Monday, 26 November 2018

How to tell if you're suffering from health anxiety

How to tell if you're suffering from health anxiety

I've written a post previously on health anxiety and some advice to help you deal with it, but in this post, I thought I would write all the signs and symptoms of health anxiety and all the thoughts and sensations which accompany it. So rather than worrying every minute of the day, you can begin to understand that it's just your health anxiety playing up and you can hopefully feel reassured knowing that you're not alone.

Health anxiety can affect you in various ways a mild headache or a tummyache can make you imagine the worst you can sit and feel frightened, a sense of dread, feel panicked and can sometimes make you feel nauseous and exhausted. All these unpleasant thoughts can race through your mind, making you think there's something seriously wrong with you. Some of the thoughts I regularly experience are listed below.

  • Worrying that the doctor has missed something. 
  • Thinking that my symptoms have become ten times worse, and Ill sit and dwell on it. 
  • I imagine my family or friends are lying to me when they say they also have the same symptoms.
  • I begin to focus on any kind of pain I feel in my body and will automatically imagine the worst.
  • I try my hardest to ignore my symptoms but its honestly all I can think about
  • I begin to imagine what would happen to my family if I die suddenly from an illness
  • Seeking reassurance from others
  • If I visit a doctor and they want to test me for something, I'll be consumed with worry and feel like my worst fears are about to be confirmed. 

I'll tell myself that everything I'm feeling means I'm gravely ill and nothing is going to help me like 

"I've got cancer"
"I've got a brain tumor"
"Why is my heart racing? there's something wrong?"
"My doctor has for sure missed something?"
"Why am I feeling a tingling feeling? am I having a stroke?"
"Why is my body aching?"
"Why am I feeling breathless?"
"I'm going to die"

Its so incredibly scary and I'm stuck in this continuous roller coaster of emotions I'm frightened, anxious and extremely distressed. Some of the things I do when I'm feeling this way is to sit and google everything I'm feeling instead of seeing any positives ill focus all my attention on the negatives. I check my body every single day for any lumps or pain. I seek so much reassurance from my family or friends asking if it's all normal and if they get these symptoms.

Then along comes the physical symptoms which can be anything like

  • Sweating
  • Tingling
  • Heart palpitations
  • A headache
  • dizziness
  • butterflies in stomach 
  • feeling very restless
  • numbness
  • needing the toilet 
  • chest pain 

Everything can make you feel like you have something extremely wrong and nothing anyone can do is going to help you. If you feel all of these symptoms, then its very possible that you're suffering from health anxiety and the best thing to do is find some ways to relax you could try some self-care ideas which I've written a post on take a look at that right here
or let your doctor know how much this is affecting you and they will find a way to help which would most probably be CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) which I'm told is extremely helpful.

Please share this post if you found it helpful and don't forget to follow me for post updates 

 If you're worried about your symptoms and want to chat with someone who has been through all this, then you can always send me a message xx

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