health anxiety

All your fibromyalgia experiences, questions and answers.

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health anxiety

Postby catering3 » Mon Jan 20, 2014 11:18 am

good morning
I was just wondering if anyone else suffered from health anxiety ? I do ,have had counselling for this ,but it has come back with a bit of bang just before Christmas .
basically ,with every ache ,pain ,twinge ,I become obsessed ,and focus on it to the point of nothing else. This usually happens when I am upset or stressed. With all the pains I suffer any way ,this can get unbearable. I am on medication for anxiety ,which is just starting to help.

I just wanted to know if any of you can relate to this at all ,in anyway ? do you feel more aware of all your body pains ,sensations ,etc ? I am always ,its seems acutely aware of every tiny pulse ,throb ,ache and then will make this into something much more ,which in turn makes the pains worse !!! then I stress ,and so begins a vicious circle .my current obsession is with a very slight "pulse" I can see ,but not feel in the side of my hand which I cannot now stop thinking about !!!!!

any thoughts that could help me ,would be most appreciated ,thanks all
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Re: health anxiety

Postby Jeany » Mon Jan 20, 2014 11:36 am

I think it is what makes us susceptible to this illness. I myself have always been an anxious and very nervous person who is easily stressed, and who constantly worries about everything, which includes health problems.
I have tried to change, but it's just my nature, and has caused me all sorts of stress related health problems, which include a breakdown, overdoses, depression, agoraphobia, recurring stomach ulcers, IBS, CFS/ME and fibromyalgia.
I used to be embarrassed about it and try to hide it,but now I admit to people that I have an illness that affects me in every aspect of my life.
I live alone, and it does't help, because you then focus inward on yourself, but then again I can't cope with even my 17 year old son living with me, and he has had to move out, which upset me greatly.
Life's very difficult when you are prone to anxiety, but you are not the only one, so I hope it helps to know that.
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Re: health anxiety

Postby armfaw » Mon Jan 20, 2014 11:38 am

hi, yes I suffer health anxiety , It's not nice.. I also suffer general anxiety and mild agoraphobia. I am just starting cbt for it... I worry about my own health as well as my son and my partner.. slightest thing and I am panicking, ...
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Re: health anxiety

Postby catering3 » Mon Jan 20, 2014 12:19 pm

hi

thanks for the replies .

I also worry about everyone else's health ,too .I avoid reading anything to do with health, or watching things on tv as that will set me off .I also lately have developed an anxiety if I see anyone in a wheelchair ,which is bonkers ,really !!!

with your health anxiety ,do you feel that you are constantly aware of every little body sensation you experience ? and then wonder what it could mean ?

sorry for posting this ,as I know this is a FMS forum ,not health anxiety forum ,but it does seem somehow linked?
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Re: health anxiety

Postby TATT » Mon Jan 20, 2014 12:40 pm

Yes I did, I found myself focusing on my early symptoms for up to six hours a day. I would research on the computer every pain and twinge. I honestly felt at one point that I was bringing on this illness due to my anxious thinking. To be honest I still think that could be true.

My health anxiety got so bad that I developed bulliemia, I would over feed myself and enjoy it then purge it all up. At the time I did not think much of this as I was more concerned with the pain that felt like someone had a voodoo doll of me and was sticking pins in sporadically.

I too have been a person who has been living on my nerves due to post traumatic stress disorder which I lived with undiagnosed for many years. So my nervous system has been full on for far too long, and it did not take much to set me off. I have help because my husband is very understanding so I could be honest and tell him what was going on. Together we managed to stop my need to research for illnesses on the web, I joined this forum which was a huge comfort for me and still is. I have learned to mediate, which has not been easy shutting up my anxious mind but this is a great tool to help relax me.

I now feel I can behave differently to life's stresses by being more aware of my reactions to it, and even when I do get stressed I work through it and it calms down pretty quickly. I have learned to self soothe myself, I am kind to myself and I try to stop catastrophsing over things. I also have learned to get me head round things too, like accepting that I have this illness so now when I get a new pain. I usually first come here, check it out. Realise it's okay if not see GP but my level of anxiety dips the more I accept my condition.

Hope this helps x
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Re: health anxiety

Postby catering3 » Mon Jan 20, 2014 12:54 pm

Helps so much when you know others fully understand what you go through.

I spent hours on the internet looking at symptoms ,which always always seems to come up with something terrifying ,which then leads to more anxiety !! I too ,believe ,that the anxiety makes this all so much worse.

my husband is brilliant and very understanding ,too ,which is great. I have had health anxiety, even as a small child ,when I used to get extreme stomach aches ,and no -one would take me seriously ,always putting it down to " attention seeking " .im sure that this early dismissal of my "illnesses" has contributed to a lot of my problems today. My grandmother ,I now think ,suffered similarly ,she ended hope having a complete breakdown in the end ,and I think back then ,this was not fully understood as an illness ,and again ,my family thought it was "all in her mind ".

I would love to be able to dismiss the "bad " that's sits in my brain ,constantly nagging me that the ache ,twinge ,ect is something "nasty " and wish that the "good angel " who says no it isn't could over power it ,but this can be so difficult ,if you can understand what I mean ??? gosh ,does sound like im crazy ,doesn't it ??? anyway ,enough of me going on .

thanks all ,you are an amazing support to me .
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Re: health anxiety

Postby armfaw » Mon Jan 20, 2014 1:41 pm

catering3 wrote:Helps so much when you know others fully understand what you go through.

I spent hours on the internet looking at symptoms ,which always always seems to come up with something terrifying ,which then leads to more anxiety !! I too ,believe ,that the anxiety makes this all so much worse.

my husband is brilliant and very understanding ,too ,which is great. I have had health anxiety, even as a small child ,when I used to get extreme stomach aches ,and no -one would take me seriously ,always putting it down to " attention seeking " .im sure that this early dismissal of my "illnesses" has contributed to a lot of my problems today. My grandmother ,I now think ,suffered similarly ,she ended hope having a complete breakdown in the end ,and I think back then ,this was not fully understood as an illness ,and again ,my family thought it was "all in her mind ".

I would love to be able to dismiss the "bad " that's sits in my brain ,constantly nagging me that the ache ,twinge ,ect is something "nasty " and wish that the "good angel " who says no it isn't could over power it ,but this can be so difficult ,if you can understand what I mean ??? gosh ,does sound like im crazy ,doesn't it ??? anyway ,enough of me going on .

thanks all ,you are an amazing support to me .

you sound so much like me... I was allways ill when I was a kid.. stomach aches , feeling sick.. I have always been anxious . I google everything and scare myself.. I still think theres more wrong with me than the dr's let on.. ??
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Re: health anxiety

Postby dejay » Mon Jan 20, 2014 2:27 pm

When I was first diagnosed 20 odd years ago I had never heard of fibro,so I was always trying to find out about it,but then made things worse by worring all the time about what I had found out, no computers then, which I am glad of now,but I have gone the other way now, every new pain or ache I say to myself "Its the fibro" so headache, or sneese,or pain in my big toe,"Its the fibro" I don't know if this is good or bad but it stops me worring,sorry about the spelling today yes "its the fibro" lol
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Re: health anxiety

Postby *Lisa* » Mon Jan 20, 2014 2:44 pm

I also had health anxiety but not no more.

It began when i started having frightening fibro symtoms like my throat feeling like it was closing up all time and not being able to breathe with the stiffness around the diagphram. Then to top it all off i was constantly unwell with viruses and infections :roll: as i was so run down and yes as you say i started noticing every sensation in my body.

It made me agrophobic and i had persistant anxiety attacks.

I remember one day so clearly... I had to go to A&E to see a friend who has brittle asthma. I had to be his mother tongue so to speak as he is so severe he ends up on life support and with knowing his history and needs i had to be there to make sure they delt with him in the correct way by also contacting the royal bromptom hospital to get him transfered.

Now this was a huge ordeal for me as never left the house at the time but i was needed in a life/death situation. I got my daughter to come as couldnt travel alone and took a taxi to the hospital.

Now even being in the hospital with qualified professional didnt make me feel "safe" i still felt ill with anxiety and even tho i was in the best place for care i still went on a panic attack :shock: now you would have though being in hospital would be a safe place feeling like this but NO :shock: and that shocked me most of all so i ended up back then paying for private CBT sessions and lucky to say he was fantastic and i managed to overcome the health anxiety and i now never have this but i do still have anxiety :roll: but in another way :-? its like you overcome one hurdle and get to another :crazy: :crazy:
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Re: health anxiety

Postby FluppyPuffy » Mon Jan 20, 2014 5:21 pm

I've had similar bouts over the years as well :( :( :( When anything new appeared, or something changed, even tho I had been to see my GP, I'd spend ages and ages looking into what else it could be related to, and with FM having such a wide spectrum of symptoms and associated issues, there were many, many possibilities :facepalm: :facepalm: All this did tho was push me further and further down as I was also convinced there was something else at work, and it was far more sinister than what I had been told was the problem. I used to do the same with research into FM as well, continually scouring t'interweb for anything new that had been mentioned.

It was one of the things that eventually dragged me down to what was absolute lowest point :cry: :cry: :cry: And ended up with OH literally having to take me to the docs and explain what had/was happened/ing and how I was :oops: :oops: :oops: One of the things it resulted in was a referral for therapy sessions, which, like Lisa found, made a huge difference to me.

These days, altho I'm mindful of changes and new things developing, I have very recurrences relating to health anxieties, but do have other purple minions to deal with, such as going out alone, having to make phone calls, meeting new people and going to unfamiliar and/or new places. So whilst one has gone back to behaving more suitably, others are still running riot :yikes: :yikes: :yikes:
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Re: health anxiety

Postby Carphil » Mon Jan 20, 2014 9:41 pm

Hi,
I am so sorry that so many Fibro sufferers suffer with health anxiety and can quite see why.
I too suffer from Fibro. I was first diagnosed with Pollymyalgia in 2006 although I suffered with it for about 3 yrs before that. In 2003 while worried about all my pains and problems and before the Pollymyalgia diagnoses I felt so worried about what I may have. Like you all, the computer was red hot with trying to find out what I had as the doctors didn't seem to know. Then I saw another doctor as the normal one was off sick. This new doc went through all that was wrong with me and came back with Polly. He sent me to a specialist rheumie and he after many tests said yes, I did have Polly. He explained what was happening and how he was going to treat it.
I saw him every six months for some years to tweak the meds and get me off the high dose steriods that you treat Polly with. Then a couple of years ago he diagnosed me with Fibro too. Wow.......what next. He sent me too a CT therapist. She had a chat and said I didn't need her help. That my way of coping was as good as hers! What was I doing? I had no idea. Why was I so relaxed about having both diagnoses whith all the problems and extra conditions they carried with them.
I think it was that with each diagnoses.....I knew what was wrong with me. All these pains and weakness, the fog the exaustion,lack of sleep and so much more wasn't going to kill me and I had the answers. I could learn how to cope with it all.......one day at a time. I can't help what has already happened. I can't know what is to happen tomorrow and in the future, but I can make the best I can of today. So keep it in the day. The problems that crop up today and I don't feel well enough to deal with, I put into an imaginary box and shelve it until I do feel well enough to bring the box down and sort it out.

I can only suggest you get some therapy session and like me talk to some friends that are part of a 12 step program. They live this way every day to help them through their own addictions no matter what form. My health worries......so strong.......was an addiction to me and I just wanted to live fear free.

Sorry this is so rambling but I hope it makes sense as Fibro fog is really affecting my concentration right now.
I hope this helps even one of you. X
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Re: health anxiety

Postby tonydin » Mon Jan 20, 2014 9:46 pm

hi i to had severe health anxiety ,,,,, but like the poster above mine resolved 95% after the dx , with fibro ther are so many thigs that could be on ther own something bad that its no worder we get upset if we constiantly focus on it and wonder what it may be
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Re: health anxiety

Postby Bellarje » Thu Jan 30, 2014 11:32 pm

I've been reading a wonderful book about anxiety, happiness and suffering. It doesn't pretend to have all the answers but explains why and how from a neurological perspective with links to Buddhism. Called 'Buddha's Brain'. As a non-religious reader it made a surprising amount of sense.


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