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Author Topic: Does reading or hearing about someone's illness spark your anxiety?  (Read 325 times)

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Online famv5

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Lately, I have felt like I've been doing okay.  No real problems.  Until these past few days.

My father-in-law is not doing well.  They found a mass in his lungs and will be doing a biopsy soon.  Plus, they found a tumor in his eye which they suspect may be from whatever is going on in his lungs.  Hearing this news, I just can't seem to shake his problems out of my mind.  I feel so bad that all of this is happening to him but it also makes my anxiety high just knowing someone so close to me is going through this.  I guess it just makes it all seem so real.  I find that I'm thinking about it 24 hours a day.

Then, this morning I read a story in the newspaper about how a local man went into cardiac arrest due to an issue with is heart beating out of sync.  He came back from riding his bike with his daughter and collapsed.  His 12 year old daughter called 911 and performed CPR on him and saved his life but what really has me freaked now is that he has had this heart problem off and on for years and his doctors ran all sorts of tests and everything came back normal every time.  The doctors all said it was anxiety!  Ugh.  Now, it makes me even more nervous about "assuming" things I am feeling is simply anxiety. 

I have been having pain down my left arm all morning now.  Plus, I had a pretty significant feeling palpitation last night and then again today.  Both happened while I was just sitting and resting.  Just out of the blue it happened and then made me feel all warm afterwards.  Just a horrible sensation.

I was just wondering if anyone else has their anxiety set off by either reading about someone else's health issues or watching it on the news, etc.   I could never work in a doctor's office for this exact reason.

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"Our anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strengths" - Charles H. Spurgeon

Offline Sunlover

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First of all let me say that I am SO sorry to hear about your father in law. 
And YES!!! to your question.  I  Had a really good e-friend of mine die from a heart attack almost 2 weeks ago, 10 days later another pal died from liver cancer... two days ago my mom told me her friend's husband was diagnosed with bladder cancer, my cat was just diagnosed with a nasal tumor.  I am a MESS!!! (all these things in 12 days!!)  I am so depressed - I'm tired, I'm crying, I feel so out of sorts it's not even funny!  It's getting so bad I have made the decision to call a psychologist/counselor tomorrow.  I feel as though I am wading through a minefield and waiting for MY turn in all this!  And being at the age where I can get ANYTHING makes it so much worse.  There's no comfort of, "Oh, you're too young for that"  I'm NOT.

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Online famv5

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Oh my goodness....I am so sorry you are having to deal with all of those things at once.  I hope that the appointment with your counselor will help you.  I would certainly be a complete wreck.

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"Our anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strengths" - Charles H. Spurgeon

Online crazymommy

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Reading about other peoples illness or knowing someone who is I'll is probably my number 1 trigger.... I try to turn it around on myself and play a numbers game... Like if the odds are 1 in 100 of getting something , and I know a hundred people, then that person who is sick reduces my chances. Believe me, I know it doesn't work that way. I actually have a degree in math so I understand statistics pretty well lol. But some irrational math balances some irrational HA thinking somewhat!!
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Offline Sunlover

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Reading about other peoples illness or knowing someone who is I'll is probably my number 1 trigger.... I try to turn it around on myself and play a numbers game... Like if the odds are 1 in 100 of getting something , and I know a hundred people, then that person who is sick reduces my chances. Believe me, I know it doesn't work that way. I actually have a degree in math so I understand statistics pretty well lol. But some irrational math balances some irrational HA thinking somewhat!!

Hey!  I never thought of it that way!   That can actually help!
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Offline ryates80

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Yes! If I hear of someone's heart problem I start having pains. Just the other day I had a horrible headache and a friend of mine told me her friend was in the hospital with meningitis. Guess what? All of a sudden it hurt to turn my head and I was a wreck until I finally took Tylenol. It worked and I figured it probably wasn't meningitis then :) This HA is crazy and I myself am fed up! I just want to enjoy my life and my kids. Is that too much to ask for?
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Offline Tspills

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I completely get the idea of "other people" causing your health anxiety radar to alarm.  I deal with that constantly where I see someone in the news dying at 39 and think that could be me.  It's the worst, if you can figure out what the best course of dealing with it is, let me know!

Stay Strong
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Offline Disaster_Dino

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Yes, I totally feel this way!

Also, certain places and certain people can trigger my anxiety as well.

I was by my friends house (who developed appendicitis a year ago) and I felt like I needed to leave the area.
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Offline MarkB2

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Hearing about other illnesses, especially those that are rare and not curable are one of my main triggers. It's definitly common from my experience.
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Offline Sunlover

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Yes, I totally feel this way!

Also, certain places and certain people can trigger my anxiety as well.

I was by my friends house (who developed appendicitis a year ago) and I felt like I needed to leave the area.

A few years ago a teen I know got appendicitis and she told me the diner she ate in the night before she got it - I refuse to go to that diner now!   That's ridiculous as the DINER didn't bring on the attack!  But...  do we EVER make sense?
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Offline yahoo2000

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Re: Does reading or hearing about someone's illness spark your anxiety?
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2014, 05:40:39 PM »
Yes, especially if they are in the same age range as you.
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Offline makeitcount

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Re: Does reading or hearing about someone's illness spark your anxiety?
« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2014, 06:16:44 PM »
Absolutely! I am so empathetic that not only does it scare me for myself, I often feel so terrible for the other person and almost guilty when I do have my health, and so many others do not.

My most recent episode of severe HA was kicked into gear because a friend of mine (gorgeous, lively, outgoing, athletic, super healthy, think Blake Lively, looked just like her!) passed away VERY suddenly in a car accident. She was my age, and it really set off my fears not only of health problems but also of car accidents. ): And I feel awful for her family!
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Offline yesyesno

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Re: Does reading or hearing about someone's illness spark your anxiety?
« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2014, 09:55:56 PM »
Wow, I'm not the only one. 

Whenever I hear or read about any illness, I immediately project it onto myself. And not just on myself, on others close to me.  After my aunt died of cancer a few months ago, I always started getting worried for my mom when she complains of anything remotely similar.

If I'm watching TV, I have to mute the TV or turn the channel if something comes on about an illness.  I cannot watch medical shows of any type.
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Offline Ihadcancer

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Re: Does reading or hearing about someone's illness spark your anxiety?
« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2014, 08:57:11 AM »
Absolutely! My younger (6 or 7 years) sister in law was just dx'd with invasive breast cancer from a lump she'd been 'watching'.  Freaked me out! I did a number of pretty hard self breast exams (and I'm so small you can feel my ribs) and last night I had one breast with soreness/ discomfort when I moved certain ways in bed.  Now we all know this is 99.999999% surely from all the mashing pushing prodding I did but I was very comforted after doing a search on this forum of old posts and found loads of info saying breast pain with no symptoms is virtually never a sign of breast cancer or disease. Might even be the muscle underneath!

Still, I didn't sleep well, took 2 aspirin and it hasn't hurt in probably 6 hours.
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Offline TyeDyedButterfly

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Re: Does reading or hearing about someone's illness spark your anxiety?
« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2014, 09:17:19 AM »
YES!! I stay away from the news and ads or anything.. ***** is a huge trigger so I am thinking of removing it I have to protect my sanity somehow what is left of it but also how do we learn to deal or cope if we don't face the fears head on?? 
I stay away from doctors as much as possible but sometimes that is impossible.
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