our specific fears?
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2014, 12:32:01 PM »
The only thing that I haven't obsessed too much about is Heart related diseases.. other than that I think I obsessed about most diseases out there, my specific and stronger fear though is CANCER...number 1..eveytime I hear that word and that someone is going through it.. there is my trigger...
Bookmark and Share
"My life has been full of missfortunes, most of which have never happened"

Offline EverydaySunshine

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 113
  • Country: us
  • Rec's: 4
  • Gender: Male
  • Personal text
    • Poke This Member
Re: What drives our specific fears?
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2014, 03:06:10 PM »
I have done ALOT of thinking on this issue, since my heart anxieties kicked in about 3 years ago.  You ask what drives the fear, here goes:

1.  Realization that the world is an unfair place and therefore a place where random bad things happen to good people.
2.  Realization that I am, in fact, getting older and that I cannot state with certainty that I have climbed every proverbial mountain yet.
3.  Realization that there are people counting on me (my kids) to be there for them, and I cannot give them that guarantee.
5.  Realization that no one in the medical field has ALL the answers; and even if they did, the next guy just published the report that contradicts it all.

You get all these fired up at the same time and I will have one heck of an anxiety attack going on!
Bookmark and Share

Offline karachondria

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 195
  • Country: gb
  • Rec's: 2
  • Gender: Female
  • Mood: Scared
    Scared
  • Hi. I'm a teenage hypochondriac. I'm here to help💕
    • Poke This Member
Re: What drives our specific fears?
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2014, 06:19:34 PM »
I think as some people are saying, what you obsess on could be from experiences with it like family members having cancer makes you think you could have cancer etc.
Me, I think my Hypochondria comes from my genetics. My parents are both hypochondriacs (divorced now) and I remember being a little kid, around 10 and thinking I was dying, I had my little list of symptoms and I remember, I didn't know what the disease was but I knew I had something wrong with me.
Now I worry about a mix. Naegleria fowleri (brain eating amoeba), meningitis, certain cancer, rabies, eye problems, memory problems etc.
my doctor says it's normal
I've never worried about my heart
Bookmark and Share

Online Hypo84

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 616
  • Country: cs
  • Rec's: 14
  • Gender: Male
  • Personal text
    • Poke This Member
Re: What drives our specific fears?
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2014, 06:30:28 PM »
The only thing that I haven't obsessed too much about is Heart related diseases...

Same hear, everything else is pretty much covered...Cancers, ALS, HIV, Hepatitis, MS...

If someone close to me died from heart attack I would probably be scared of that more than of other diseases.

In the end, I think we all have the same problem, irrational fear of terminal illness, and, in my opinion, the fact that someone is afraid of less common disease, and someone of more common doesn't make it much different.
Bookmark and Share

Offline rileybug

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 133
  • Rec's: 0
  • Gender: Female
  • Personal text
    • Poke This Member
Re: What drives our specific fears?
« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2014, 06:34:28 PM »
My main fear is cancer-scares me to death.  No one in my family under age 80 has had it.  My mom is still alive at 100.  I think  my fear is if i get cancer i will miss out on so many things in life i've been looking foward to for ever.(my daughter just got engaged-is graduating med school in may 2014 and my granddaughter won't remember who i am)  I would feel like i got cheated in life-not that im special-but those are things i want to experience.
Bookmark and Share

Offline sad_dad

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 66
  • Rec's: 0
  • Gender: Male
  • Personal text
    • Poke This Member
Re: What drives our specific fears?
« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2014, 07:38:30 PM »
These are all really interesting answers. Thanks. It helps sometimes to see what others are thinking and why. I guess that's why a board like this is a good thing.

ALS is another one I read about on the board here that I've never considered. With me, Cancer is scary....especially Pancreatic Cancer and its near certain death. But nobody in my family has had anything other than basal cell skin cancer, and only at old age. My grandmother on my father's side lived to 100. I should be worried about Alzheimer's, as it runs in my family on my father's side. But I haven't found myself bothered by that too much. Yet.
Bookmark and Share

Offline Pingman

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 167
  • Rec's: 2
  • Gender: Male
  • Personal text
    • Poke This Member
Re: What drives our specific fears?
« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2014, 07:45:14 PM »
My therapist has opened some new avenues of thinking even if I haven't quite dove in all the way.

His theory is our sensations mask some fear we all have deep inside.I am a typical 36 year old man who was taught men never show fear or cry. My mom left when I was 10 and my dad raised me. He was always so proud at how mentally tough I was...so thats what I did was act strong.

One thing that ahs come out in therapy is that I really have zero people to lean on when times get tough or when I need to show my weaknesses. I have to be strong for my wife, son....be a man to my dad and my brain is now wired to always act on the outside like I have my act together when in reality some times I don't.

In therapy I always cry when I talk about my son. My therapist seems to think there is a correlation to how I was never allowed to be a child and now a part of me that is vulnerable and sick of always acting like I ahve it together is coming out in sensations. The sensations are the minds way of keeping the focus off the fear so I won't expose myself as weak to anyone.

It is interesting...I am pretty rational in that I know I am gonna die and don't dwell in it...nor cancer or my heart etc...... but MS was my fear and it impacts my eyes so my brain is pretty smart. It know how to keep my mind preoccupied. Cancer wouldnt work on my but making me think my eyes are messed up does.
Bookmark and Share

Offline JenMarie279

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 25
  • Rec's: 0
  • Gender: Female
  • Personal text
    • Poke This Member
Re: What drives our specific fears?
« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2014, 04:09:16 AM »
My fears are always geared towards cancer and it is getting constantly triggered.  I can't watch tv without something cancer related coming on.  I remember I went through an entire day being my old self and a damn Cancer Treatment Center of America commercial came on and BAM. 
Bookmark and Share

Offline livelaughlove

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 309
  • Rec's: 8
  • Gender: Female
  • Personal text
    • Poke This Member
Re: What drives our specific fears?
« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2014, 05:37:49 AM »
this is a very interesting question with interesting replies! I think it's a combination of environment, lifestyle, past experiences, and brain chemistry. Like for me, I feel fine as long as I am active and on the go. Unfortunately, my 8-5 mon thru friday desk job is slowly killing me... it is really hard for me to sit still, i feel unchallenged and bored and then my mind starts to wonder because i am doing nothing to release the physical energy. It sucks. For past experiences, yeah, i may have had it more rough than others at a young age but i don't think that's what really affected me (though some may have PTSD) but i think it's just my chemistry and the combo of being forced to be inactive. I tend to be on the OCD side and i like to be really busy with multiple tasks going on at once, i actually thrive on that. I am really creative, and nothing is challenging me at this moment. I think modern lifestyle and desk jobs are directly causing anxiety and personality disorders to rear their ugly heads in all people... and, I think the LED lighting in computers and cell phones is detrimental to health by affecting melatonin, thus causing insomnia and neck strain... thus causing irrational fears and behaviours and fatigue and migraines and tension headaches.. you don't feel good, then people take painkillers which cause other probs like constipation and pigging out on food... it is a never ending cycle of our modern world. It will continue to get worse due to how everything is related to computer work. People are addicted to technology. It may just be a worse addiction than the most potent of street drugs. It is a slow killer. I try to get up as much as possible at work and stretch and do neck stretches, ive adjusted my chair and monitor and make sure i am using good posture... wear glasses at work and at home if i have to go on the computer i wear sunglasses.... looks silly but has significantly helped with my neck pain and back of head pain
Bookmark and Share

Tags:
 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
9 Replies
911 Views
Last post July 02, 2010, 10:13:27 PM
by benefit
2 Replies
363 Views
Last post October 17, 2010, 02:57:49 PM
by miika
6 Replies
25804 Views
Last post December 18, 2010, 09:37:18 PM
by mjd30
1 Replies
180 Views
Last post March 24, 2013, 10:05:58 AM
by kconnors
1 Replies
530 Views
Last post July 17, 2013, 05:53:26 PM
by megant19
2 Replies
317 Views
Last post September 11, 2013, 10:51:53 AM
by vardnas

anything