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!!!
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!