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Debilitating health anxiety - cant bear it anymore!

Hi everyone, I am a 27 year old single mum with 3 young kids. My anxiety started a few months ago... all of a sudden I just had this constant feeling of dread in my chest ALL of the time. I have gone through several different phases; to start with my main anxiety was someone breaking into my house at night. I then started having severe anxiety about a snake getting into my house and biting one of my children. Next it was obssessing about car accidents. Then health anxiety started... in the last 2 weeks I have convinced myself I had bowel cancer, then pancreatic cancer, then liver cancer, then ovarian cancer. It started when I noticed a change in my bowel habbits (alternating diaarhoea and constipation). I googled it; immediately I was convinced I had bowel cancer. Then I started having kidney pain and googled kidney cancer and pancreatic cancer. I had an ultrasound which showed nothing in my kidneys or pancreas but during the ultrasound she was focusing on my liver for ages and I could see her measuring and taking images of a black circle on the screen... I sobbed and sobbed the whole drive home because I was convinced I had liver cancer. I was absolutely convinced that I would be dead within months... only to be told that afternoon by my doctor that it was a simple cycst and nothing to worry about. I had 2 days where my health anxiety calmed down a little, but now today I have just started my menstrual cycle and noticed for the second month in a row it has only been a 28 day cycle when usually I am 31 days exactly. I also have a feeling of pressure in my right ovary. I am now certain that I have some kind of pelvic cancer and I feel like the thought of having to wait til Monday to see my doctor is just UNBEARABLE. Not to mention waiting to book tests and get the results. I cant bear it! I am terrified at the thought of dying and leaving my children. This absolute fear is with me from the moment I wake up to the moment I go to sleep and I just cannot handle it anymore... I try and tell myself it is just my anxiety and nothing is wrong but then my brain tells me no, its isnt. It is your intuition trying to tell you you have cancer. How can I deal with this? How can I get through the waiting between doctors visits and tests and results? I feel like I cant survive another day feeling like this. It is absolutely unbearable!

Re: Debilitating health anxiety - cant bear it anymore!

Hey lswkjr,

 

Sounds like your situation is very tough and constantly having concerns must be really getting you down. 

 

It sounds like you are aware that the anxiety you have is giving you grief. Maybe consider talking to a counsellor about it? Even a few session on stress management can teach you to control the anxiety. I think it's perfectly understandable considering your situation that you would be feeling worried. However I think it is possible to get your anxiety to be realistic.

 

As for waiting between tests, the best I can suggest is a mantra. Tell yourself that you aren't going to panic until someone tells you there's something wrong, and even then, get a second opinion to make sure before you really worry. After all, there's no real way for you body to tell you that you have cancer, our bodies are smart, but they aren't that smart. But there is a way for your anxiety to try and trick you. Anxiety is a mean tricky bugger.

 

Good luck.

Re: Debilitating health anxiety - cant bear it anymore!

Hey @lswkjr — that sounds really rough. It's so frustrating when it feels like your mind is running away from you even though the rational part of you knows it's just being silly.

 

There's a whole section on this site about coping that can help you develop ways of pushing past some of the issues you might be having. My personal favourite article is "Building Better Coping Skills". It has some really good ideas for strategies for coping better, such as writing things down, and also things like building your optimism. That second one has worked really well for me in the past.

 

Have a look and then let us know how you go.

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Re: Debilitating health anxiety - cant bear it anymore!

Hey @lswkjr 

 

I am so sorry to hear what you are going through. I hope everything went okay on Monday.

 

Honestly, I can relate to quite a bit of your post and I suffer from an anxiety disorder. I also panic about every small health issue, but what I find helps is to NOT google it! Google always tells you the worst outcome and most of the time it isn't anything too severe. 

 

I would REALLY, REALLY recommend talking to your doctor about your anxiety. I think you know that what you are feeling is not "normal" and you need help. And your doctor can definitely provide you with some support and maybe a referral to a psychologist. Anxiety CAN be managed.

 

Take care of yourself and I hope things improve soon.

 

MM

Re: Debilitating health anxiety - cant bear it anymore!

Hey Iswkjr,

 

How did the doctors go today? Did you manage to speak to him/her about how anxious you have been feeling lately?

 

Hope everything is going okay!

Re: Debilitating health anxiety - cant bear it anymore!

Hi,

Thankyou for your responses. I am feeling a lot better this week and have banned myself from googling which has helped IMMENSLEY! I have had a few tests done which is helping to ease my mind (although I cant hekp thinking what if theyve missed something). I am seeing my regular GP this Monday coming so plan on discussing my anxiety with her then. I have been diagnosed with PCOS and apparently anxiety is a symptom of that due to the hormonal imbalance so am hoping for more information on this but will not be googling it Smiley Happy

Re: Debilitating health anxiety - cant bear it anymore!

Hey @lswkjr 

 

That's awesome!! Well done. It sounds like you've arrived at a much calmer place with this. Let us know how you go with the GP and whether that provides you with some good answers. 

 

Enjoy your less stressful weekend. Smiley Happy

Re: Debilitating health anxiety - cant bear it anymore!

Are you still there, and okay? I would like to help you, i have experienced this myself. Thankyou. I have some ideas that i used that helped me.