View Full Version : Heath Anxiety/Hypochondria

May 6th, 2006, 09:21 PM
Does anyone here suffer from Hypochondria (http://www.bio-behavioral.com/Hypochondriasis.asp)(mild to severe), health anxiety or OCD with heath centered obsessions/compulsions?

I'm not diagnosed (cause I've never been to a mental health person), but I definately have problems in this area.

I obsess and get paranoid about my symptoms and worry I have cancer or something serious. It causes even more anxiety and stress on my already pre-existing anxiety, stress and panic attacks (which are getter worse ever since I found one of my cats (Fitty) dead in Feb)

For example, two nights ago my thigh started to hurt and when I touched the skin it hurt too...I don't remember ever having a muscle ache that did that...so I started to think it was a bone infection because the night before I felt hotter, or bone cancer, or flesh-eating virus or that I somehow got poked with a needle and got AIDS or something. I obsessed about it and kept trying to think of what I did that could have caused it. If it were a normal ache (like how my back aches all the time) I wouldn't have been so weird about it, it was because my skin hurt too...cool water on it almost had a burning sensation. I spent almost 1/2 a hour asking my mom about it and talking about it, her reassuring me it's not anything I was thinking...I had her look at my thigh too, just to make sure.

Or I have ringing in my ears caused by who knows what and I read it can be caused by a brain tumor. Well brain tumors are a huge fear of mine so I worry.

Oh and on a Dateline there was this story about a heart condition called Long Q/T and this teenage girl died of it (her alarm clock killed her)...and they were saying how you don't know you have it till you get a special test, blah blah blah ticking time bomb blah blah blah...anyway after I was worried I had it, asked about it and didn't use my alarm clock for a few days. Heh.

That's just a few example of what I do.

I'm not a "Doctor shopper" or anything and I don't imagine symptoms.
Mine is the type that do I have symptoms (pain for example or whatever else) and I read too much into it. Think the worse and worry.

Oh I also wanted to note that I was like this all my life. When I was six years old I remember getting panicky in my bed (trying to sleep, but couldn't) because my heart skipped a beat and I'd concentrate on it and my breathing and worried about getting heart attacks and things. So it's been with me a long time...

Anyone else like this-- health wise?

May 6th, 2006, 09:59 PM
I'm not like it, but my mother is. She won't accept it, but she has all the signs and the doctors have diagnosed her with it.

May 7th, 2006, 12:13 AM
I've been diagnosed with general anxiety but I think I have more of a handle on it lately. I mostly worry about stuff that's not health related, although the other day I stayed up all night convinced I'd found a herpe on my crotch but it was actually an ingrown hair. I stayed up on the net for like 6 hours looking at symptoms and stuff. The doctors at the women's clinic are gonna start thinking I'm a hypochondriac soon, but I swear something's actually wrong down there and they just haven't figured it out :P I tend to get myself real worked up about dumb things and I just cannot relax until I've made sure the door's locked for the third time, or the cat's been fed or my knitting needles aren't on the floor :P I get panick attacks when something really upsets me. But I used to be much worse, it doesn't affect my life constantly anymore, just an occaisional quirk I can live with.
But OP, I do recommend you go see someone about it if you're not. Mine taught me good techniques for dealing with general anxiety and putting those intruisive thoughts to rest.

September 16th, 2007, 12:31 AM
I'm the opposite.
I go to the doc long after its obvious I should.
I'm the 'if I wait long enough it will go away' type.

And I don't learn either.

I have waited to long and risked my life and health many times.

The last time, I waited to long with Lyme disease, but hey I figured 3 weeks of the rash wasn't that long, even though it got huge and went around my leg and caused a secondary infection by the time I finally figured it ain't going away by itself.
Now, I have chronic Lyme disease.

I wonder what the opposite of Hypochondria is?

September 16th, 2007, 01:04 AM
I wonder what the opposite of Hypochondria is?


September 20th, 2008, 11:22 PM
Interesting link, bad website. I mean, really, could they possibly make the print smaller? I could almost read what it said.

September 21st, 2008, 01:30 AM
...You could use your browser to increase the text size.
I only put the link there so people would know what I was talking about as some don't really know what hypochondria is...they think it's just being worried you have a cold before a school test or something someone does for attention, etc. Besides I was focusing more on my actual post, not worrying about a website.

Here's some others:


September 21st, 2008, 03:53 AM
Yes. I'm a virgo, how can I not be. That's the reason I decided studying med would probably not be a good idea as it'll reduce me to hyperventilating fits. I'm not too fussed about myself. I stress more about loved ones when they describe symptoms. Anyway, i'm learning to curb it.

September 21st, 2008, 06:03 AM
I hope you don't mind me asking, we you ever diagnosed with Hypochondria or anything like that?

I have yet to see a therapist, but I pretty sure I fit the DSM-V criteria, minus the doctor shopping (though my form of that is to get constant reassurance from my mom and sister, so that aspect probably still applies, only in a different form). Sometimes my issue wavers from more obsessive worrying (general health anxiety) when it's a down time to more recognizable Hypochondriac symptoms when it's not. As I said, this has been with me my whole life, it wavers at times, but never goes away.

I also get worried about my family-- cats even!-- as well. So it's not just me that I do this with. After I found one of my cats dead, I was constantly obsessing and having panic attacks over little things about Mulder (my cat). It lasted nearly a year, but luckily I can watch him sleep (and dream) now without having a panic attack thinking he's dying or something.


Toki Wartooth
April 28th, 2009, 02:04 AM
This is quite old, but it's actually been a while since I've had trouble with it...but it's recently resurfaced. I think the only reason it hadn't bugged me for quite a long time was because I was often too distracted to worry.

Unfortunately, I just got some vertigo, so now I'm horrified I have something awful like a brain tumor or the like. I can't seem to convince myself it's something more common, or something far less fatal. It's making me very edgy, anxious, &c. I hate it. I'm not having much success at distracting myself from it either...

I've never been officially diagnosed myself...at least, I don't think so. I did go to this free "therapy" thing offered by a local university, University of Central Florida, though their "therapy" seems quite Freudian...and therefore quite useless to me. The grad student I saw had a professor (well, all of them did) who was the sort of supervisor of the whole thing, and this professor communicated with the students via these headset/mic things...the prof was convinced that, because I wasn't as open about my feelings, it manifested itself as hypochondria. Um...I guess it's nice she was trying to theorize an origin, but I doubt that's it. (It's also quite disproven, since I still seem to have it, but I'm far freer and able to express my emotions. I'm not emotionally constipated anymore, thanks.)

In any case, my health insurance doesn't cover mental health, which is quite unfortunate. I also haven't had any success at finding sliding scale, affordable, or free therapy, save for the UCF one...which, as I said, was useless. (Plus, it took them one year to get back to me; I was on that bloody waiting list for a whole year!) I haven't the income to spend on more useful therapy, so I'm knid of stuck depending on things and other people (mostly friends--since my parents are convinced it doesn't exist, and/or it's some silly problem I can easily switch off in my head at any time) for distractions or comfort or ... trying to argue me out of my irrational ways of thinking.

The worst part about all of this is that I know my thinking is irrational, and yet I can't seem to stop the thoughts from coming or perpetuating. It's like a constant battle with myself, trying to reason my way out of it, but I can never seem to get out of this mess!

I despise this problem. I really do. I despise even more that I don't have the chance to do anything about it to help myself. Sigh.

April 28th, 2009, 09:40 AM
Both Hypochondria (mild) and this:

I'm the opposite.
I go to the doc long after its obvious I should.
I'm the 'if I wait long enough it will go away' type.

And I don't learn either.

I see the symptom, and depending on what it is, worry like crazy. Or other times just get curious and start researching.

I have migraines, sometimes with odd symptoms, unique...and worry that it's more than a migraine.

I have cysts in my breasts....meaning I wouldn't be able to tell if a new lump of a different sort developed.

I have Mitral valve prolapse....but a lot of the other characteristics of Marfan's Syndrome as well....so every time I feel a pain in the front of my neck that clearly isn't my throat, the possibility of a rupturing aorta is in the back of my mind. One of my distant cousins keeled over in her high school gym class from that.

However, other than monitoring the situation, there's not much any doctor can do---possibly beta blockers, though those have been questioned as to their effectiveness....I'm not going to get the genetic test for Marfan's because if it turned out to be positive, I'd worry about it more, and probably do more damage worrying than just living life as I am now. I don't see any benefit to a diagnosis, and if I'm going to die, rather it be quick and as painless as possible than constantly worrying intently about it.

Metabolic issues. Fun and delight of new symptoms from that every now and then.

But my underlying assumption is that I am reading too much into it, and so I don't go to the doctor.

Or dentist.

Hasn't backfired yet in a traditional medical sense, but there was a tooth I waited too long on....And was lucky that it's removal hurt less than the problem that required it to be pulled did.

I think for some of us, when the body talks, through pain, discomfort, it's more distracting, harder to ignore than it is for other people. Like my mood issues, the pain or discomfort doesn't know when to turn off, and is sometimes more intense than it would be for most people. And therefore keeps infringing on my thoughts, distracting me from what I'm trying to do, and causing me to obsess over it before I even completely realize how distracted I am.

Of course, some pain is hard to ignore....like my reactions to perfume.....horrible puking bad migrane that only in the last couple of years I seem to have desensitized to enough to function in the same room as someone wearing the noxious crap.

And for me, it was that realization that helped break the hold that a lot of that stuff held over me. I still obsess a bit too frequently, but I don't worry as much, I start looking at it as a jumping off point for research and curiosity about the workings of the human body. And the miracle of how well it functions when its functioning properly, and even when it's not. Sometimes I think extremely healthy people are missing out, at best not appreciating just what a miracle they are and at worst blaming others when the other person's health doesn't function in the same efficient way that theirs does.

If you can, maybe try turning your thinking around, look at the pain as a curiosity, as a teaching tool. Learn what you can, about the worst, but also about the mild things--how do muscle twinges work? Why do they happen? Look at it as a puzzle separate from yourself.

Doesn't always work. Especially when my anxiety levels are up for other reasons, and the low grade worry never does quite go away. But changing your approach, gradually, holding curiosity in your mind in addition to the worry provides alternate paths of thought, which sometimes become the stronger.


April 28th, 2009, 09:50 AM
Yes, I am just like that. It can also be a symptom of depression, as it is with me.

Yknow what's cured me of it though...at least mostly? Having so many false alarms that I've acted on.

When I was in college, I drove home at 4am because I thought I had appendicitis. I experienced the worst 36 hours of my life in the hospital, and I vowed never to go again if I could avoid it. That pain came back, and this time I just went to urgent care (mini emergency room). Wasn't nearly as bad, and although they still didn't find what it was, now when I have that pain I just see it for what it is...random pain.

So then, I also had a horrible reaction to a medication and thought I was dying so my dad came to get me. I would get cold, then hot...my heart fluttered...it was awful. Figured out later that's what's called a panic attack :P

One more...had been having trouble with meds speeding my heart rate, but I took my inhaler anyway. My arm hurt, up my neck, I had chest pain...thought I was dying. My dad talked me into going to sleep, since the odds of it being something serious were low. But the next morning, when I was in the shower, my heart rate went to over 200...so I went to the doctor. My bp was 140/100, pulse over 100. No reason for it, went to the cardiologist, had tests...she thought it was a potassium imbalance due to my birth control. When I went off it got better, but last night it happened again with my inhaler.

I've thought I've had a clot in my legs, meningitis, brain tumor, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy...I've run the gauntlet.

I guess my biggest tip for that is realize that sudden death is very rare in someone our age. Anything that is a serious problem will come on slowly, and chances are it will be very painful, noticable or longterm.

:hugz: I hate being a hypochondriac...cuz you wonder if, even when you are really sick, you're making a big deal out of nothing again.

April 28th, 2009, 10:09 AM
Yes. I'm a virgo, how can I not be. That's the reason I decided studying med would probably not be a good idea as it'll reduce me to hyperventilating fits. I'm not too fussed about myself. I stress more about loved ones when they describe symptoms. Anyway, i'm learning to curb it.

Can I ask what being a Virgo has to do with being a hypochondriac? I'm a Virgo and I'm definitely not. I see my doctor every year for a physical, I go if I'm feeling ill or if something's not right but I don't worry excessively. I've been concerned the last 2 times I've had biopsies on my breasts because I'm prone to fibroids, but it isn't a debilitating worry.

April 28th, 2009, 10:10 AM
I used to have panic attacks, then they just stopped...

the best one was one night when I was working in the casinos,
I was sitting at my desk in the middle of the casino, I felt little pulses in my throaght so I was feeling my neck for my pulse and couldnt find it,
the pit boss called the medics who wheeled me to the med unit in a wheelchair,
everyone was teasing me as I was being wheeled by the other pits, It was more embarrasing than anything else,
that was the running joke for a week needless to say,

May 9th, 2009, 02:57 PM
I have this. Well, undiagnosed, but I do seem to worry about my health all the time.

Like you, I don't INVENT symptoms, but when something happens I always fear the worst.

Can I ask...do any of you also have any kind of medical phobia? Because I do, and I was wondering if the two are related.

Toki Wartooth
May 9th, 2009, 03:02 PM
I imagine they can be related but not always. I have a friend who's rather emetophobic (fear of vomiting), but his "connection" or manifestation is via social problems. (He's had various diagnoses related to that last bit, too -- social anxiety, avoidant personality disorder, agoraphobia, panic disorder, &c.)

I myself also tend to suffer from emetophobia, which I've had for the vast majority of my life, many years before hypochondria ever developed for me.

May 9th, 2009, 04:11 PM
I meant more like a fear of hospitals, you know...a fear of the processes of being treated for illness. Because if you had that, you'd be more likely to fear illness as it would lead to you going to hospital, which is also a fear...

Am I making any sense? Sorry, I'm not very articulate today.

I have a fear of hospitals, of needles, of simply being in a medical environment. I wonder if that plays into the hypochondria.