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How do I help my Dad

Thread starter #1
Not too sure if this is actually hypochondria but here is the story of my Dad. A few years ago he was hospitalized for, according to the doctors, what was probably a viral infection that infected his heart. He completely recovered and is in good shape but ever since then he has gotten sick every year on the anniversary (within a couple of days) of that first illness, and goes to the hospital for major nausea and vomiting. The first year it seemed like a huge coincidence, but after a couple of years it seems really strange, like what kind of sickness flares up like clockwork? The doctors can never figure out what is wrong. I only really started to suspect that he may be making himself sick the other day. He had mentioned his "anniversary" and had said something along the lines of "and what do you know, I have a huge headache". Surprise, a couple of days later he is in the hospital. I don't think that he is faking his sickness, but i am starting to think that he gets himself all worked up around this time of year because of the memory of that first time. I am afraid that his stress and anxiety about being sick is actually what is causing him to be sick. I don't want to say this directly to him, i don't think he will take it well, and i might be wrong. What do you all think?
 

triceps

Active Member
#2
It seems like it could be a PTSD related anxiety. The symptoms can be very real, he is actually physically sick at that time. Such a tough call on how to approach it with him. I think you're doing him a disservice if you don't speak with him about it. He won't take any steps to improve on it if he's not aware of it.
 
Thread starter #3
It seems like it could be a PTSD related anxiety. The symptoms can be very real, he is actually physically sick at that time. Such a tough call on how to approach it with him. I think you're doing him a disservice if you don't speak with him about it. He won't take any steps to improve on it if he's not aware of it.
Thank you for your comment. I think you are right and I would love to be able to talk to him about my concerns. I am just not sure how to approach it. I don't want him to think I am accusing him of not being sick. I know he is. But he is convinced it is the original sickness coming back every year. How do I tell him that I feel this may not be the case.
 

triceps

Active Member
#4
I would just say, "Dad, it would be great if you would give some thought about this possibility." (describe the scenario of his illness being anxiety produced) Then when he says "Is that what you think?" and you reply, "No, I know you get really sick. It was just a thought I felt was worth looking into."
 
#6
If possible you might wait until he is over his latest bout before you bring it up. During the time he really believes he is sick he may be less open to the possibility of anxiety.
 
Thread starter #7
If possible you might wait until he is over his latest bout before you bring it up. During the time he really believes he is sick he may be less open to the possibility of anxiety.
I think you are right, I just want him to be comfortable and get well right now. I don't want to stress him out any more while he is feeling so sick.
 
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