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Author Topic: What caused your health anxiety ?  (Read 373 times)

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Offline hasenfuss22

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What caused your health anxiety ?
« on: January 08, 2014, 10:34:29 PM »
I wonder what caused other peoples health anxiety ?
I think I am already kind of anxious to begin with but being misdiagnosed by 3 really started my health anxiety. When I was 11 my throat was hurting for one year and I had also puss in my throat which came out as little pieces ( sorry disgusting I know ). My parents went to 3 doctors and all said it's nothing. I was suffering a lot and could barely eat. Finally after one year a fourth doctor diagnosede with infected tonsils and I had them removed. In my 30's I suffered 5 years of abdominal pain and of course I thought I am misdiagnosed again. After lot's of tests it turns out I just have IBS. Than. I go for just a routine check up having no symptoms at all and it turns out I have a heart defect and I need valve replacement t in a few years which means open heart surgery. Well, in this November I go to the eye doctor because I can't see good in one eye and it turns out I have a brain tumor ( luckily not cancer). I just had brain surgery 3 weeks ago. I  am 43, eat healthy, exercise, I am slim, I don't drink and don't smoke. People say, why do always worry about your health ? You worry too much, think positive, blah blah blah. The thing is, things are really happening to me and still I have to act cool. So frustrating !!
I am just interested how other people got their health anxiety. Maybe similar reasons ?
I  am always scared of check ups now and of course every symptoms could be something bad,
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extreme fear of cancer

Online rileybug

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Re: What caused your health anxiety ?
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2014, 10:46:31 PM »
mine started with adom pain-2 years to figure that out-it ended up gall bladder-now i have all theses symptons and anxiety.  I dont know whts anxiety and what is real health problems.  I have a big fear of various cancers-always thing i have one.  Had alot of tests-everything normal.
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Offline JenMarie279

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Re: What caused your health anxiety ?
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2014, 10:49:10 PM »
Wow, you've definitely been through a lot!

My HA started about 4 months ago after I had my baby.  During my pregnancy I had a freckle looking thing on my forehead that got darker.  I went to the dermatologist with absolutely no bedside manner.  He looked at the freckle and a couple of moles and said they were possibly melanoma.  At that moment something in me snapped and I haven't been the same since.  While waiting for biopsy results (and googling like a mad woman) I began to feel other symptoms in my body, a sure sign that I had melanoma and it had spread.  Luckily the results were benign, but my relief was short lived once I found another cancer to worry about.

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Offline ashz

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Re: What caused your health anxiety ?
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2014, 11:11:31 PM »
mine started 5 years ago after my first panic attack and my step dad dying of a  heart attack.... Ive been worrying about dying everyday since
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Offline michelle360

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Re: What caused your health anxiety ?
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2014, 11:21:33 PM »
I suffered with panic attacks on and off in my early 20's. Never addressed them. Suffered a great personal loss last year (now in my mid thirties) and spiraled into depression. Developed GAD before the depression at the start of all this. I started having physical symptoms (losing 10 pounds in three weeks) and googling, convinced myself I had cancer.

I was then diagnosed with MS. I firmly believe that my insane stress levels during that time pushed me into my first relapse. Strangely enough MS doesn't scare me.
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Offline hasenfuss22

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Re: What caused your health anxiety ?
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2014, 11:23:31 PM »
Do you also find that many people just don't understand you ? Seems like even when real stuff is happening they expect me to just shrug it off and act all cool. I know there are some people with serious illnesses out there who are always positive and people admire that so much. I am just not like that and I really don't know how they can act so cheerful.
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Offline stefv86

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Re: What caused your health anxiety ?
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2014, 11:44:00 PM »
oh, I remember the start of my anxiety well.
I had been suuuuper sick with a cold and an ear infection. I also had this weird patch near my belly button that looked like ringworm, but nothing would make it go away. At this point, I really wasn't bothered by it.
One night I was getting ready for bed and noticed like 60 of the "ringworm" patches all over my torso, mostly my breasts. I flipped my sht and googled "red rash on breasts"
First horrible mistake
Second horrible mistake, reading everything and anything about what I was now convinced I had: inflammatory breast cancer.
Finally worked up the courage to go to the doctor a week later. One look and she knew it was something called Pityriasis rosea. Nothing to make it go away but time. I was refined for about 4 seconds, and ended up visiting the doctor sty least 6 times that summer convinced I was dying.

Now every year, the winter is awful for me. I always have a new "freak out" in March or April like clockwork. This year, though, I've been through counseling and I'm on Zoloft, so hopefully we'll be breaking that trend.

Ok, sorry for the book.  :laugh3:
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Offline Venomsoar

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Re: What caused your health anxiety ?
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2014, 11:52:23 PM »
When I was younger (probably about 8 or 9), when I started to learn about various diseases like cancer, AIDS etc. I started to become a little anxious all the time. I was usually always paranoid about getting food stuck in my throat as well for some reason. But this didn't last for that long although when I did get a problem, I would usually worry a little too much but never to the extent of worrying about dying.

But recently, after getting a severe sun burn (blistering and peeling), I looked up skin cancer and started worrying about having skin cancer. Then after a month of no worries, I started to get daily nose bleeds. Since then (July), it has escalated to what I would call severe health anxiety.

Every little ache, I fear either soft tissue carcinoma or bone cancer. If my joints ache, I fear leukaemia or myeloma. For every little blemish on my skin, I jolt right back into fearing about skin cancer. I recently had a sore throat for about a week; I feared of it being either oesophageal, oral or thyroid cancer.

I recently started to get chest pain and indigestion; I feared about it being stomach cancer. Whenever I have bowel movements, I am constantly checking to see for any abnormalities and whenever there is, it is obviously bowel cancer in my head. Whenever I go for a shower, I am checking my skin; also for any abnormalities. Any blemish that persists for more than a week with no change is automatically a sign of melanoma to me.

As of now, a couple of times that I have taken a breath, a little tickle has been accompanied in my right lung - I now am starting to have a mild lingering fear of lung cancer.

I would say the worse part about anxiety for me is how tiresome it actually is having to go through constant worry after worry.

After reading about your past problems though, I feel that based on your experience, your anxiety is kind of warranted compared to mine. My anxiety just struck me out of the blue for no real good reason - you however, I feel your anxiety has developed due to certain experiences that I would generally say are a cause for concern.
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Offline Brick5711

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Re: What caused your health anxiety ?
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2014, 07:54:50 AM »
When I was 12, I had a swollen lymph node and over heard the doctor saying they thought it was an infection but if happened again it could be cancer. Fast forward four years, i started noticing blood in my stools. My grandmother had colon cacner and I just knew I had it. Wll I didn't do anything about it. Fast forward four more years, I was pregnant and my heart rate went to 225 and I was in the hospital. I had to wear numerous holtor monitors, had three echos, and i can't begin to count the number of ekg's.

Diagnosed with SVT-2011

During this time, i also had a ct of my chest because they thought I had a blood clot in my lung. I actually just had scar tissue from an old rib fracture.

The following year, I started having numbness and tingling and my doctor thought I had mini strokes because of my SVT. Had an MRI

Diagnosed with Chiari Malformation type 1

At this point, the retal bleeding is more. I tell my doctor. With no examintaion she diagnosed me with hemorrhoids. Fast forward six months, the bleeding is everyday. I tell my doctor again. She says the same. I schedule my own appt with a gastro for a colonoscopy.

Diagnosed with 4cm adenomoatous polyp in colon at age 22.

I am now convinced with every test I have done, something will be found. Although nothing has been deadly, I am sure with each new test, something will be.
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Offline jlhcorley

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Re: What caused your health anxiety ?
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2014, 08:05:14 AM »
When I was 10 years old, a family friend had a pool. Their neighbor, who was also our age, came over to swim one evening. As he left he said, "See you in the morning!" He died that night from an undiagnosed brain tumor.

That is when what was some just minor obsessive thoughts became full blown OCD/HA. I still to this day cringe and have to prevent myself from doing rituals if someone says "See you in the morning," to me before bed. I then started constantly thinking every headache was a brain tumor. The next fall, after watching a report on CBS Evening News on the ozone layer, I started checking my skin every night after my bath for possible skin cancer (I have always had lots of beauty marks/moles). The Surgeon General sent everyone an informative pamphlet about AIDS in 1987; my eleven year old self then became sure she had AIDS.

So one sad tragedy for someone's family and a simple remark spiraled into 28 years of health anxiety. Stupid brain chemicals!

Jen
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Offline psychopika

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Re: What caused your health anxiety ?
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2014, 08:31:34 AM »
I was raised by a hypochondriac mother who smothered me and went nuts over each and every sneeze I had. Once she thought I had leukemia and started crying in front of me, then she thought I had meningitis, etc. Later when she was 52, she developed breast cancer and ignored her symptoms, didn't tell anyone anything, when she finally did she put off the surgery until her cancer metastasized... and then died in a horrible way because the cancer got to her brain.

No wonder I'm a hypochondriac.
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Online Vasallus

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Re: What caused your health anxiety ?
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2014, 09:44:00 AM »
I got severely dehydrated one night and had a panic attack. It was my body's way of telling me "Hey. Put down the Mountain Dew and cigarettes." Roommate took me to the ER. Scariest night of my life because if. Let like any second I would die and thought about telling him to pull over so I could just lay down and die. Ever since then I have had Health anxiety.

A lot of people think they are dying but deep down don't really believe it. That night I was 100% sure I was dying and it was the most terrifying horrible feeling in the world.
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Offline BrightPhoenix

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Re: What caused your health anxiety ?
« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2014, 10:25:04 AM »
It happened 10 years ago when my mom got sick, and eventually passed away from a dormant hepatitis B infection we didn't know about until it became active and started attacking her liver.  Whil caring for her I myself started having aches and pains and started having worries about getting sick from hep B since I wasn't fully vaccinated and taking care of my mom.

I had panic attacks and anxiety attacks from all the stress of my family situation at that time, and ever since then it has been a mental battle with hypochondria because I now live under a fear of "if we don't catch it early it'll get really bad" - even though the things I'm worried about are mostly smaller health issues.  Something every 4-12 months becomes the issue of the season and I spend a lot of time convincing myself it's bad before I realize it probably will pass.

But yeah, it's tough when you keep thinking there's a bogeyman there and you're trying to convince yourself there isn't - when we were kids it was monsters in the closet.  Now, it's health anxiety.
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Offline Air Nomad

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Re: What caused your health anxiety ?
« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2014, 03:31:25 PM »
Wow, I never thought of it that way but you are absolutely 100% right!  It is an addiction and I do at times feel like an addict.  My health anxiety is debilitating and I feel like I need just one more "hit" of the reassurance drug and then I'll be fine... until the next time.  Maybe thinking of it that way will be helpful to some people in overcoming it, since it makes it a little more tangible so to speak.  Thanks for sharing this!
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Sokka: "Do you want me to be like you or be totally honest?"
Katara: "Are you saying I'm a liar?"
Sokka: "No, I'm saying you're an optimist. Same thing really."
-Avatar: the Last Airbender
(This is me and my husband to a tee)

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