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Health Anxiety Health Anxiety. Please check other sub-forums first to see if your problem should be posted there instead. E.G. the IBS forum, the symptoms forum, male/female issues. Please also read this Website page: Health Anxiety
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  #1  
Old 02-07-12, 10:33
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PokerFace PokerFace is offline
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Smile How To Survive Health Anxiety!

How To Survive Health Anxiety.

I suffered with terrible Health Anxiety which led to agoraphobia for the best part of two years. I know two years will sound like hardly anything to some of you on this site but we all know how bad and long an hour can feel with any form of anxiety let alone years.

I used to visit this site a lot, spending a large majority of the time I had on the Health Anxiety boards. This site was one of the largest contributors to my recovery so I decided to write something that might help other people in the grips of Health Anxiety because it is a terrible feeling.

Tackling the Panic Attacks

Panic attacks can be text book for some people and feel like the end of the world for others. Your panic attacks may even feel different every time. You may get dizzy, have the fast beating heart or you may start to feel your chest tense up and feel like you can't breathe. You could feel the panic rising for hours or it could literally come out of nowhere. The important thing is to learn to trust yourself and your body. I know panic attacks feel like you're dying at the time but you ALWAYS come out the other side of a panic attack alive.

Rather than focusing on it and questiong everything about it try to take it as a learning exeperience. Use every panic attack to practise techniques on how to calm yourself so you can end up preventing them escalating in the future. I havn't had a bad panic attack for over a year because of this! I know all of this is easier said than done when in the throws of a panic attack but it's better to try then to have your life consumed by them for any second longer.

As I said, everybody experiences panic attacks in different ways so don't panic if yours is different to other peoples on here. It does not mean something is seriously wrong, it's just your body reacts differently.

It's hard to differentiate between a real physical problem and anxeity when it's rising through you like that, even I have trouble sometimes still. I always know deep down that in 2 days when I'm still walking around alive and well I'll look back and see it for what it was though, that's what get's me through it

Trusting Your Doctor

Wether you're worried about a heart attack, cancer or any other of the countless afflictions and diseases I've read about in the Health Anxiety forums, everybody is as equally scared as you. Your first step is to go to your doctor. Don't be scared of what he/she might find because they really are there to help. Say you really do have something wrong (I'm not saying you do), it's better to get it diagnoised and fixed by a real doctor than to create posts asking people what they think it might be. I'm not preaching to you because you only have to click on my profile to realise I created post after post about my heart (+ various other subjects) for a long time, every post made me feel better for a while but it was not a long term fix.

People on No More Panic are not qualified Doctors, just other people with experience with panic and anxiety so we can only speculate on your symptoms and fears. We cannot diagnose you, only your GP can.

Don't be scared your doctor won't take you seriously, they HAVE to. If they diagnose you with Health Anxiety, ask if you can have help to tackle it. There's no shame in medication or counselling, it can turn your life around. If your doctor has diagnosed you with anxiety, don't be afraid to go back if you come across a new symptom incase he/she just dismisses it because they won't. Doctors cannot afford to not take people seriously. They know what they are doing!

Dr. Google Is Not Your Friend

I know I shouldn't, you all know you shouldn't, but somehow we end up doing it anyway and feeling worse for it, right? Well it's completely in your power to stop this. Anybody can write whatever they like on the internet and every symptom you type in, Dr. Google will end up diagnosing you with some terrible incureable disease that will make you panic like mad for weeks/months/years.

I watched a show months ago where 3 people went to a person infront of a computer and a real doctor. The person infront of the computer incorrectly diagnosed the people who had told him his symptoms with stuff like cancer, asthma, diabetes, while the real doctor diagnoised them correctly with mild allergies, indigestion and something else I can't quite remember but it was very common and non life threatening.

It's easy to go to your computer in the desperation you might find something reasurring, but you hardly ever do. So why do this to ourselves? It gets us nowhere and only makes us worse.

Accept Your Anxiety

You can't get better unless you accept it for what it is. You have an anxiety disorder than makes you continuously worry about your health.

Panic is the body and minds reaction to danger. You see danger everywhere because it's your own body. You can't step out of it and keep it safe no matter how much you wish you could. You might even have the extreme feelings of feeling trapped in your own body, at a total loss, scared and unhappy. It can change, with the right attitude and help you can overcome this and get yourself back.

Change Your Lifestyle

Eat healthier, go out more, exercise! Exercise is a wonderful way to help anxiety in most forms. It releases endorphins which make you feel good and happy. I know it's hard to do it, especially if you have heart worries (something I'm far too familiar with). If exercise feels like too much for you, start gently. Go for walks, it's exercise and it gets you out the house so you're not sat infront of your PC desperatley trying to find peace of mind.

Learn how to relax yourself. Buy yourself something you enjoy or makes you happy, take an hour out every night to soak in a bath with lavender bubbles, anything that relaxes you, do it. Just empty your mind and enjoy.

Family And Friends Don't Understand You

We've all been there. They get mad at us, tell us to get over it and in extreme cases they just want to stop talking to us altogether. It's upsetting and lonely but this is what No More Panic is truly for. To help you overcome your anxiety and to be there for you when people in your life just don't understand.

Nine times out of ten, people who have never experienced anxiety just won't get it. It frustrates them which frustrates us which can make us even worse. Try not to let it get you down, make a thread, vent your problems, go in the chatroom and make friends. There's always someone here who understands and will have a chat with you.

The road to recovery can be a lonely one, so use all the help you can on here. You are NEVER alone.

So! Sorry for the long read if you took the time to read it. Feel free to add your own two cents in here whenever you want. Your own personal little gems that get you through a bad time, or your own tips to overcoming this. No one deserves to live a life full of anxiety and unhappiness. I wish you ALL a speedy and full recovery. It's not easy, it's not quick and it's not a straight road to recovery. No More Panic will be here to help you on your way if you ever feel like giving up or it's too much. I know you ALL can do this. You're strong willed and intelligent people so take back your life! Today is a good a day as any, don't waste one more second on the monster that's anxiety. x
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Last edited by venusbluejeans; 02-01-14 at 14:53.
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  #2  
Old 02-07-12, 10:55
willous1 willous1 is offline
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Re: How To Survive Health Anxiety!

Best post ever. Mainly because its so TRUE. All of it. I'm sitting in the doctors waiting room now. I am going to listen to him and not google ANY more etc. I am wasting my life over this terrible health anxiety issue. I have bookmarked this page as it makes me look a bit more logically which is not easy. But thank you.
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Old 02-07-12, 12:35
saab saab is offline
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Re: How To Survive Health Anxiety!

Great post. I have been greatly helped by the Dr Claire Weekes books, so I would add the following:

Don't fight your anxiety and feelings. You just produce more adrenaline and feel worse. Accept the feelings of anxiety and how your body feels - it's temporary. Let the feelings wash over you, but carry on - Claire weekes calls it 'floating'.
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Old 02-07-12, 14:14
Lilac58 Lilac58 is offline
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Re: How To Survive Health Anxiety!

Helpful words, thank you for posting this today, it's helped me. I have GAD but anxiety is anxiety and what you wrote makes good sense to me.

Hope the doctors appointment has helped, Willous
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Old 02-07-12, 14:39
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turnthelighton turnthelighton is offline
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Re: How To Survive Health Anxiety!

Great Post...Thank you
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  #6  
Old 02-07-12, 20:03
melvin melvin is offline
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Re: How To Survive Health Anxiety!

good post and so true
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Old 02-07-12, 21:15
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Darwin73 Darwin73 is offline
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Re: How To Survive Health Anxiety!

Fantastic insight - thankyou! Maybe this should be made a sticky?
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Old 03-07-12, 10:33
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PokerFace PokerFace is offline
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Re: How To Survive Health Anxiety!

Thank you all for reading it and your kind words!

Wllious, I hope the doctor helped you and I'm glad you're taking the steps to rid yourself of anxiety! Wish you all the best.

Saab, thanks for adding that in here, really good advice.

Lilac, that's fantastic that you can relate to this too! Glad you found it interesting.

turnthelighton, melvin and Darwin, thanks for taking the time to read this.

Thought I might add when first starting to combat your anxiety it's best to definatley stay away from alcohol and maybe caffine too if it affects you badly. Doesn't have to be forever, I'm sitting here quite comfertably drinking a cup of tea now, but if your anxiety levels are high it can affect you quite horribly in my experience! x
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Old 03-07-12, 14:05
Amandala Amandala is offline
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Re: How To Survive Health Anxiety!

I needed to read this today, Thank you
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Old 03-07-12, 22:30
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scrog80 scrog80 is offline
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Re: How To Survive Health Anxiety!

Just brilliant !!!!!
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