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Forums / Anxiety / Anxiety about the vaccine

Topic: Anxiety about the vaccine

  1. anxietygirl60
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    11 posts
    24 November 2021

    I am new here and hoping for some reassurance and encouragement.

    For months now I have been putting off getting the covid vaccine, have cancelled and rescheduled a few times now, because my anxiety has been getting worse about it. The more I put it off, the more I keep thinking about it, the worse the anxiety gets. I really want to have the vaccine but I've let the negative noise on the internet get into my head and I keep thinking about the worse case scenario's of the side affects of it. I know that getting covid is way worse and I know that the likelihood of a bad reaction is probably quite small but my mind has built this up into such a huge thing that every time I think I'm ready to get it the anxiety kicks into overdrive and I just can't make myself physically go and get it.

    I have a rescheduled appointment booked for the first jab on Dec 1. and I spoke to my doctor yesterday about my anxiety and hesitancy to get it. She helped a lot but there's still some lingering doubt about it and the consequences of getting it. Because once it's been injected into my arm there's no turning back and whatever happens is going to happen.

    I just need some help getting over the line with it. If you have any reassuring words or experiences or even videos/articles from trustworthy sources I would really appreciate your help.

    Please, no one trying to talk me out of it. I want to have it I just need to get over myself to get there.

    Thanks in advance.

    (Oh, I should have mentioned that it's not just the vaccine that I have issues with. It's all new medications. I have this weird phobia - I believe it is called Pharmacophobia - where I worry that any new medication will cause me to have a bad reaction or kill me. I won't even take anxiety meds. I also worry that the medication has been tampered with and will cause me harm. I am a weirdo for sure.)

    1 person found this helpful
  2. Mark Z.
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    24 November 2021 in reply to anxietygirl60

    Hi Anxietygirl60,

    Welcome to the BB forum.

    You're not weirdo at all, there're some other people, very normal people still have vaccine hesitancy.

    Do you have any particular health or medial reason to worry about? Or, you're very healthy and just afraid of the rare bad luck?

    I just have an idea, why not asking a family member or best friend to accompany you on the vaccination day? Maybe it'll make you much easier.

    Mark

    1 person found this helpful
  3. Ggrand
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    24 November 2021 in reply to anxietygirl60

    Hello Dear anxietygirl60..

    A very warm and caring welcome to our forums...

    Firstly lovely lady...you are definitely not a weirdo..

    I had so much anxiety about getting my vaccine..even though I wanted it..I was scared of any side effects and each time my Dr booked me in to have it...I kept the appointment, then when she started to get the vaccination..I backed out of having it...then rebooked it for another fortnight..this went on a few times..in between appointments I couldn’t get my thoughts off wanting the vax and living alone and rural NSW..nearest hospital is over 60 kilometres ...so if something went wrong I would be in trouble..my thoughts were probably like your thinking..

    In the end I got so fed up and sick with my anxiety..that at my next Drs appointment, when she asked me..I just said okay let’s do this...I felt nothing, didn’t even know she gave it to me...then she gave me a few pages of information and what to look out for....My Dr. did say that they are more aware and more able to treat any side effects...if they happen...

    To be totally honest with you..I had a sore arm for a day..and was a little more tired then usual for a couple of days....Once I had my vax,,I did feel a lot safer for myself and the people that I spend time with....

    Not sure if my words are helpful to you....just wanted to let you know that your not alone in your thoughts about the vax...

    My kindest thoughts..

    Grandy..

    2 people found this helpful
  4. romantic_thi3f
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    25 November 2021 in reply to anxietygirl60

    Hi anxietygirl60,

    Welcome to the forums and thank you for joining us. I understand your anxiety and you're not alone with it here; there's been quite a few members who have booked, rebooked, booked, rebooked.. It might be over in 2 seconds but it can feel like a really difficult decision.

    What do you think you need to help you with your anxiety?

    One of the things that's helped me with my own hesitancies was understanding more about the process and how something so new can come in peoples arms so quickly. So that meant things like, how so many specialists all over the world have been working on the same vaccine instead of just one team, and how because it was urgent they didn't have to go through major waiting periods and apply for funding and grants which takes such a long time, and it was easy to start clinical trials because there was just so many people with COVID-19. Also, that they already know so much about the vaccine already because they can compare it to current vaccines and our bodies own immune response.

    I hope this helps a little,

    rt

    1 person found this helpful
  5. Whimbo
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    25 November 2021 in reply to anxietygirl60

    Hi anxietygirl60,

    I don't think anyone could blame you for being anxious about the vax. People are incredibly frustrated at vaccine hesitancy but that's directed at the classist, racist, ableist side of the anti-vax groups (I myself am in iso because of casual contact, so yep, not a big fan of anti-vax right now). There are many bad reasons to be vaccine hesitant and many good reasons, and I believe you have one of the good reasons.

    When I got my first dose, I felt almost like I had a flu - but I've been told this was nothing compared to how CV feels. After the second dose, I had barely any reaction and I felt great, mostly because I knew that people I love, and who are vulnerable, were going to be safer.

    Some advice I've been given, is when you feel enormous anxiety, try to listen more to the signals your body is sending you and less to the thoughts. There have been a lot of studies on the physiological feedback of emotions, and it's important to feel your anxiety as it physically exists in your body. Though this may seem a bit counterintuitive, your emotions exist for a reason, and being aware of them and how they're affecting you can help keep you grounded and help you monitor your symptoms. If you focus on your thoughts over your feelings, this can lead to rumination and catastrophising.

    Also having a close family member or friend beside you can be more beneficial than anything. Hopefully someone empathetic and non-judgemental who can absorb some of your stress.

    Good luck, I know this is a scary time but you seem like a smart and strong person, in the future it'll just be a bad memory!

    1 person found this helpful
  6. anxietygirl60
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    26 November 2021 in reply to Mark Z.

    Thank you for the warm welcome, Mark Z.

    I have a few medical conditions but I don't think they will be impacted by the vaccine, at least I hope not. One of them may possibly be made worse but that's only speculation, I don't think there's any medical evidence yet to suggest that it will be.

    I am very apprehensive about being one of the unlucky ones who ends up with some sort of major side effects from it. When I think about it logically, while trying not to listen to my anxious thoughts about it, I realise that the likelihood of something major happening is very slim.

    I'm not sure I can ask someone to come with me. Firstly, because there are very few people left in my life that I could ask (most of my immediate family are deceased and I don't have too many friends left) and secondly I try to keep my anxiety, not a secret as such, but quiet. I don't like to burden the few people left around me with it. It's hard enough for me to deal with why should they be burdened with it too.

    But thank you for the suggestion. It is a good one and a do wish that I had someone I could take with me.

    1 person found this helpful
  7. anxietygirl60
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    11 posts
    26 November 2021 in reply to Ggrand

    Thank you for your warm welcome Ggrand.

    Your post was very comforting to me and makes so much sense. Reading your response has calmed me down a bit and I do appreciate you taking the time to reply with your own experience.

    I think my thinking is very much like yours was with the cancelling and rescheduling of appointments. It's gotten a bit ridiculous actually and I feel a bit stupid but when in the grip of a full blown anxiety attack good sense seems to fly out the window.

    I'm feeling more confident that I will be able to go and get my first shot next Wednesday. I really hope I am able to keep the anxiety in check because I really want to do this, for myself and for others around me and the community at large.

    I really hate how anxiety runs the show most of the time and every time I cancel it gets the upper hand and I feel defeated, which doesn't bode well in getting on top of it. I wish I could go today and get it as I'm feeling quite strong. Who knows how I will feel by Wednesday morning.

    Keeping my fingers crossed that I can do it.

  8. anxietygirl60
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    26 November 2021 in reply to romantic_thi3f

    Thank you for your warm welcome romantic_thi3f.

    Your post was very comforting to me and informative, and has helped me a lot. I do appreciate you taking the time to reply with your own experience of this situation. It's helped me a lot to go looking for only credible information, which has echoed what you've written above, instead of letting my anxiety get triggered by all of the negative noise on the internet.

    It's also reassuring to hear that others have had the same response as me with cancelling and rescheduling multiple times before being able to go through with it.

    I'm feeling much calmer today and more determined to go through with it. Of course, my appointment isn't until next Wednesday and who knows how I will feel by then. But I do hope to be able to go and get it.

  9. anxietygirl60
    anxietygirl60 avatar
    11 posts
    26 November 2021 in reply to Whimbo

    Thanks for your reply Whimbo.

    I do appreciate you taking the time to reply and telling me about your experience with this and for the advice to listen to my body's signals more than my thoughts. It is very good advice and have heard something similar myself from somewhere else, but can't remember now. Problem is I forget to follow it most of the time. I can get too far into my head sometimes and it can be a not very nice place to be at times.

    As to having someone with me when I go get the shot, I don't really have anyone who could come with me. Firstly, because there are very few people left in my life that I could ask (most of my immediate family are deceased and I don't have too many friends left) and secondly I try to keep my anxiety, not a secret as such, but quiet. I don't like to burden the few people left around me with it. It's hard enough for me to deal with why should they be burdened with it too.

    I will, hopefully, be able to manage on my own. It won't be comfortable, for sure. I can't wait for it to be just a bad memory.

  10. Whimbo
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    26 November 2021 in reply to anxietygirl60

    That's great to hear,

    If you feel like you can do it alone, that's great!

    If you're still having trouble, I guarantee that at least one person will be willing and happy to support you through this time, whether you're particularly close or not. As people who have experienced anxiety it's easy to feel like our emotions are too burdensome to others, and that we don't have people close enough to us to help. I've certainly been on the other side where people have violated my boundaries by using me as an emotional crutch, but no emotions are too much for others as long as you try to pay attention to their emotions and boundaries too.

    If you can't choose someone, or decide just to go alone, remember that the people on this board are all cheering you on in spirit!

    1 person found this helpful
  11. second time
    second time avatar
    7 posts
    26 November 2021 in reply to anxietygirl60

    I was also very anxious and hesitant about getting the vaccine, after doing my research I realized that although the vaccine is new it is in fact on the backbone of 10-20 years research and trials. Having a friend who was quiet anti-vaccine crazy we got all the bombardment of the arguments of why not to have it.

    We went down the rabbit hole of research on all the points and found none except the exceptionally rare reactions were founded in reality or science. Further most of the origins of the concerns were raised by people who benefit quiet substantially from the movement (including one person who was already sued for 10 million dollars for 'treating' people for cancer who died from his pseudo science advice). I believe its something like 80 percent of the stuff on Facebook comes from 8 people.

    The latest info I read was suggesting after comparing stats of covid patients with that of vaccine side effects was that the rare fatalities and side affected people would have likely had similar reactions when they were infected with covid virus.

    I also was very Anxious about getting Covid especially long covid.

    I feel our government and health officials could do a much better job (or one at all) at explaining the with science the concerns of the anti vax are not founded in reality, you have to go look at overseas universities and professors to see the spike shedding does not happen, or why the reproductive system is not effected and was mistaken for a similar protein by a uneducated person.

    I feel anxious about covid still, especially as I am grieving my brothers suicide at the moment which weakens immunity but so much better that I have had the shot.

    1 person found this helpful
  12. anxietygirl60
    anxietygirl60 avatar
    11 posts
    26 November 2021 in reply to Whimbo
    Thanks, Whimbo!
  13. second time
    second time avatar
    7 posts
    26 November 2021

    Oh I forgot to say, I also have Tourette syndrome and I was also concerned that the vaccine could aggravate my tics/effect my sensitive neurological system. It didn't.

    Oh to make you feel a little lighter, (unless you have t.s. that is) at least you dont have to deal with the following.- having tourette syndrome which is aggravated by anxiety has been an extra challenging time for the whole pandemic, trying to hold yourself from a ticcing cough in public very daunting. Or concerned that at your brothers funeral you may yell out F##@ or not getting up now

    1 person found this helpful
  14. Mark Z.
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    26 November 2021 in reply to anxietygirl60

    Hi Anxietygirl60,

    Thanks for your reply.

    I noticed that you mentioned you have some speculation about possible side effects, I wouldn't suggest you to do your own speculation unless you're a professional. It might be one of the root causes of your frustration, because in your heart you're not sure the speculation is right or wrong, and it might lead to completely different consequences. The feeling of uncertainty might be the root cause of the frustration.

    But you also mentioned that you've already talked with your GP and got some professional advice, which means the risk is already minimized. Every step you've done is very right. Now you only have the last step - to make up your mind.

    Perhaps you can think of it this way, every decision in our life is accompanied by risks. But at least getting vaccinated is your own choice, this is your fight, let yourself decide your own destiny, not the virus.

    Moreover, it is very hard to overcome anxiety by yourself. The more you try to suppress it yourself, the more serious it may become. It's time to seek help. Asking someone to accompany you to get vaccinated is not a great burden. I'm sure your closed family or friends would love to do so if you speak out.

    Mark

    1 person found this helpful
  15. Elizabeth CP
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    26 November 2021 in reply to Mark Z.

    Mysituation was different to you but we wanted the accine but had concerns about the sideeffects for my hsb due to his condition. I was concerned about us both being sick at the same time and me not being able to look after him.

    I rang the GP receptionist and mentioned my concerns. We arranged for a GP appointment to discuss the issue with the option of one or both of us getting vaccinated after. Being able to talk to the GP about our concerns without being commited to the vaccine made it easy. He was able to reassure us and then the nurse vaccinated us before we could think any further.

    I wonder if you could arrange a GP appointment to discuss your concerns with the option of getting the vaccine. This way you are going to see the GP not get vaccinated but can then get vaccinated if you choose straight after before you have time to get too anxious. If you can't get the vax on the day the GP can help you work out the most appropriate way to do this while managing your anxiety. I hope your GP can help you

    2 people found this helpful
  16. Mark Z.
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    27 November 2021 in reply to Elizabeth CP
    @Ekuzaveth this is a really good idea!
  17. anxietygirl60
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    11 posts
    29 November 2021 in reply to second time

    Thanks for your reply second time and for telling me about your experience with this situation. Your reply has been very helpful to me.

    I too, just lately, have been doing my own research and have found that a lot of the noise on the internet is just that, noise. There are a lot of people just spouting misinformation, which had caused my anxiety to spiral out of control, and because of this it has made it hard for me, and I imagine, a lot of people to know what really is true. Right now, I am just trying to read legitimate information about the vaccine and the virus.

    I'm very sorry about your brother, that's a very difficult situation to be dealing with but it's good that you got the shot. I lost my sister in 2007, not to suicide but it was very sudden and I still deal with the loss even now. It was her birthday last Tuesday and it was yet another one she wasn't here for and it was a milestone one as well. I didn't do too well that day. I'm not sure if this is helpful, because I suspect that nothing much is probably helping right now, and it might sound a bit cliché, but the only thing I can offer from my own experience is to take it one day at a time and be easy on yourself.


  18. anxietygirl60
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    29 November 2021 in reply to Mark Z.

    Thanks Mark Z.

    You're quite right about me speculating about side effects and what you have said makes so much sense. You're also right about getting the vaccination being my choice so I feel more empowered by that realisation. It is the best thing for me to do for myself and once it's done the anxiety will go away to nothing.

    1 person found this helpful
  19. anxietygirl60
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    29 November 2021 in reply to Elizabeth CP

    Thank you for your reply and for telling me about your experience with this situation.

    I did get an appointment with my doctor and discussed the vaccine at some length. She answered all the questions that I had about what I had been reading about online - all the misinformation about the subject - and helped me feel more relaxed about it but I still was not quite ready to get it done at that time. I wanted to come home and think about what we'd discussed. I have an appointment for the day after tomorrow - Wednesday - to have my first shot. I'm still a little apprehensive about it if I'm being completely honest but I feel much better about it than I did a week or so ago.

    1 person found this helpful
  20. Mark Z.
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    30 November 2021 in reply to anxietygirl60

    Yes this is exactly what I want to say :-) Trust yourself and make the decision. You'll be all right.

    Mark

    1 person found this helpful
  21. Dean07
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    1 December 2021 in reply to anxietygirl60

    Good luck.

    You will be ok.

    1 person found this helpful
  22. Ggrand
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    1 December 2021 in reply to anxietygirl60

    Hi anxietygirl...

    I have faith in you sweetly...we are with you in spirit, with our care...

    Grandy..

    1 person found this helpful
  23. anxietygirl60
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    11 posts
    1 December 2021

    So, I had my first shot at 11.14am and did pretty well with the anxiety. I spoke to the nurse beforehand and warned her about my anxiety and about the fact that I could possibly have a panic attack and she was really great. Helped me breathe through it. All's good.

    But...

    Now I am freaking myself out about side effects and I can feel my anxiety level rising. Dumb, I know. I am trying to breathe through it. My right leg is hurting and feels a bit heavy and I am freaking out about it. Truth be known it's probably from the way I was sitting and have caused it to get a little sore/cramp.

    This is what it's going to be like for the next few days, every little thing will be under scrutiny, and then when I'm done freaking out about side effects I can start freaking out about the second jab I have an appointment for on Jan. 5.

    I really don't understand why I have to be this way. It's crazy and illogical but it still happens. At least I am aware of what is happening now, not like years ago when I didn't have a clue and thought I was dying all the time.

    Thank you to everyone who has replied to me on this thread. I really do appreciate your support during all of this.

  24. Dean07
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    1 December 2021 in reply to anxietygirl60

    Well done.

    Congratulations for being able to get the vaccination. Getting the better of anxiety is something to celebrate.

    Try not to concentrate on the side effects as the chances of having them are slim.

    I find anxiety hard work. The feelings that are associated with a particular worry seem so real and loud that it is hard to override them with logic. Distraction in the short term helps for me but challenging my thoughts and trying to replace the unhealthy thought patterns works better in the long run.
    I find it difficult to keep working on it when I start feeling better to make the changes more permanent. It’s easy to fall back into the old thinking patterns when a problem turns up unfortunately.

    1 person found this helpful
  25. anxietygirl60
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    11 posts
    1 December 2021 in reply to Dean07

    Thanks for your reply Dean07 and thanks for your support.

    Yes, I agree with you about everything you wrote in your last paragraph about anxiety. It is hard work and the worry does seem so real. Good advice to challenge and try to replace the unhealthy thought patterns, and I do try to do this, but like you, it is easy to fall back into the habit of old thinking patterns when things get tough. I guess we just got to keep working at it, I don't really know any other way of getting through it.

  26. Ggrand
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    1 December 2021 in reply to anxietygirl60

    Hello Dear anxietygirl...

    Well done..we are so proud of you...having the first jab would have been very difficult for you, yet you done it...

    I don’t struggle with health anxiety..but I can tell you that every little twinge, pain or aches I did start being anxious about them...I think the more we take note of what our body is feeling the more we feel tiny aches n pains that we wouldn’t even feel if we weren’t scanning our bodies...

    Congratulations...so well done...If I could I would give you a bunch of flowers in real life....I cannot do that physically..but I would love to send you a beautiful bunch of flowers from my heart... 💐...

    Grandy..

  27. Mark Z.
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    1 December 2021 in reply to anxietygirl60

    Hi Anxietygril,

    What a milestone, you should be proud of yourself, you're the winner.

    I think there're several things you can do:

    1. Do more research, have better understanding about which kind of side affects are normal, and under what circumstances you need to seek medical support immediately. As I mentioned, feeling of uncertainty is one of the root causes of the anxiety. When you feel you're more equipped by knowledge, the level of anxiety might be eased.

    2. Then do something that distracts you from thinking about the side affects. It's time to reward yourself for the brave move. Prepare a good meal for yourself, watch some exited movie, whatever can make yourself happy and exited (just don't make yourself too tired, you need enough rest after vaccination).

    3. You need a company, find someone who can spend some time together with you.

    If nothing serious happens within 48 hours, it's over.

    When it's time for the second dose, the side affects might be a bit more severe, but you'll be ok. Keep telling yourself that you're the master of yourself, you have won once and you will win again.

    Mark

  28. Elizabeth CP
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    2 December 2021 in reply to anxietygirl60
    I am glad you were able to get the shoy. Remember when you go back to use the effective stategies including letting the nurse know you have anxiety. My sister had very bad side effects for 24....48hrs then it went away which is normal. To cope she kept reminding herself that these side effects were her body telling her the vax was busy creating the antibodies needed to fight the virus. Rather than being a bad sign it was a good sign the vax was working.
  29. romantic_thi3f
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    2 December 2021 in reply to anxietygirl60

    Hi anxietygirl60,

    Well done! I'm so glad you got the shot even though you were still really anxious :) I also really appreciate your reply to me; sorry I didn't see it until today.

    I completely understand about freaking out- there was a part of me that was diagnosing myself with everything under the sun and another part that's just like shhh, it's anxiety. haha

    One thing that helped is to remind myself that side effects are normal and part of our immune response, to try and postpone all my anxiety until day 3 and to remember why I got the vaccine in the first place. It's done now. You'll be okay.

    rt

  30. Mark Z.
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    7 December 2021 in reply to anxietygirl60

    Hi Anxietygirl60,

    How are you in the past few days? Hope everything is getting well now.

    If there's anything else we can do, please feel free to come back and let us know.

    Mark

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