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Author Topic: How and when does this ever get better?  (Read 254 times)

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Offline Lam123

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How and when does this ever get better?
« on: March 23, 2014, 03:12:28 PM »
Hi everyone,
I have been suffering from HA for about 6 months, different kinds of anxiety for about a year before that. With the HA I have found that I would have a rough few weeks then have a week of normalcy. But the last two months I have had no break from it, it's consuming much of my day and night, and affecting my happiness and life greatly. I'm no longer taking part in my hobbies and no longer fun anything enjoyable. I have started seeing a therapist. Just wondering how this possibly gets better?
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Offline vardnas

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Re: How and when does this ever get better?
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2014, 04:32:54 PM »
Absolutely it can get better, but it can definitely take a while.

It's great that you're seeing a therapist. That is a major piece of the anxiety treatment puzzle, as far as I'm concerned. It's important too to see your anxiety symptoms/bodily sensations as just thatódriven by anxiety and nothing more sinister. That acceptance is very important because it'll help you not to overreact when those symptoms come. The body can't calm down if we're constantly freaking out over our heart palpitations or stomach problems.

Getting over HA is a process, and it doesn't happen overnight. Keep that in mind. Your irrational and rational mind will probably fight for a long time to come. You're still going to have freak outs; you'll still probably Google your symptoms; but as you start to calm down, your freak outs will become less intense and happen less frequently. Be easy on yourself. Remember that you're not always going to feel this way and that this won't always be a struggle.
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In case anyone is still confused:  googling your symptoms will cause you to remain in a state of extreme anxiety. Stepping away from the internet is the first step toward lasting peace.

Offline Gemmaa0207

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Re: How and when does this ever get better?
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2014, 07:04:13 PM »
Completely agree with pp I also see a therapist I've suffered for around 1 year and started getting help 6 months ago and don't get me wrong I still have the odd rough day but therapy really does help and makes you realise things and how to control what triggers your anxiety. For me google makes things worse so I tend to avoid it and from how I was 6 months ago I'm ALOT better so there is hope! I've learnt that it's not gonna go over night but I was suffering from panic attacks and would think I had everything going if my focus wasn't on one type of cancer it was another! I now rarely have any panic attacks and rationalise my thoughts without even thinking  not as depressed with it and are more positive about things rather than just living in the fear of death. Keep with your therapy and I hope u see results very soon x
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Offline Aimee1875

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Re: How and when does this ever get better?
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2014, 07:11:51 PM »
Everything gets better as long as you stay positive and try your hardest to overcome things.I pray very much that you start to feel better soon x
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Offline Lam123

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Re: How and when does this ever get better?
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2014, 07:58:46 PM »
Thank you so much everyone for such positive words an encouragement. How long into therapy did you notice a difference?
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Offline Jenin

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Re: How and when does this ever get better?
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2014, 09:46:36 PM »
Lam123, my health anxiety started about a year ago, unsure what triggered it.  I know two people in their twenties who were diagnosed with terminal cancer, I think that that is where my HA originated.  I have gone through days and weeks where I'm completely miserable, certain I'm going to die or at least there's something terribly wrong, and even months at a time where I don't think about it at all.  Right now I am having a very hard time because I have pain in my side and have had it for weeks, along with some other odd symptoms. it seems the only explanation is something serious.  I hope to start therapy soon.  Now, and for periods over the past year, this has severely impacted my quality of life as I find I can't think or talk about anything else, so my work is suffering as well as relationships with people (including my boyfriend) who cannot understand and are really sick of hearing about what they see as minor ailments.  I also refuse to plan anything more than a few weeks in advance as I'm convinced I won't be around that much longer or that I will be undergoing some sort of serious medical treatment like chemotherapy. So just know that you are not alone with this.   I did find a book that helped me a bit, called It's not all in your head:  how worrying about your health could be making you sick.  Other advice is to stay away from the internet, at least anything health/sickness related.  i have been unable to follow my own advice in this regard.  I have a weird obsession with reading blogs of cancer patients, which really makes things much worse in the long run.  Googling your symptoms is always, always bad but really hard to stop. 

I hope knowing there are others like you helps you realize the only serious thing you probably really suffer from is health anxiety!
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Jenin

Offline Lam123

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Re: How and when does this ever get better?
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2014, 10:35:40 PM »
Jenin, thanks for the response. I do find this is affecting my life on a daily basis right now. If I didn't google then I would be in a much better place right now.
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Offline Jenin

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Re: How and when does this ever get better?
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2014, 10:47:05 AM »
yeah, same here.  I think the important thing to know is that you CAN get better.  It takes some discipline and practice and retraining how you think about things.  One of the major themes in the book I mentioned is that people with health anxiety pay so much attention to aches and pains that most people recognize are not signs of anything other than being alive, and also have a tendency to jump to catastrophic conclusions.  I try to remember back to my pre-HA days when I would have stomach aches, or side cramps, or whatever, and would never jump to the conclusion that those things were signs I had terminal cancer.  I realize that my reaction to those normal "symptoms" changed when I knew people around my age who were diagnosed with terminal cancer.  But I try to remember that I don't really know what kind of symptoms they had -- probably much more serious -- and that the fact they were diagnosed with cancer doesn't actually increase the change that I will be.  Another helpful thing in the book to keep in mind is that we accept uncertainty in other areas of our lives all of the time; for instance, if you get in a car, or for that matter walk out on the street.  In fact, the chance that you'll die in a traffic accident is far, far higher than that you will die of cancer, esp. if you are young.  People with health anxiety notice for more stuff going on in their body than other people, they jump to catastrophic conclusions about it, and they vastly overestimate the risk (the media does not help with this).  Knowing all these things still has not helped me entirely, but it does provide some comfort when I start freaking out and becoming certain I am dying of something.  I am working harder to internalize these facts and change my reaction to various symptoms.  I don't know if that will help you, but hope it does!
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Jenin

Offline Lam123

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Re: How and when does this ever get better?
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2014, 04:48:06 PM »
Thank you. I appreciate your advice and positive words.
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