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Author Topic: New hypochondriac joins the club...  (Read 218 times)

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Offline LilMousey

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New hypochondriac joins the club...
« on: May 10, 2014, 10:41:05 PM »
Hello everyone :)

I'm new here. I thought it would be a good idea to register and be able to talk with some of you guys as I've had many hypochondria 'episodes' over the past months (years, in fact) and it's been affecting me quite a lot lately, to the point where I have very little peace of mind left. So I might find understanding in some of you who share the same anxieties :)

First and foremost, I have been ever so irationally worried about my health since the wee age of 6. I was obsessed with it, which was quite disturbing for my parents to see their child obsess over her organs functioning. I was panicking over things I saw on tv, I remember being terrified of appendicitis. Anyways, that's just to say this is a deep rooted anxiety of mine that tends to resurface every now and then.

From childhood to about 4 years ago, hypochondria made no show. I have this vile habit of, as probably a few (many?) of you, googling my symptoms. I never thought it would be SO harmful to my mental health since about 4 years ago when I woke up with pins and needles in my hand, and the numbness persisted for a few hours on so I thought I would use google to see what could be the cause of it. Wrong, wrong, wrong. I came across multiple sclerosis descriptions and became literally OBSESSED with it. Especially since I've had a few teachers in high school who had the condition. MS is all I had on my mind all day long, even while working. I became so fascinated/scared with it I even kinda, mentally accepted that I had it. Crazy huh? I was petrified of losing my ability to walk and started thinking would people stick around if I had it? It was the first time I experienced hypochondria since childhood and somehow forgot how crippling and downright terrifying it can be. I thought it was a childhood thing. The stress and anxiety it caused me is beyond words. Somehow, I managed to keep my focus on other things than MS and slowly moved on.

A few years ago, I went on a diet and ate very little red meat, so from a lack of protein I started losing a lot of hair. It came out in clumps! Google told me it COULD be alopecia. I became stressed out of my mind I'd get bald. Lately, a relative of one of my managers passed away because of cancer. That triggered another, yet not less terrifying, hypochondria 'episode', that's what I call them. Since then, I have been to the doctor for persistant breast pains (out of menstrual cycle) and was crippled with the fear I had breast cancer. After examination, I don't have that at all. I have nothing in fact.

After a few cramps and a bit of bloating, it was ovarian cancer occupying my thoughts. And as of now, I've discovered a soft very small lump in my lower abdomen, in a bit of belly fat and yes, you may have guessed, I'm ever so scared what it could be. I try to tell myself that if it were anything harmful I'd have a LOT more symptoms than just the little lump, I'd be having pains, digestion problems, constipation, irregular periods, yadda yadda yadda... I'm resisting the urge to call info-health or run to the walk-in clinic. Everybody around me tries to calm me down and tell me it's nothing. I've had a few of my relatives feel what I think is a lump, and nobody is worried for me, except ME! Argh it's SO debilitating!!!! :( I'm at my wit's end.

I have self-checking behavior (like checking my lymph nodes regularly) and constantly seek reassurance in others, and turn it down when I get it because well... I HAVE a symptom! How wise would it be to ignore it!!!  B-;  See? It's taking all away my peace of mind. I'm very preoccupied and stressed. It's mentally exhausting me. I'd love to just use common sense and move on but the FEAR of missing a blatant sign that something is wrong is taking over... Every goddamn time!!! It's sort of like an addiction, in a way... don't you think? Can anyone relate to this?! :(

Nice to meet you all by the way!  :action-smiley-065:





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Online PantsyAntsy

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Re: New hypochondriac joins the club...
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2014, 11:51:29 PM »
I am new too, but Dr. Google is my deathknell too. Googling just hurts so good, though.

This all started for me in Decemeber of 2012 when I felt a breast lump and ended up getting a surgical biopsy. I freaked myself out so much, I had concocted this whole nightmarish fantasy that I would be diagnosed stage 4 and I would leave my children motherless and I was a heaving mess for about a month and a half until I got benign results...That settled me down for about 3 weeks until this tiny little freckle pooped up on my skin. I started looking obsessively at moles and googling the heck out of melanoma-- I found some really scary looking monsters on my skin, even the dermatologist was like oh yeah, these need to come off...I went through about 2 months of biopsies, skin checks, full body checks, and inexplicably I kept getting new moles and SKs popping up which freaked me out beyond because my younger sister is a melanoma survivor!!! Everything pointed to benign growths, some atypical moles on me. But melanoma scared the pants off me, and I still keep finding things on my skin that get me on the horn to my doctor.

After those scares, I somehow, very unexpectedly got pregnant (I am old, 41 at that time, and we were not trying at all). All my anxiety transferred over to the baby and I was convinced she had Down Syndrome since they found a very soft marker on her heart and I am so old). Not to leave myself out, I did throw myself a couple little scares for good measure during the pregnancy. I took a sip of water one day and it tasted foul so I panicked about botulism. And, of course, the lymph nodes. My armpit lymph nodes swelled and became palpable, which is odd, odd, odd. No doctor can explain it. At first, I chalked it up to pregnancy but I had little choice but to feel the lump each day in the shower. I decided to get three opinions on it. The first two agreed the lumps were normal looking and stable lymph nodes that didn't need to be biopsied. I didn't see the third until after I had the baby, and she also agreed and FINALLY I was able to accept the diagnosis. And then there was the rabies scare. I spilled some water on myself that I am positive a raccoon had sipped on (we do have a raccoon that hangs around our property, and he sometimes gets into the cat water and food). I REALLY freaked myself out about that one, more than I would like to admit, but I am blaming post partum hormones. I had the raccoon issue about 3 weeks after my daughter was born and yikes I was so worried I would pass it to her somehow (as I was convinced I was going to break out in symptoms any minute now, oy). And my latest is hantavirus-- we just discovered a mouse infestation, and I don't trust my husband (who has no fear of this stuff at all) to clean properly  and with gloves and in ways that try to prevent the spread of disease if disease is present, so I have taken on the cleaning project myself, and that is really not fun, haha.

Luckily, I do feel myself improving a lot from the initial breast and melanoma scares that started all this anxiety. Even with the rabies, I can at least function in my day to day life in the midst of a freakout so that's gotta count, right? lol Anyway I really relate. I think, for me, I've realized that I'm going to die, someday, and that there are no guarantees it won't happen before my kids are grown. I mean, I don't want to die for myself, but I really don't want to die for them...so...yeah :-) Googling definitely makes it much much worse for me, allows me to dwell and get paralyzed in panic. I can't stop myself from googling, but I try to have some humor about it. Not sure if everyone gets the jokes, though :-)
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Offline LilMousey

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Re: New hypochondriac joins the club...
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2014, 12:27:34 PM »
I am new too, but Dr. Google is my deathknell too. Googling just hurts so good, though.

This all started for me in Decemeber of 2012 when I felt a breast lump and ended up getting a surgical biopsy. I freaked myself out so much, I had concocted this whole nightmarish fantasy that I would be diagnosed stage 4 and I would leave my children motherless and I was a heaving mess for about a month and a half until I got benign results...That settled me down for about 3 weeks until this tiny little freckle pooped up on my skin. I started looking obsessively at moles and googling the heck out of melanoma-- I found some really scary looking monsters on my skin, even the dermatologist was like oh yeah, these need to come off...I went through about 2 months of biopsies, skin checks, full body checks, and inexplicably I kept getting new moles and SKs popping up which freaked me out beyond because my younger sister is a melanoma survivor!!! Everything pointed to benign growths, some atypical moles on me. But melanoma scared the pants off me, and I still keep finding things on my skin that get me on the horn to my doctor.

After those scares, I somehow, very unexpectedly got pregnant (I am old, 41 at that time, and we were not trying at all). All my anxiety transferred over to the baby and I was convinced she had Down Syndrome since they found a very soft marker on her heart and I am so old). Not to leave myself out, I did throw myself a couple little scares for good measure during the pregnancy. I took a sip of water one day and it tasted foul so I panicked about botulism. And, of course, the lymph nodes. My armpit lymph nodes swelled and became palpable, which is odd, odd, odd. No doctor can explain it. At first, I chalked it up to pregnancy but I had little choice but to feel the lump each day in the shower. I decided to get three opinions on it. The first two agreed the lumps were normal looking and stable lymph nodes that didn't need to be biopsied. I didn't see the third until after I had the baby, and she also agreed and FINALLY I was able to accept the diagnosis. And then there was the rabies scare. I spilled some water on myself that I am positive a raccoon had sipped on (we do have a raccoon that hangs around our property, and he sometimes gets into the cat water and food). I REALLY freaked myself out about that one, more than I would like to admit, but I am blaming post partum hormones. I had the raccoon issue about 3 weeks after my daughter was born and yikes I was so worried I would pass it to her somehow (as I was convinced I was going to break out in symptoms any minute now, oy). And my latest is hantavirus-- we just discovered a mouse infestation, and I don't trust my husband (who has no fear of this stuff at all) to clean properly  and with gloves and in ways that try to prevent the spread of disease if disease is present, so I have taken on the cleaning project myself, and that is really not fun, haha.

Luckily, I do feel myself improving a lot from the initial breast and melanoma scares that started all this anxiety. Even with the rabies, I can at least function in my day to day life in the midst of a freakout so that's gotta count, right? lol Anyway I really relate. I think, for me, I've realized that I'm going to die, someday, and that there are no guarantees it won't happen before my kids are grown. I mean, I don't want to die for myself, but I really don't want to die for them...so...yeah :-) Googling definitely makes it much much worse for me, allows me to dwell and get paralyzed in panic. I can't stop myself from googling, but I try to have some humor about it. Not sure if everyone gets the jokes, though :-)

Hey PantsyAntsy! :)

Thanks for your reply! It's comforting somehow to know I'm not alone in this health obsession thing :) The whole of your reply is so 'me'! I can relate to every line. It's literally one thing after another. When a worry is put to rest, another one comes up. It's almost like my mind is after that adrenaline rush of worrying like mad, and then being reassured. Do you know what is weird, is that I'm totally able to reassure people when they speak to me about their health issues but when it comes to my own, I can barely handle them without them turning into obsessions.

Also, do you have that feeling that doctors seem very relaxed about what is freaking us out? When I went to the doctor for my breast pains, he was all like 'But why do you think you have breast cancer at your age?' (I'm in my early twenties) I thought he was very laid back, as opposed to the amount of worries it's caused me. Of course if they were to freak out, imagine what state we would be in! :P But still, it made me think he wasn't too concerned (as I was!) and it didn't put me in trust too much. Do experience that feeling that they simply don't understand where we come from? Or why we worry that much?

I don't know which corner of the world you are from, but where I live it's pretty hard to get a hold of a doctor. We're experiencing a lack of GP's, and it's extremely hard to sign up with one as their lists of patients are all full. I personally don't have a family doctor. If you have a problem, it's the walk-in clinic you need to resort to. And that's if it's not full! It's really a big mess and it's hard to see a doctor. I don't know whether it's good or not, would I be in there all the time if it wasn't that complicated?  :spineyes: Haha!
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Offline mollyfin

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Re: New hypochondriac joins the club...
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2014, 07:41:40 AM »
Hi there!  Nice to meet you; just wish it were under nicer circumstances. 

What you're describing is familiar to me, and probably to most of the people here.  I've been a hypochondriac since I was tiny as well - I remember fearing I was having a stroke in elementary school!  (I was not.) 

I hope this forum can help you out with dealing with your hypochondria - everyone here is very nice :)
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Offline Stressed Jumper

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Re: New hypochondriac joins the club...
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2014, 08:59:08 AM »
Just a thought but can you install net nanny and set it to block Google?  Have someone else set the password so you have to ask for it.  Maybe that will help?  If you have a symptom you need advice about you can always come here and.likely get much better info.  I do not have HA but this has worked for one friend of mine who does.  She is working on her PhD and her hubby has the password...he unlocks it if she needs to do research and supervises that that is all she is doing.  It has helped her a lot...maybe it will help you?
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Offline LilMousey

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Re: New hypochondriac joins the club...
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2014, 11:26:12 AM »
Hi there!  Nice to meet you; just wish it were under nicer circumstances. 

What you're describing is familiar to me, and probably to most of the people here.  I've been a hypochondriac since I was tiny as well - I remember fearing I was having a stroke in elementary school!  (I was not.) 

I hope this forum can help you out with dealing with your hypochondria - everyone here is very nice :)

Hey :)

I'm sorry you've had to deal with that stress so early on. It sucks, and it's nothing a child should be worrying about. But hey, that's what anxiety does :( My parents told me to find a soothing thought for whenever those worries came up. I try to pratice that as much as needed nowadays but certainly I need to work on the source of my anxiety, otherwise it'll always return.
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Offline LilMousey

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Re: New hypochondriac joins the club...
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2014, 12:43:25 PM »
Just a thought but can you install net nanny and set it to block Google?  Have someone else set the password so you have to ask for it.  Maybe that will help?  If you have a symptom you need advice about you can always come here and.likely get much better info.  I do not have HA but this has worked for one friend of mine who does.  She is working on her PhD and her hubby has the password...he unlocks it if she needs to do research and supervises that that is all she is doing.  It has helped her a lot...maybe it will help you?

That's a good idea and I think it can work for some, however I would feel very restrained (not medical search wise) but just for casually surfing the net. Instead of blocking Google itself, I need to block my mind from going there when I feel the need to :P Thank you for your input though, it's appreciated!
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Offline LASD

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Re: New hypochondriac joins the club...
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2014, 04:31:35 AM »
Wow seems like I wrote this (well, at least the part about MS)

I woke up one day with my foot and hand both tingling with pins and needles. This was about 10 months ago. 6 neurologists and a Brain MRI, I'm still not convinced. HA sucks
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Offline LilMousey

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Re: New hypochondriac joins the club...
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2014, 08:19:08 PM »
Wow seems like I wrote this (well, at least the part about MS)

I woke up one day with my foot and hand both tingling with pins and needles. This was about 10 months ago. 6 neurologists and a Brain MRI, I'm still not convinced. HA sucks

Wow. I feel your pain :( If it's anything to reassure you, I saw a doctor back in the day who told me that MS sufferers present major sight problems, among many other important symptoms. She was clear it's not just mild pains or pins and needles here and there. Hope this makes you feel somewhat better.
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