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Thread: How To Survive Health Anxiety!

  1. #101
    Join Date
    Dec 2016

    Re: How To Survive Health Anxiety!

    Quote Originally Posted by five View Post

    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.

    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 relate to this so well! I'm so thankful for this site because it makes me feel less alone. Whenever I feel like it won't get any better and the fear of being doomed for life with these feelings takes over, I read other's stories and insight here. It helps.

  2. #102
    Join Date
    Oct 2019

    Re: How To Survive Health Anxiety!

    Thank you for this really amazing insight to the other side and healing, my question I have is how did you over come the heart anxiety related to the health anxiety? When I get unwell things catastrophize so quickly and I'm trying to not google things but its easier said than done. i permenantly worry i am having a heart attack.
    I used to have a fitbit and that is actually when I had my worst panic attack i ended up in an ambulance convinced I was having a heart attack.


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