So, I've been struggling with at least some form of hypochondria/health anxiety pretty much my entire life. Not sure what set it off because I've honestly never really had to deal with any family deaths or even illnesses. However, it really started affecting my life about 4 months ago. I know that I was under a lot of stress because my family moved and I started my hardest semester at school as well as a new internship. But basically, I convinced myself I had every medical issue from blood clots to heart problems to kidney failure and now my newest thing, a brain aneurysm.
I was finally starting to feel okay. I had seen a number of specialists that assured me my heart and lungs were perfectly fine. I was finally convinced that I was healthy! My brain wasn't on the radar this entire time. Until the last week or so.
I had been seeing a commercial on TV for a hospital about a woman who had a brain aneurysm rupture and why she chose that hospital etc., etc. And honestly, I was more curious than anything to know exactly what a brain aneurysm WAS (because I had always heard of them but didn't know what they were exactly). I know Googling is horrible for HA but since I hadn't been worried about my brain/head at all, I figured it would do no harm.
Unfortunately, I ended up "giving" myself many of the symptoms associated with brain aneurysms. After about a day or so though, I realized how silly and ridiculous I was being, given that it's pretty improbable to begin with, it's usually asymptomatic, and I thought I had no family history. So I calmed down. I was fine and was pretty proud of myself for getting over it so quickly.
THEN, out of the clear blue, JUST MY LUCK, I hear my mom talking downstairs earlier today about how her and my grandmother both have aneurysms (unruptured I'm assuming since neither of them have had to seek emergency medical treatment). I had no idea, and she was talking about it so nonchalantly as if it was some minor inconvenience.
First of all, this obviously scared me really bad for my mother and my grandmother's health. Then I remembered that in all my "research" I read that aneurysms have a genetic link and that I have a much higher chance of having one considering both my mother and her mother have them. Both my grandmother and mother have high blood pressure and my mother has been an extremely heavy smoker for about 40 years. I, on the other hand, always have great blood pressure and I don't smoke and barely ever drink, though I am constantly around secondhand smoke. I'm not sure if any of these factors play into it.
Now I'm all but convinced that I 100% have a brain aneurysm and it's severely interrupting my life. I'm scared of doing ANYTHING and when I mean anything, I mean walking up a flight of stairs, coughing, etc., for fear of rupturing it (even though I don't even know if I have one).
I really don't want to get screened because from my understanding, even if I have one, there isn't much they can or will do for it if it's below a certain size. Neither my mom nor my grandmother has had any treatment as far as I know. So if I find out I have a small one for sure that will just increase my anxiety even more. I just feel like a ticking time bomb and I don't know how to stop it.
I guess I'm asking a couple things:
1. How likely is it for me to have an aneurysm based on my family history, and how likely is it for my hypothetical aneurysm to rupture?
2. What can I do to calm down? This is unlike anything I've experienced in the past because in the past, if I could alleviate my symptoms by calming down, I felt better. Now even when I have no symptoms I'm convinced I have one since aneurysms are usually asymptomatic. Any advice you can give me here would be great.
Sorry for writing so much, I'm just really worried and I wanted to give as accurate a description of my situation as possible. Thanks so much for reading!