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Thread: Is it normal to fear doctors if you have hypochondria/health anxiety

  1. #1

    Is it normal to fear doctors if you have hypochondria/health anxiety

    My health anxiety has always been so bad since I was a teenager. I had an incident at 15 (I'm 28 now) where I got stuck on top of a mountain and thought I was going to die in that minute. I had my first panic attack that day and since then I started having panic attacks, my therapist said that this put my body into fight or flight mode. I take Zoloft which has helped with the panic attacks. I still have health anxiety but normally people who have health anxiety are back and forth to the doctors but the thing is, I am and always have been since this day pretty much anxious and scared of the doctor. I get scared of having to wait for test results in case of bad results, it is so bad that I called my doctor a while ago and asked the receptionist for my blood test results (I was nervous to get the blood test any way and couldn't relax until I had the results), the receptionist said "I can't give you the results, only the doctor can" I had a full on freak out and thought that it was because the results were bad, the doctor called me and told me it was fine. I am scared to have a smear test because waiting for results scares me so bad. My doctor says that I don't need one any way because I am a lesbian and I don't and have never slept with men and I have no symptoms of anything down there but I still want to get one just because and I want to get a breast exam just because. It's normally an obsession with one particular part of my body at a time, I'll worry about my breasts, then my cervix, then a mole, etc... at one point I even had an obsessive worry about cannibals and being eaten by a cannibal and I really thought it would happen at the time if I thought about it, I think that I convince myself so much that I have a particular illness that it seems real. But I don't understand why I'm scared of the doctors, I think it's the what ifs? I don't know... is this normal? I think I am driving my doctors crazy, I smoke and coughed up brown stuff a while ago, the doctor said it was tar, nothing to worry about but I still panicked. All my family and friends are getting annoyed because I keep asking for reassurance.

    I do talk to my doctor, I had a doctors appointment a while ago for a mole, doctor said it was fine, nothing to worry about, then I called back and mentioned again, the doctor now wants to put me on anti psychotics (quietapine)? but I'm scared I'll have a bad reaction to it and have a heart attack.

    Can anyone relate to this?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    681

    Re: Is it normal to fear doctors if you have hypochondria/health anxiety

    Hypochondriacs don't always run to the doctor for every little thing we notice; sometimes we do all we can to *avoid* doctors. So yes, it's very common. I honestly don't know why we tend to avoid doctors, as it seems to make more sense (to me) that avoiding the doctor would drive our health anxiety. However, that's not always true.

    I also used to avoid the doctor at all costs. I got out of that by employing several techniques. Most notably I worked to get my anxiety under control, and I forced myself to see a doctor at least once a year for the sake of maintaining my overall health. Over time, I learned that going to the doctor isn't so bad after all. I actually feel better after checkups. Yes, it still makes me anxious to go, but it's better in the long run if I suck it up.

    What I don't understand (I assume it's because we know better, deep down) is why some of us think that avoiding the doctor will "make it less real", or that the avoidance will prevent us from actually having whatever condition we're fearing. When you avoid the doctor, it's not like the body says "well, we're not going to the doctor, so I just won't get sick."

  3. #3

    Re: Is it normal to fear doctors if you have hypochondria/health anxiety

    This is totally normal. I hadnít been to the doctor in like 10+ years because of health anxiety.

    I am still scared of the doctor and avoid it at all costs unless I really get freaked out by something. Last time I saw a doctor was because I thought I had a pulmonary embolism and had convinced myself I only had minutes left to live (it was just muscular pain )

    I havenít had a thorough physical exam in years because Iím afraid the doctor might find something wrong with me that I havenít already discovered/had the time to worry about.


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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Posts
    5,306

    Re: Is it normal to fear doctors if you have hypochondria/health anxiety

    Avoidant health anxiety person here! I once didn't see a doctor for 12 years, including one instance where I'm fairly sure I broke my elbow.

    Waiting rooms make me panicky, as does the ever-present fear of waits for test results and/or hospital referrals.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    94

    Re: Is it normal to fear doctors if you have hypochondria/health anxiety

    I avoid at all costs because of my anxiety.

    However, when it is something that doesn't cause me anxiety - for example I have had skin cancer in the past, noticed couple of lesions and went straight off to see GP, no worries because I know the treatment is good - but when it is the unknown......then no, I don't go easily, or rationally. I go basically when it gets to the point that my husband demands I go because he can't put up with me anymore

    I had cancelled all my plans, my dreams before I reluctantly went last time......the investigations he ordered made my anxiety worse and I took that out on my husband. The day the results came back my symptoms, mood and outlook changed within a matter of a couple of hours.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Posts
    95

    Re: Is it normal to fear doctors if you have hypochondria/health anxiety

    Definitely

    What usually happens in my life is something happens or goes wrong..I do my best to ignore it for several months and it either goes away or it doesn't, if it doesn't I then assume its something terminal/serious and I end up paying privately to see a specialist so I can make up for all the time I've "lost" by just not going to my GP in the first place.

    I end up getting dragged to hospital with broken bones even though I'm sure its not broken and It just needs to rest (they are always broke!)

    I'm trying to force myself to ring doctors tomorrow to find out about a CT scan that I've heard nothing about in 7 weeks, if I wasn't still having problems I would just happily file it into the unknown pile like several blood tests I've never chased up, but no.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Posts
    696

    Re: Is it normal to fear doctors if you have hypochondria/health anxiety

    The only fear of Doctors I have is how much they charge,the thieves.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Posts
    111

    Re: Is it normal to fear doctors if you have hypochondria/health anxiety

    Yes. I am one who fears the doctor. I am fearful about finding out I have cancer, more than anything. I am also fearful that they will tell me they have to refer me on the 2w pathway (to rule out cancer). It terrifies me massively. It took me ages to get checked out at the doctors after having one episode if bleeding after sex. Problem is I tell myself we cannot change the outcome of whatever it may be. It's hard though with our mentality. X

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    22,446

    Re: Is it normal to fear doctors if you have hypochondria/health anxiety

    There was a similar post recently. It seems to be one extreme or the other.

    FMP
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  10. #10

    Re: Is it normal to fear doctors if you have hypochondria/health anxiety

    Yes 100%. I absolutely hate the doctors. I think it's even worse for us as we can't even get medical reassurance. I'm scared of going and ending up on the referral path , waiting for results , hospitals the lot.

    Stems from going for minor things in past & ending up with all sorts of tests that led to zero.

    Ie I had to give urine sample and ended up with 6 weeks of being investigated and prodded. Due to microscopic blood found.
    Had a breakdown over it.

    Talk if you want. X

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