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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013

    Health Anxiety - Doctors Petrify Me

    Hi everyone

    I suffer really bad health anxiety and have done for many years, in honesty it started way back when I was around 8 or 9 years old. I have noticed that the trigger for my Health Anxiety is when a death within the family occurs, at least that is what I think it is.

    Anyway I am that bad that I hate with a passion going to a doctor for anything, I am a major Cancer phobic, so regardless of what issue I may be having I always avoid going to see the GP for fear of the worst. This also applies with smear tests. The test itself is not the issue, its the results that are.

    I went 9 years before having one done and convinced myself that I had Cervical Cancer I went in the end because I was having abnormal bleeding, periods all over the place, so bit the bullet and went for it, the smear came back clear, and the relief was immense.

    I was then put on Citalopram, and I LOVE these, they may not agree with all, but they really did help me. I was on these for nearly 9 years.

    Anyway time goes on, it is now 6 years since my last smear, and low and behold I am having longer periods (normally 5 days, now lasting 11) if I include the spotting before it finally finishes. My moods are all over the place, angry, crying I am literally up and down like a yo-yo, and sleep is impossible, I am not sleeping until at least 4am. My breasts are so tender (something I have never suffered from even when due for a period) and this has been going on now for 10 months, so I finally decided this is stupid and went to the doctors.

    I had a smear test done yesterday which I am proud of myself for doing, the doctors couldnt get me in till next week, so I went to the family planning and got it done earlier.

    I am also having blood tests to check for hypothyroidism, as the doctor thinks thats worth checking out.

    I got myself into such a state over it all now that I have convinced myself that I have invasive Cervical Cancer, even though it could easily be hormone related or even perimenopause.

    Not looking for any kind of diagnosis from anyone here, just wondered if anyone else been in the same or similar position.

    I asked while having the smear done if it looked ok up there LOL and she said it looked fine, after using Google (I know, I know) I do know that if I had invasive cervical cancer that had started to spread that it would have been visible to her naked eye, the fact that she said it looks fine should offer reassurance, but of course with HA it doesnt, and have the dreaded two week wait now for results.

    I am on the brink of driving my husband mad I think, I feel so sorry for him putting up with my constant, "do you think I have cancer" etc etc, I am even driving myself nuts LOL.

    I really need to get myself back on some sort of medication for the Anxiety, this I realise now, silly me thought I could take it on by myself, but I am going to ring the gp and see if she can prescribe me something.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008

    Re: Health Anxiety - Doctors Petrify Me

    how does the story unfold in your imagination?
    Do you just fear the cancer? the treatment? Death?

    I personally find that following the fear all the way to end, and imagining my self coping really badly but then I imagine myself coping well and getting better.

    I think my point is you only have so many options.
    Sometimes when I panic over a physical symptom, a big fear is the symptom getting worse and scary things happening.

    an example might be, my eyes get sore, so I panic and worry about my eyes swelling up or getting infected or becoming unbearable painful.
    But I think ok what if that did in fact happen?Then the only choice I would have is to go to hospital and get what ever treatment they give me and deal with it, if my anxiety is to bad they nurses would definitely sedate me or give me something to help.

    That's the thinking process I have been using to help me calm down.

    I tend to panic more over symptoms I can feel though.

    Well done for getting the tests that's so good considering your fears, I know it was not easy for you.

    I think the reassurance seeking is a maintaining factor, you ask/look for reassurance and you feel better, but it's not helping you deal with anxiety and is just making it worse.

    I think some form of CBT could be helpful,
    A lot of it has to do with your emotions, how you are feeling.
    Also imagination plays a big part,
    then blowing things out of proportions, assuming the worst,
    You got to keep in mind that the imagination isn't fact or real they are just thoughts and naturally you attach certain feelings such as fear to those thoughts,
    so that why i think maybe imagining all the bad things but you coping very well could help you attach more positive feelings to the scary thoughts.

    The brain doesn't really know the difference between imagination, dreams and reality, the feeling and emotions are going to be same.
    Positive imagination I think can really help, even sports people use it before a big game/sporting event.

    You've had a lot of practice with worry and fear that it's a habit, it's automatic but you can reprogram your brain and reactions with CBT.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2013

    Re: Health Anxiety - Doctors Petrify Me

    Hi Anxious-gal Thanks for your reply, it makes a lot of sense. The way I visualise things with my HA brain on is that I have the worst case possible scenario as far as Cervical Cancer is concerned, whereby treatment would not make a whole lot of difference as it would have spread too far, I then see myself fighting it as much as I can, but the thought of the end being long and drawn out is what makes me panic even more, and the thought of leaving behind my three lovely children and husband. I know that in reality that I am being silly, as the rational side of the brain does kick in and I can make sense out of it all and see that it would be very, very unlikly that I would have Cervical Cancer to that severity, but the thought of leaving my children behind and husband starts it churning up all over again. I will look into CBT however to see if that can help in any way.

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