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Author Topic: Relapsing into severe health anxiety/cancer fears  (Read 297 times)

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Offline sickofsickness

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Relapsing into severe health anxiety/cancer fears
« on: March 02, 2014, 03:34:32 PM »
Hello everyone.

I've been posting here for several years now, and this site has been great in helping me calm down. A great thing that was suggested to me last year when I was having ALS anxiety was to mark when I first started feeling "symptoms" down. That was May 1, 2013. I was told the further I got away from that date, the more relieved I should feel because ALS is typically a rapidly progressive disease. Nearly a year later, my ALS anxiety is pretty much gone.

I've carried that suggestion to other areas of health anxiety, and generally it's worked well for me (I still post with occasional anxieties, but not as often as I used to). But unfortunately, I've relapsed back into that kind of severe anxiety that makes it hard to function.

This is was probably initiated by two things. First, an acquaintance I knew from college, seemingly healthy, was diagnosed with stage 4 gastrointestinal cancer last summer. Tragically, he died last week at age 24. Then two days ago, the Baltimore Orioles PR director died from lung cancer at age 36 (she was diagnosed at age 32, never smoked, and was an avid runner). Suddenly, cancer is all that's on my mind now. I went to the doctor a few days ago to get tested for strep throat and she said my lungs sound fine, but I'm finding it exceptionally hard to breathe---there a tightness in my chest whenever I breathe deeply, I feel like I constantly have to take deep breaths, and when I'm in the shower especially I feel like I'm going to suffocate.

In the case of my acquaintance, this is the first time I've known anyone so young to die from cancer and it's scaring the crap out of me. As far as I'm concerned I already HAVE cancer but I just haven't discovered it yet.

I really don't know what to do (though I do have a therapy appointment next week), I was doing pretty well for sometime yet no I'm always thinking about how I have cancer, and it's driving me crazy. We're all going to die sometime, I just want to be able to live free of anxiety. :(
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Offline Sunlover

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Re: Relapsing into severe health anxiety/cancer fears
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2014, 03:57:24 PM »
That breathing thing is DEFINITELY anxiety!  Sometimes I get like that and have to open the window and stand by it because I feel like there just isn't enough oxygen in the room.  By taking those deep breaths like that you are feeding the problem by hyperventilating.   I know it feels like you HAVE to do that to get that satisfaction, but you don't have to, it's only making it worse.
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Offline rileybug

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Re: Relapsing into severe health anxiety/cancer fears
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2014, 10:23:23 PM »
I also have bad fears about cancer(ovarian,colon rectal,pancrantic)  Iworry all the time i have it.  Even with good tests i still worry.  I CANT ACCEPT THE IDEA I MIGHT BE OK.  I've also lost 2 friends of heart attack recently-who were way younger than me-50 and younger.  So now i am sure i,m going to die any day of a heart attack.  I do have high chlorstal-but take meds for it.  I have alot of exciting stuff comming soon( daughter graduating med school/her wedding) but worry i will be dead before i get to see those.  I feel so scared and worried-but at 65 i'm going to fight through this to the best of my ability.
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