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Health Anxiety Are you plagued by fears about your body or health? Are you suffering from Health Anxiety? Please check other sub-forums first to see if your problem should be posted there instead. E.G. the IBS forum or the medication forum or the symptoms forum.
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Old 07-10-15, 19:33
pollynewsome pollynewsome is offline
Advanced Member
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 802
Re: How To Survive Health Anxiety!

Brillant post.. yes the physical symptoms of panic and anxiety are so scary and make you panic and become more anxious. 'its a viscous circle.. but if you do choose to realise its just your mind making your body do it it does help a little.. Try not to fight it. its hard work but does help. Good luck all.
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Old 23-10-15, 03:15
pasta heaven pasta heaven is offline
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 12
Re: How To Survive Health Anxiety!

Many thanks for these words of wisdom. Helped a lot as I just woke up with a pounding heart.
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Old 17-12-15, 22:28
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Soosoo Soosoo is offline
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 14
Re: How To Survive Health Anxiety!

Thank you for this. It helps
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Old 21-12-15, 20:31
anniepants1954 anniepants1954 is offline
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 3
Re: How To Survive Health Anxiety!

Thank you so much for your wise words. I know what you say is true. Thank you.
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Old 21-12-15, 20:46
melvin melvin is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 657
Re: How To Survive Health Anxiety!

Great post
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Old 18-03-16, 16:47
robert98 robert98 is offline
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 1
Re: How To Survive Health Anxiety!

Currently suffering badly from health anxiety. I've had multiple scans and tests all which came back clear, medication doesn't help and I'm too scared to take my prescribed anti-depressant. This post put everything into perspective and I know it won't be a quick recovery but I do genuinely want to help myself no matter how hard it is.
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Old 18-04-16, 13:57
br350 br350 is online now
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 18
Re: How To Survive Health Anxiety!

Thanks for this post. It's such a good reminder about how anxiety pervades our thinking and how we can feel so alone with it. Health anxiety is horrible and so few people really get how incredibly trying it can be. Thank you for reaching out!
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Old 31-05-16, 21:53
D4veyboy79 D4veyboy79 is offline
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 2
Re: How To Survive Health Anxiety!

Thank you so much for this post...truly inspirational to me.
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Old 03-06-16, 00:55
five five is offline
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 1
Re: How To Survive Health Anxiety!


First post, so I'm not sure if there is a right way / wrong way to begin. Anyway, I thought I'd share some insights I have gained during my most recent month-long episode of particularly bad health anxiety.

Anxiety and obsessiveness always strikes when I'm already stressed about other (normal) things. This time around I picked up on a number of indicators that a bad episode was imminent. In the weeks leading up to the beginning of the bad period I had had far more panic attacks than normal.

Also in the preceding weeks I began to shut myself off from people - when my phone died it took me a couple of days to charge it and I'd leave it on silent and out of view.

In the midst of the anxiety episode I made a list of stupid everyday things that I was failing to do due to panic - cut the grass, get a haircut etc. I slowly forced my way through that list and by the time I had checked the items off, the health anxiety was a lot better.

I also noticed that the fearful thoughts and worries that were overrunning my mind were piggybacking on the structure of past events in my life. I always get particularly bad episodes in May and September. I think this stems from bad anxiety I associate with going to school - the episodes I have still map themselves onto the academic calendar because that was where my anxiety began.

I also discovered some new aspects of the pattern an anxiety episode takes for me. First I get obsessed with a particular project, at work for example, and work too hard on it. Then, as I'm becoming burnt out from working I notice something 'unusual' about my health.

That is the primary trigger. I go to the doctor who tells me everything is fine but I don't believe him so I go to another doctor. Then, as I slowly and grudgingly accept that there isn't anything abnormal about the thing I noticed, the anxiety goes in seek of a new foothold - I have phantom aches and pains elsewhere as it desperately tries to cling on to anything else suspicious.

Over the course of the episode, the subject matter of the anxiety itself slowly becomes less and less rational. It spreads itself too thinly in search of a new host-issue. Eventually the anxiety collapses due to its own irrationality.

The scary thing about the episode I'm currently on the way out of is that the thought pattern went a layer deeper than ever before. Anxiety, as you all know, is the most convincing thing in the world. It always holds the trump card of "but what if this time I'm really ill?" that can undermine the shaky structure of rationalization you keep trying to construct.

This time, though, the thinking process took on another turn. Whereas before my worry was always 'am I sick? am I going to die?' this time it became so intense that the thought process was 'o.k. I'm sick so now how do I deal with this?'

It wasn't a hypothetical - the anxiety made the thing I was worrying about into a sort of parallel reality that looked and felt like the world everyone else was inhabiting but was governed by magical thinking.

I also noticed a new version to the worries I have had before. On top of all the usual worrying, this time I began to worry than by thinking about being seriously ill all the time I would actually bring it about. In other words, the anxiety made me feel anxious about feeling anxious which is a vicious cycle and a definite escalation on what I've had before.

This is the first time I've had health anxiety where I've recognised it for what it really is - anxiety and not cancer, an auto-immune disease etc. Fear of serious illness is really fear of losing control. I know when I lose control of daily life I am risking triggering my anxiety.

My plan for the near future is to try and recognize the patterns of anxiety disorder in my personality when I'm feeling good and not going through an episode. I have a tendency to obsess over things and get massively obsessed over a given activity or project before discarding it and moving on. I think this behaviour is the other side of the same coin as anxiety.

I can't believe I'm saying it, but to some extent I'd mis it if it was gone, the same thing that makes my darkest days hellish makes me who I am in happier times.

There were other things too but this post is already too long
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Old 11-01-17, 21:10
Franno Franno is offline
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 1
Smile Re: How To Survive Health Anxiety!

Thank you so much for this- this post is exactly what I needed today.
I've struggled with health anxiety on and off for 7 years now, and of late it has spiralled out of control :-(
It's difficult to find rationality when all your symptoms point to a serious physical health condition in your head.. but to know others are going through the same is very powerful.
I hope everyone on here manages to find some peace in something, try mindfulness if you need a release in the moment!

Thank you again, a great post which I truly empathise with.
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