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Reacurring Hypochondria

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Reacurring Hypochondria

Postby hypofear » Tue Jun 04, 2013 2:50 pm

Hello,

I have been dealing with health anxiety and general anxiety with panic attacks for the past 12 years and I am a 33 yo male. I have thought that I had heart problems, cancer, brain tumor and other diseases. Recently I have been doing pretty well but I have been stressed out, which brings out my health anxiety. I first noticed that I had a small soft lump on my forearm. I freaked out and thought it was cancer. I went to the doctor twice to get it checked out and she said that it was just a benign fatty tumor or a small muscle hernia. She did say that I had high blood pressure, which has always freaked me out but I have a home blood pressure monitor and check it at home and it is always fine. After this I thought that I was doing well.

Then the Angelina Jolie story came out. For some reason I started to do some more research, which is bad for people like us, and it freaked me out a bunch, I immediately started to feel my breast, since it can increase the chance of male breast cancer, and of course I made the muscle tender and I freaked out more thinking that I have breast cancer. I also read that it can increase the risk of other male cancers, which also freak me out. See this really effects me more since my mother past away from breast cancer at a very early age, when I was a child. Her mother also passed away from breast cancer but not at such an early age. After reading about the gene I immediately now think that I have it, just by my family history. I also have two very young daughters and now think that they will automatically get breast cancer and they should get the gene test to see if they have the bad gene when they get older. I am wondering if I should get the test or meet with a genetic counselor? There is no other history of cancer in my family other then breast, I have many uncles on that side and they all seem fine, so there is a chance that my family does not have the gene. I am going to get a physical in a couple of weeks and will ask my doctor about this. I am just freaking out and having a hard time calming myself over this fear. I am also just fearing cancer and think that since my mother passed away from it I will automatically get it.
The thing with health anxiety is that I know that I am acting nonsensical and it stems from the fact that my mother passed away when I was young. I tried going to different counselors and nothing worked it just seems like these phases come and go.

Thanks.
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Re: Reacurring Hypochondria

Postby Platypus » Fri Jun 07, 2013 4:20 am

I'm sure many people will be wondering if they have that rogue gene after hearing the Angelina Jolie story! I think you should decide to meet with a genetic counsellor based on whether or not you think it will help you. Would you feel any less anxious if you were told that you didn't have that gene? Some people might receive that result but still worry obsessively about getting cancer. (After all, even if you do not have that gene, there is no guarantee that you won't get cancer at some point in your life.) If you do have that gene, would it be beneficial to you to know? Or would it only increase your anxiety?

I'm sorry to hear your mother died from cancer at a young age. I suspect that breast cancer treatments and survival rates have improved since then. Also breast cancer awareness has improved, so more people are seeking medical advice once they notice changes to their breasts. Even if you do carry the infamous gene, it does not mean that you or your daughters will die from cancer. Whilst in an ideal world we wouldn’t suffer from cancer at all, it’s important to remember that it’s not an automatic death sentence. Last week I met a sprightly woman in her 70s who told me that she had breast cancer some years back. In the news we mostly hear the tragedies, such as your mother’s death, rather than all the people who have made full recoveries.

Maybe you can discuss your fears with your doctor when you have your physical exam. He/she is likely to have other patients who have similar worries and may have some good advice.
No diagnosis, lots of opinions, and a bunch of issues that I haven't quite figured out.
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Re: Reacurring Hypochondria

Postby Ombree123 » Mon Dec 28, 2015 6:22 am

From my experience, the more you pay attention to your hypochondrias scary thoughts and react to them. ( Such as reading about it, seeking reassurance, meeting doctors), the worse it gets.

If you can somehow not react to any of them, remember that the scary thoughts actually are hypocondria (even if they really make sense during an anxiety attack), your brain will get used to you not reacting and learn that there is no real danger. Thats how it goes away.

Also, it'll most likely come back, but the more you do that, the more obivious it is taht hypochondira is messing with you so it won't be as much as a problem
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