Survived health anxiety and want to help, or are you looking for advice and want to ask a question?
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By Rocky9
Recently a family member of mine went thought a serious medical issue that resulted in a near death experience and from that day on, I haven’t been myself. I am constantly obsessing over my health, I convince myself of the worst things, I’ve been to numerous doctors, even the emergency room and so far they haven’t found anything serious. I know that my anxiety is causing the heart palpitations, random aches, etc but a small part of me doesn’t let me ignore these symptoms and makes me believe it’s something more serious. I’ve tried breathing techniques and I had a good two weeks where I was felling much better but now I’m back to feeling terrible. I’ve had two panic attacks this week already and I just really want to fight this. I know I can overcome this but I would appreciate some tips on how to do so. My family thinks I just need to stop obsessing and get over it but it’s really not that easy and they don’t understand how hard I’m trying. I just want to be my old self :cry:
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By Phil Martins
Hey bud, welcome to the forum!

I know what you mean by the family just telling you to to get over it, my mother was exactly the same. If we could just get over it then this wouldn't be a problem, anxiety wouldn't exist and neither would this forum. In my experience at least, unless you have suffered health anxiety you can't appreciate what it's like. In a perfect world we'd all love to to be able to turn to our family for comfort but unfortunately for most of us it isn't possible. It's part of the whole mental awareness thing and even though things have improved over the years we've still got a long way to go.

On the upside though at least you've recognized you have anxiety and are actively trying to fight it. I've been health anxiety free for around 13 or 14 years (99% free, I still and always will have the odd moment) and there are a few things I did.

You're aware that anxiety causes the symptoms you're experiencing which is great! How bad has your anxiety been? Even when you're not feeling anxious you can still have the symptoms for a long time after, and all it takes is some random ache after a week or two of feeling good to drag you back in and then you're stuck in a circle.

I had a similar situation to you in that one of my relatives was diagnosed with motor neuron disease. I instantly crashed and before I knew it I had all the symptoms. I found out that only 2 out of every 100,000 people have the disease and that helped me rationalize my thoughts. You've been given the all clear several times so keep telling yourself that you are fine, and if you are worried about a particular illness remind yourself that the chances of having it are very small.

Also (and I'm like a broken record when it comes to saying this) if you haven't already then go back to the doctor. Instead of asking them to find a problem, tell them you have an anxiety problem. Tell them everything you've written here and ask for treatment. There are loads of things that can be done these days and for me it was definitely the start of my recovery. It may involve medication or it may involve therapy but I would definitely suggest getting some personal treatment with a professional one way or another.

In the meantime it may be worth learning about anxiety itself, again it was something I did and I'm convinced one of the best ways to treat anxiety is to understand it. It helped me control my panic attacks as I understood what was causing them. An example website would be https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322510.php. Maybe learn how anxiety causes panic which causes more anxiety which causes more panic and so on. But don't look up specific symptoms online as this will only fuel the fear.

I hope this helps if only a little, there's only so much someone can do over a forum but I'll try to help if you have any more questions or want to ask something more specific. And remember you aren't alone, there are thousands of people going through the same thing and thousands more that have gotten through it. Good luck!

Phil
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By Phil Martins
No worries, keep us posted and good luck!
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