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Forums / Anxiety / Health Anxiety & COVID Vaccine

Topic: Health Anxiety & COVID Vaccine

13 posts, 0 answered
  1. Always_Anxious_
    Always_Anxious_ avatar
    1 posts
    13 April 2021

    Hello all,

    I am wondering if anyone is experiencing anything similar. I have always had severe health anxiety after one of my friend's passed away from bowel cancer. I can't shake the feeling that it could happen to me too.

    However, after receiving the AstraZeneca COVID vaccine (prior to it being put on hold) every twang or twitch I feel in my body I attribute to being a CSVT clot from the vaccine.

    I have been speaking to a psychologist about this, however, my anxiety has been getting worse and I am experiencing more physical symptoms of anxiety - the vicious cycle that it is.

    Does anyone have any coping strategies for a situation like this? Thanks in advance.

    1 person found this helpful
  2. socialmoth
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    socialmoth avatar
    79 posts
    14 April 2021 in reply to Always_Anxious_

    Hi Always_Anxious,

    I'm so sorry to hear about what you're going through at the moment. Someone close to me goes through health related anxiety too so I understand how you must be feeling at the moment - especially with all the media hype surrounding the AstraZeneca vaccine.

    I don't think I can speak to the health related anxiety as a whole, but I would just like to reassure you that in Australia, the federal government has said 700,000 AstraZeneca vaccines have been given out and only 2 people have experienced clots. That's compared to what the European Medical Agency has reported which is 86 people out of 25 million have experienced blood clots after taking it. I hope seeing those numbers helps ease your mind.

    1 person found this helpful
  3. romantic_thi3f
    Community Champion
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    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    romantic_thi3f avatar
    3078 posts
    16 April 2021 in reply to Always_Anxious_

    Hi Always_Anxious_

    Welcome to the forums and thank you for joining us. I'm so proud that you decided to get the vaccine even with your health anxiety- I think that alone is something to be celebrated because you could have said no vaccine out of the fear but instead you did it anyway. Major kudos to you.

    I have health anxiety too, and one of the things that's really helped is staying up to date with vaccine development. There's people on IG working on the front lines that share lots of different bits and pieces and help people understand - and the information there gets translated poorly onto TV and newspapers.

    From what I've read, it's 4 in 1,000,000 for AZ, 1 in 1,000,000 in J+J and

    1 in 5 for COVID-19 patients.

    So I know with these stats I know what choice I'm making. There's also these websites out there that pick random numbers, so if you pick a random number and let it roll, you can see how incredibly rare it is that it will land on your number - in the same way that it's incredibly incredibly rare that you will have a blood clot.

    I'm not sure if this gives you any comfort. All of these feelings (no matter how awful) will pass.

    rt

    2 people found this helpful
  4. bookworm
    bookworm avatar
    4 posts
    26 May 2021 in reply to Always_Anxious_

    Hello,

    I too suffer from health anxiety. I had a dear friend who passed away after ovarian cancer and I am constantly anxious that I may get it or something else. I find the only way I can cope with the anxiety is by talking to my doctor and having various tests done to put my mind at rest. I do have an ovarian cyst which has to be monitored in case it grows.I try to distract myself with work, books, puzzles etc. but it is not easy.

    I understand how you feel.

    4 people found this helpful
  5. Victor5
    Victor5 avatar
    1 posts
    29 August 2021 in reply to Always_Anxious_
    Hi Alway_Anxious,


    Firstly thanks for writing this post, you don’t know how much this has helped me in this moment.


    I feel my health anxiety flares up and can get out of control at night. You see I sit here awake at night (2:35am to be exact) crippled with anxiety that I have or am going to develop blood clots post vaccination.


    The numbers (1.6 in 100,000) don’t help me, in my mind I’m that 1.6 most of the time. Yet there is part of me that knows it’s ridiculous to feel this way. It’s very much for me a Jekyll & Hyde way of living and its been this way for a long time now. It’s exhausting.


    I received my first dose of the AZ vaccine a week and two days ago. I am aged under 39 and so it wasn’t “recommended” for my age.


    At the time Pfizer wasn’t available and it was only after my wife had received her first dose of AZ that I thought I should book in. The thought of even Pfizer with all the hype over rare heart related adverse events was enough to scare me and I admit I was comforted in the fact I wasn’t eligible.


    So I booked in and still till now can’t comprehend how I have let myself get in this situation where there “could” be an issue with a blood clotting disorder. Why put myself in this situation., the fear of Covid scares me even more!


    I too freak out with any twinge I feel and can’t shake the feeling of doom each time something “doesn’t feel right”. I am super aware of my body and get very worked up any time I feel something and to be honest even when I don’t feel something I worry that not feeling something could be a problem. It’s crippling… and consumes me most days.


    I find breathing helps, and to be honest finding this post, registering and writing it down in reply to you has made me feel much better.


    I am nervous for my next vaccine in a few months time and would be interested to hear how you went for yours and how your feeling now?
    3 people found this helpful
  6. Fearless7
    Fearless7 avatar
    5 posts
    7 September 2021 in reply to Victor5
    Hi Victor 5 and everyone! It is comforting reading these posts as I feel like a nutcase trying to describe my feelings to my husband. I received my first AZ 25th Aug (Day 15). This is what I do - I count each day and feel relieved as each day goes by as it means I'm less likely to get clots. I've had health anxiety for a few years. It ebbs and flows with times where I have none. Since lockdown and having less structure in my day, is an enemy for health anxiety sufferers and I thought I would have less anxiety after 2 weeks post jab but my health anxiety is so bad I am having trouble getting through the day and ruminate constantly about every single twinge I feel in my body. It is exhausing I feel no joy at the moment - only fear. That said, I have had no symtpoms to worry about just my body doing what it normally does with odd twinges here and there like anybody. Stay strong fellow health anxiety sufferers. Know there are people who understand you. Any replies would be appreciated x
    1 person found this helpful
  7. Pumpkinella
    Champion Alumni
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    Pumpkinella avatar
    98 posts
    7 September 2021 in reply to Always_Anxious_

    Hi Always_Anxious and everyone,

    I had phizer and experienced shortness of breath and was convinced it was because of an inflamed heart. I went to emergency department - turns out everything is fine and it was just anxiety.

    It can be really hard because anxiety symptoms can be twinges in the chest, shortness of breath etc. and we interpret those as danger.

    Have you thought about visiting your GP. Mine prescribed me with some beta blockers. It helps to reduce the panic inducement and once that happened I tended not to view every physical symptom as danger.

    Its hard because there is SO much attention on these vaccines. Remember in the past you would have gotten vaccines that have some side effects that you were not even focused or aware of, but because there is so much media attention on this - the risk feels very real. In reality the risk is so tiny. You have more of a risk of blood clots on the contraceptive pill than you do with AZ.

    Love

    Pumps

    2 people found this helpful
  8. Fearless7
    Fearless7 avatar
    5 posts
    8 September 2021 in reply to Pumpkinella
    Goodmorning! Thanks for your post Pumpkinella. Actually I was just thinking this morning that I might go to the doctor and get something to relax me at night. That is the worst time. I also did an hour of guided meditation this morning which I have not done for a while as I have not been able to relax enough from my intrusive thoughts but this morning was good and I feel OK right now. Before I got health anxiety (around menopause for me) if I was to have some procedure wherein there was a 2 in 150,000 chance of a bad side effect I'd laugh it off and would not give it a second thought. Now, I'm the opposite - I am that person who will get the bad side effects (even though I have no reason to think this). Can't explain why - just how the irrational beast of anxiety warps our thinking. Have a good day everyone x
    1 person found this helpful
  9. Marks Mum
    Marks Mum avatar
    7 posts
    9 September 2021 in reply to Fearless7

    Hi

    fearless 7 and all,

    I have anxiety panic disorder and chronic pain syndrome and knew I would struggle with having the covid vaccine because of the blood clot issue. I finally had my jab on my third attempt a few days ago. I'm having a real struggle to stay on top of my anxiety and have constant panic which is affecting my digestion and sleep. I'm really worried about how I'm going to cope with the days ahead,I too also have trouble finding any joy at the moment and am on constant alert checking in on my body. I'm frightened that I might increase any possible side effects because of my anxiety.

    I'm glad I found this forum as I can see I'm not the only one with these thoughts and anxieties.

  10. Moonchild 11:11
    Moonchild 11:11 avatar
    16 posts
    23 September 2021
    Thank you for sharing your experiences. I was diagnosed with gad with ocd tendencies a few months ago, with health anxiety being the more pro dominant anxiety I suffer from. I went because i was starting to obsess over silly things like my car making noises. I was sceptical I even had anxiety until the vaccine rollout. I had been dealing with the pandemic fine or so I thought until it came to having the vaccine. Same factors mentioned here, media hype etc but a little closer to hone for me. My dad is strongly against the vaccine and has theories about gov control etc that greatly escalated my anxiety. It started with chest pains and tightness the day before I got the jab and the physical symptoms have not stopped. A few nights ago I experienced my first sever panic attack… I managed to bring myself out of it but two days later had one so severe I called an ambulance. They did and ecg and offered to take me to hospital for bloods but I declined thinking it would settle. The panic attack kicked back in as soon as they left and I presented to er where I had another ecg and bloods and was told my heart was perfectly fine. The dr was great and assured me I’d done the right thing. She gave me a benzodiazepine to take at home, sadly it wasn’t super effective for the physical symptoms but I did manage to get a few hrs sleep. I’ve never been medicated but I am exploring that option presently, awaiting a call back from a gp. My biggest concern at the moment is that mostly I can accept the physical symptoms as anxiety however as im so new to this I can just as easily send myself into a panic attack over them which as im sure you all know is terrifying. Has anyone got any tips on reducing the physical symptoms as I think this will help me immensely at the moment? Im willing to try anything at this point. Im too afraid to do normal things.. have a bath or shower when alone, going to work, I’ve taken some leave… im so scared of the unpredictability of these attacks and my inability to control them. Any tips would be so greatly appreciated. Love and light to you all, this too shall pass xx
    3 people found this helpful
  11. BeforeCare
    BeforeCare avatar
    15 posts
    23 September 2021 in reply to Moonchild 11:11

    I can relate.

    I've been managing my anxieties quite well, well I thought

    After my vaccine (6 days ago) I had the usual fever but my heart rate (monitored on my watch) had been over 100 resting, down to 80-90 for sleep for two nights, then the next days I was feeling palpatations and monitored these myself which were quite irregular but I was kept busy. Ive started to take some medications given for my tremmor but needed 10x the dose to have any effect on my heart rate/ ?anxiety. The palpatations (which were skipped beats on a fast rate) subsided now and I'm getting intermittent upper back pain and heaviness in my chest up to my neck. I've taken Nurofen for this but it didn't make it go away.

    I booked to a GP teleheath yesterday and he said to go to hospital "if I have chest pain". I've been to ED twice now for chest concerns and sent away fine both times, (the first cured with antacids and the second time ruling out a PE with a CT). I've since had some tests to follow up on my shortness of breath (holter monitor and echo) which both were fine and am waiting till next month to see a cardiologist. The GP said the other option is to go to the clinic for an ecg. I got there, waited for 1.5hrs for him to tell me he can't do an ecg (which just pissed me off as he said on the phone to come in) and I would have to drive to the hospital (another town) or come back tomorrow (thismorning).

    Considering he didn't really seem concerned I assume it must just be my anxiety so I had a couple of Ativan to get to sleep.

    I called thw clinic as soon as they opened, expecting to be told a time to come in for an ecg and they made me have another telehealth appt with another GP who seemed fine that I was taking 100mg of a beta blocker a couple times a day, and wrote another script (although it still said to take 10mg) she said not to come into clinic but go to hospital if I suffer with Chest Pain. I have a heightened awareness of my heart rate now and feel so stupid and maybe it is all just health anxiety. I also feel bluffed off/neglected from both of the GPs, they just read out my last test results and said they were fine and I shouldn't worry. I'm going to try to wean back from the dose of the propanolol tomorrow and monitor for heart racing.

    How do we determine what is just anxiety or what could really be something serious that I won't wake up with/or collapse when out alone??

  12. BeforeCare
    BeforeCare avatar
    15 posts
    23 September 2021 in reply to romantic_thi3f

    I can relate!
    After my vaccine (6 days ago) I had the usual fever but my heart rate had been over 100 resting, down to 80-90 for sleep, then the next days I was feeling palpatations, Ive started to take some medications prescribed to me but needed 10x the dose to have any effect on my heart rate/ ?anxiety. The palpatations subsided now and I'm getting intermittent upper back pain and heaviness in my chest up to my neck. I've taken supermarket pain relief tablets for this but it didn't make it go away.
    I booked to a GP teleheath yesterday and he said to go to hospital "if I have chest pain". I've been to ED twice now for chest concerns and sent away fine both times, (the first cured with antacids and the second time ruling out a PE with a CT). I've since had some tests to follow up on my shortness of breath (holter monitor and echo) which both were fine and am waiting till next month to see a cardiologist. The GP said the other option is to go to the clinic for an ecg. I got there, waited for 1.5hrs for him to tell me he can't do an ecg (which just pissed me off as he said on the phone to come in) and I would have to drive to the hospital (another town) or come back tomorrow (thismorning). I then took a couple of strong presription anxiety medications to get to sleep.
    I called the clinic as soon as they opened thismorning, expecting to be told a time to come in for an ecg and they made me have another telehealth appt with another GP who seemed fine that I was taking ten times the amount of my beta blocker a couple times a day, and wrote another script (although it still said to take the original dose) she said not to come into clinic but go to hospital if I suffer with Chest Pain. I have a heightened awareness of my heart rate now and feel so stupid and maybe it is all just health anxiety. I also feel bluffed off/neglected from both of the GPs, they just read out my last test results and said they were fine and I shouldn't worry.

    Not asking for heath advise but those diagnosed with health anxiety, How do you determine what is just anxiety or what could really be something serious and that I won't wake up with/or collapse when out alone?? Things are finally going good for me again and Id like to be around for this life alot longer, I feel very much needed now but I worry that Ill just drop off one day and I seem to be having every reaction or health issue that comes in my head.

  13. Bell87
    Bell87 avatar
    15 posts
    8 October 2021 in reply to Pumpkinella
    I was the same. I got my first Pfizer and got short of breath.. completely freaked out calmed down and I was fine. It still comes and goes when I worry about it. I am due for my second dose tomorrow

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