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How Does Health Anxiety Affect.... Everything?

blueblues

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I joined this community - like many of you - to simply to get some health related reassurance, guidance, support, etc.

I've experienced severe health anxiety through most of my childhood and adult life. Sometimes, depending on what's going on in my life, it isn't as bad. Other times, it's shockingly debilitating.

Initially, I was only interested in sharing some of my own symptoms, getting some feedback, compare ailments, etc. But upon reading the numerous threads involving symptom scares, panic attack flare-ups, general outreach, etc., I thought it'd be interesting to read how all of these incredibly frightening, debilitating, and straight up *shitty* experiences ripple into your life beyond your symptoms. How does it (if it does at all) affect your personal life, spouse, your parent/s, your friends, your work, and so on?

I sometimes get so consumed with my own fear based 'rationality' (health anxiety), panic attacks and frustration, that I don't realize (in the moment) how it is affecting people around me.

I've had numerous medical exams; Brain/Spine MRI's, Endoscopy (x2), Colonoscopy, X-Rays, countless blood/lab work, and so on. More often than not, I get a clean bill of health and am subsequently labeled as a health-anxious person by my physicians. The people around me witness this 'clean bill of health', and expect the madness to finally stop or subside. But when they see the fear based thinking, worry, and frustration persist, they simply don't know who to help. As much as they want to, it's not always possible. This has made a lot of my relationships difficult. Romantic or otherwise. Not to mention, it's affected my overall social life, my work, my bank account, and my overall sanity.

Thankfully, we can always rebuild. Thankfully, I do have a great support system. But out of curiosity--
How do you cope? How have the people around you dealt with it? How do you deal with Health Anxiety?
 

Georgiec

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Good evening hope you are ok....it’s very hard this illness?i have 3 young children who I desperately try to hide it from and my partner is very good but just can’t understand how I feel,at times he gets angry at my constant need for reassurance when I don’t beleive what he says anyway.i hit an all time low today and all my family say I need to get my anxiety sorted when in my head I think it’s not my mental health it’s my physical health it’s so hard
 

matisworried

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your story is very similar to my own, to the point that i don't have much to add. I've wasted years of my life worrying about my health. it's caused strain on an otherwise happy and healthy marriage because of the added stress it places on my wife to play caregiver to me while I'm in the throes of anxiety, it's impacted my relationship with my children and friends because I'm often not present... either physically or mentally. I've wasted countless amounts of doctors' time and thousands of dollars on unnecessary appointments, tests and procedures all while ignoring actual medical issues i should have adressed (like having an ingrown toenail for several years because i was too busy being obsessed with the thought that i had MS to deal with something "so minor.")

the first thing i do to help manage my HA is to stay the hell off of Google. the temptation is always there, and there are slips, but over the years I've gotten pretty good at controlling the urge. I've also learned to look at it from a mathematical or statistical standpoint, ie: what are the odds I'm having indigestion vs. this being a heart attack. I've also realized that sitting on my butt only trends to make my anxiety worse so i stay busy. i get regular exercise, i force myself to be social. lastly, i admitted to myself that my anxiety was bigger than me and that i needed professional help to get better. that in and of itself has been huge.
 
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TDS74

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My life story right here! I have very bad health anxiety snd it effects my whole life. My relationship definitely suffers as I know he is so tired of hearing how something is wrong with me AGAIN! That he doesn't even react anymore. Countless Doctor appointments, tests, and all the stress I put on myself!! Work suffers, snd I debate almost daily that I need to quit because I'm too sick to work, BUT the rent has to get paid, then I get even more anxious. I have really cute down my Google usage as well. It makes me think I have the worst debilitating incurable diseases and I actually start getting all of the symptoms. Being a mom makes this oh so difficult to function and to live. It's a constant battle in my head. Takes over my life and almost every waking moment. Heck even in my sleep I am dreaming of these diseases. My family and friends are so aggravated they say get on some meds daily an SSRI, not only am I extremely terrified to take them, but I always say after these test results, after this doc's appointment, because I feel how do I have all these symptoms , I must have a health ailment. No way this can all be ANXIETY, no wayyy!!
 
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