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Author Topic: Six months health anxiety--can it cause real physical damage?  (Read 360 times)

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Offline SSG

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Hello.  Although I have been on this forum several times, this is my first post--I will try to make this short!  I have hesitated to post this because it sounds so ridiculous! Last fall, I started to have severe anxiety over my health. I was worried about having MS after having some tingling in hands, muscle twitching, and fogginess in my brain. I went to a Nurse Practitioner who said I had anxiety, and if I had MS, it would be in my RIGHT arm and leg.   Well, I IMMEDIATELY began to focus on my right arm and leg...worried to death.  About a week or two later my right leg started to feel funny, and I was obsessed with how I walked. Every step I took, caused me to think about my gait and how I was walking...it was/is exhausting.   At first the pain came and went, but after a couple months it was pretty much constant. The pain would move from my upper calf to my ankle.  Now, six months later, all of my symptoms have gone away except this pain in my leg.  I still constantly think about it...the pain is a good reminder. Doctors still say anxiety. Though I had a rough time on the first three meds they gave me, I am now taking Buspar, Wellbutrin, and Xanax.  My question is...has anyone out there actually caused a real physical injury from constantly obsessing over their health anxiety?  I have been to an orthopedist who said no bone is broken, but he said no bone is broken.  Deep down, I feel like my anxiety is causing me to tense up and not walk correctly, but this sounds absurd!  Please help!! 
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Offline IAMHEALTHY

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Re: Six months health anxiety--can it cause real physical damage?
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2014, 09:24:39 PM »
I wanna know this as well
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Offline MrMoleHill

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Re: Six months health anxiety--can it cause real physical damage?
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2014, 01:19:21 AM »
When I go through a really bad phase, or episode, of anxiety and/or hypochondria, it leaves me feeling like absolute crap.  High levels of tension, horrible quality sleep, constant heart palpitations, exhaustion, IBS, muscle twitching, for weeks on end until I can't function anymore. Then my mind and body can't take it anymore and I somehow snap out if it, and start to feel better.

This week I thought I found melanoma under my toenail, obsessed and panicked about it all that morning, then literally almost *&#% my pants.  Barely made it to the toilet at work.  I realized I was in panic mode over the dumb toenail.
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We are all walking through the Valley of the Shadow of Death

Offline marc

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Re: Six months health anxiety--can it cause real physical damage?
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2014, 08:29:40 AM »
Welcome to anxietyzone. When you get anxious, you fixate on a particular symptom or worry and
it becomes larger than life.
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If you're going through hell, keep going.
Never, Never, Never, give up.

Offline SSG

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Re: Six months health anxiety--can it cause real physical damage?
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2014, 09:09:03 AM »
Thanks everyone!  MrMolehill...has it lasted for months before?  How do you snap out of it?  Was there any meds or thoughts that have helped?  I fought meds for a long time, but finally gave in a couple of months ago.  Since then, I have found that I do have occasional moments of relief.  The pain normally starts after about 5-15 steps of walking (once I'm focusing on my walking again).  When I work (part-time), it doesn't really get my mind off it (I'm on my feet the whole time).  I think it is in my subconscious at this point.  I am so desperate to be free from this pain.  It has taught me a lesson that I will never forget...you can take your worry about health way too far...it can consume you if you let it, affecting all areas of your life.  I miss my old life.
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Offline vardnas

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Re: Six months health anxiety--can it cause real physical damage?
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2014, 11:33:05 AM »
Resoundingly, yes.

Think of it this way. If you're chronically stressed out, you're forcing your body to consistently remain in a state of flight or fight. It can't ever get back to it's more natural state of "rest and digest," so of course, complications can arise.

In my case, I was left with two problems that lingered/had to be dealt with long after my mental health improved. First was my digestion—it had slowed so much, thanks to a lack of digestive enzymes (again, due solely to stress), that it took many, many months to get back up to speed.

The other was chronic left flank pain, which was due partially to a bad desk situation at work, but also because my body was always so stressed. I ended up going to a chiropractor for a while to help sooth the kinks, but again, it took month to settle up.

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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 SSG

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Re: Six months health anxiety--can it cause real physical damage?
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2014, 09:49:39 PM »
Thanks Vardnas!  I just went to see a chiropractor today.  He said he thinks he can help...I hope so! When I'm walking...I'm constantly focusing on my leg pain.  My anxiety revolves around it.  If my leg feels good...I fell better (not perfect).  If it's hurting...my anxiety is way high!  How did you improve your anxiety?
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