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Need reassurance I'm not the only one suffering

kath08

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May 8, 2019
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#1
Hello there, I've only just made an account on here after friends/family suggested I maybe try and talk to people experiencing similar anxiety to me.
I suffer from health anxiety and panic quite a lot, I'm seeing a therapist who is lovely but it's not noticeably helping and I feel as if things are getting worse. I feel physical sensations like feeling sick, faint, chest pain, rapid breathing, numbness, dizziness and fatigue.
A lot of things I used to use as an escapism from my anxiety (like exercise classes and going out with friends) are now filled with anxiety too and it's getting ridiculously frustrating and more and more frequent.
I am feeling more anxious about situations that I could have a panic attack in. Even seeing friends is something i feel sick and anxious about when that used to be a really nice escape for me.
I'm coming to the end of my first year at university and I absolutely love it (despite the anxiety parts) but i'm just so scared my anxiety is going to keep getting worse and really affect my ability to enjoy university and my own life in general.
I feel like i understand my anxiety and all the horrid symptoms i get but I just can't stop it and i'm so fed up.

Just wondering if anyone else has any experience with physical symptoms from health anxiety and panic attacks and how to continue living a normal life as much as possible when your brain is going 10000 mph all the time.
 

MonicaS

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May 8, 2019
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#2
Hi kath08,
Sounds like we are in the same, or similar, boat. It's finally come to the point where my friends/family have noticed as well, and asked me to get help. My GP has run so many tests on me (nothing has been discovered....yet), she finally gave me a very mild Xanax prescription and told me to seek therapy. I've been waking up for the past week during the middle of the night in a complete panic, boiling hot. Then I start to obsess on my heart rate, is anything numb and tingling?, why is my brain shaking? why do I have brain fog, is it MS?, am I hyperventilating? what if this, what if that?....on Sunday I had such severe vertigo that I was bed bound and needed to take my meclizine prescription. To think I'm doing this to myself is mind-boggling. Is this how you're feeling? If so, you are not alone.
I am doing my best to pretend everything is ok - I have a full time job to tend to, children to care for, a husband, a house.........the responsibilities are overwhelming and I do not have time for the therapy that was recommended. So I am here instead.
I hope sharing some of this with you provides some comfort and support. ((hugs))
 

kath08

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May 8, 2019
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#3
Hey MonicaS,
Thank you so much for sharing, it does provide me with some comfort hearing from other people.
I can understand where you're coming from. It is very mind boggling and frustrating that we seem to be doing these things to ourselves. (and causing physical symptoms??)
I find the what if's are almost constant at the moment.
I often try to pretend everything is ok and for a long time that did work out well for me but even i can't fool myself at the moment haha! I hope you have found this forum to be of some help to you.
 
Joined
Apr 23, 2019
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#4
Hi Kath08! Welcome! You’re definitely not alone in the things you’re feeling. I’ve suffered with the same things since my health anxiety started and it’s terrifying. Last year I had a total of 2 ER visits and too many doctor, specialist, and urgent care visits to count. Again, I find myself in the same situation and it’s physically and emotionally exhausting. After countless tests show nothing I’m still convinced I have terminal undiscovered metastatic cancer of the jawbone.Before that, I thought I was having a heart attack. For two years I was convinced I had breast cancer and am still doubtful sometimes of all of the tests I’ve had. Before that was the fear of an ectopic pregnancy and even felt movement in my stomach just like when I was pregnant. And before that was a fear of colon cancer. I’ve had so many illnesses that I was convinced I had and even had symptoms. I look back on all of that and the things I felt were real, but my mind helped to manifest those into something scary. You didn’t say if you’re on an anxiety medication or not, but if you aren’t it may be worth talking to your doctor about.
In the meantime, enjoy university. I know it’s easier said than done. But, you only get the chance to be young once. Live and enjoy life. :)
 
Joined
Apr 4, 2019
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#5
I have struggled with health anxiety since I was 18, now 59. My mother struggled with it so I grew up hearing all the bad things that could happen to you. In my 40 years of struggling with this I have so far had (in my mind and never actually have any real signs of any of them):

- colon cancer
- melanoma
- ALS
- heart disease
- brain tumor
- prostate cancer
- sarcoma
- leukemia
- pancreatic cancer
- oral cancer
- diabetes
- kidney disease
- liver disease (my mom died of liver disease)

As you can see - it is very common.

What has helped me is to remember all the times I thought that whatever I was going through had to be some fatal disease only to find out differently AND to think about all the times my symptoms totally disappeared while I was heavily focused on something else (true health symptoms don't disappear just becaue your mind isn't on them).

it is a constant battle but with medicine I am doing much better - just wish I hadn't waited nearly 40 years to finally breakdown and try anxiety meds.
 
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