Also known as Hypochondria, and it is the most annoying, crippling, frustrating bullshit.
In my first post I mentioned that I suffered from health anxiety, I also mentioned that in my blogs I was not going to sugar coat a thing, if you don’t suffer from hypochondria then this post may frustrate you, you may think well there is an easy fix for all of this, well let me assure you it is NOT that easy.
Looking back I think I may of been at the age of 15 when health anxiety kicked in for me, after suffering a couple of months of glandular fever. Ever since I have always been overly aware of every sensation in my body, that is a nightmare, Yes every body suffers a little bit of health anxiety to an extent, but my case is more on the severe side, this is harder to talk about than general anxiety, this is personal, this is information that I don’t normally share.
Sometimes it doesn’t show up for awhile, then other times it stays put for months at a time, it makes the symptoms that you are already feeling 50x worst, it increases your stress levels, it disturbs your every day living, it distracts you while at work, and sometimes it makes you not want to get out of bed, because it feels safer there.
Every single pain in your body gets your undivided attention, and then a million questions circle through your mind, why did I just have that pain?, what does it mean?, where did it come from?. Even though the pain may have lasted a split second, you stop and you anticipate when the next pain will come about and when it does the questions begin again, am I dying?, what disease do I have?, what are they going to diagnose me with?.
Google becomes your best-friend and enemy all wrapped in one, I can spend hours and hours on google searching my symptoms, yes everybody does this, but to us with health anxiety it is like a drug, an unhealthy addiction, and no matter how hard you try we are always finding ourselves on google entering an enormous amount of symptoms and researching every possible diagnoses that is mentioned.
“but to us with health anxiety it is like a drug, an unhealthy addiction”
After reading all the possible diagnosis’s related to the symptoms that you are feeling, you don’t even realise the state that you are in and an anxiety attack has come on, you quickly escape google and bring your breathing back to a normal state, and then the vicious cycle begins again, and this can go on for hours and hours at a time.
I call us Doctor whores because we are never satisfied with the one doctor, and we always need another opinion (maybe 5 or so lol) I can honestly laugh at myself for this because I know how ridiculous it comes across but it is the honest truth, we are always at the doctors getting checked for every new symptom or pain and if we aren’t satisfied with what the doctor has to say then it is off to the next.
“I call us doctor whores”
After my first 2 panic attacks that had occurred 2 nights in a row, the very next day I had to go see a doctor straight away because I mentally convinced myself that they were not panic attacks and that I had suffered a stroke or if It was a panic attack that I had suffered a stroke during the panic attack as my speech was stuttered for 2 days, I was completely unaware that stuttering speech was an actual symptom of panic attacks and could last hours to days later. The unfortunate thing is though that even with information like this that should settle our nerves and our overworked minds, it doesn’t, we still continue to think about it for hours, days, weeks, months at a time.
It is non stop, us Hypochondriacs are constantly worrying about not only ourselves but those who are closest and dearest to our hearts, for example if someone who holds a special place to me in my life tells me they are feeling unwell, I will ask them about a million questions about there symptoms to make sure they aren’t suffering from something more serious even if it is just a common cold, ill also ask them 100 times over if they are ok or feeling better, ill also constantly think of them and there health until they are better, yes you could consider this caring but what actually goes through our mind is a lot worst than what you can put down with pen and paper.
Health anxiety has the ability to make you feel things that may or may not even be there, it convinces you that you have something incurable, you are constantly wanting to talk about your health with family and friends but only with those you trust, if I have spoken to you about my symptoms then you know I trust you a lot, having health anxiety not only puts a toll on your body and mental state but also those around you, they can become frustrated with you with the amount of times they have to assure you that nothing is wrong with you, you could tell us this all you like but in our minds its a different ball game.
Having health anxiety can really rattle your life, it has the ability to take control of your life, and unfortunately sometimes I have allowed it to do just that, but if you are reading this blog and also suffer from severe health anxiety and have no one to talk to because it is a rare form of anxiety please, please reach out to me via email and possibly I could help you and you could help me.