Constant fear of deadly diseases

Discussion in 'Health Anxiety (Hypochondria)' started by KateMG, Aug 14, 2017.

  1. KateMG

    KateMG New Member

    This is my first time posting on a forum so sorry in advance...
    I have been struggling with health anxiety for several years now. It all started when my dad had a pulmonary embolism. Luckily he was able to get to the ER in time and he has been clot free for years now. We took a family vacation about a year later and me and dad decided we wanted to drive instead of fly. We were driving through Tennessee when all of a sudden I felt this huge surge of adrenaline and this fear came over me that I had a blood clot. I made my dad pull over and I asked if he had any aspirin. I took one and walked around for about 20 minutes then finally got back in the car. Months later, I started having dull pain in my hip and pelvis and I was convinced this was Ovarian Cancer. I couldn't sleep, eat, focus on work, enjoy my hobbies or relax in any way. I barely went outside. I cried all the time, I was so terrified. I couldn't stop shaking. Everything was a symptom...my fatigue, my pain, my bowel issues and headaches. I spent hours on the internet looking up cancer and diagnosing myself. I made an appointment with my doctor but it was a few weeks out. I was laying in bed one night, maybe a week after i made the appointment, and i got this pain in my chest. I felt like I couldn't breathe and the pain was radiating up my neck and into my jaw, "I'm having a heart attack." I woke my husband up and made him take me to the ER. I got there and they took chest x-rays, did an EKG and blood work then hooked me up to a heart monitor for a few hours. Nothing was wrong with me. The ER doctor told me I was having a panic attack. Several appointments and ultrasounds(turned out to be ovarian cysts) later my Primary doctor prescribes me Paxil. The Paxil works for several months and then my anxiety symptoms start to come back a little so my doctor increases my dose. I took Paxil for about a year and half before I decided I wanted to stop because it made me tired and apathetic at times. I hadn't had any problems with anxiety so I was feeling confident I could come off the meds. I have been off Paxil for a year now. The past few months(mostly during my period) my anxiety comes back and I have a rough few days. The past few weeks however have been absolutely horrible. I am going between diagnosing myself with pancreatic cancer, esophageal cancer, adrenal cancer, colon cancer, liver disease, bladder cancer etc. I am so terrified I have cancer. I can't sleep or eat or stop thinking about it. I'm worried about the color of my stool, the lump I feel in my throat like I always need to swallow phlegm, the off and on abdominal pain, the heartburn, the shakiness, the fatigue. To me, it all leads back to cancer. I have an appointment in 3 weeks. I don't want to go back on the Paxil but I can't live this way. Has anyone had any success without medication? How do you deal with the constant fear? What healthy habits have helped you? Has anyone had experiences like mine? I know this is long and I'm sorry. I feel so scared and I'm just looking for people who have gone through this too. Thank you for taking the time to read this if you did. -Kate
     
  2. Concernedgal

    Concernedgal Well-Known Member

    That's OK darling. Dosent matter how much you write... you have something to say. .. say it. Now on to the issue. Hypochondria is extremely common with those that suffer anxiety. And most symptoms described can be explained by symptoms of panic and anxiety. It's a very hard life for people like us. Ifor I experience gas behind my breat bone then i'm off to the er also. Now let's address the cancer issue. If you've ever been to the doctor then you know that they perform cbc test ( complete blood count) (Google that) anyways ... a cbc can detect the presence of some cancer's by the white blood cell count. The white blood cell count will be higher than normal. There your doctor will take further steps to look for evidence of cancer. Listen to your body at the same time. Let me tell you My story now. For the past two years my body has been speaking to me like yours is to you right now. My anxiety experience was intensified and I just thought it was because my job was kinda stressful (at first) however , something told me to not except that so I have been on a health journey. I've had test after test done on me. Been to doctor to doctor. Then finally I suppose I went to the right doctor this time because this time they found the real issue. .. I was diagnosed with heart disease. That was responsible for my heart arrythmias . And the diagnosis is still kinda brand new so I still have to consult my cardiologist for treatment options. If you really want to rule out a heart condition. .. I suggest you get a cardiac ultrasound so the doctor can see your heart muscle. Anyways. Don't be so hard on yourself. You have an anxiety disorder and you can't help that. We want to control everything and that is part of the problem but, we cant. If you do have an issue then it is God's will. But, like me... that's probably little to no comfort to you either. Anyways.. good luck at your appointment and keep us posted. Oh, by the way.. welcome.
     
  3. KateMG

    KateMG New Member

    Thanks for the reply Concernedgal. I hope your treatment goes well. My doctor has checked my heart and, luckily, it was healthy. I will ask my doctor about it at my appointment though as heart disease does run in my family. I'm just going to discuss all my concerns with my doctor. She's really patient and great about reassuring me. I'm still considering going back on my medication even though I would rather not. I guess we'll see how it goes. Just dealing with the anxiety as it comes. Its nice to know I have a place I can come to talk about it with people who have dealt with the same issues.
     
  4. Concernedgal

    Concernedgal Well-Known Member

    Oh yeah. You will find alot of support here. And your welcome.
     
  5. janemariesayed

    janemariesayed Junior Member

    Hiya @KateMG nice to meet you and welcome to the forum! Sorry to say but it sounds like you are a real worrier for your health.

    Try to stop looking things up all the time. I think that is not doing you any good. If you suffer from anxieties or depression or any mental illness, you can have physical symptoms as well. Don't worry about checking anything out with your doctor. It seems as though he is quite patient. The net is good for checking some things out, but with our health, we can imagine all sorts of things that may not be wrong with us. So leave it to the doctor. He went to uni to learn about it all. It's his subject so you don't need to worry yourself. If you have a pain, ask your doctor if that pain could be due to your anxieties. If anything was serious, he would have whisked you off for further tests and treatment.

    Eat your fruit and veg and find something else to research on the internet. ;)
     
    JCP likes this.
  6. Rinka

    Rinka Moderator Staff Member

    @KateMG I'm also always thinking about cancer. At the moment I am working on keeping it together with my fear of ovarian or uterus cancer. I know that it's most possibly ovarian cysts, the blood test lead to the conclusion, but need to wait for an ultrasound.
    It's nerve racking. I am imagining my own funeral or getting a wig.
    It might be to do with not having control of the situation? I think I might be frightened to loss control over it and having cancer is the ultimate control loss over your own body.
     
  7. janemariesayed

    janemariesayed Junior Member

    It doesn't help that Cancer is advertised everywhere. On billboards, TV, radio, buses and the underground. We can't get away from it. I'm a big believer in vibrational energy and sometimes I wonder if all this advertising isn't bringing it about.

    A friend of mine wanted a boyfriend. She hadn't had a boyfriend for years and she was an adult now. So she said affirmations every day 'I deserve love.' Within a few weeks, she had met a man and they were really happy together. Me, I say affirmations that I deserve money, then a windfall happens and I get money! When I listen to the subliminal videos they work. The anti-procrastination video always gets me up and about doing housework. So words work.

    It has also been reported on the news that there are many more cases of cancer in the UK in the last few years. I'm not surprised really as they are advertising it here there and everywhere.

    Here is an interesting water experiment with words
     
  8. NewGirl

    NewGirl New Member

    Hi everyone, I just wanted to thank you for sharing your stories. I am new on my health anxiety journey and it is really comforting to see people who feel the same as I do (not that I would wish this one anyone!). I wish I had something more helpful to reassure you all.
     
  9. Rinka

    Rinka Moderator Staff Member

    @NewGirl please don't worry about it :)
    We are also here to help you and reassure you. Please don't feel obligated.
     
  10. John McCauley

    John McCauley New Member

    I have family history for cancer patients running in my clan.
     
  11. Trinigirl

    Trinigirl New Member

    Hello, I am new to this forum thing, for years I have had this anxiety about my health I constantly think I am having a heart attack, have had all the symptoms, tests, ER rooms blood tests, etc always comes up normal I can go for a while with out having any anxious moments and then Wham out of the blue comes an attack. I get very desperate, scared and find it hard to shake off the feeling. About 3 months ago I hurt my left shoulder very badly and have been in lots of pain in left shoulder and arm so here goes I am having heart problems so I start having spasms in my chest and shoulders, so off to the DR'S who assures me I have no heart problems spasm continues so off to the DR'S again no heart problems, the anxiety and spasm continues so I want to go to the medics again, Over the last few days I have tried to stop myself going to the dr's the anxiety level has been less today I am trying to muddle along but it is so hard.
     
  12. Concernedgal

    Concernedgal Well-Known Member

    This sounds a lot like what I went through before I was diagnosed with (supraventricular tachycardia ) . It's an unusually fast heart rate which can cause heart arrhythmia's that cause cause anxiety. keep getting it checked out and don't give up. That was just my case though. .. they are also symptoms of panic disorder. First you should try to take an anti anxiety medication and if that doesn't work. .. then that's when you should be more serious about a heart condition but, I stress... give these medications a fair shot. At least a year.
     
  13. Mrs_MustardSeed

    Mrs_MustardSeed New Member

    I 100% understand and identify with what you're going through. I believe my health anxiety came from seeing my grandmother pass away from Ovarian cancer, then years later, seeing my aunt die of Uteran cancer. Neither one of them were the type to visit doctors that often, mainly because they were afraid of them. My mother always drilled into my head that had they taken care of themselves, and went to the doctor regularly, their diseases probably wouldn't have taken them out. My grandmother, I'm not so sure about, but my aunt, definitely. Uteran cancer is actually 98% curable if its caught in time, and she was done having children. However, by the time she went to the doctor, she had absolutely no choice but to go - they estimated the cancer had been in her system for years. I didn't think that those two events would affect me the way that they do now. I'm only 24 and have been through muliple scares. I feel like if I'm not constantly thinking about and obsessing over my health, that I'm letting something get the better of me. I been through the ovarian cancer thing, and it made me absolutely miserable. I too cried and went through changes, and absolutely didn't know how to cope. Just for that, I get a sonogram every time I go to the Gynocologist - even if its not recommended, I request it just so I could live in peace, at least for a short while. I never considered going on medication, but I do see a therapist. I'm going to an ENT next week because I believe I have Pulsatile Tinnitus. Trust me, I've been down the rabbit hole of doctor Google, and it has done nothing for me be make me terrified to see the doctor. It' a vicious cycle of being scared. You're scared of not going to the doctor, but then you're scared to go and find out something scary. I've been where you are and I too do not want to live like this. What helps me is just constantly reassuring myself that everything will be ok, and asking that those close to me help to reassure me as well. I pray, sometimes I say positive affirmations, and I do my best to stay off Google! Google is my best friend, but absolute worse enemy when it comes to my health. We go searching for answers to reassure ourselves, but Google does little in that regard...yet we still turn to it! Its madness. I understand your fear, & its absolute hell on earth.
     
  14. janemariesayed

    janemariesayed Junior Member

    You help us by coming on here and talking with us. It gives us support and makes us feel valued. So you are a great help just by communicating.
     

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