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Does this board ever GIVE you anxiety? / colon cancer fears

matisworried

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I've been dealing with a nagging cough for years which I've always attributed to having LPR (like acid reflux but worse) but over the past year I've had some shortness of breath which was really unnerving and got me second guessing things. of course, my brain went straight to things like lung cancer and copd. i saw my doc yesterday and we went over my medical history. she's confident it's nothing serious, possibly allergies. the relief was (very) short-lived. when i got home, i started getting a crampy pain in my upper left abdomen, which is something I've experienced here and there for awhile. it can happen when I'm doing nothing but it definitely is made worse by movement : twisting, arching my back, etc. i came here and started looking around the boards and came across a post from someone that was afraid they had colon cancer due to narrow stool. another poster reassured them that narrow stools weren't considered a symptom anymore and quotes an article from a gastro doctor stating this. the article then goes on to list ACTUAL symptoms of CC, one of which was, of course, upper left abdominal cramping. the old, familiar "overwhelming feeling of doom" filled my brain once again. now I'm back to being nearly non-functional. while I've never had a colonoscopy (i just turned 43 with no family history so i'm still considered too young) i try to remind myself that 94% of CC take 10-15 years to develop and a CT scan of my abdomen in August '18 saw nothing in my GI except for "rare diverticula." (the scan was done to look at my kidneys, not my colon.)

anyway... yeah... i'm freaking out quite a bit but it also made me think:

has this place ever made anyone besides me MORE anxious?
 

Amw311

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I've been dealing with a nagging cough for years which I've always attributed to having LPR (like acid reflux but worse) but over the past year I've had some shortness of breath which was really unnerving and got me second guessing things. of course, my brain went straight to things like lung cancer and copd. i saw my doc yesterday and we went over my medical history. she's confident it's nothing serious, possibly allergies. the relief was (very) short-lived. when i got home, i started getting a crampy pain in my upper left abdomen, which is something I've experienced here and there for awhile. it can happen when I'm doing nothing but it definitely is made worse by movement : twisting, arching my back, etc. i came here and started looking around the boards and came across a post from someone that was afraid they had colon cancer due to narrow stool. another poster reassured them that narrow stools weren't considered a symptom anymore and quotes an article from a gastro doctor stating this. the article then goes on to list ACTUAL symptoms of CC, one of which was, of course, upper left abdominal cramping. the old, familiar "overwhelming feeling of doom" filled my brain once again. now I'm back to being nearly non-functional. while I've never had a colonoscopy (i just turned 43 with no family history so i'm still considered too young) i try to remind myself that 94% of CC take 10-15 years to develop and a CT scan of my abdomen in August '18 saw nothing in my GI except for "rare diverticula." (the scan was done to look at my kidneys, not my colon.)

anyway... yeah... i'm freaking out quite a bit but it also made me think:

has this place ever made anyone besides me MORE anxious?
So interesting that you just posted this. I just had that thought today actually. As much as I love this forum and the solidarity I’ve found within it, I do find it sometimes contributing to my vicious, obsessive spiral of health anxiety. Sometimes I read people’s posts when I’m personally not even incredibly anxious, but I sometimes think, “Wow, I have that too but have never worried about it...they are, so maybe I should be too.”
Also, I have recently come to realize that much of my health anxiety resembles a form of OCD. And constantly checking this forum/refreshing the page to see people’s responses or check up on somebody else’s current worry becomes another deep dark hole for me.
Just some thoughts I’ve had lately.
 

matisworried

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So interesting that you just posted this. I just had that thought today actually. As much as I love this forum and the solidarity I’ve found within it, I do find it sometimes contributing to my vicious, obsessive spiral of health anxiety. Sometimes I read people’s posts when I’m personally not even incredibly anxious, but I sometimes think, “Wow, I have that too but have never worried about it...they are, so maybe I should be too.”
Also, I have recently come to realize that much of my health anxiety resembles a form of OCD. And constantly checking this forum/refreshing the page to see people’s responses or check up on somebody else’s current worry becomes another deep dark hole for me.
Just some thoughts I’ve had lately.
i really do believe (as does my therapist) that HA is a form of OCD or at least has roots in it.

as of late, i've also broken my "golden rule" which is "DON'T GOOGLE!" I've also had to admit that from time to time, I've used this site as a workaround for that. what i mean is that i won't actual google anything (read medical articles or webMD-type things) but I'll come here and search for posts about things that are worrying me. it's how a stumbled across the post that caused all of this. it's so frustrating.
 

Amw311

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i really do believe (as does my therapist) that HA is a form of OCD or at least has roots in it.

as of late, i've also broken my "golden rule" which is "DON'T GOOGLE!" I've also had to admit that from time to time, I've used this site as a workaround for that. what i mean is that i won't actual google anything (read medical articles or webMD-type things) but I'll come here and search for posts about things that are worrying me. it's how a stumbled across the post that caused all of this. it's so frustrating.
I’ve definitely used this site as a way to work around not googling but essentially searching for the same things, too. I’m sure we all have. I will say though, the fact that your cramping is made worse by moving a certain way, definitely tells me that it sounds muscular. Also gas pain can be felt in a ton of strange places. As you know, it could be a number of normal things that aren’t sinister. Maybe instead of just “no Google” you can tell yourself to stay off of any health related website/forum/whatever for a week.
i really do believe (as does my therapist) that HA is a form of OCD or at least has roots in it.

as of late, i've also broken my "golden rule" which is "DON'T GOOGLE!" I've also had to admit that from time to time, I've used this site as a workaround for that. what i mean is that i won't actual google anything (read medical articles or webMD-type things) but I'll come here and search for posts about things that are worrying me. it's how a stumbled across the post that caused all of this. it's so frustrating.
Also, speaking of obsessing and spiraling, after I typed my response to you, I began feeling my lower left abdomen area to see if I’m having any cramping in that spot. It’s a frustrating snd very draining cycle to be in.
 
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matisworried

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I’ve definitely used this site as a way to work around not googling but essentially searching for the same things, too. I’m sure we all have. I will say though, the fact that your cramping is made worse by moving a certain way, definitely tells me that it sounds muscular. Also gas pain can be felt in a ton of strange places. As you know, it could be a number of normal things that aren’t sinister. Maybe instead of just “no Google” you can tell yourself to stay off of any health related website/forum/whatever for a week.
you're totally right. when i try to explain my train of thought to my wife or my poor sister-in-law (who's one of my best friends and a nurse so she gets all of my frantic questions) i tell them it's like i have two brains... there's the rational one that knows my worries are ridiculous and that the chances of my worries FINALLY being correct are miniscule... and then there's the other side of my brain that's smaller but waaay louder. it's the brain that screams "THIS TIME YOU'RE RIGHT! YOU'RE WASTING VALUABLE TIME BLOWING THIS OFF! EMAIL YOUR DOCTOR NOW!" (that's where I'm at right now.)

if i was given one wish... it wouldn't be to be thin, rich or to live forever. it would be to get rid of my health anxiety.
 

Amw311

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Too funny. My sister-in-law is also a nurse and one of my best friends! In the midst of the pandemic I called her in hysterics because my pulse oximeter read “97” instead of my usual “99” and she was able to calm me down and speak logic to me. I always go to her but my poor husband gets the worst of it though. And it drives him crazy. He’s awesome and is an extremely supportive spouse but it really weighs on him and brings him down when I’m spiraling. If I’m not in a deep hole of worrying about my own ailment, I start to question any and everything about him. (Such as a very odd looking bug bite he currently has )
 

matisworried

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Too funny. My sister-in-law is also a nurse and one of my best friends! In the midst of the pandemic I called her in hysterics because my pulse oximeter read “97” instead of my usual “99” and she was able to calm me down and speak logic to me. I always go to her but my poor husband gets the worst of it though. And it drives him crazy. He’s awesome and is an extremely supportive spouse but it really weighs on him and brings him down when I’m spiraling. If I’m not in a deep hole of worrying about my own ailment, I start to question any and everything about him. (Such as a very odd looking bug bite he currently has )

oh... same here! my wife is a saint but i know it wears on her to hear this stuff all the time or to have me not in the moment because I'm off on "health anxiety land."
 

bigjetplane6

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Most definitely. There are many triggers on this forum however, I feel like it does more good (The relief and “calmness” I get vs the damamge).
 

mollyfin

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It has its moments, yeah. But pretty much everything makes me anxious in one way or another.
 

Lanchparty7

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It has its moments, yeah. But pretty much everything makes me anxious in one way or another.
Yep...this is me! Anything and everything...no matter how big or how small seems to be setting me off lately.
 

JustMe

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I've been dealing with a nagging cough for years which I've always attributed to having LPR (like acid reflux but worse) but over the past year I've had some shortness of breath which was really unnerving and got me second guessing things. of course, my brain went straight to things like lung cancer and copd. i saw my doc yesterday and we went over my medical history. she's confident it's nothing serious, possibly allergies. the relief was (very) short-lived. when i got home, i started getting a crampy pain in my upper left abdomen, which is something I've experienced here and there for awhile. it can happen when I'm doing nothing but it definitely is made worse by movement : twisting, arching my back, etc. i came here and started looking around the boards and came across a post from someone that was afraid they had colon cancer due to narrow stool. another poster reassured them that narrow stools weren't considered a symptom anymore and quotes an article from a gastro doctor stating this. the article then goes on to list ACTUAL symptoms of CC, one of which was, of course, upper left abdominal cramping. the old, familiar "overwhelming feeling of doom" filled my brain once again. now I'm back to being nearly non-functional. while I've never had a colonoscopy (i just turned 43 with no family history so i'm still considered too young) i try to remind myself that 94% of CC take 10-15 years to develop and a CT scan of my abdomen in August '18 saw nothing in my GI except for "rare diverticula." (the scan was done to look at my kidneys, not my colon.)

anyway... yeah... i'm freaking out quite a bit but it also made me think:

has this place ever made anyone besides me MORE anxious?
Ya I usually have to take a break from it
 

bin_tenn

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This is very common. If you watch closely enough, you'll find that there is often a common theme in new posts. Many folks worry about the same thing (or same type of thing) at the same time.
 

Ms.Honey

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This board has definitely triggered me at times.
I use it instead of googling but sometimes find a written line that messes with my head. I do try to be careful in my replies, not to say anything that might trigger someone else.
 

bigjetplane6

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I just thought about how strong we all are that deal with HA.
We wake up with a constant battle everyday in our minds and look at us, we’re still here.
 

matisworried

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This board has definitely triggered me at times.
I use it instead of googling but sometimes find a written line that messes with my head. I do try to be careful in my replies, not to say anything that might trigger someone else.
agreed. i also try to be very mindful of what i say because i don't want to trigger anyone.

if being honest, i feel like using this site in place of google is sort of like trying to bend the rules. like, we're engaging in the same type of behavior but justifying it because it's "not google" or "not a medical site." i totally do it and am trying to dial back.
 

bin_tenn

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As far as saying triggering things here, I feel like that can be a problem, too. It really depends on the situation. In my many years on anxiety forums, I've seen users who coddle the anxiety sufferers, going so far as to provide misinformation to falsely (dangerously?) reassure the person who wrote the post out of fear. What I mean is we're probably wrong to say that X or Y is simply not possible, and that an anxiety sufferer shouldn't even think about those things. Instead, it makes sense to be careful with words to not blatantly trigger, while maintaining that a person should always consult a medical professional for sound advice, as opposed to relying on a forum.

It's quite a gray area. I'm careful with my words, but I'll never coddle anyone.
 
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