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Forums / Anxiety / Health Anxiety - short lived reassurance

Topic: Health Anxiety - short lived reassurance

9 posts, 0 answered
  1. Mammamia01
    Mammamia01 avatar
    4 posts
    9 September 2021

    Hello

    To all my fellow health anxiety sufferers, do you always doubt your doctor when she/he says they are confident your condition/lump/bump/symptom is benign?

    I recently found a lump and had a doctor check it out and she was confident it was benign but seeing how distressed I was about it (asked her to check it three times) she said she will send me for an ultrasound for 'peace of mind' and so I can move on as she has experience working with health anxiety sufferers and knows that the moment she leaves the cycle of worry will start again. I was reassured and felt good until she left and straight after I started questioning everything she said, did she check it properly, what if she missed something, if she wasn't worried that it was anything bad then why did she order the ultrasound? I literally analysed her every word...it's exhausting.

    I guess my question is - do any of you feel the same? How do you cope with the constant chatter in your head, intrusive thoughts and just overall negativity and always looking at worse case scenario. I was fine when she said it was nothing but now I'm panicking again. It's hard to live like this and it's really affecting my everyday life, I have two kids and feel that whenever I'm in the midst of my health anxiety I'm not fully there for them :(

    Thanks for listening x

    3 people found this helpful
  2. Katyonthehamsterwheel
    Valued Contributor
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    Katyonthehamsterwheel avatar
    1618 posts
    9 September 2021 in reply to Mammamia01

    Hi there and welcome to the forums :)

    I used to suffer from health anxiety, but no longer do. I still have general anxiety. But I no longer ruminate over thoughts to do with things in my body. But I do understand how it can take over your life. My gp used to send me for extra tests to put my mind at ease over things she wasn’t worried about. I don’t think that’s problematic. It’s trying to soothe a troubled mind. Problem is unless you can learn to self soothe you will always need that reassurance.

    I always feel a little uncomfortable sharing what worked for me, as it sounds too simplistic, and I realise it may not help anyone. But I simply chose to stop the thoughts that were troublesome. All the what if’s - nope, not going to entertain you for even a minute. It worked.

    I wonder have you talked to anyone about health anxiety? I’m sure there would be strategies you could learn to overcome or reduce it. Especially if it’s impacting your life negatively.

    happy to chat more if you like. Katy

    2 people found this helpful
  3. Mammamia01
    Mammamia01 avatar
    4 posts
    9 September 2021 in reply to Katyonthehamsterwheel

    Thank you Katy, this forum is great and I appreciate your response and support.

    In my brief moments of clarity I am able to do what you did to cope, not entertain the troublesome thoughts, the 'what ifs' etc. but it doesn't last long and soon I'm back to behaviours that keep anxiety going. It's relentless.

    I have spoken to my GP and am currently waiting for an appointment with a psychologist but it's a 6-week wait which is crazy. In the meantime I'm here seeking support, more reassurance and others to share experiences with.

    It's not the first time I've suffered health anxiety but this time it's so much more intense, I think being in lockdown as well as a bit of post-partum anxiety have contributed to my health anxiety being so full on.

  4. Learn to Fly
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    Learn to Fly avatar
    240 posts
    9 September 2021 in reply to Mammamia01

    Hi Mammamia01,

    Thank you for reaching out and a warm welcome to BB forum.

    I am mainly plagued by all the doubts when I wake up in the middle of any night. They are blown out of proportion. They are ridiculous. But, they are.

    I will second Katyonthehamsterwheel. I tell myself “stop it!” “Cut it out”

    Also, I try to follow one of the techniques from the Acceptance Therapy. It’s called Leaves on a Stream.

    This shifts the focus of my brain from obsessive thinking about something to observing my thoughts, seeing them as mere products of my brain.

    Meditation and books reading are also my back ups.

    Take care there.

    2 people found this helpful
  5. Katyonthehamsterwheel
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    Katyonthehamsterwheel avatar
    1618 posts
    9 September 2021 in reply to Mammamia01

    Hi again

    Yes I imagine the extra stressors aren’t helpful. 6 weeks is a long time to wait, so it’s good youve reached out here. Please make use of the phone/text lines too if you feel the need. Sometimes theyre good as an in-between sessions, or in your case while you’re waiting.

    Learn to Fly makes a good suggestion about meditation too, if you’re into giving it a go. The benefits on mental health are scientifically proven. There’s some great apps and even short sessions help if you’re busy.

    Katy :)

    2 people found this helpful
  6. Mammamia01
    Mammamia01 avatar
    4 posts
    10 September 2021 in reply to Katyonthehamsterwheel

    Thank you for your replies. It's really helpful. I may use the chat/phone line options in the meantime as my anxiety is quite bad, especially in the morning. I wake up with an overwhelming fear and it's hard to snap out of it.

    My husband has been very supportive, always trying to help me look at things with clarity but I find it very hard, especially in the midst of anxiety attack where my mind just does what it wants and I feel like I can't really control the thought process.

    I've tried meditation but even when I do sessions I feel like I can't stop my thoughts racing. I guess it takes time to learn to let go of the thoughts.

  7. Petal22
    Community Champion
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    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Petal22 avatar
    1549 posts
    10 September 2021 in reply to Mammamia01

    Hi Mammamia01,

    Wellcome to our forums!

    I totally understand what you are going through it’s exhausting….

    I also suffered anxiety with my health I’d go to the doctor and have something checked be told by a gp everything was fine but I’d still obsess over it and have questions of what if they missed something…. It was a never ending spiral ……. my anxiety was heightened…..

    It came to a point in my life that my anxiety was very high! I couldn’t function I was always stuck in my head, constantly checking things, seeking reassurance, questioning every thought, I was having panic attacks, couldn’t sleep properly or eat properly in the mornings my anxiety was so severe it was horrible……… I’d have horrible intrusive repetitive thoughts that really scared me………I thought I was going crazy…… with all of the negative repeating thoughts and horrible dark intrusive thoughts….

    I went to my gp and explained what I was experiencing my gp told me I had anxiety my gp put me on a antidepressant to help me to manage my anxiety, I also saw a clinical psychologist and psychiatrist my psychiatrist diagnosed me with obsessive compulsive disorder it’s a anxiety disorder…….. this then led me to a clinic that specialised in OCD……. This is we’re I learned to master my OCD………. I learned OCD is a vicious cycle……. But with the correct help you can learn to break free of its grips! The therapy I did was meta cognitive therapy…. This therapy changed my life…… I learned what my cycle was and how to disengage from it…… I learned all of the things that kept me in the cycle and no longer do them….. I’m now free…… You too can learn to break free of the cycle you are in with the correct help…..

    Id highly recommend you see a clinical psychologist a normal psychologist can’t diagnose a clinical psychologist can……

    The things that kept me in my cycle were…… re assurance seeking, analysing thoughts, questioning thoughts, checking things……. I learned reassurance seeking was a compulsion of mine to try to relieve my anxiety and I’d google symptoms a lot as a compulsion….. I no longer do any of the above things … yes my anxiety would be there from not doing these things but it would come down and disappear…

    Meditation is great..,

    ive been recovered from OCD 4 years going strong..

    ive written two threads… have a read if your interested

    from some one who had OCD and recovered

    and effective treatment for OCD Metacognitive Therapy

    Ask me anything I’m here to chat

    1 person found this helpful
  8. Mammamia01
    Mammamia01 avatar
    4 posts
    11 September 2021 in reply to Petal22

    I would love to see a psychologist and I'm currently on wait list but it's so long that I'm not sure how I'll cope until I get to speak to someone.

    You mentioned that your anxiety was severe in the morning. That's exactly what I'm experiencing. It's so scary. I wake with this overwhelming fear and need an hour extra sleep to get over it and feel better.

  9. Petal22
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Petal22 avatar
    1549 posts
    11 September 2021 in reply to Mammamia01

    I’m sorry you have to wait so long to see a psychologist….. can you go back to your gp and see if there’s any chance of seeing one sooner? Please let your gp know if you are feeling distressed…….

    Yes my anxiety was very severe in the morning…….. I’d have things in the morning that I had to do…… it was really hard doing these things while my anxiety was so severe it was horrible…… I tried to slow down in the mornings and do things slowly….. I remember it being incredibly tough…… do what works for you in the mornings……

    I remember some mornings were very scary it was a really strange feeling…. Everything seemed enlarged sometimes and the feelings going through my body were extreme….

    I just kept moving……… getting through the days as best as I could……. I found being with people was really helpful……

    I told my gp my anxiety was worse in the mornings my gp told me this was a normal pattern for anxiety…… it would get a lot better during the day but once the morning came around it was severe again……

    I got through it though and so will you….

    If you are finding it really difficult with your anxiety please go back to your gp and have a chat…… I was at my gp s a lot in the early stages of severe anxiety…..

    My gp put me on a antidepressant to help me to manage my anxiety this took 6 weeks to work fully…..im not sure if your interested in medication?

    Hang in there, im always here to chat to you anytime…….

    1 person found this helpful

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