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Thread: Suffering from Health Anxiety at the moment? Read this..

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    Suffering from Health Anxiety at the moment? Read this..

    To all HA sufferers,

    I know it's hard. Whilst I'm not a HA sufferer, I truly know what severe anxiety feels like having suffered from it for over 40 years. Anxiety is awful, painful and it can take your life away from you. If you let it.

    If you're at the height of anxiety now, stop what you're doing, go and get a glass of water and sit quietly for 5 minutes. Focus on your breathing (5 seconds in, hold for 3 and out for 7). Come back and read the rest of this when you've done it.

    No go on, do it....

    Ok, I'll trust you.

    Next, there are some questions I'd like you to consider.

    1. Have you felt like this before? Did it pass? It probably did. Is it worthy of more worry time? It will pass again.
    2. If this is new or has changed, is it something you think you should see your doctor about? What would a friend do? You could ask them.
    3. If you've seen your doctor about this before and you've had the appropriate tests/checks, why would their diagnosis change? Of course, we've all read the newspaper stories about the doctor who missed serious symptoms. It happens. To probably about one in a million. The odds are in your favour. But by all means see your doctor about your anxiety. They're there to help.
    4. Are the symptoms so severe that you need to go to A&E? Again, if you can't decide, ask a friend. The answer is very likely to be no.
    5. If you haven't seen a doctor and others think you should, make the appointment but be honest about your anxiety.
    6. Jot down what you want to say before the appointment. It helps and stops you forgetting things when you're face to face with the doc and she says 'what can I help you with today?'. Clue - the first answer you give is 'I'm feeling anxious'.

    Ok, so you've done all that and you still feel terrible. What can you do? Well, I can guarantee that the more you focus on your symptoms, the worse they will get. That's how it works. Your brain has evolved to seek out potential danger and to prepare you for it. The more you dwell on problems, the more danger your brain senses and reacts to. It's a vicious circle. So again, what can you do?

    1. Distract yourself however you can. Walk, read, meet friends, help others on here, watch tv, start penning your memoirs, write to a pen pal in Tibet, run round naked in the garden. To be honest, it doesn't really matter. Just keep busy.
    2. Don't google your symptoms. Ever. Ever! You will find what you fear most every time. I don't believe Dr. Google's medical degree is worth the code it is written in. He probably bought it off the internet.
    3. Talk to friends about how you feel, either in the real world or on here. Be honest.
    4. Don't ask for reassurance about your symptoms, ask for help for how to deal with your anxiety about the symptoms. The same applies to conversations with your doctor.
    5. Listen to help when it's offered. You might think something won't work. You might be surprised.
    6. Don't lie in bed. Formulate a plan which gives you structure. You might just want to block it all out by retreating but it makes you feel much worse.
    7. If you work, do everything you can to keep working. If you can, discuss your anxiety with your boss. Flexibilities can help but avoidance won't.
    8. And whilst we're on it, don't avoid situations which make you anxious. It's the old 'fall off your bike and get straight back on it' scenario. It's easier (not easy though) to catch it early. Later, it's so difficult.

    So to finish my little (?) post, I'd like to say that I'm no medical expert but, unfortunately, I'm a first-hand anxiety expert. 40 years and counting and I still frequently get it wrong. Having said that, I have worked full time all my life, never had one day off sick and feel that I'm very fortunate, despite the frequent torture that I suffer through anxiety. Torture that I know you understand.

    And finally (phew!), give anything a go, don't look back in years to come, regretting all the time you spent worrying about things which never came to pass. If not for yourself, then for those around you.

    As anxiety sufferers, we are incredibly strong people. You have to be strong to have made it so far (and so far into this post). Find a little more strength and take some positive action. This may be some of what I've written or something completely different. It doesn't matter, just take some positive steps and you will see things improve.

    All the best

    Not drowning, but waving

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  2. #2

    Re: Suffering from Health Anxiety at the moment? Read this..

    This is good. Hope people take the time to read it.

    It would make a good sticky.
    "My only hope is this homemade Prozac... Needs more ice cream."

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2016

    Re: Suffering from Health Anxiety at the moment? Read this..

    great post pip its that critical decision to do something that can often stop the panic even if it`s just consciously walking slower when you want to rush back to the car, or trying to last an extra 10 seconds in a busy shop
    I once saw in an article a description of fear as `false evidence appearing real` which called for challenging your thoughts etc as you describe

    hope everyone can take the time to work through your steps because they really could be a godsend for them

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2016

    Re: Suffering from Health Anxiety at the moment? Read this..

    This is a great post

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2011

    Re: Suffering from Health Anxiety at the moment? Read this..

    Great post Pip

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2016

    Re: Suffering from Health Anxiety at the moment? Read this..

    Very good advise, I need to take.

  7. #7

    Re: Suffering from Health Anxiety at the moment? Read this..

    Thank you for this advice !

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2013

    Re: Suffering from Health Anxiety at the moment? Read this..

    I got to start taking things on board more serious now and stopped worrying as much, all fantastic points. like trust the GPs etc (something I struggled doing in the past)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2013

    Re: Suffering from Health Anxiety at the moment? Read this..

    I am paying attention to this thread agian

    #2 Don't Google your symptoms, sound advice, only a small handful of people have been right what they have got.

    #3 happens 1 in million where the gps get it wrong/missed key symptoms, we also got to them as well what is wrong every single detail is key.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2017

    Re: Suffering from Health Anxiety at the moment? Read this..

    Pip...thank you. That is a good post. And you are so right.

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