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Really feel like I am going crazy

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Really feel like I am going crazy

Postby misspantomime » Mon Jan 12, 2015 12:44 pm

Hi, I have joined because I really need to talk to people that understand what this is like. I have suffered from severe anxiety on and off my entire life. Mine mainly revolves around my own and others' health. I also have an abject terror of loved ones dying, particularly my mother and my boyfriend. I can remember being terrified my mother was going to get cancer or die even when I was a really small child. She has never been (touch wood) seriously ill and I have actually never lost a close friend or family member to illness or anything else so I am not sure where this all comes from for me.

I went through a period of my anxiety being sort of ok, but about four months ago I read a blog post by Kate Gross, who has now died of colon cancer at 35, about when she first got her symptoms and I was absolutely convinced that I could have colon cancer, mainly because I get constipated (sorry for TMI). Since then I have been a bag of nerves convinced I have got cancer of varying degrees(I had full blood count taken a few weeks ago, I am fine), or that I am going to get cancer in the future. Now my mum has got a cough so I am convinced she has got lung cancer. My boyfriend has crohn's disease so I am convinced he is going to get bowel cancer. I know that it is not rational or helpful for me to think this way but I really can't help it. I have had CBT but it hasn't worked for me at all - I sit there and do the breathing exercises and all I think is 'yes, but this is just calming down, this isn't helping my underlying fears'. I feel like the only thing that would make me feel ok would be if someone could guarantee myself and my loved ones will stay clear of any serious diseases forever, and obviously that is one thing that is never going to happen.

I exercise a lot which seems to help but at the moment it is worse than it has ever been. I can't concentrate on anything, I feel like I am going round the twist. All I want is to feel safe and I just don't. I feel something terrible is going to happen at any moment. Naturally I google every tiny symptom I or someone else has and all I get is cancer, cancer, cancer. I feel completely out of control. I have tried to talk to people about it and they do mean well, but all they can say are things like 'why worry about something that may or may not happen?' or just 'don't waste time worrying, just concentrate on enjoying the moment!'. It's really unhelpful - do they think I actually want to waste my time feeling like this? Of course I don't, I just can't help it. I know, logically, that it's stupid, but I do it anyway.

I feel like no one understands at the moment, so I am hoping some of you will.

Thanks for reading.
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Re: Really feel like I am going crazy

Postby TRs » Sun Mar 15, 2015 10:15 pm

I know what you're going through and it's lonely and debilitating. It feels like you're not even part of what's going on around you.
I don't know if you are always fearful or if you go in cycles. I used to go through three month cycles. The time in between was also bad since I knew what was coming and couldn't do anything to stop it.
I also used to go online when I felt something was amiss, and it was always the same symptoms. I have memorized every symptom of my two greatest fears but would Google them anyway.

I installed a floor in my kitchen and my calves were a little weary the next day. Convinced that I had ALS, I "probed" the strength of my legs by lifting myself up stairs with my toes. Naturally the next day my calves even more challenged, even weaker. That was even more evidence that I was ill.
The sad part is that you can't fight it with logic. I KNEW I was healthy but that wasn't enough. I've since figured out that there were other difficult things going on in my life and my anxiety manifested itself with imagined health crises.
And like you, I also worry inordinately about the health of those close to me.

I sent away for a course online that really helped me (which I'm probably not allowed to mention here). But I learned some important things in using it.

If you have the same fears repeatedly, a small organ in your brain (the amygdala) gets sort of "set" higher - like a gauge. In nature, it comes down when the danger passes, but anxiety can keep it in a constant state of higher fear.

The first thing that helped me was understanding it a little. The second thing was breaking old habits (I'll try not to be too lengthy).
If you do the same thing every time you are having anxieties (going online to check symptoms, asking others if they've experienced it, curling up on the couch and eating snacks, calling doctors, etc....) your brain will actually link those actions to your anxiety. Continuing to engage in them will reinforce the anxiety and make it worse.
The thing you have to do is figure out your normal reactions and avoid them. Do completely different things when you're feeling scared, the more distracting the better. It's Pavlovian and it gets stronger every time you do it.
It's not easy or instant but it is a first step.

My grandmother used to suffer from this and we all kind of laughed it off and tease her. I wish I could take that all back since I now know how she suffered.
People who haven't been through this have no way of knowing what it is like.
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Re: Really feel like I am going crazy

Postby Gwenn » Mon Mar 16, 2015 12:07 am

i struggle with anxiety on a daily bases and i used to be scared of death and that i was really sick. i have Somatoform disorder and i could walk for like 7 months but i thought i had brain cancer and thats what my doctors told me before i got the MRI. Scary. But if you ever need to talk i am just one post away.

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Re: Really feel like I am going crazy

Postby Roger1994 » Fri Nov 13, 2015 2:38 am

I am going through the same thing but fearing Lyme Disease, mainly because my dad has it and I see him struggle through it.

For some reason I can't take my mind off it and it just disrupts my life. I think my constant worrying has produced a haze over my reality, and now I have really bad brain fog.

Something that does help for me, even if its only for a moment, is to sit down and try to think logically "okay, even if I am sick and this isn't all in my head, why would it be Lyme disease? It can be hundreds of other things, so why this?"

Distractions also helps. I notice I'm alot worse when I'm alone than when I'm with friends or family. This has only been happening to me since July of this year so I'm hoping it ends soon... for the both of us.
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