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Thread: Health anxiety and worrying over health of family/loved ones

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
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    Health anxiety and worrying over health of family/loved ones

    Hi

    I have been doing really well lately and have probably had one of my longest periods where I have felt as free as it is possible to feel (for me, anyway) from the shackles of health anxiety.

    I am currently tapering off my meds (I was on 100mg Sertraline and I am now down to 50mg every other day) and I have noticed that since tapering, some of the old thought patterns and coming back.

    It is more to do with worrying over other people though, especially my husband and parents. It is really getting me down and I am worried I will spiral back into my old thought processes. I am trying to fight it, but you know how hard it is(!)

    Anyway, my main worry at the moment is my Mom. She is 65 and had breast cancer in 2012 (all clear now thankfully) this coincided with when my health anxiety started. Anyway, today I found out she has been experiencing chest pains and has been given this spray to use in case its angina and she is going for an ECG next week. She is also experiencing muscle tension in her shoulders and neck. She saw a chiropractor earlier on today who examined her and said she is very tense/knotted up. Anyway, when I found this out I didn't overreact and was totally calm and fine and just told my Mom that she will be ok etc... but deep down I could feel the fears growing :(

    After work I just sat in my car and cried and cried. I felt so weird. Like all my emotions were flooding out in one go. I am less worried this evening and even thought I consulted the dreaded Dr Google it actually put my mind at rest a little (there is a first time for everything I guess...)

    Anyway, I just needed to get all this out somewhere. Does anyone else struggle with their health anxiety spilling out to other people? Do you have any tips on how to cope with this?

    I REALLY struggle with my husband in particular as he suffered with health anxiety before we met and he is doing so well at the moment so whenever my worries about his health crop up I try so hard not to keep bothering him over it cause I don't want to set him off. Its a nightmare.

    Hope someone out there understands and can offer some comforting words cause I really need it tonight :(
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  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Re: Health anxiety and worrying over health of family/loved ones

    Sorry to hear your mum isn't well, Snowflake.

    I think you have to be careful in letting your mind run away with itself. She's entering that stage of life where health conditions can be very common but that doesn't mean they have to be things that can't be controlled successfully for many years.

    My dad has had a few days of breathlessness recently. The GP put him straight on an angina spray and sent him for tests. They will call him if anything shows up. That doesn't sound particularly urgent to me.

    My mum was put on an angina spray after her referral to cardiology after over 6 months of issues. They spent another 6 months testing her to come out as mild COPD that her asthma has progressed onto. The consultant said it might be a very mild angina but after loads of tests on her heart & lungs nothing came back other than this.

    I think that they use these angina sprays a bit like inhalers, a sort of "just in case" until we know anything in certain age groups.

    Coming off meds can mean withdrawal. But it can also be a test because when something happens we don't know how we will react until we have the opportunity. We may have reacted better on meds. This is a hard one to judge but I would be wary judging anything short termed, look for longer termed issues or major blips.

    Some GP's might think meds fix this stuff but I believe they also mask a fair bit and until you go it alone you just don't know what is underneath. But that doesn't mean to say you relapse, it might just be another part of the recovery journey where you aren't having your Serotonin being propped up a bit more than usual?

    Best wishes to your mum.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
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    Re: Health anxiety and worrying over health of family/loved ones

    Thank you for your reply, it has made me feel a bit better I am sorry your parents have had health issues as well.

    My Mom got the chest pain again today after her yoga class and took the spray but it didn't go anything so like the dr said, if it didn't make the pain go away its unlikely to be her heart.

    I am really close to my parents and worry about them getting older/unwell. My Dad is high risk as he is diabetic, overweight and drinks too much :(

    My anxiety has been a bit better today but I have had a twitching eye so worrying about MS now :( I can definitely feel my health anxiety making a reappearance but I am pretty confident I can deal with it. Its just such a nuisance when you think you are rid of something!
    __________________
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    Re: Health anxiety and worrying over health of family/loved ones

    I'm "old" too according to GP criteria.

    I've had severe chest/spine pain since I had pleurisy last December. Not cardiac related but neuropathic. Not all chest pain is red flag stuff.
    If your Mum has muscle tension in her neck and shoulders it's very possible that the chest pain could be a form of costochondritis from all the tension. Another possibility is that a tight spine can refer pain into the chest. I'm still standing after 9 months of chronic chest pain! I just wanted to give you a different scenario to consider-your Mum isn't ancient at 65, far from it!

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Re: Health anxiety and worrying over health of family/loved ones

    Thanks snowflake.

    My dad has had all the tests come back fine, no issues with heart or lungs. The doctor asked if the spray helped and he said no so she has renewed it for now only because she wants the senior partner, who was dealing with my dad anyway, to take it back over as he knows more about the history. But she feels the spray will be stopped and he will put my dad on a tablet form.

    My mum went on the tablet form when she was referred to cardiology. She didn't have the spray prior to this. The consultant thought she may have a very mild form of angina but after all the tests no angina was found. They did find COPD but then my mum has had asthma for decades and that can turn into COPD in old age as they explained. But even then it was a very mild form. The reason I've mentioned this is to add to what I aid earlier about them using these sprays to alleviate rather than act as a diagnostic tool.
    __________________
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    For free Mindfulness resources, please see this thread I have created to compile many sources together http://www.nomorepanic.co.uk/showthread.php?t=168689

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