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Thread: Health Anxiety

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    Default Health Anxiety

    Does anyone else have this? I used to not really care about it or have it at all but recently I have become all too aware of my own and others mortality. We are only human and life-changing illnesses and infections can appear, seemingly out of nowhere. I have a hard time dealing with this and when I was recently sick and getting chest pains, became kind of obsessed with reading about symptoms and illnesses online, going to the doctor, etc. I'm still dealing with my fears but they go up and down; they have become a huge part of my life though in such a short time. I wonder what types are prone to this kind of hypochondria; I already had anxiety before this but it was never so bad. It also doesn't help that as you get older you're more prone to get more types of illnesses than teenagers and children, so now I'm terrified of getting old as well

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    Haikus Beautiful sky's Avatar
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    I am not afraid of death. If and when I get sick I do wonder if what have will kill me but I always live life with a high sense of spirituality. I'm grateful and very connected to this peaceful cycle. I realize that when I go I will have completed my duty, my fate and I'm happy for that. Do I feel bad about not waking up to the joy of life, of course I do but I also know that everyone is okay and will be okay. I too will transcend into energy of some form and that will travel to the hearts and minds of the people I've loved.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maritsa View Post
    I am not afraid of death. If and when I get sick I do wonder if what have will kill me but I always live life with a high sense of spirituality. I'm grateful and very connected to this peaceful cycle. I realize that when I go I will have completed my duty, my fate and I'm happy for that. Do I feel bad about not waking up to the joy of life, of course I do but I also know that everyone is okay and will be okay. I too will transcend into energy of some form and that will travel to the hearts and minds of the people I've loved.
    I wish I had this attitude towards life and death, it's true that the cycle is completely natural

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    Landlord of the Dog and Duck Subteigh's Avatar
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    I certainly have a great fear of living many years of my life in poor health, especially if it is irreversible. That would certainly be worse than dying: it is the pain/suffering and/or the debilitating (and thus limiting) effect that make it so - and of course, fear also is a form of suffering.

    chest pains is very peculiar, even if you have been told that it is probably anxiety. It is difficult to think it is not a heart attack, and I always feel that even if I am merely suffering the effects of anxiety, it is in all probability elevating my blood pressure, and the vigorous beating of the heart (and thus weakening my heart and blood vessels: I understand that the faster your heartbeat count throughout life builds up, the shorter your life will be ).
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    the flying pig Capitalist Pig's Avatar
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    You're probably just experiencing a phase that you will grow out of in time. It's normal to notice these things more when you get older. It's also normal, as you pointed out, for things to break more often as you get older. Even new things that you didn't even know could be broken. Eventually you'll realize there's nothing you can really do to stop any of it and you'll just live with it like the rest of us who are getting old.

    Quote Originally Posted by Subteigh View Post
    chest pains is very peculiar, even if you have been told that it is probably anxiety.
    Chest pains, even those bad enough to make a person fear they're having a heart attack, are a common symptom in panic attacks.

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    Landlord of the Dog and Duck Subteigh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Capitalist Pig View Post
    Chest pains, even those bad enough to make a person fear they're having a heart attack, are a common symptom in panic attacks.
    Indeed, but they are also a common symptom for someone having a heart attack .

    I got the impression that my doctor was skeptical in part because of my young age (as well as my anxious nature), as he didn't really inquire into my general health. He asked me if it still "hurt" if I held my chest during such a pain, and I told him it didn't: apparently that is a good sign, and is possibly indicative of it being muscular (non-heart muscles) pain and/or anxiety. The whole thing is something of a mystery to me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Subteigh View Post
    Indeed, but they are also a common symptom for someone having a heart attack .

    I got the impression that my doctor was skeptical in part because of my young age (as well as my anxious nature), as he didn't really inquire into my general health. He asked me if it still "hurt" if I held my chest during such a pain, and I told him it didn't: apparently that is a good sign, and is possibly indicative of it being muscular (non-heart muscles) pain and/or anxiety. The whole thing is something of a mystery to me.
    If chest pain is pleuritic/tender like your Dr. said it tends to not be related to the heart at all and usually isn't as big of a deal. My chest pain is not pleuritic at all, lol but since I went on Ativan and Celexa I've definitely gotten less pains. I was getting pains in my upper body (chest, upper back, neck, arms, fingers, sometimes abdominal and a couple times radiating to my leg) shortness of breath, etc. It all started very suddenly for me with the pains radiating over time. The pains have been on and off and now that I've been on the Celexa for around 3~ weeks they are not as prominent as they were and my appetite came back which makes me think and hope! that it was anxiety. If you are really concerned about your pains there are tests your doctor can order. I got CBC and BMP blood tests, my thyroid checked, and ECG, and an echocardiogram. My pulse was higher than it usually is but not above the norm (i.e., not tachycardia.) Though I still feel it is abnormally high for me, personally. All the tests were normal. I still would like to get a few other blood tests just to rule some things out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by summerprincess View Post
    Since I went on Ativan and Celexa I've definitely gotten less pains; I was getting pains in my upper body (chest, upper back, neck, arms, fingers, sometimes abdominal and a couple times radiating to my leg) shortness of breath, etc. It all started very suddenly for me with the pains radiating over time. The pains have been on and off and now that I've been on the Celexa for around 3~ weeks they are not as prominent as they were and my appetite came back which makes me think and hope! that it was anxiety. If you are really concerned about your pains there are tests your doctor can order. I got CBC and BMP blood tests, my thyroid checked, and ECG, and an echocardiogram. All normal. I still would like to get a few other blood tests just to rule some things out.
    Oh, I got put on mirtazapine. I have had a significant decline in chest pains since then (I cannot actually remember the order of events), although I suspect that my doctor's reassurance that it was probably anxiety may have helped and that also, I don't tend to notice (and dwell on the pain, which can make it linger perhaps) the pains anymore when they do occur.

    I had blood tests to see if I had hepatitis, which I didn't...I also had some -cardiogram test carried out, which established I had first degree heart block (probably not relevant). I'm supposed to regularly go to the doctors to record my blood pressure, but I have neglected to do so (it is already established I have elevated blood pressure, but not (typically) to hypertension levels - that is somewhat complicated as I apparently have White coat syndrome, perhaps even when having my blood pressure measured on a machine in a reception room).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Subteigh View Post
    Oh, I got put on mirtazapine. I have had a significant decline in chest pains since then (I cannot actually remember the order of events), although I suspect that my doctor's reassurance that it was probably anxiety may have helped and that also, I don't tend to notice (and dwell on the pain, which can make it linger perhaps) the pains anymore when they do occur.

    I had blood tests to see if I had hepatitis, which I didn't...I also had some -cardiogram test carried out, which established I had first degree heart block (probably not relevant). I'm supposed to regularly go to the doctors to record my blood pressure, but I have neglected to do so (it is already established I have elevated blood pressure, but not (typically) to hypertension levels - that is somewhat complicated as I apparently have White coat syndrome, perhaps even when having my blood pressure measured on a machine in a reception room).
    That was probably found by an ECG, and yeah it generally isn't a big deal. I get some white coat syndrome too, did you let them know you have it?

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    LSE says we're all going to die someday just hope it's not today. And, take it easy, don't worry, relax.

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    Quote Originally Posted by summerprincess View Post
    That was probably found by an ECG, and yeah it generally isn't a big deal. I get some white coat syndrome too, did you let them know you have it?
    it was my doctor who told me I had it. He had to refer me to a nurse once or twice to have my blood pressure measured, and this must have been significantly lower for him to make such a conclusion. I don't know why he thought the white coat syndrome would only apply to him and me, and not the nurse and me, particular as I like my doctor and he is not so much of a stranger to me. (Different arms were measured also, which means I could theoretically have had a disorder which affected the flow of blood in parts of my body).
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    Quote Originally Posted by summerprincess View Post
    I wonder what types are prone to this kind of hypochondria
    Probably N types have more risk. If your phobia will continue for some time without reducing, you may visit a psychiatrist.
    Try to develop sensory functions regions by physical exercises or running, - 30 min, everyday. Eat fresh fruits, vegetables, rye bread (it has vitamin B), pills with iodine or polyvitamin. Exclude sweets as they may affect insulin's metabolism and hence emotions. Maybe get medic's consultation about using adaptogens and soft calming.
    As that neurotic state is fresh, you have high possibility to remove it.
    Types examples: video bloggers, actors

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    Quote Originally Posted by summerprincess View Post
    I wonder what types are prone to this kind of hypochondria;
    Oh, I expect it is heavily correlated with the Big Five trait Neuroticism, and to a lesser extent, Introversion and Conscientiousness.
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    I have an EII friend who is a hypochondriac (and knows it). What helps him is accepting that he "probably has" whatever disease he thinks he has that week, and just living w it...until he finds out he doesn't. Really "helps" might be too strong a word, but he gets through day to day that way. He has gotten a lot better since he stopped allowing himself to check sites like WebMD, which just feed the anxiety...so maybe try that? I know it's hard not to look up symptoms when you feel caught up in worrying about them

    Quote Originally Posted by Maritsa View Post
    LSE says we're all going to die someday just hope it's not today. And, take it easy, don't worry, relax.
    I love this
    "In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is." - Yogi Berra

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    I have moderately bad health anxiety. It's gotten a little better since I was a teenager, but it can still get bad. My anxiety almost always creeps up at night so I have resorted to taking more than the recommended dose of Zzquil and it helps as it is the only thing that keeps me sleeping and not waking up in a complete terror.

    Researching and reading about illnesses is a terrible idea, imo. I understand you want to be on top of your health, but reading that stuff does nothing but freak you out even more. Even if you don't identify with some of the symptoms, anxiety is smart enough to somehow make you believe you do have them. If you go to a doctor and they say you are healthy, that's much more reliable than checking off symptoms from the internet. But I'm sure you know this already...

    I never really gave death much thought until I turned 30. It was honestly as if a lightswitch came on the day I turned thirty and I came to the realization that I am going to die. It freaking sucks.

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    I don't really have this issue. I remember when I was 20 I was forcibly rushed to the emergency room and put into ICU for a week. The doctors told me that if I had not taken a blood test that day, I would have died. I didn't really care. My family was freaking out, but I had a strange calmness about everything. Life was just not that important to me; at least not enough to care about my own mortality.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starfall View Post
    I don't really have this issue. I remember when I was 20 I was forcibly rushed to the emergency room and put into ICU for a week. The doctors told me that if I had not taken a blood test that day, I would have died. I didn't really care. My family was freaking out, but I had a strange calmness about everything. Life was just not that important to me; at least not enough to care about my own mortality.
    What was wrong with you??

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    Don't think there's anyone out there that doesn't have a tinge of anxiety when they experience pain/health issues they haven't before. And in those moments, I do. But long run, hypochondriac type shit? No.
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