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Thread: I am terrified to touch my neck.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    365

    I am terrified to touch my neck.

    It's been a while since I've used this site, I've been doing well with my anxiety, but lately I've managed to convince myself that if I poke around my neck long enough that I'll find a lump or something.

    It's hard for me to touch my neck now, when showering just washing my neck gives me anxiety because I fear that I will stumble upon a mass.

    This problem has caused other symptoms as well such as increased sense of awareness when things are touching my neck like a shirt collar, some hair (I have a beard) or anything that you would normally not pay any attention to.

    At one time I was obsessed with some palpable nodes in my neck which is likely what lead me to fear touching my neck, but today I rarely give those nodes a second thought but I feel like the months I spent worrying myself about it has caused some long lasting effects.

    Typically I worry about stuff that I really shouldn't be too concerned with for example my heart, my heart has been the center of attention with my anxiety for years due to some occasional palpitations, even though I had heart tests come back normal and I can climb 10 fleights of stairs several times per day better than most of my co workers even carrying semi heavy loads up them I still have that fear lingering.

    My point is I basically train my brain to believe in something and it sticks with me, I have a real problem and it has made me do some silly things over the years trying to find a problem that wasn't even there, so I ask you when you are obsessing over something what is the best way to tune it out, because my theory is if you can block it out long enough the problem should fade away just as if you think about it long enough it gets stronger and stronger, blocking the thought is the hard part but hopefully you may have some suggestions.

  2. #2

    Re: I am terrified to touch my neck.

    I have the exact same issues with hyper-fixating on things to the point where they feel weird. I just try to distract myself. I usually play games or watch videos on my phone. Its not a total solution because the thoughts like to creep back up but its the only thing I know to do. Hope you feel better.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Posts
    99

    Re: I am terrified to touch my neck.

    This describes me exactly.

    Hope you are able to escape the spiral.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Posts
    1,316

    Re: I am terrified to touch my neck.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thelegend27 View Post
    I've been doing well with my anxiety, but lately I've managed to convince myself that if I poke around my neck long enough that I'll find a lump or something.
    Not doing so well that you're back down the hole though?

    Your HA has just been lying dormant waiting for an opportunity and here it is.

    Typically I worry about stuff that I really shouldn't be too concerned with for example my heart, my heart has been the center of attention with my anxiety for years due to some occasional palpitations, even though I had heart tests come back normal and I can climb 10 fleights of stairs several times per day better than most of my co workers even carrying semi heavy loads up them I still have that fear lingering.
    Healthy heart. Bad case of health anxiety.

    My point is I basically train my brain to believe in something and it sticks with me
    This works both ways, only positivity and rationality requires more effort. It's easy to scare ourselves shitless - we just run with the negative bias..

    so I ask you when you are obsessing over something what is the best way to tune it out, because my theory is if you can block it out long enough the problem should fade away just as if you think about it long enough it gets stronger and stronger, blocking the thought is the hard part but hopefully you may have some suggestions.
    If you cover a sink overflow what happens if you keep running the tap? Eventually the water will spill over. Big puddle. Huge mess. Blocking thoughts doesn't address them, especially with HA - it will find another way in.

    You need to understand why you are having these thoughts in the first place. Then you need to work on acceptance, which is the key to recovery from HA.

    If you don't address health anxiety, you can block thoughts of a symptom as much as you like, but another will pop up in it's place.

    The problem isn't in having these thoughts. The problem is in the fear which you add to the thought. As long as you keep firing out those stress hormones, this little merry-go-round will keep going.

    My policy is to let those thoughts in because they are just thoughts. Observe them, but don't react to them.

    Your HA will have a root cause - something that happened that started it all off. Mine was growing up around a grandad who couldn't breathe properly. What's yours?

    This mental disorder is, at it's core, the fear of death, dying or leaving somebody who needs us. It can be fear for ourselves or somebody we love. You have to work out why you have this disorder so that you can understand it, and most importantly, take control of it.
    __________________
    There is a light. There is. Look for it. Look for it shining over your shoulder, on the past. It was light where you went once. It is light where you are now. It will be light where you will go again. ~ Jennifer Worth

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