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Author Topic: Suffering in silence?!  (Read 308 times)

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Offline Lindsay2427

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Suffering in silence?!
« on: January 05, 2014, 07:51:18 PM »
Is anyone here suffering in silence? I am and it's terrible. I have suffered from extreme health anxiety since around 12 years old. I am now nearly 27. I have an overwhelming paralyzing fear of cancer. I have also had heart fears after off and on flutters years ago. What's so terrible is no one knows I am suffering from HA. Right now my obsession has been colon cancer and it has taken over my life for one year now. I posted a thread on the specifics about a week ago. I am a mother to 4 beautiful children and married to My high school sweetheart and he doesn't even know I am Suffering daily. I spend HOURS on google. Like seriously hours. It's an impusle I can't stop. I can be having a conversation with another adult and the only thing I am really thinking about is my symptoms and hearing the doctor tell me I have advanced cancer in my head over and over. I feel like it is absolutely over taking my happy life. And what's terrible is no one knows.
Has anyone been in my shoes? How do I stop this? I want to live a normal life with out fear. I seriously can't even focus on what's happening a week from now because I am terrified cancer will take me before then. This is bad. Very bad. I also have a huge history of HA in my family. My mother grandmother an aunt have all suffered from it. Is it genetic?
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Offline Anxiousintexas247

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Re: Suffering in silence?!
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2014, 08:21:44 PM »
My HA started almost 5 years ago. But honestly, thats just when i realized what it was. When I think back to my childhood...i had anxiety back then. My mother even had anxiety, but i dont believe she knew it. I remember when i was a kid thinking the back of my head was shaped funny and maybe that meant a brain problem. And once i found a big hard purple spot on my chin and i was convinced it was cancer (turned out to be a weird pimple) but i cried for days. Health Anxiety is a form of OCD. You obsess about everything heath related. My HA started during my 2nd pregnancy. At the time, i thought it was pregnancy related. Finally i gave birth, i figured it would all get back to normal. But after that i was still having issues...so i figured it was my body getting back to "normal" after pregnancy. 3 months later, i still wasnt feeling right. I knew then something was wrong. I spent hours upon hours on google. After my kids would be in bed...google. Nap time...google. any free second of any part of my day i was able to google any symptoms....i would. I finally sought counseling. Went to 2 sessions. Learned some coping stuff... felt better for a year. Stopped googling. My husband knew i had "anxiety" but he had no idea about the severe HA i had suffered from. Then one day in May 2012, i was with my oldest daughter (she was 4 at the time) in hobby lobby and suddenly i felt dizzy. My heart was pounding. i felt faint. I took my daughter and rushed to the ER...i thought something was seriously wrong. They tested me, had me hooked up to monitors. All they found was a fast heart rate. Thats when my HA started all over again. And it came back with force. I began having horrible anxiety everyday, couldnt sleep, lost my appetite.....i  was a wreck. I lived on google...one day i felt the back of my neck and felt a lump by my hair line. FREAKED OUT. I cried for days because i just knew it was cancer. Finally, i told my husband of the lump...he assured me it was nothing. Ofcourse i didnt believe him. I ended up going to the doctor, he checked the lump..he too said it was nothing. Then i broke down crying to him, and told him about my health worries...he suggested i try taking Celexa (anti depressant)...i was leary. Like some other HA suffers, i dont like medicine. Took me several days but i finally decided to take it. I took it for 3 months, and during that time my HA got so much better. No more panic attacks, no more google obsessing, it was awesome. Then i found out i was pregnant and i had to stop the medication. About mid way during my pregnancy the HA came back. I suffered in silence. I have 4 kids and all my babies were csections...on the day i delivered my 4th baby, i was so scared..my HA kicked into high gear. When i got on the OR table my heart rate was 190 and they had to give me meds to calm down  :sprachlos020: ---its been 8 months since my baby was born, and im still dealing with horrible HA. To answer your question... my husband knows i have anxiety, he knows i suffer from a panic attack now and then...but he has no idea just how bad my HA truly is. How much i obsess. Noone does. Ive considered getting back on meds, but i just really dont want to. Sometimes i consider spilling everything to my husband...but i know someone that has never dealt with anxiety or panic disorder has no idea what it feels like... :(
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Offline Hypo84

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Re: Suffering in silence?!
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2014, 08:23:16 PM »
How come your husband doesn't know anything if you are spending hours each day googling? You should talk to him definitely, it can only help you.

Anyway, it is probably not genetic, but it is learned. Most anxieties come from early childhood, so when you grow up in house where one of your parents has HA, there is greater chance you will develop it.

As for colon cancer, you are waaay to young for that so my guess is you are perfectly healthy. On the other hand, I know the fear, when you don't feel like doing anything because, what's the point, you are going to die soon. Or you just can't enjoy what is happening around you. I can't help you with that since I am fighting the same battle myself. What I can do is tell you what my therapist recommended me to do, and that is to fill my day with different activities, that don't require much thinking, and that can distract me from focusing way too much on my body. Also, harder thing, but also very helpful would be to stop googling completely. You have OCD since you describe googling as an impulse you can't stop. One way to try to stop is to start small, for the next hour, no google, or 30minutes...Then next day try it for longer period of time. You will feel a lot more anxious in the beginning, but my guess is that anxiety would diminish eventually.
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Offline john55

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Re: Suffering in silence?!
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2014, 08:24:35 PM »
talk to your husband. my wife does not like to hear my symptoms and such but she will talk to me to distract me and it helps a lot. talk to him.
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Offline Scaredofsymptoms

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Re: Suffering in silence?!
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2014, 08:41:37 PM »
I feel like I could have written your post word for word. I can be fine for months, have one weird symptom I can't explain, and then I get into my health anxiety tailspin and I spend HOURS on google. My husband gets really annoyed with me because I become depressed, withdrawn and he hates seeing me this way. I can even be at work up against a deadline and spend my lunch hour googling health symptoms.

I am always convinced I will have some form of cancer and I've tried to be logical and figure out why I fear cancer so much - my poor husband survived a rare form of childhood cancer (remission 18 years now) so I should just let it be like he does, but I can't. I think it stems from an intense fear of dying. I really do fear death / the unknown / and if we really cease to exist (like the nothingness before birth) - I do believe in Jesus, but there is a little voice in the back of my head saying what if it really is just ceasing to exist - frightens the CRAP out of me.

So really the fear of dying and the fear of things that are out of my control (cancer, flying, elevator breaking and me being trapped on it) really send me into a tailspin of anxiety. My parents noticed when I was little that I had a irrational fear of things out of my control (I used to pace and stay up when they left me with a babysitter and was convinced they would get in a car crash and die -- this is as early as  6 years old).

As an adult, I wonder if we all need some therapy. I'm definitely going to look into it as I would love to have kids in the next few years and don't want to impose my crazy thoughts/feelings on them.
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Offline Lindsay2427

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Re: Suffering in silence?!
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2014, 08:03:34 AM »
I am so glad I am not alone and I have thought several times about seeking therapy for this! I also have no idea why I fear cancer so much however I do not at all fear getting into a fatal car accident or deadly house fire?! I am fixated on the fear of a horrible disease taking me away from my family. I think it's worse because I do have "symptoms" of certain cancers. Like last night after I typed this posted I started having a pain that I fear daily. It usually starts at night and I get a numing feeling under my breast bone that radiates to my chest and into my upper back. I also feel it slightly to my right side. My HA has me convinced its the colon cancer that has mets to my liver but my locigal side also tells me it's most likely heartburn/ reflux because TUMS knock it out with in minutes. I have also has bright red blood on the sufferance of my stops for almost a year (only colon cancer symptom out of the many though) and I have canceled several appts with a gastro because I have replayed them telling me I have cancer over and over and over again. I have finally decided to keep my appt this month.
If they tell me my issues are not colon cancer I know it will be a matter of time before I am convinced I have something else. So far I have "had" skin cancer, pancreatic cancer, brain tumor, and now my most intense fear colon/rectal with liver mets. I do need help. I need to get over my embarassment and seek therapy.
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Offline Lindsay2427

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Re: Suffering in silence?!
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2014, 10:07:38 AM »
Sorry that should say burning feeling below my breastbone.
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Offline Englandoz12

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Re: Suffering in silence?!
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2014, 04:12:06 PM »
Hello everyone

I can relate to this. My ha all started last year when I was away travelling. Anyway ever since I hav had the cancer fear. Does not help that every advert or news stories is about cancer. Within a year I have thought I have had every cancer under the sun.

I can also relate to being alone. When I got back from traveling I told my parents about being unwell and brought them along to the many gp appointments I had because I just knew they were going turn around and tell me I had cancer and I couldn't bear to hear it alone. I could actually see them telling me. However I hit a point where I knew it was taking a toll on my parents and they did not deserve to go through the stress I go through on a daily basis, so I suffer in silence. Yes it's hard but like I say my parents don't deserve to go through this with me
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