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Author Topic: Depression/Bipolar Disorder vs. Hypochondria and Anxiety  (Read 195 times)

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Offline makeitcount

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Depression/Bipolar Disorder vs. Hypochondria and Anxiety
« on: May 12, 2014, 05:45:00 PM »
Okay, you guys! I have always wondered about this but have never felt comfortable enough to bring it up to anyone. I know for a fact I have severe hypochondria (and have for probably...6 years now, or so. I'm almost 22). The hypochondria is the main thing that makes my anxiety spike, and I'm constantly worried about some illness or another, either in myself or in a member of my family. But, I have ALWAYS worried about other things, such as car accidents. Even as a child, I remember worrying about my parents being in an accident whenever they would drop me off at my grandparents to stay the night! It's almost like if I can't be there or be in control, I worry obsessively. I've also always been the kind of person that has to end every phone call with "love you" and/or "be careful"!

For the past several years, though, the hypochondria and anxiety have been at an all-time high. I have also started noticing other things, like a lack of interest in tasks I would normally enjoy, and more anxiety about social situations. I had one particularly bad episode recently, after my husband couldn't drive the whole way on a long trip and I was forced to drive four hours in the dark and pouring rain. That occurred about a week after I lost a school acquaintance in a really sudden, tragic, car accident. I almost couldn't function when we finally made it home, after having SEVERE panic/anxiety for the whole ride. I have never felt so upset/doomed/freaked out/worried in my life. I was shaking, nauseous, achy, and dizzy. My heart was also racing and I couldn't reign in my thoughts. Since then, I randomly start having milder version of those same symptoms anytime I or my family members get behind the wheel! It's terrible. Caffeine and sugar make it ten times worse.

Now, after a bad HA flare up involving a melanoma scare, and my grandfather having his second severe stroke, I'm starting to wonder if my anxiety and HA symptoms have now spiraled into some form of depression or even mild bipolar disorder. Of course, being worried about having bipolar puts me straight back into the HA category! Haha. I don't feel like I have as many episodes of the mania, but I definitely fluctuate between feeling fairly happy/normal/optimistic to terrified/doomed/panicked several times throughout the day. I have been concerned about "getting" bipolar ever since my aunt was diagnosed, and ever since I read Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, weirdly enough (Bridget's mom, y'know). So that makes me feel more and more like my HA is playing tricks. I also have many many many symptoms of systemic candida overgrowth (headaches, gastrointestinal issues especially), and I am also on birth control pills, both of which I think contribute to the anxiety problem. Could all of this just be simple anxiety, or do you think I'm dealing with a more serious problem?

Opinions/stories/etc. would be so so helpful. I've also recently started using Young Living Essential Oils to try and combat the anxiety and worry. Any suggestions/stories to do with that would also be great.

If you have read all of this, you are seriously amazing and I appreciate you!
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Offline zaft

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Re: Depression/Bipolar Disorder vs. Hypochondria and Anxiety
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2014, 10:56:11 PM »
Depression is common with health anxiety -- I'm dealing with both myself. Anxietyguru.net has some good (free) podcasts on just that subject. Your history of worrying over things you can't control is the basis of anxiety. Every book I've read has the same answer: accepting uncertainty. (Easier said than done lol.) I was the same way as a child and I find that ties in with an OCD book I'm reading, "Freedom from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder" by Grayson. It's got a chapter on health anxiety, but the same theme -- accepting uncertainty.
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Offline makeitcount

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Re: Depression/Bipolar Disorder vs. Hypochondria and Anxiety
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2014, 06:53:15 PM »
Thanks, Zaft! I definitely have a huge fear of the unknown and a huge problem accepting uncertainty...I am hoping that if I can learn to better control these thought patterns, maybe the symptoms will chill out and the "depression"/sad mood will leave me alone!
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