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Author Topic: Why Do You Ultimately Think You Have HA?  (Read 337 times)

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Offline HeatherJoy11

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Why Do You Ultimately Think You Have HA?
« on: February 02, 2014, 11:37:22 AM »
I've been thinking about this a lot lately. I know for me, I had a pretty rough childhood and was abandoned by my father, my mother had me when she was 15 so my grandmother raised me. Her husband (my stepgrandfather) was an abusive alcoholic so I think in some ways I felt unsafe. HA may be my way of trying to feel safe and secure bc I never did. I was afraid and worried even as a child.

How do we free ourselves from this unless we get to the root? I am almost 40 and this doesn't work. It's miserable. I'm always afraid of what is lurking around the corner...like a monster in the dark.

Am I just repeating the patterns of my childhood now as an adult? How about you? How did your HA begin and why?
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Offline Sunlover

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Re: Why Do You Ultimately Think You Have HA?
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2014, 12:22:13 PM »
I have no "childhood" reason for my health anxiety.  I seriously have no clue why I am like I am.   I had a childhood like "Leave it To Beaver" except I'm an only child and never got in trouble.  Maybe my life was/is too boring?  Even now, I have a great husband, great daughter and my life has/never had no action, or drama, it's just "there"...   maybe subconsciously I have to manufacture drama?
As a kid I used to worry about colds and flus, then it graduated to cancers, etc.   I really have no great hobbies or interests to occupy my mind.
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Offline corwin

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Re: Why Do You Ultimately Think You Have HA?
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2014, 04:09:32 PM »
this is super long, i'm sorry ;;; but it feels kinda good getting it all out, so i hope that's okay.

i've always, always been an anxious kid. i started showing signs of ocd back when i was about four years old; i was petrified of someone in my family dying, so i would do these strange sort of prayers (though i wasn't a religious kid) begging for my family not to die. pretty morbid behavior for someone as young as four years old.

about a year later i developed a fear of pregnancy after an unfortunate occurrence with the neighbor boy who was a year older than me (he was six and i was five). he was my best friend at the time, and little kids who are best friends sometimes "do things" because they're curious. this led to a fear of HIV as well, but i'd rather not get into that one in detail.

then when i was eight i was staying up past my bedtime and watching this documentary on TV about stigmata. once again, i wasn't a religious kid, and yet this documentary severely messed me up, and for months on end i was terrified of "coming down" with stigmata. i didn't even really understand what it was, but that didn't stop me from checking my palms for bleeding. in hindsight it was ridiculous, but then again i was a little kid scared out of my mind, and at the time it felt so real.

eventually when i was about ten or eleven i developed a morbid fear of food poisoning. i stopped eating because i was so afraid i would get sick. this is when my mom started getting concerned about my mental health since i was constantly anxious and afraid and crying all the time from this irrational fear of being killed by eating a packaged meal. i can't remember how i got over this fear, i just remember it lasted quite a while and was one of the hallmarks in my ocd, if not one of the worst anxiety manifestations i've ever had.

for a while my anxiety took a backseat, though it was always still there in the corner of my mind, coming out to play whenever i'd get an irrational thought about the food i was eating (this eventually led to the beginning of an eating disorder in high school which i luckily nipped in the bud before it escalated into something more serious).

what got me into this anxiety spiral was my wisdom teeth becoming infected in 2012. i was halfway across the country away from home visiting some friends, and out of nowhere i was hit with the worst feeling i've ever felt in my life - my entire body went cold, i broke out into a sweat, i was nauseous and dizzy and felt like the world was closing in on me. i had no idea what was happening to me. it didn't help that my friends and i were at a convention, so there was a lot of walking around in the heat, which only made me feel worse. i spent a lot of the time in the hotel room sleeping and panicking. that night i broke out into a high fever while everyone else was asleep, so i spent the night in the bathroom crying on the phone to my mom because i was, of course, terrified and clueless and away from home. (because on top of all this, i have separation anxiety from my mother. whoopee.)

so a trip to the ER in texas told me that my wisdom teeth were impacted and infected, which was causing my fever and feeling so ill. i was prescribed antibiotics, which cleared up the infection and had me feeling better. but my mind was all over the place, and i relapsed into what i think has been the worst spiral of anxiety i've had in my whole life, as well as the longest. ever since that tooth infection in 2012, i've been in a pretty much constant state of hyper-awareness over my body, having countless trips to the ER, tons of tests being run, all coming out normal. for months i was convinced i was going to die of a heart attack, despite being only 19 at the time. i had chest pains, arm numbness, trouble breathing, you name it.

once my heart attack fear subsided, this led to a seven month long obsession with schizophrenia. to this day i don't think i've ever had an obsession worse than this one, even though it's long gone and hasn't come back since. but the sheer fear i felt for those seven months was unbearable. this is when the depersonalization/derealization kicked in for the first time. it was horrifying, as anyone who has experienced that can attest to.

eventually this fear miraculously subsided once i saw how many people with ocd shared my fear - only for it to be replaced, once again, with worries of physical diseases, which is where i'm at now.

then last february, my stepdad died in his sleep from a congenital condition that i won't go into details of so as to not make anyone panic. this, i think, was probably the last straw for my anxiety, and it's been five degrees above hell ever since. this isn't the first death in my life that i've faced - i lost one of my best friends to a car accident in high school, and one of my ex-boyfriends died of another congenital condition that i'm still unclear about - but the death of my stepdad was by far the worst. this led to my fear of sleeping since i was scared i wasn't going to wake up, a fear that i've seen being spoken about very often on these boards.

all in all, i think i'm a hypochondriac for many reasons. 1, i was born with a mental illness that eventually manifested once i was a little kid; 2, i've had a morbid fear of death for pretty much my whole life and have had to watch people i love die; 3, my severe separation anxiety and constant need to be in control; and 4, my wild imagination and habit of overthinking the tiniest of things until they're huge ordeals in my mind that i obsess over for months at a time. (my schizophrenia fear cropped up out of nowhere when i suddenly got an intrusive thought of, "what if i start hearing voices?" it was as simple as that, and yet led to the most complex, crippling fear my anxiety has ever thrown at me. i'm still shocked that i somehow moved past it, because i honestly thought it would last forever.)

sorry for the length of this post, it just feels better to actually talk about this with people who can relate. i don't get to do that very often.
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Offline msgb98

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Re: Why Do You Ultimately Think You Have HA?
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2014, 04:29:54 PM »
I think my HA manifested because I saw it in my father. I actually stated this to him the other evening. I have always been a nervous anxiety ridden person but it has gotten amped up because of a lot of things that have happened in my life.
I was in a car accident some 20+ yrs ago. I developed fibromyalgia as a result. Then I developed DVt when I had been married just under a year. Not even a yr later my sister was diagnosed with stage 4 Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. I was very frightened for my sister. It is now 12 1/2 yrs later and she is doing well.
I have an uncle who passed of a brain tumor when I was 16. I have another uncle who had a brain tumor and he passed when I was in my 30's (different side of the family).
Then in the last few yrs my father has had a heart attack and then a stroke. My mother has had two aortic dissections.
I guess part of me fears things so deeply. I have always tried to do what is right and I have tried to lead a good life.
I just want there to be more that I can experience in life. I do not want it taken away from me.
I have not been able to experience parenthood and I will not be able to. But I want to know that I matter.
These are just part of the feelings I have regarding HA. Also I am under the influence of perimenopause and well I know anxiety goes up a few notches with this experience.
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Offline threnners

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Re: Why Do You Ultimately Think You Have HA?
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2014, 07:15:26 PM »
My mother has been dying since she was 35 years old.    She's now 66.   
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Offline Hypo84

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Re: Why Do You Ultimately Think You Have HA?
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2014, 07:18:51 PM »
My mother has been dying since she was 35 years old.    She's now 66.   
This post made me laugh so hard ;D
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Offline Tweenie

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Re: Why Do You Ultimately Think You Have HA?
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2014, 08:45:47 PM »
My mother has been dying since she was 35 years old.    She's now 66.   

It made me laugh too because it's true! That's me! My health anxiety started in my 20s and I'm now 51. I was also a very anxious kid - scared of storms, bees, being away from my mom, the dark and the list goes on and on. My mom is also very anxious and always has been - her mom was as well. So, I guess I come by it honestly - it's genetic and it's learned. Lucky me.
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Offline ColdHands

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Re: Why Do You Ultimately Think You Have HA?
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2014, 08:50:54 PM »
I know why I have it.  No doubt in my mind.  My mom was diagnosed right after I was born with Hodgekins Lymphoma.  My entire formative years were spent in hospitals, my mom would try to make it a game, but it kind of warped me I think. My mom survived and I was told my entire life how lucky I was that she was still living and that she could get sick again at any time, so I better enjoy my time with her.  She got sick again when I was in college with breast cancer, which I had to deal with again.  She also had heart problems.  So my entire adult life and most of my childhood were spent worrying about my mom dying.  That also included my grandmother, who had ovarian cancer, my grandfather who has prostate cancer and my dad who had bladder cancer.  My dad is the only one still alive.  I have always had an not an "If" but "when" mentality when some serious disease would befall me. 

That time may have finally come, as I am now being tested for a liver disease.  I know that is why I am like I am.  I should be thankful that I saw so many miraculous healings in my life.  My mom, grandma and grandpa didn't die of the those diseases, but of other ones.  My mom got a neurological disease that took her that is worse than anything she ever had.

My family has always lived with a good attitude, but I have always been the what if girl.  The problem is, with my family, usually the worst case was what happened. 
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Offline forestdeer

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Re: Why Do You Ultimately Think You Have HA?
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2014, 01:00:54 AM »
i've never had HA until these recent months.
My grandma passed away and i just died inside.

a HUGEEEE chunk of my life died ... everything just died once she was gone.
and she was very very healthy , looking after me and my brothers and raising me up ever since i was fetus.
and her sudden unexpected death made me very scared of dying ,knowing that my healthy 59 year old grandma passed away.
Became very anxious about everything and got scared of everything thinking i was going to die with every little pain and ache.

Still scared , but im trying to get better , trying to mentally control this as i know i am a strong and tough girl.
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Offline Gemgrl2000

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Re: Why Do You Ultimately Think You Have HA?
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2014, 06:40:11 AM »
My HA began about 10 years ago.. The exact day that my dad was diagnosed with cancer that was found from a routine work physical. I suppose it made me face my own mortality. Before that I was a very happy.. Oblivious person. I would give anything to go back to that time...
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Offline Caribou

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Re: Why Do You Ultimately Think You Have HA?
« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2014, 07:45:55 AM »
I really don't know why I have it either.  My best guess though is that my HA is just a way for me to be distracted from other problems I may be having.  My HA started about 7 years ago (when I started high school), and escalated significantly as time went on.  I'm 20 now, and I think that I was so worried about not succeeding in high school, or not becoming successful once I was out of high school that my HA sort of kicked into high gear and I was only focused on my health and nothing else.
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Offline marc

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Re: Why Do You Ultimately Think You Have HA?
« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2014, 07:56:16 AM »
Heredity and a crummy childhood environment.
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Offline Egg

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Re: Why Do You Ultimately Think You Have HA?
« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2014, 07:33:28 PM »
I've done a lot of thinking about this lately.  The triggering event was a health crisis for my mom that ultimately has been resolved, but it was very serious at the time.  My father has a degenerative disease, and when she was in the hospital and unable to help him or cover for him, all of us were able to really see how poorly he was really doing.  Plus he's continued to decline since then.

All this triggered fear in me that I will become a burden to my own family.  We've got a busy family life, and I already feel stretched thin, so a serious illness feels to me as if it would be disastrous.

I also feel a lot of guilt, and as if I don't have a lot of control over my environment and circumstances.

So I think it's a triumvirate of fear, guilt, and a lack of control, all triggered by witnessing serious and progressive illness in someone I love.

Oh, and my family has a history of anxiety and what is probably mild OCD, including some hypochondria in the family tree. I think I've probably always had a bit of anxiety, but I was able to manage it until this past year.

I read in another thread about the guilt of making someone else's diagnosis about oneself -- ugh, that is me.  I hate it and tell myself to get over myself.
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