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Author Topic: HA returned after many years without, getting worse than ever  (Read 166 times)

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Offline snailshell

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 So here's the deal: I had a lot of issues with health anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder as a child. It started when I was maybe 6 or 7, I was obsessed with death and dying, was convinced I had some horrible disease all the time, was a major germaphobe and was a ritualistic handwasher (which drove my mother insane and got me sent to several different therapists) but around the time I hit puberty it all sort of faded away. I went for years with little to no problems at all. About three years ago I developed depression and an eating disorder (mostly from being in a very unhealthy relationship at the time). I am currently in recovery from the eating disorder, the depression is maintained and not a huge problem anymore, but all of a sudden my health anxiety has come back with a vengeance. It's even worse, because for the first time in a long time everything else is going RIGHT and my brain seems to be trying to sabotage me.
 
My current situation is this... A few months ago, I noticed a weird "pulling" sensation in my lower left abdomen. It didn't hurt, and I don't know if "pulling" is even the right way to describe it. It happened maybe two or three times over a period of three months, and I soon became a little too focused on that feeling. I have no health insurance, can't afford the doctor, but my grandma is a nurse so I asked her about it. She said that there were no major organs there, just "guts" or "maybe your ovary" (she doesn't take me super seriously anyway and told me not to worry) but since that conversation I have been a little terrified about it. The more I think about it, the worse it gets. The "pulling" sensation soon became a "twitching" sensation and now feels like flat out pain sometimes. It also has started to move. It started in my lower abdomen, the discomfort seems to be near my pelvic bone, but the twitching goes from my pelvic bone to my stomach now up to under my ribcage. It is not consistent. It comes and goes. I am trying very hard to tell myself that this is stress related and my mind is just messing with me, but I really am scared. Anyone know what this could be? Is it just my mind manifesting or redirecting pain because I can't stop thinking about it? My greatest concern is that it has something to do with my left ovary because my mom had a lot of problems with her lady parts and had a hysterectomy by the time she was 30 , but I've been on birth control for about five years, my periods are regular, I'm not experiencing ANY other symptoms...

Any advice or suggestions would help immensely. I can hardly focus on my job or my life because I'm so worried about what is going on inside my body right now.
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Offline Disaster_Dino

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Re: HA returned after many years without, getting worse than ever
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2014, 11:30:47 AM »
could be just anxiety. Focus on a feeling enough and your brain can elongate and expand it. I had a dull pain in my lower right abdomen for MONTHS. I was terrified. Eventually, I noticed that I didn't feel it when I wasn't dwelling on it. I put together the pieces and tied it to my anxiety, and it vanished.

....and then I moved on to other symptoms. :P (those were just anxiety too!)

so, I know it's a hard thing to accept, but weird stuff like that with no other symptoms sounds like anxiety to me.
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"everything will be alright in the end. If everything's not alright, it's not quite the end!"

Offline redapples

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Re: HA returned after many years without, getting worse than ever
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2014, 11:35:38 AM »
You've mentioned that you  have experienced HA before... so you've already been there and seem to be there again.

Remove all focus from what you are obsessing on...because logically, you know that the fear is irrational. There is nothing wrong.

The more you focus on it, the more "symptoms" will appear! It's a terrible anxiety "TRICK". I like to call it the anxiety LIE.

You're fine! You're good! You're ok!!! :action-smiley-065:

Everything's going well for you.....don't listen to the HA that's trying to reel you back in. Put your focus on some of the positive things you're experiencing :yes:
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Offline Allochka

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Re: HA returned after many years without, getting worse than ever
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2014, 11:42:29 AM »
Interesting, because I am also having lower left abdomen pulling sensation for months :-)  But I don' t think much of it, somehow being sure it is just a muscle pain or trapped gas pain. Guess yours is too. And as previous posters said - the more you concentrate - the worse it gets.

You've mentioned that HA kicked back now, when everything is all right for the first time. I've read ideas here on ANxiety Zone that some people just can't accept things being OK. They wait for a blow subconsciously all the time, think that they do not deserve things to be all right. Could it be that your mind is doing the same thing?
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Offline snailshell

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Re: HA returned after many years without, getting worse than ever
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2014, 11:44:35 AM »
Thank you for the kind words... You know, the worst part of all of this is that I think I triggered MYSELF... House M.D. became available on Netflix and, thinking I could handle the show after so many years HA free (and my love for Hugh Laurie) I watched the entire series over a month or so and then my brain went absolutely insane. I know that may sound really stupid, but I'm pretty sure that's what caused all this mess to go bubbling over.

Or it very well could just be was Allochka said... things are going "too well" and I am freaking out because I'm just used to things being okay. I'm engaged, I'm buying a house, I have a decent and steady job... It's almost like I don't know HOW to be happy or accept that things can be GOOD.

I'm almost 25 years old, never had an irregular pap, have no other symptoms besides "weirdness" that sometimes becomes "pain" when I think about it too much... I don't know. Last year my boyfriend felt a lump on one of my breasts and I made my GRANDMOTHER (the nurse, stay with me here) give me a breast exam because I was thiiiiis close to falling apart. Luckily my annual clinic appointment (which I get for free because I'm poor) was right around the corner and a proper doctor told me I was fine, but I always feel like I'm about to fall apart at any second when something weird like this pops up. :(
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Offline Allochka

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Re: HA returned after many years without, getting worse than ever
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2014, 11:54:59 AM »
You are absolutely fine, so please enjoy all these good things happening in your life!

Yes, House M.D. is not very healthy for us hypochondriacs :-) I've visited Anxiety Zone today first time after a while, and guess I'll avoid reading some posts not to trigger myself :-)
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Offline Tunnelvisionary

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Re: HA returned after many years without, getting worse than ever
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2014, 12:00:56 PM »
I posted some replies in this thread that I think you might find helpful: http://www.anxietyzone.com/index.php/topic,90680.0.html

I'm in recovery from an eating disorder too, and that process of healing involves a lot of pain, tingling, burning, weird sensations. Since EDs are a type of anxiety disorder, getting better from them usually will involve facing those anxieties about food and you'll be more anxious which probably helps reactivate the HA inside.

My suggestion would be to work on anxiety first, as that is the most likely cause. If the sensation seems to persist and get worse, it may still be some underlying anxiety, but at that point it wouldn't hurt to get it checked out. If you get it checked out and the doctor says its probably nothing, trust that info. Don't try to get a second or third opinion. If the doc finds nothing, then just keep working on anxiety and I'm sure you'll get through this :)
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Anxiety disorders in a nutshell.

Anxiety/Uncertainty ---> Checking/Reassurance/Googling behaviors ---> Brief relief but fuels obsessiveness about disease. ---> Repeat

Stop anxiety by stopping the checking/reassurance/googling! Tough at first, but stick with it.

Offline snailshell

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Re: HA returned after many years without, getting worse than ever
« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2014, 12:14:22 PM »
I checked out that thread you linked to, Tunnelvisionary, and found a lot of your advice EXTREMELY helpful. Thank you! With my eating disorder, I lost about 80 pounds in nine months which is RIDICULOUS and I was taking caffeine pills and drinking energy drinks and coffee and working out all the time... At that time, I was ACTUALLY dying and I had no idea. Whenever something is really wrong with me, I seem to be clueless about it, but when something little happens, I freak out way worse than I need to for some reason. I was just so obsessed with my routine and being "thin" and it wasn't until I started having actual fainting spells (two of which occurred while driving- which led me to begin having panic attacks every time I got into my car for the next few months) that my grandparents hauled me off to a doctor to get all kinds of bloodwork done... all of which came back normal, that I realized what I was actually putting my body through. Recovery has been a huge process, and it is ongoing. In the year or so that I have been in recovery, I have gained back about 30 pounds of the 80 I lost. I also have to limit my caffeine intake now, because anything more than a cup of coffee in the morning gives me the jitters and then I worry myself into panic attacks for fear of passing out again. Of course this is probably very confusing to my body as well. I'm trying to talk some sense into myself and tell myself that this "symptom" I am experiencing has a logical explanation (and that the logical explanation is NOT ovarian cancer), but it's really really hard.

Thank you for your help.
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Offline Tunnelvisionary

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Re: HA returned after many years without, getting worse than ever
« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2014, 12:34:38 PM »
Good to hear that you're doing better snailshell.

If I may suggest a website you might like for specifically ED recovery, it's called Your Eatopia. It's at www.youreatopia.com. Lots of really great blog posts on the subject, and a super helpful ED focused community as well. Of course, everyone has their own methods and ways of recovering, so if you feel satisfied with what you're doing, that's great! Just thought you might find that website really helpful, as generally it seems to be. Best of luck with everything!
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Anxiety disorders in a nutshell.

Anxiety/Uncertainty ---> Checking/Reassurance/Googling behaviors ---> Brief relief but fuels obsessiveness about disease. ---> Repeat

Stop anxiety by stopping the checking/reassurance/googling! Tough at first, but stick with it.

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