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Anxiety This forum is for seeking advice on anxiety and stress related issues.

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Stacey Offline
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Health Anxiety. - March 25th 2010, 04:27 PM

I was recently diagnosed with GAD after months of physical symptoms and several trips to the ER with horrible panic attacks. My anxiety is more around my health as I've had Irritable Bowel Syndrome for 12 almost 13 years and the worry surrounding that aspect of my health eventually caused this to surface (or so my doctor says). I'm now on clonzepam, but I haven't felt the need to take any yet as I'm supposed to only take them as needed. Anyways, my main problem is obsessing over my health, as I said my anxiety manifested itself mainly through physical symptoms (chest pains, leg pains, foot tingling/numbness, shooting pains in the head/tightness of scalp, and many others) which I guess paired with my medical history caused my anxiety to mainly surround health issues. I tend to obsess over any physical pains or symptoms and automatically start listing off all the chronic or terminal illnesses that I could possibly have that include these symptoms. At this point I can't even watch some of my favorite shows like House because of the fact that it surrounds such strange and often terminal illnesses that I think I may have. I'm still able to function and I haven't had much of an issue with concentration it's just something that is on my mind regardless of whatever else I am doing. My doctor and I are going to discuss this more when I see him again in 3 weeks, but I was just wondering if anyone else had experience with Health Anxiety?

Thanks in advance!


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Last edited by Stacey; March 25th 2010 at 06:52 PM.
   
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Re: Health Anxiety. - March 25th 2010, 11:24 PM

This is definitely something I've struggled with in the past, so please know you're not alone! I used to spend hours online trying to figure out what awful illness i might have, given any number of random symptoms. The thing is, though, it just drove me crazy. It caused more anxiety to try to figure out what was going on with me. So, now if I have a symptom, I just try to stay calm. Because, people have symptoms of things all of the time, but they're generally okay. If something scary happens, very out of the ordinary (like, not pain in a leg or a slight headache) then I might want to check in with a doctor. But otherwise, I remember that there's no cause for concern.

Have you ever been in therapy for this? It can REALLY help this aspect of anxiety, as well as anxiety in general! Plus, I don't know if you know, but IBS and anxiety tends to go hand-in-hand. As one gets better or worse, so does the other. So, helping your anxiety should relieve some of your IBS symptoms, too.

<3




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Re: Health Anxiety. - March 25th 2010, 11:44 PM

I was only just recently diagnosed so I haven't tried much yet. My doctor wants to see how I do on medication first. He knows that therapy can help but he said that he found with other patients who developed anxiety because of/ along with their IBS that it didn't help as much if that was the only cause, which I am pretty sure it is for me. It's not completely out of the question, but right now it's not so much an issue as an annoyance. If I find myself getting worse or nothing else seems to work I would definitely consider doing this. Thank you for sharing your experience though.


"Remember what you're worth
Remember you're worth fighting for
Remember you're not a punching bag
Remember you're not a doormat
Remember you are valuable
Remember you are repairable
Remember you matter
Remember they don't."

-jwh
Join date: 27th September, 2004.
   
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Re: Health Anxiety. - March 28th 2010, 05:11 PM

I can kind of relate. My big thing with anxiety is worrying that I'm going to throw up. So if I get the least bit nauseous (which is often when I get nervous) I start to freak out. My mind starts to race and then I basically talk myself into believing I have a massive stomach bug when really it's all just anxiety.I also don't eat with I'm worried so that usually starts a whole nother thing with my mind telling myself I don't have the strength to do this or that and I'm going to make myself sick by doing anything physical. So yeah, I can pretty much relate.


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