Just a question, is it difficult for you as a nurse with your anxiety?Hi,
I have had health anxiety since the age of 7. I experienced two traumatic hospitalizations, one for a tonsillectomy and one for pneumonia. I also witnessed my grandfather take a stroke in front of me at the age of 5 and die. My upbrining was very chaotic. In terms of what causes health anxiety or the old term, hypochondria, there are many theories. It is definitely classifed as an anxiety disorder in the psychiatric world, but childhood trauma or some type of deprivation in parenting has also been linked to it.
BTW, I am a nurse who has worked in the mental health field for most of my 40 year career. Medication helps somewhat, I am on Luvox now but have tried all the SSRI's. I avoid doctors at all costs- just check in once a year with my primary since I need refills on meds. I also see a psychiatrist for the psych meds. I skip mammograms, colonsocopies etc.
How do I cope? I would avoid googling at all costs. Nothing but trouble. My faith helps somewhat. The reality is, if it is somethiing bad, it will get worse and also most people only get one fatal disease in a lifetime.
I would also explore the concept of death anxiety as it underlies all of our preoccupations. It is the human condition. My husband who has been through major heart surgery was not even anxious the day he went in for surgery. He just felt like it was something that needed to be taken care of and whatever happened was out of his control.
A great book that may still be availabe on Amazon is : "Worried Sick? The Exaggerated Fear of Physical Illness" by Frederic Neuman MD. The author is a psychiatrist who himself has suffered from hypochondria. Very helpful.