Thanks so much for this post. I think it speaks to a problem that many of us encounter: misunderstanding and down-playing.
So many times doctors have actually seemed annoyed with me, especially when it came to my hypochondria. Once a doctor said very rudely: "What you have is not a physical ailment. It's a mental disorder." What she said was not incorrect, but it was said in such a harsh tone and without any offer for real, accessible help.
I've been through a number of medications, all of which have increased complications with panic or come with other unwanted side effects such as increased depression or a sudden onset of suicidal thoughts. After a while of trying to find the right combination I gave up again and have continued to suffer without any form of professional support or medication for a few years now. I hope that reading posts like this one and seeking the support of others suffering with similar issues will give me the courage I need to get back out there and seek a kind and understanding individual who will take me seriously and work with me to make my life better. Because the suffering that comes with anxiety, obsessive thinking, and hypochondria is so hard for those without it to comprehend the severity, I feel that I'm brushed off, pitied, or thought to be a fool. I hope one day it is realized and not stigmatized to the point that help will be less difficult for those suffering to find help and find support in one another.