Health Anxiety

Jun 7, 2017 | Anxiety, Blog

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Health Anxiety: How to Handle It

“My symptoms suggest that I’m seriously not well. I’ve checked online and that said the same. I know the doctor said I am perfectly healthy but I’m not. At first he made me feel better but a week down the line I’m starting to get a headache and I have a bad feeling it’s related. I better book back into the doctor’s surgery. I find myself there quite a lot… last time I had sinus congestion and thought it was the beginnings of a tumour in my brain, the doctor said I was okay but now my hands are tingling and I think I might have early symptoms of M.S.”

Find me on Instagram – I post tips on anxiety every day

Does this sound like you? Do you find yourself constantly worrying about your health, and fearing for the worst? You might be suffering from Health Anxiety – but unlike the made up diseases you’ve been worrying yourself over, it CAN be dealt with and gotten rid of…phew!

Health anxiety is described by Anxiety UK as: ‘an anxiety disorder that is often housed within the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) spectrum of disorders. Those affected by health anxiety have an obsessional preoccupation with the idea or the thought that they are currently (or will be) experiencing a physical illness.’ In less complicated terms, you probably feel (or kid yourself to feel) like you are experiencing symptoms way more severe and serious than you really are. For example, you may have a trapped nerve that you’re anxious is a blood clot, or you had a common cold and was almost definite you were experiencing symptoms of lung cancer.

Signs and Symptoms

Most people with this form of anxiety are slow to realise that they have it – simply because they are so busy worrying about their potential illnesses and risks to their health that it goes unrecognised – it often takes an outsider to spot it. Therefore, to break this cycle the NHS produced a simple tick list to determine whether or not you are suffering from Health Anxiety, why don’t you give it a go?


Why me? Where are these worries originating from?
If you are regularly suffering from some or all of these symptoms, then it is possible that you are suffering from health anxiety.

It can be super easy to start feeling self-pitied by something like this, so having some kind of explanation to why we feel the way we feel. Despite the causes of health anxiety being easily identifiable, there are certain factors which may trigger the disorder:

  • Having a serious illness as a child.
  • Having a close family member or friend with a serious illness.
  • The death of a close relative/friend.
  • Being affected by an anxiety disorder.
  • Having a belief that being “healthy” means that you do not experience any
  • physical symptoms or sensations.
  • Having close family members who themselves have health anxiety

Is the media to blame?

An alternative suggestion by the No More Panic Blog is that the media is a huge influencing factor that may contribute to the sternness of our Health Anxiety. For a huge list of reasons, the mental emotion and anxiety that we feel when we detect a health issue may have a bigger link with the media than one would like to believe…

‘On every TV channel there are reality documentaries about health and there are several soaps loosely connected with health care and hospitals. What makes good television? Drama – so what do we get? – an overload of dramatic scenes. No one ever has chest pain from a pulled or tense muscle – it’s always a heart attack. Thus we learn to associate all these illnesses and situations with certain signs and symptoms but we never have the full range of possible illnesses and injuries presented to us so we can learn to make an informed guess.’ No More Panic Blog explains.

They add: ‘Similarly, all papers and magazines are stuffed full with articles ‘The 10 illnesses doctors always miss’ or ‘What to look for to save your heart’. It implies that we should self-diagnose as our health is in the hands of incompetent doctors. Again the message is reinforced dramatically – you should be self-responsible – look after yourself – no one else will.’ However, as stated before, it’s hard to pin point exactly why health anxiety disorder blesses us with its presence. So, instead of pondering on it forever and a day, we’re going to do the usual Calmer You approach – face the matter straight on and get a handle on it.

Tips on how to manage it

Below is a handful of main issues associated with Health Anxiety, and steps you can make to alter your behaviour when encountered with this issues in the future. Sound complicated? Trust me, it’s not. It’s as simple as just learning to replace your usual reactions with more positive ones.

My symptoms take over my thoughts every single day… and night!

Try and plan to gradually reduce the number of checks you allow yourself to do each day. Literally. Write it down. Set some goals. Anything to make more physical actions towards battling your mental state will help.

I go crazy on the internet researching what health issues I might have.

Put your device down. Google is not your friend when it comes to your health, you shouldn’t trust it and you’re not a doctor so you can’t keep self-diagnosing yourself every time you pick up your iPad.

I behave as if I am ill, when I don’t actually think I am

It’s common for people to avoid participating in any activity that will make them ill or put their health at risk. It is important to keep moving – your immune system is just as tolerant as everyone else’s. Be proactive by making a list of things you have avoided because of health anxiety. Next, make a step-by-step plan to re-introduce activity.

It can be a pretty tough battle trying to figure all of this out by yourself. Encourage friends and family to help you. If that’s not enough, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy CBT is also an option. Anxiety Association of America explains.

The main concept behind CBT is that our thoughts about a situation (such as the fear of AIDS) affect how we feel (afraid and anxious). We tend to assign meaning to specific situations (light-headedness means we have brain cancer). It’s not the actual situation causing your anxiety, but the meaning, whether accurate or not. And when you have anxiety, you give your thoughts a lot of meaning, and thus a lot of power. CBT aims to help you overcome fears by correcting irrational thoughts and changing problematic behaviours. By acquiring a certain mind-set, you can learn to approach anxious situations differently and learn to tolerate the anxiety and uncertainty. 



 


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124 Comments

  1. Lou Appleby

    Hi Chloe,
    I’ve had a couple of new sensations that I haven’t had before and they’re making me overthink that they are more serious than what they are which some days I can handle and so e days I can’t. I am tempted to go to my GP but in the back of my mind I know that it’s a waste of an appointment.

    Any tips on how I can overcome these new sensations?

    Louise

    Reply
  2. Chloe

    Hi,

    Thanks for sharing this post. It’s a great read for someone going through a ‘bad’ phase of health anxiety. I have found a small, pea sized lump in my armpit which my husband is convinced is just ‘a part of my body’ but I feel I should go to my GP and have it checked out. My question is, does anyone else who suffers with health anxiety’s also experience further anxiety through going to the GP because they feel ‘stupid’ and that they’re going to see us as time wasters (which of course I accept to a certain extent). It’s so difficult, a real vicious cycle of not knowing whether to battle the health anxiety or the self diagnosed illness. I have been seen by two consultants, booked myself a private hospital appointment and so was seen by a third consultant yet still feel anxious and now my ears feel full/blocked and keep popping, my underarm aches and I have been experiencing ‘bone pain’. I’m driving myself insane. I was prescribed anti anxiety medication at my last appt but wondering whether CBT may be a better option. Medication doesn’t stop underlying thoughts.

    Lou Appleby – Feel free to reach out to me if you want a chat!

    Thanks,
    Chloe

    Reply
    • Chloe B

      Hi Chloe – really sorry to hear you’ve been experiencing this health anxiety.I think certainly getting help for the anxiety is vital – seeing a therapist of some kind. Also doing what you can to take care of your mental health – meditation, exercise, talking to others, mindfulness – doing lots of little things will add up to a big difference. xx

      Reply
    • AhmedH

      Hey chloe! I’ve read your answer and i would like to share my experience too with this “lump” you have. I always get it when i apply a normal deodorant and Uriage deodorant (protection against body odor) on the same day. I usually switch up between them every couple of weeks but I realized that if i take them on the same day or like switch after a short time then i get these small lumps on my armpits. I actually found that the quickest way to get rid of them is by not spraying any deodorant on my armpits for at least two days. Yes i know it might not be the ideal solution but it has always worked for me. Sorry if this was a long reply and sorry for any mistakes as english is not my first language. Hope this helps and sadly i too have health anxiety but i found it to be better if you distract yourself with anything or anyone really and not to be alone a lot because that’s when most of the thoughts tend to come.

      Reply
    • Lyndsay

      Health anxiety makes you feel all different sensations through your full body, you feel more lumps and bumps than u did before, and they are nothing to worry about, I have been to my GP about finding new lumps, and new pains and everything is fine. It’s so hard to overcome thinking about illnesses, can ruin your full day. I tend to lay down and it helps, but would love to not have the anxiety feeling at all!

      Reply
      • Chloe B

        Sorry you’re suffering this. I can relate – it’s such a horrible thing to experience! Hope things get better soon x

        Reply
  3. Cassandra

    This post is what I needed. I have been suffering for a long time with health anxiety and I always feel like a fool
    when I talk to my doctor about my fears. Just going to the doctor makes my bp rise and the nurse and everyone
    there freaks out. They don’t even give me time to breath and relax. I feel completely defeated and put off with every doctor visit. Health anxiety is truly the worst thing to ever happen to me. The compulsions are unbearable and all the doctors want to do is pump more pills into me. I feel like they think I’m a joke and should just relax. It’s not easy living this way… It’s not easy pretending to be happy when you start to feel that everything in your mind and body is telling you your dying.

    Reply
  4. Fiona

    Hi everyone. Reading this describes me down to a T. I’m suffering really bad from health anxiety and feel like it’s taking over my life. Any pain I feel u convince myself is something serious I’m worrying to the extent I make myself physically sick can’t eat. It’s just horrible. But also really nice to read that I’m not alone and that others do feel like this in realy keen to hear other people’s stories

    Reply
    • Julie

      Hi all, I feel so grateful for this article and for seeing your comments that describes oh so well what i am going through. It broke me in tears to read these comments since I finally feel like I am not just insane, nor alone in this vicious situation.
      Wish you all to get the help you deserve to finally be at peace with your body and soul.

      Reply
      • Chloe B

        I hope you get some relief soon Julie xx

        Reply
    • Lindsey

      I am so grateful I came across this. I am currently in a similar situation. I got food poisoning or the flu a week before Xmas and ever since I have had the worst anxiety about every ache and pain. It’s to the point where I have absolutely no appetite to eat and have lost 10 pounds. 24/7 my mind wanders to the worst case scenario. Ughhh

      Reply
  5. Kelsey

    I really needed to read this. I’m pretty sure I have health anxiety. It all started about 3 weeks ago when I was called from my gastroenterologist to tell me that my liver enzymes were elevated and my white count high. When they called, I felt fine. After that, everything escalated. It started with me just worrying that something is seriously wrong with my liver. Then I had a stomach bug. Then a sinus infection or so I’m being treated for because of pressure across my nose, ears and temples but have no congestion. On top of that, I’ve been to the ER three times convinced something is wrong because my back hurt and my legs started going weak and numb. I have a serious fear of something being wrong. I’m constantly googling my symptoms because there is always something new. Right now I am still having facial pressure and ears clogged or full and slight headache and weakness, numbness, tingling, muscle twitches in my legs (mainly the right). Everything is mainly right sided. I’m scared of something being wrong neurologically or brain tumor wise. It’s exhausting. And a never ending cycle. I honestly think I would have never been experiencing this if nothing would have been wrong with my liver.

    Reply
    • Kaci

      I am experiencing the exact same thing. How are you ?

      Reply
    • Sarah

      This exact thing happened to me, I went in for a routine blood test and when the doctors phoned and told me my liver enzymes test was abnormal my body went into over drive. I have literally been worrying for 12 weeks straight. I have been in for a couple more blood tests and it is lowering but now I am concerned about every other sensation I get in my body, currently a lump in my throat. I had been referred to have some CBT and I feel a lot of hope after the itially phone conversation that this may be the best way to help. Hope you are starting to feel better.

      Reply
  6. Nicola

    I feel awful daily any twinge and ache I think I have serious illness or dying I’m scared of it now I’ve had cbt but it’s no better

    Reply
    • Chloe B

      Keep trying with the therapy Nicola, plus any other things you can be doing to help yourself relax. You will get there. x

      Reply
  7. Becs

    Great article. I have health anxiety (5+ years) around heart issues and blood clots (DVT) have been to 3 cardiologists, my primary many many times. In 2017 I “had” so called… blood clot in my leg, liver failure, heart issues, skin cancer, breast cancer… cripes the list goes on. We are only 10 days into 2018 and I already “have” (currently convinced) blood clot in leg, and fluid or tumor on my brain. It’s sad and exhausting.

    Reply
    • Stacey

      Wow you sound like me . I’m really really struggling at the minute because I’m scared I have something wrong with my heart. I always used to be at the gp for reassurance but I seem to have gone the other way. I’m actually scared to go because I’m scared they’ll send me to hospital and then the hospital will find something wrong with my heart .

      Reply
      • jay Armstrong

        wow, reading all this is making me see im not alone i am also struggling really bad with health anxiety i was admitted into hospital with expected pancreatitis and also suffer with endometriosis ever since i was admitted in hospital i am constantly worrying something else is wrong get a headache i have brain tumor, get numbness in arms and legs i have M.S. My doc has referred me to get CBT and one on one therapy and given me some anti anxiety tablets but now experiencing side effects from them such as lack of appetite and now im worried i am loosing to much weight i have had ECG which came up ok but have a extra beat i have had bloods done and urine which keeps showing up infections which is not helping my anxiety i am waiting to see a doctor about why i keep getting these bad infections but i am so sick of feeling so low all the time its taking over my life my relationships. thank you for sharing your stories x

        Reply
    • Joe

      Yes exhausting describes it perfectly. Every night I go to sleep hoping I wake and can experience a day with no problems.

      Reply
    • Katrina Rogers

      Becs,
      I am in the same situation. I recently had a fall which resulted in a calf injury. Workers comp Dr told me I will heal, but to stay off leg for 2 weeks. I told him about the “asleep” foot feeling and pain. He said I will heal . It’s a 6 week rehab. However he also mentioned a minimal chance of getting DVT. Well that was it for me. I’m scared, nervous I think I have it or I’m going to get it and now my anxiety is off the roof. I can’t stop googling my symptoms and of course DVT is always listed

      Reply
  8. nora

    same here. i’ve had health anxiety for a few years, and i feel like it comes and goes. during the eclipse, i took a glimpse at the sun for less than 4-5 seconds. after that, i didn’t really worry because i thought, whatever. after about an hour or so, i started to worry really badly, and i was thinking if i go blind, there’s no way i’m going to live my life and i still have anxiety about that now. i’ve had an appointment to get me eyes and retina checked, and the lady told me i just had allergy’s, and floaters are ver common, but i’m worried she might be wrong, and i’ve scheduled another appointment in 10 days. i can see fine, but there’s a few things that are off, that i’m scared might get worse and might make me permanently blind. 🙁

    Reply
  9. Lou Appleby

    Hi,
    Thank you for your reply that has helped. I changed my contraceptive pill a few months ago and I felt a couple of changes in my body especially my chest area and have overthought that it could be something more serious than my body getting used to taking the new pill and my hormones kicking in. My boyfriend reassures me that it’s not. When I do over think it stays with me most of the day.
    I do find it hard not to overthink.

    Lou.xx

    Reply
    • Sammy

      Hi I’ve been suffering from health anxiety for 2 1/2 years now it started when sadly my mam passed away suddenly she had just been diagnosed with lung cancer but died five short eeeks later . Since then I’ve had anxiety about my health and I’m constantly checking myself for lumps and I obsess over the slightest thing wrong with me . I constantly worry about my children’s health too aswell as the rest of my family . I haven’t been to go because I’m scared incase they do find something wrong with me it’s like a viscous circle . I think I’m going mad most days with all the worrying I do so I’m glad I’ve read a few stories and know I’m not the only one suffering. Also I agree when I’m on my own I find it worse constantly stressing about everything.

      Reply
      • Ant

        Hi Sammy

        My dad died of lung cancer and my uncle recently too. It has exasperated my anxiety ten fold. At the moment I am experiencing tingling in my foot and random bodily sensations. Of course you fear the worse. Mindfulness helps when I do it

        Reply
  10. gemma smith

    My god!
    I’m dying 24/7 and still not convinced I have health Anxiety! I have lymph nodes up all over my body, lumpy brests, back pain like you wouldn’t believe! Night sweats! My dad had Hodgkin lymphoma and a survivor 10 years now. I’ve had bloods ultrasounds and all clear but my friend google says that them checks are not enough to pick up on lymphoma so of course I’m still dying! So far this year I’ve been to the doctors 7 times with next week is a visit everyday Monday to Friday! ITS DRIVING ME NUTS! I know I’ve been checked but I’m not convinced I don’t believe no one. I’ve been doing CBT for 7 months and when I seem to be doing ok I have my CBT and it brings me back down. It is horrid but great that this health Anxiety really does exist and maybe I am ok. I have two young children and so saddened by all the story’s you hear about. Me and my kids do a lot for charity and try to everything we can to stop cancer, heart disease you name it we do it but with that comes the story’s. I’ve had this 1 year and 12 days now and I know I can’t go on like this. I’m a single parent and spend most of my time alone so you can imagine. Thank you for all coming forward this has made me cry finding this. Good luck ladies I wish you all well x

    Reply
    • Shelley

      Hi I’m going through the same at the moment I sweat slightly and have a lymph node that’s swollen been there for ages hasn’t grown when I checked my kids the also have them I suffer health Anxiety for a year now

      Reply
      • Shelley

        Also forgot to mention I’ve had a full blood count all normal and seen two different gps all day it’s fine still I’m worried

        Reply
    • Courtney

      Same. I have swollen lymph nodes but my doctor said as long as they don’t get bigger and not hurt then it’s likely not cancer. He said cancerous lymph nodes grow and grow and get big with no pain. Also, since we do have such severe anxiety our bodies immune system is way down from normal. The lymph nodes are likely swollen from fighting off infections, virus, or from stress. I say all this, but I still do worry about my lymph nodes at times. But these are some reassuring things I have been told. I’m currently worked up about having a blood clot but I’m sure if you ask me next week it’ll be something new. The life of health anxiety…

      Reply
  11. Lucy oldman

    It is so heart breaking to read these but good at the same time as it makes me feel like I’m not alone.. I’ve have had health anxiety for nearly 4 years… I learnt to control it which took years… but just had my 3rd baby and it’s worse than ever… I constantly have pains, headaches, shooting pains in different places and you always convince yourself it’s something horrendous… I have acupuncture which helps a bit but at the moment nothing is helping.. I am trying to control it so I don’t feel like I’m being a bad mum! I am going to try time to talk again and hope my hormones even out to control It… thinking of you all and we will get through it xxx

    Reply
  12. Colleen

    I’ve had health anxiety for a couple of years and have diagnosed myself with lung cancer, a brain tumor, bone cancer in my jaw…and each time it was allergies, exacerbated by anxiety. Fortunately my primary doc is wonderful and understanding and has done a lot to help me. But two months ago I developed what I assumed was carpal tunnel syndrome, but it’s been accompanied by tendon issues that my hand surgeon nonchalantly told me was “probably being caused by an underlying inflammatory disease”. I’ve since convinced myself that I have rheumatoid arthritis and will be in a wheelchair within 10 years. I feel new “symptoms” every day and I don’t know what’s real and what’s generated by my anxiety. Every night I go to sleep terrified of waking up tomorrow in actual pain. And the worst part is that the rheumatologist can’t see me for two months. The fear is agonizing and debilitating. I want my own life back. I don’t like this one.

    Reply
  13. Faya

    Omg!!! I relate to everything on this page!!
    Mine started from reading the daily mail. Every day there is a heartbreaking story of someone healthy suddenly dying from something or being diagnosed with stage 3 cancer. Really negative stories about Drs being lazy and not detecting things!
    So I read a story on breast cancer then found a lump which thank god turned out to be B9 (no cancerous) but since then I have self diagnosed myself with everything. I hadn’t been drs for ten years now I am visiting twice a month. I am starting therapy next week to over come this. It is taking over my life and happiness. I am scared to plan anything or enjoy anything because I convince myself i’m dying and there is no point!
    Any tips? xx

    Reply
    • Chloe B

      I think avoiding the Daily Mail is a good start – there’s no reason why we need to nkow about those random and distressing news stories. Therapy is a great idea. Also come and join us in the Facebook group ‘Calmer You Community’. Doing things to calm your mind in general will help – check out other posts on the blog to get some tips. Good luck x

      Reply
  14. Joe

    Thank you Chloe. I thought i was alone. I thought nobody understood what im going through.
    Eight years ago i have been diagnosed with High Cholesterol – Pre Diabetic and High Blood pressure. So i changed my diet. I ran miles and miles every day. I told my self “I will fight this” I will lower my Cholesterol and Pre Diabetes naturally………Short story. After all the diets and running around my Cholesterol never dropped. My pre diabetes never dropped. Now here is the start of my HEALTH ANXIETY. I constantly think and convince my self that i am having a heart attack at every small ache. Every headache is an anurysm. Every new freekin lump is cancer. Iv been to the ER several times in a year. I had blood test saying everything is normal but my Cholesterol is slightly high……..I am seeking for help. I came to a point where I don’t want to go out. It is starting to affect my work. It is affecting my family time……….I am sick and tired of this. I need help…….If i can just make my worries go away really fast i would do anything. I would do anything for a day with no worries. Thank you all in advance. We will overcome this.

    Reply
    • Chloe B

      Good for you for getting help Joe – having therapy is essential I’d say. Also doing what you can yourself to manage anxiety – meditation, exercise, getting plenty of sleep. Good luck

      Reply
    • Danielle

      Hi joe I’m new to this site I found it by accident but I have my storey below.
      I’m finding it so hard because I feel flat in mood and not my usual chirpy self I constantly think about every ache and pain and if I have too much or too little saliva, or if my fingers twitch. I feel like the weekends with my family disappear and I’m not feeling all together put together in myself if you know what I mean.
      I feel abit numb which is probably a better way to describe it and I hate it, I love my family so so much and never had anything like this before!
      Hope u feel better soon

      Reply
  15. emily

    hi chloe
    This has made me feel like I’m not alone. Last christmas (2016) I knew something wasn’t right as I was not myself, doctors ran blood tests etc and told me I had nothing to worry about. After going back to uni in the new year I ended up in hospital for a week having been diagnosed with glandular fever and a serious liver infection. Although I was treated by amazing professionals all my faith in the NHS was lost. Every time I get a minor infection I convince myself I have sepsis, if my glands are up – I convince myself I have lymphoma….and after a real struggle this past 6 months with a range of gyn’y symptoms I am going in for surgery in 3 weeks time for a diagnostic Laparoscopy after a grand total of 37 visits the the doctors and panic attacks that have lead me to a&e. I’ve had almost every gyn’y cancer ruled out after paying to see a private consultant for my own reassurance. My mum is a nurse practitioner and I question what she tells me when I know she is giving me rational explanations. I’m lucky I have a supportive family and friends and I didn’t mean to leave an essay on here but I feel my gp’s at the surgery just think oh here she is again and that in general nobody truly understands … i’m hoping soon I get a diagnosis and my mind can start to be kind to itself. Thank you all so much for sharing your stories and for your advice.

    Emily

    Reply
  16. Chris

    I have health anxiety and I would NOT wish this on anybody. I have been fine lately. I’ve been without Zoloft for about 5 months now and my anxiety has been OK. Last week I had to go for a MRI due to my back. I’m 31, lost a lot a weight and that’s when my back gave me issues. Go figure. Anyways, being in that MRI machine was shear terror. I’m 345lbs and my resting HR is 56-62bpm (seriously). So when my HR gets above 70 my mind goes crazy…well, I’m not claustrophobic, but being in that machine made me feel like I was being buried alive. I wanted to escape but know I need to do this to see what’s wrong with my back… Well, it’s been 4 days and my anxiety has came back with an attitude. I have non-stop heart palps…even now as I write this and watch TV I have palps…even with my HR being around 60. When I’m at work my palps are constant. It sucks! I take magnesium to try to help the palps, but now since my anxiety has come back since my MRI, nothing helps. I’m tired of living in fear. I’m like the rest of you. I’ve gone to ERs and Dr.’s thinking I was about to drop dead. My pulse is fine. I’m just tired of the palps. If you have constant palps than you know the adrenaline shock you get everytime they strike…thinking your heart stopped and won’t beat again..or that it’s going to beat out your chest and something terrible will happen. I don’t know what to do anymore.

    Reply
  17. Suzy

    So glad im not alone every since i found my mom dead ive been thinking it could happen too me too nothing was wrong with her so it was very shocking and sudden everyday is an uphill battle to keep calm and stop overreacting to any little pain but its so hard

    Reply
  18. Britt

    Reading everyone’s posts on here is truly heartbreaking.. I know exactly how you guys feel and it makes me sad to think that other people are going through this as well. Health anxiety is truly debilitating.

    I remember when I started to get anxiety when I was 8, I would get panic attacks every single day. I remember thinking to myself that if every day was going to feel like this for the rest of my life, I don’t want to live. My anxiety subsided for a little bit and it turned into health anxiety by high school. Now I’m in University and I’ll have months where my anxiety is terrible, and other months when I’m fine (usually only flares up when I have a health issue). I’ve done CBT but it’s hard to apply the practice when anxiety is high.

    It’s on my mind 24/7, and every single thing my body does that is not normal I start to get worried about something else wrong with me. My passion and my major is neuroscience, which is a blessing and a curse because I find the brain so fascinating but the more I learn about it and disorders related to it, the worse anxiety I have. Currently I’m worried about: having a brain tumour in my occipital lobe because I see flashes of light and floaters, having a tumour in my upper lip because I found a small lump, having colon cancer or upper GI cancer because I have fissures and sometimes they bleed, ovarian cancer because sometimes it hurts in my left ovary, breast cancer, and lymphoma because my left armpit has been hurting for a few years. Most of my worries stem around cancer, because in the past 5-10 years so many of my family members have been diagnosed with Cancer. Although none of them are hereditary, it scares the shit out of me. The only thing I’m ever worried about is cancer, and I’m always 100% certain I have it. It’s draining. *TRIGGER WARNING*: My mind is just flooded with the thoughts of having to leave university to go and start chemo treatments, and losing all of my hair, and finding out the cancer’s spread or it was unresponsive to the chemo, and then wasting away in a hospital bed while every other 20-year old is out living their lives, having fun, travelling, completing school, getting married, having children, etc.

    This mental illness is honestly ruining my life, and I don’t know what to do.

    Reply
    • Sarah

      I am you! Here if you ever need to talk, am finding living life like this so very exhausting x

      Reply
    • Jodie

      Hi Britt,

      I have the exact same symotoms as you, have floaters and flashes of light every day since sept 2017, its almost like a white camera flash or a black camera and only lasts 1-2 seconds. Weird head sensations, like a fizzing,zao vibrating falling sensation a d feels like there is pressure behind my nose on one side. Relating it to a brain tumor, going blind or about to have a seizure, its a horrible scary feeling. Its a little pbrase of doom every day and I have major sleeping problems. Trying to fall to sleep is a challenge. I always think i have cervical cancer,check for breast cancer lumps, ive had this for nearly 5 years now but the brain thoughts has been the past 5 months. It got worse since my Grandad fell ill with lung cancer and he has not got long left and to make my anxiety worse I saw my Dad 5 days agi and he had a severe heart attack while i was with him. No heart beat and he wasnt breathing, making frightening noises and went purple. Was ot a pleasent thing to see but the paramedics saved his life and was gods gift that i was there with him and called 999 otherwise he would have been by himself. Hope things get better soon xx

      Reply
  19. milla

    These comments have brought me to tears with relief. I have felt so isolated with my health anxiety and just to know that others experience it makes me feel so much better. Every day I experience new fears about health, but the worst anxiety kicks in when im trying to get to sleep. For about 6 months now i havent had a single night where ive thought “i might not wake up tomorrow”. Some days I can see how irrational im being, but usually i get lost in the whirlwind of my thoughts. My supportive family help the most, but when im at university the anxiety escalates because im away from them. Considering to try therapy/ physical activities to escape my own thoughts

    Reply
  20. Jess

    Hi all
    I’ve had health anxiety for about 3 years and it’s absolutely horrible but fortunately my GP is great. My biggest fear is cancer and over the past year I’ve worried that I’ve had breast CA(fatty tissue),brain CA( sinus headache) bowel Ca(food poisoning); now it’s gone onto my family and I’ve worried at least 16 times over one of family members: my current fixation is my son and an enlarged lymph node which 3doctors have seen but im still worried. I can switch off from it sometimes and then the worry will come and hits me like a ton of bricks; physically brings me to tears and makes me sick and I end up planning his funeral over and over and then mine as I think I cannot survive without him.
    I work in a hospital which doesn’t help but I can get quick access to doctors opinions which calms me down for a day or two. Once I fixated on something until I have physical proof it’s not cancer it ruins my life and I cry daily, plan whoever’s funeral, plan a treatment plan etc and then I get the all clear and im find again_ until another symptom!
    I found a self help booklet and challenging my fears with facts help and reminding myself how ridiculous I’ve been in the past but that little voice always questions it again saying ‘what if it actually IS cancer this time’.
    I really need to sort this but again the pessimist in me says well eventually you or a loved one will get it so what’s the point.

    Reply
    • Susan

      Hi Jess, your post stood out to me because it’s exactly how I feel. I’ve been struggling with health anxiety for about five years now. It began when I had a pain that no one could identify. Eventually, a surgery (lap) revealed adhesions caused by my c-section a few years before. I’m on Lexapro which definitely helps. But, I just had an emergency appendectomy which has set off a host of female issues. So now I’m convinced I have uterine cancer. I’m trying to do what you said -challenge myself with facts- but it’s so hard to stay rational. I had to quit the Lexapro cold turkey because it interfered with another medication, so my mind is out of control. My problem is that I don’t make up symptoms, but when I have symptoms, I catastrophize. I do the same thing about my son. I just wanted to let you know that I can empathize.

      Reply
  21. Trisha

    I have severe health anxiety and have had it for years! After having a heart attack 4 months ago at the age of 37 and 2 stents places in my heart I have it so bad I can’t go on during some days like today.

    I can’t eat I have lost 50 pounds I throw up I am constantly thinking something is wrong with me whether it be another heart attack or just anything you name it I’m sitting here crying in my bed! I can’t keep food down. I just don’t know what to do anymore I’m tired of dr bills and visits…. I’m tired of always thinking the worse I want to see my kids grow up

    Wish I knew what to do 🙁

    Reply
    • Chloe B

      So sorry to hear this. It’s important to get some therapy if you can – either via your GP or privately if possible. Yopu will get through this. You just need to learn to trust your body again. You won’t feel this way forever xx

      Reply
  22. gauri

    Finally! I feel like iam not alone in this. I am 22 and I don’t know how but last month I started googling some symptoms and for the past one month I have had googled almost all the symptoms and read about it all. It has been recorded in my mind so well that now a normal 80 beats heart rate also tells me that I have to exercise a lot. I feel like iam constantly obsessing over it. There’s no such case of any serious illness thankgod in my family yet but a few cases of cancers and major operations were running in my family lately. I have always been a lot negative but this health anxiety is adding to it more. I constantly keep checking my pulse and recording it every hour. I think iam slipping into depression because of it. I feel low on energy everyday and I tend to catch negative signs a lot. If I see a lot of ambulances moving, I feel like its some kind of sign! 🙁 This has affected me very badly and I have lost a lot of weight since I cant sleep at night and I cant eat properly.

    Reply
  23. Danielle

    Hi everyone
    My mum was diagnosed with womb cancer in Feb 17 told it was early and curable and Just found out it’s now in her vaginal area and has 12 months to live. Just before finding this awful news out I started with health anxiety the night of 23rd of December 17. I woke up at 1am with numbness all down my right arm and leg it was cold, I was shaking and it felt like it was progressively getting worse so I got a taxi to A&E who did mri scans ct scans and X-rays of the chest and an ECG and bloods everything was normal. They kept me in over night doing these checks which did alarm me, and made me even more anxious. When I went home I started getting short of breath, lump/phlegm feeling in my throat, finger twitches, knot in my tummy (like an hours worth of a low mood feeling) still feeling flat now, last night my legs were so sore as if I did a work out (which I didn’t) so took paracetamol. I still get a weird numb sensation in right arm and right ankle and foot I also get pain in right shoulder elbow wrist and thumb. I thought it was a trapped nerve due to accidentally pricking my thumb on the pram which made my thumb spasm, the vein went bright blue and popped out of the skin it went really red and after a day it just bruised over then all my issues started!
    I keep thinking that I have some underlying issue but this post has made me think that actually I am reading into things all the time. I spend a lot of my time googling which is my worst enemy. Does anyone live in Manchester? Be nice to get to know someone with similar issues so we can help each other overcome it.
    I’ve tried acupuncture which helps abit, and I meet a councillor once a fortnight to help get my worries out there. My aims are to;
    Stop googling symptoms
    Try not to read into body signs

    I have so many worries that have built I

    Reply
  24. Danielle

    Just to add I also get either a watery mouth or a dry mouth and the doctor said yes this can happen with anxiety. I’m not on medication because I want to deal with it in other ways if possible like councilling as talking helps me and crying.
    I feel very tired as well but no wonder I sometimes fall off to sleep if my partners in bed but if I go alone I can’t sleep and my mind works overtime it’s driving me bonkers

    Reply
  25. Sarah

    Im glad I’ve found this website and can see that others feel how I do. For the last month all of a sudden I believe I am dying. I had a stomach bug in December and ended my up in a&e as I was de-hydrated and they run bloods and said everything was fine but I was convinced I was dying I have been to the doctors a few times now due to headaches and a foggy head feeling which led me to think I had a brain tumour. I was put on stertraline as the doctor said it’s anxiety but I can’t stop thinking something is wrong and they’ve missed something my family and boyfriend are losing there patience’s with me as I can’t stop googling symptoms and convincing myself I have something. How do people cope with this?

    Reply
  26. Adam

    I’m glad yet sad I’m not alone. I wouldn’t wish health anxiety on my worst enemy. I’ve suffered it on and off most of my life but the last 9 months have been the worst. I’m doing exposure therapy with my psychologist but that doesn’t seem to be helping. I have an amazing family that understands but I just feel like I am letting them down so much by not being “normal”.
    In my mind I am convinced that there is something seriously wrong with me and the Dr’s are just putting it down to my anxiety.
    Someone once said to me that getting control of your anxiety will make your Dr’s believe your symptoms more. But it is so hard to take control of it when it consumes you 24/7. All I want is an answer to the symptoms I am feeling.

    Reply
  27. Pooja

    Glad to find I am not alone. It all started when my Mom died at age of 57 with CKD. She had high bp and was overweight. I am yet young (37)and eat healthy and an active person but think that those things will also happen to me. My doctors have assured me that I am good. Hopefully I will be normal soon. I must stop googling symptoms and minor pains etc and try to lead normal life and be my better self.

    Reply
  28. DiegoGonzalez

    I’ve been experiencing anxiety over the past 2 weeks now. I keep worrying about my mental health. For example, the main worry I have is if I will develop schizophrenia or a similar mental illness. I keep visualizing myself in that situation of going crazy and I keep focusing on any of the symptoms related to schizophrenia. Like I go crazy on google, searching for symptoms of this mental illness to see if I show any signs of it or not, even though I believe I don’t have it- I just keep stressing over it.

    Reply
  29. GD

    I had my first child four years ago. The pregnancy was rough. I was on bed rest, had extremely high BP, developed pre-eclampsia and delivered four weeks early due to low fluid. He was healthy and didn’t need to be in nicu. Five days after giving birth I was rushed to the er with blood pressure 190/150. I was vomiting, shaking and faint. My husband was looking at me with eyes saying “don’t you die on me!” but said everything will be fine. Eventually I was placed on the right meds and haven’t had big issues with BP since. I had a second baby and the pregnancy was much better. I delivered three weeks early this time due to fluid levels but was better after and didn’t have soaring BP levels. I’m convinced that my hormones greatly shifted having children and I just can’t level off. I didn’t have a single day of anxiety prior to children and now I can’t shake it. I was born with a life changing illness that I’ve dealt with, no problem, for 35 years so it’s not new. I enjoy going to the Dr, I don’t get white coat syndrome and I was never worried prior to having kids. I definitely have more to lose if something is wrong with me but I am constantly in fear that something is wrong with my heart or BP. I try to read sites like this or a book about health anxiety which helps get me mentally back to earth. It was comforting to know this isn’t just me bc it certainly feels like I’m on an island slowly dying and isolating myself from my family for fear of death in front of my littles.

    Reply
  30. Vincent

    I constantly feel bloated, and if I eat a large meal, I feel so cramped up. I feel like my heart/chest is pressing way too hard on my body, and my stomach will hurt so much. I have lost almost 20lbs in the past month. I used to weigh about 160lbs and now I am down to 140lbs. For a 22 year old male, I think that it’s too much weight to be lost in just a month. I don’t really know if I have health anxiety or an actual serious stomach issue. I have been to the doctors, I am seeing a counselor, seen a Naturopath, been to the Emergency 4 times and the hospital 5 times, and they have all said they couldn’t find any issues with my body. I have done urine samples, blood tests, MRI’s, heart monitors, an ultrasound, and some X-Rays of my abdomen, and they still have found nothing wrong, that I am just constipated. I have also had recent and reoccurring panic attacks within the past month, but those symptoms seem to have gone away, and now I am left with severe abdominal pain and chest pain. In the morning when I wake up and haven’t had anything to eat, I feel like I am dying! I feel so sick, and I am convinced that anxiety does not have this many physical symptoms. It’s been increasingly unbearable and has not been solved, and I don’t know what to do or who to turn to because I don’t know how to get better from this. I have had no relief and it’s getting worse. Any response would be helpful, and I guess everyone goes through health anxiety symptoms differently, but I just seem to be convinced that the doctors have not found what it causes me this pain.

    Reply
  31. Jade

    So glad to have found thus pain I have been suffering with health anxiety on and off for years,something seems to trigger it out of the blue then it goes for a little bit.This past few weeks have been hard my nan has termonad cancer and been in hospital and I have costochondritis which I have never had before but as the symptoms aren’t dispearing I’m worrying that it’s something worse but I get so scared going to the doctor’s as I don’t want to know and don’t want to be sent for x rays or anything drives me mad.I’m worse as I haven’t done anything to bring on the costochondritis so now I’m thinking why have I got it is there something wrong it’s so painful

    Reply
  32. Kerrie

    I’ve been feeling like this nearly all my life, so scared of dying but it got really bad after my dad died 10 years ago and I thought I had the same thing, paid for a private scan and I was fine of course. Since then I’m constantly checking myself always worried I could have cancer yet when I have real illnesses they don’t bother me at all. My Auntie died last month and it’s back with a vengeance, funnily enough I had a pain in my stomach so bad yesterday I went to hospital and they did a ct and found a kidney stone, I don’t have a problem with this as I’ve had one before but right now I’ve been having really mild chest pains and I’m sure it’s muscular but all I can think about is that I’m having a heart attack and I’ve been panicking all day. I worry if I eat something I’ve never tried before in case I have an allergic reaction. I worry about my kids, my husband and I just want it to stop. I know it’s irrational but I can’t stop this constant anxiety yet I cope fine with real illnesses.

    Reply
  33. Nicola

    I ‘ve suffered severe anxiety and panic attacks to do with throat phobia. I try so hard to be normal and I m pretty desperate for help. Is there anyone else who has the same problem?

    Reply
  34. Charlie Banks

    I’m so relieved to find this page as it puts things into perspective, almost everyone sounds like me! So I’ve had this now for 9 years and in that time I’ve been on the verge (or not) of death many times. Once I was convinced I had bowel cancer, was in bed for days because I didn’t want to move, that was 8 years ago so I’m sure I’m ok. I do worry normally, my daughter has cystic fibrosis which I under control, I worry more about myself! She was admitted to hospital recently, was absolutely fine and coped well but since she was discharged BANG!! Anxiety back with new attitude, I’ve suffered with acid reflux for years and whilst in hospital I forgot to take my meds, symptoms flared up and I have belly ache. I went to the drs 3 times last week and they all said the same “gastric acid pain, a bit bunged up (bowels) and anxiety) yet do I believe them? Na!! I convinced myself it’s some form of cancer but 3 professionals wouldn’t all be wrong surely. Anyway, my partner is awesome and she tries so hard to get me to see that there’s nothing wrong with me. I’ve now started hypnotherapy, I have great hopes that this could help me. Feeling for everyone out there who suffers like I do, anxiety sucks!

    Reply
  35. Kitty

    I’m in tears reading these comments bc I can relate so much it feels so good not to be alone ! I’ve suffered from health anxiety since I can remember & I’m only 21 & when I say suffer I mean it. I think about it constantly all day long. You cry almost everyday & depression is worse than ever. My boyfriend tries to understand & be here for me but he just doesn’t get it. I get headaches a lot & I’ve convinced myself I have a brain tumor, & way to scared to get an MRI omg my worst fear !! My boyfriend thinks that sounds so silly but it’s a perfrifying fear. I can’t live like those anymore I need help!!

    Reply
  36. Jennifer

    I deal with same thing daily. I now do Yoga for two hours a week and I’ve tried riding my bicycle with my son when the weather is nice enough. It’s a daily struggle. From indigestion and me thinking it’s a blood clot in my lungs, to panic attacks and going to hospital thinking it was heart attack. My parents health declines over the past few years and I think this is what sent me spiraling. It’s exhausting to my husband and my sister – I had Pap smear and blood work recently and it’s all fine. I still constantly google symptoms and they all say cancer or the worse possible diagnosis. Glad to know I’m not as crazy as I feel.

    Reply
  37. Johnny

    Hi I’m johnny ive had health anxiety for 12 years now every day is just worry I have a tooth infection I’m on antibiotics but I keep thinking if they don’t work I’ll get sepsis shock I also believe I have a brain abcess or tumour or something going on in there but my worry now is a tooth infection traveling but through the years I’ve had heart attacks blood clots shock hypothermia stroke u name it I’ve thought I’ve had it it is very tiring I’m all alone in this to never go out never have company I’m dying ever day but even if i have a fever it’s there for a deadly reason the minds very powerful hope u all dont have it as long as me it’s a nightmare take care xoxoxo

    Reply
  38. Jimmy

    Hi guys, I got ill 3 years ago, up until that point I had been healthy (Not seen the GP for 10 years) and normally shook off illness quickly with little fuss. Since falling ill in 2015 (IBS) I have become hypersensitive to any lumps and bumps on my body (I have lypomas), It also feels that since that point I am conscious of every advert and TV program that discusses cancer (normally resulting in me changing the channel). While my GP and the NHS have been brilliant while testing me for all types of things, I came to a realisation last year that they didn’t have the answers I was looking for. After my 10th visit to the doctors in 10 weeks, I asked the GP ‘if these tests are telling me I’m OK, why is that not enough?’ My obsession for reassurance from my GP was actually preventing my brain to focus on getting on with enjoying my life and turning down the volume of the pain I was feeling. I would be lying if there isn’t the odd day I wake up and feel a twinge in my back or stomach and instantly think the worst, but I have to accept the worst will come one day happen, whether its now or in 40 years, and I’m just not prepared to be miserable until that day happen. I wish you all well in your journey with this, intrusive, frustrating, scary, indescribable condition, and I hope you all find a way to LIVE with it 🙂

    Reply
  39. Morgan

    I have horrible health anxiety. It is so bad sometimes and especially as of these last two weeks.
    I have developed a pain in my head on the right side and I obsess about it. I Google things extensively and I obsessively search for any answers I can find. My GP unfortunately didn’t word things quite nicely and he said that I most likely have an aneurysm or a cyst on my brain . I am terrified. I keep looking at my family and telling them i love them. Telling them I am not ready to leave them. Severe panic attacks and constant anxiety. I can’t wrap my head around it and I am convinced I am going to die.

    I truly feel for you all. I’m so sorry.

    Reply
  40. Phil

    Hi all,
    Quite refreshing to read this as I have been obsessing over my health this past week. Woke up one night with palpitations and started getting a weird sensation in my left arm. Have been googling ever since. The problems only seem to be there when I think about them which I do all the time! I buried my grandmother 2 weeks ago which was a stressful time. I work at sea and it will be 3 weeks before I can reach a doctor. I suffer from anxiety and a constant worrier. I am a 24 year old male, fit all my life and a light smoker the last 12 month’s. No family history of heart problems and had a medical 18 months ago. I’m 90% sure it’s anxiety related but I can’t stop thinking about it. In the ideal world I would obviously go to the doctor but the fact that I can’t makes it worse.

    Reply
  41. Gina

    Hey everyone-Im just beginning to realize that I have health anxiety. Sometimes I’ll have an ache or pain and I always imagine the absolute worst. Does anyone ever feel a pain and continually check that area until it really does feel sore? For instance my armpit has felt a little sore for a few days. I am constantly pushing on it and checking it for lumps because I feel certain it’s cancer. Now it’s actually sore. Is it from pushing on it so much?? My brain goes into overdrive. Any thoughts would be appreciated. This anxiety can halt my life and I hate it. I’m just tired of worrying all the time!

    Reply
  42. Nicole

    Reading all of these makes me feel much less alone! I’m 24 years old, I’ve been healthy all my life. My mom passed away from breast cancer when I was 6 and I think that has instilled a health anxiety/fear in me ever since then. I’m in a long distance relationship and I think that’s really made my health anxiety really awful. I had an acid reflux attack on my system 6 weeks ago, never had anything like it and I still feel like I’m suffering, but I can’t tell if it’s the anxiety that gives me chest/esophagus pain. I’m constantly worrying that something is going to happen to me and that I won’t be able to spend my life with my partner at the end of our long distance. Even typing this post out is making me feel better and that I’m not insane.

    Reply
    • Chloe B

      You’re not insane! And def not alone. Glad this could help a bit xx

      Reply
      • Jill

        Hi Nicole I have so many issues too. I google when I have a pain somewhere and convinced I am dying. It is so sad I feel like I am trapped in my mind.

        Reply
  43. Sarwari

    Hi…I’ve had health anxiety for nearly 4 years some days are good some are bad it’s soooo hard but I fight it off soon as I get a negative thinking I start to distract myself.Meditation and relaxation has helped me a lot I go for a walk every morning and I write a diary every night about my feelings and say to myself I can fight it which helps me a lot . I’m not on any medication I find talking to someone about it very helpful. My health anxiety has calmed down by 60% over these 4 years just by walking drinking plenty water and writing my diary every night,also I share my feelings and the worst thing is googling it so don’t google your symptoms.Hope it helps u guys and good luck xxx

    Reply
  44. Jackie

    I am so bad with anxiety just now l find it hard to get out of bed
    Would like to talk to someone .

    Reply
  45. Aaron

    it for two weeks. I forgot to mention i used to be on 20g of citalopram if that’s the correct spelling. I appreciate everyones comments. Stay focused and stay strong

    Reply
  46. daryl

    Someone please tell me i am normal so in December my partner had a miscarrage and my nan was diagnosed with lung cancer since then my breathing is shocking its like i need to take a deep breath but my body wont let me i convinced myself it was lung cancer and i went to the gp who sent me for an x ray i am awaiting results i get aches and pains and now i am convincing myself i have kidney failure i try so hard to convince myself that im fine but its horrible not being able to over power the part telling me im not ok. i dont know how to control it and i feel like i dont know what else to do

    Reply
  47. Kellsey

    I’m currently in the stages if believing I have the early signs of MS, this has been triggered by reading about it and the fact I get pins and needles quite often in the cold. Now I can’t let go of it, it caused me a panic attack in public on Friday, I can’t sleep this evening, I’m obsessed. I did a similar thing with HIV about 5 years ago, when (even after negative tests) I was unable to settle and couldn’t sleep for months.
    Recently I have had some headaches and rational me tells me that’s linked to my migraines/uni stress, but irrational anxious me thinks it’s a brain condition. I’m so sick of feeling this way, my poor mother and boyfriend support me but I’m scared they’ll get frustrated by my delusions. I just wish I wasn’t me.

    Reply
  48. Linda

    I have been going through the same for about 8 months now. I can relate to all the comments and there’s a new illness that worries me every single time until I get it checked. I am calm for a while and then something else happens that takes my focus and I keep thinking about it non stop. Apart from thinking myself sick I am dying I am seeing terrible dreams and thinking my loved ones will die. Its hard. I cant work, I cant enjoy life.. I would love to talk to someone. Who wants to talk and support each other?

    Reply
  49. Karen

    Glad see i am not alone on this and reading everyone comments are truly hrartbtrsking i orginally went ro my doctors as i had an infection then it i found out i had acid relux went bl to tje doctors today hralth anxiety my dad having a hraltj scare triggered mine so now i am waiting to go to hospital for some scans for my peace of mind and then theapy i think i hate feeling this way i drvinh my gamily crazu cause i go on an om about it

    xrors

    Reply
  50. Colette Portman

    I just found this site. For the last six weeks or so I have been suffering horrible symptoms and convinced myself I have a heart problem or a brain tumour or both, when I was in my 20’s I suffered similar symptoms but eventually got better and haven’t suffered anxiety for 16/17 years. It starred with odd niggly chest pains about six weeks ago and it’s progressed to dizzy spells, palpatations, tingling, headaches, losing my appetite. Then this evening I think I have experienced a panic attack. I saw my gp Monday and he assured me I am stressed/anxious. He sent me for an ecg and blood tests, I am awaiting the results, but I think he did it to just be sure as I’m 40 and overweight. He didn’t seem concerned. Then the nurse doing the ecg told me to make sure if my symptoms got worse to call an ambulance. This panicked me more thinking he could see something on the ecg. He assured me he couldn’t read them though. Then today I was out with my son I went for a brisk walk as the doc said the best thing for stress was exercise. Just as I was almost home I came over all dizzy and light headed. Since then I havent felt right but can’t help thinking about the dizziness. I then had shooting chest pain, shaking all over, got a dry mouth, I felt all clammy and light headed. It took about half an hour to pass. Even now I still feel a bit shakey. I’m starting to think I’m suffering health anxiety and what I experienced was a panic attack having read all these posts. I’m obsessing so much over every niggle in my body and I just want to feel well and normal again and not be constantly worrying.

    Reply
    • Lee

      Hi I can totally relate to you some of your story, I have always been a very nervous/anxious person growing up, I’m 31 years old. My anxiety has started to worsen in the last 6 months, my fiancé is pregnant with our first child and have recently just moved into our first house After 2 years of saving, I am the happiest I have ever been but since moving into our forever home my anxieties have worstened without meaning and 2 weeks ago I went to a & e with chest pains and tingling sensations in my left arm and my heart pounding in my chest at work which was the worst thing I have ever experienced! My blood test heart tests came back fine and explained my situation and can only be put down to stress I guess. I have always been a fit individual but lately I still get these panicky feelings that something is wrong so reading this page makes me feel that my anxieties have also become health anxiety because despite the ok from the hospital I still believe every ache or pain I get is something to do with my heart, I have always been a worrier or a thinker but I seem to dwell on every pain I get and that spirals into a panic attack which I’m trying to control as I need to deal with this as I am expecting my little boy which will be the best experience of my life. Thanks to this page for making me feel not alone as I cannot explain this feeling as no one seems to understand.

      Reply
  51. Adrian

    I am 33 years old. For the past 3 months I feel I am not breathing normally, as I used to. Also, a phlegm is forming itself behind my nose often. My General Practitioner says it is anxiety. I feel it is something even more horrible.
    I go to Emergency at least 2 times a week. The blood pressure is ok. I X rayed my lungs and they are Ok.
    Please help me !

    Reply
  52. Hayley

    I am in my early 20’s but I know in the back of my mind that I have been struggling with health anxiety for years and years. I think it could be because my parents firmly believe in only going to the doctor if something is REALLY obviously wrong, and I never knew what classified as “doctor-worthy”. This once led me to having a sprained ankle for 7 months (I was a competitive gymnast and aches and pains were overlooked). My health anxiety has grown exponentially over the past two years, because in 2017 I got strep throat for the first time, a UTI for the first time, and some unidentified infection that caused facial edema and a hardened lymph node in my neck that took months to go away (the doctors tested me for multiple things but it was at my university health center, and they simply told me they did not know what it was but it would go away eventually…). Then, this year I got a severe case of mononucleosis in which I got tonsillitis, a fever of 99-104.8 for 3 weeks, an enlarged spleen, acute viral hepatitis which led to my skin and eyes turning yellow (yay jaundice), and I was basically confined to my bed for 2 months. I have to get more blood tests done in 3 months, and my doctor says that he is certain it will all come back normal, but now I’m worried that maybe I have another underlying condition like lymphoma or some other cancer that caused my body to react so poorly to the mono (and could also explain that strange unidentified infection I got last year). I also am constantly checking my lymph nodes (one under my armpit feels swollen and painful at the moment), and I just feel like I am stuck right now in my life- as if I’m just existing from blood test to blood test. I want to feel excited about life again because I will be attending grad school in the fall, but I’m hesitant to be excited because if I have some underlying condition, what is there to be excited about? I also am hesitant to go to therapy because my parents have already spent so much money on blood tests and doctor visits because of the mono, and therapy is expensive. Also, if I really am sick then I don’t want to spend time discussing my anxiety when I should be acting upon it.

    Sorry for the long rant, I just feel I need to start somewhere.

    Reply
  53. Maryam

    Hi. I’m Maryam. I’ve been suffering from health anxiety for over 3years now. It all started when i had tonsillitis. I google symptoms of several diseases and then believe to have it in me. I’m just 19. It bothers me so much because it distracts me from school work and other activities around me. I always wish I could wake up one day and have a worry free mind. And on top I tend to overthink everything, I always see the negative aspect of things. I’ve lost weight within these 3yrs and worst of all I think I’m too young for all these. I’m really trying to work on myself but sometimes I feel it’s not working. Sometimes I feel as if I’m alone in this world. And whenever I try to talk to people around me, they always think I’m insane. I feel as if I’m going crazy trapped within my thoughts. I just need help please 🙁

    Reply
  54. Mike

    I’ve suffered from health anxiety for 10+ years. 63 year old male, in relatively good shape. Do 70-90 minutes of cardio every day. 20 minutes of yoga stretching every morning. My HA comes and goes, but has been banging at me solid for a month now. Convinced I’m going to have a heart attack. Just waiting for the severe chest pains to start. Every time I feel a pull/pain/twinge in my chest…..I’m done for several hours. Glad I found this post a few days ago. Some helpful strategies, and trust me, I’ll try all the ones I haven’t yet attempted. Any further suggestions and tips will be much appreciated. This is no way to live.

    Reply
  55. Lily

    I hate that you guys are all going through this, but it makes me feel better knowing that I’m not alone.
    I have always had general anxiety and in the past few years it had died down a little bit but for maybe the last 6 months it has been really full on and always about my health! It’s now at a point where I feel like it’s taken over my life, I CONSTANTLY am worried that I have some serious illness it’s always something new but at the moment I have diagnosed myself with 3 types of cancer. Any pain or tingle is automatically something horrible, I’m always worried and as soon as I get anxious my symptoms flare up. Everything is wrong with me according to my brain. I wake up in the morning and instantly my health anxiety is awakened also. I have lots of moles as do my family but I’m certain I have skin cancer, Having showers are nightmares for me, as soon as I look at my skin, BAM brain goes wild, I’m comparing my miles to pictures of melanomas ect. Everyday I’m feeling around for lumps and bumps and I seriously feel as though because I’m searching for something my brain makes out like there’s something there.
    Health anxiety is 110% affecting my everyday life, I’m moody because I’m anxious I’m no where near as social as I previously was, and most of all I just feel scared and worried and unhappy and anxious all the time. Doing exercise helps me but even while I’m doing a workout or something some health related issue always pops into my head. I just am so so so sick of feeling this way it’s such a horrible feeling.

    Reply
    • Helen

      I feel for you . Have had anxiety issues for years. I’ve had all sorts of therapy and in the end I just said to myself I need to get over this. And I did ! From being agoraphobic to literally moving 2 hours away ! Got my own house new partner baby and then 3 weeks ago I’ve had an ongoing uti. If you have ever had one you know how bad it can make you feel. And this is when my anxiety has come back which I have now identified as health anxiety. I’m constantly checking my temperature sure I’m going to be even more ill. The uti is still going on and I’m on my 3rd does of antibiotics – a lot stronger then this time . I keep worrying it’s not going to work and I will end up with sepsis. I keep googling everything been to a&e 7 times in 3 weeks to be told just got a uti! I know I can beat this but it’s just getting me down and I feel like I haven’t got the energy to fight it. But I will . I won’t end up like how I was again , I refuse too. Made a docs app about getting help with this anxiety and hopefully once the uti clears up for good I will be able to start working on my anxiety

      Reply
  56. Rachel

    I’m so glad I came across this website and to know I am not the only one to feel like this, I have always been a worrier but for a few months out of nowhere I have been suffering from anxiety I convince myself I am going to die from sudden adult death syndrome and it is frightening me so much. I am a healthy 30 year old, I have put off going to the doctor as yet but would really like to get a check up to just put my mind at rest.

    Reply
  57. Hales

    I’ve had health anxiety for over 10 years now.
    My friend died of cancer when I was 15 and I’m almost certain that I will wind up the same way.
    I had a baby 6.5 months ago and my anxiety is way worse.
    I’ve become good at talking myself down, so to speak. Especially if it’s somithing that I can easily explain and be rational over.
    However, for the last few weeks I’ve been terrible. My anxiety has been at its worst.
    I have a movable ‘lump’ ‘mass’ in my neck. It’s kind of next to my windpipe but high up.
    I noticed it at the end of last year, but I had pulled a muscle and the nurse checked me over and I was fine, so I didn’t give it another thought.
    However, it’s still there, no bigger than it was then, and I’ve had no other symptoms. It’s freaking me out, and I think my constant swallowing (to check if swallowing hurts) is making it hurt or feel like there is something obstructing my throat.
    On days that I’m not thinking about it, or in the morning, I’m fine. If I hadn’t had a sore wisdom tooth a few weeks back I wouldn’t have noticed it.
    I feel like I’m ruining not only my own life, but my son’s too. It’s quite a horrible feeling!

    Reply
  58. Rhett

    I’m on the other side of this, luckily for my partner every scare results in a negative result. We have attended clinics for colonoscopy, ultrasound scans and xrays. Today we have been to a private appointment for potential breast cancer. Every day when I get home we seem to be talking about a new condition. We can’t afford this obsession.

    Reply
  59. S.Longc

    I just want to stop worrying about everything. The health anxiety is making me severley depressed amongst all the other things. I no longer have any friends, or a partner to talk and socialize with and because of that I live in constant fear feeling that I have the symptoms of the common diseases. Am constantly getting new symptoms that seem heart related. I need help but because of finances, cannot afford therapy

    Reply
  60. Renee

    I’m not sure how to post on here. I feel I have health anxiety. It has been going on about 3 months. My six year old had walking pnemoniua and I’m a single mom when took care of him during that time. Since then I feel as though him or I is sick with something all the time. Is that normal? For the anxiety to be about others as well, not just myself? His dad thinks I’m crazy, maybe I am.

    Reply
  61. Lori V.

    Hales–I have struggled with health anxiety on and off my whole life and when I had my son, it soared to new levels I never thought possible. I was a complete wreck! Please, please get help from a reputable therapist/psychiatrist so this is no longer running your life. I wish I had gotten help sooner! Having your friend die was a trauma and you have not healed from that trauma. If you need to “talk” I am here. Lori

    Reply
  62. Lori V.

    Rhett–it must be difficult since you don’t understand it first hand. This is not just an obsession, it is a mental illness. Believe me, your partner would stop this if they had the ability. Lori

    Reply
  63. Claire

    So glad I’ve have seen this, I am constantly googling symptoms and convicted I am going to have a heart attack! I had a chest infection 8 weeks ago and also developed costocondritis. and it start then. it’s driving me insane because every pain or ache I am googling thinking I am having a heart attack, I’m constantly checking my heart rate. it’s driving me insane but reading these comments have really helped knowing I’m not alone and going mad.

    Reply
  64. Sarah Halpin

    Im reading these stories and I feel like I have nothing new to had, however it may help to put it down in print. I developed health anxiety after a second trimester miscarriage. I ignored symptoms of abdominal cramps and lost my little boy 24 hours later. After that my anxiety increased 100%. I was pregnant very quickly after that and had a traumatic birth and haemmorhage with my little girl. My health anxiety developed so bad that i had multiple blood tests, consultants visits and xrays. During all this I developed a benign cyst on my finger which sent me completely over the age. I started on citalopram 10mg and that combined with therapy eventually helped things calm down. I find though now 13 months later I’m slipping back into habits of googling symptoms, worrying, body scanning etc. Im also exposed to cancer and dying in my work every day as im an oncology nurse. I fear after 3 years i may have to change jobs!! It’s making me miserable and I’m losing hope. I don’t want this to have consequences on my daughter or my marriage.

    Reply
  65. Sarah

    I’ve been suffering this for 6 months after a health scare of my own. It’s just recently snowballed after a friend was diagnosed with a brain tumour. I’ve been convinced I have one also and have had funny vision, headaches, pins and needles. My anxiety got so bad that 3 days before my MRI was due I freaked out and went to a&e where I explained my symptoms and did a Ct scan. The scan came back clear but since then things have been a 1000 times worse as I’ve convinced myself the radiation from the scan will give me a tumour. I’ve acknowledged I have health anxiety and I’m doing well ignoring symptoms and not googling. I just can’t stop hating myself for letting the get so bad that I had the ct scan and keep thinking I’ve caused myself damage. I don’t know how to move past this. I’m seeing a psychologist but he just uses cbt techniques that tell me. It to think about it. It’s very hard!

    Reply
  66. Sarah

    I’ve been suffering this for 6 months after a health scare of my own. It’s just recently snowballed after a friend was diagnosed with a brain tumour. I’ve been convinced I have one also and have had funny vision, headaches, pins and needles. My anxiety got so bad that 3 days before my MRI was due I freaked out and went to a&e where I explained my symptoms and did a Ct scan. The scan came back clear but since then things have been a 1000 times worse as I’ve convinced myself the radiation from the scan will give me a tumour. I’ve acknowledged I have health anxiety and I’m doing well ignoring symptoms and not googling. I just can’t stop hating myself for letting the get so bad that I had the ct scan and keep thinking I’ve caused myself damage. I don’t know how to move past this. I’m seeing a psychologist but he just uses cbt techniques that tell me. It to think about it. It’s very hard!

    Reply
  67. Anonymous

    I’ve only recently “developed” health anxiety. I was suffering with insomnia last year and one night when I finally tried to rest I had my first episode. I am constantly convinced there is something wrong with my heart, my stomach and my head. I’m worried I’ll have a heart attack as heart problems run in my family (nobody has passed because of this), I’m worried I will be rushed to hospital with appendicitis, I’m worried I have a brain tumour or a blood clot. I am so thankful for these comments and seeing how many people really do suffer with this. I’ve found myself keeping it a secret as I feel it may be frowned upon. I understand it can be a waste of GPs time. I have naturally high blood pressure and have been prescribed beta blockers to help with this. I’ve found it quite useful. Panic attacks are frequent but I’ve found keeping my daily routine helps this. Hot water bottle at 9PM, same breakfast each day, etc. Some people may want to speak to their doctor about OCD, as I recently found out this was the cause for me and therapy has been amended to deal with both issues. I found just asking my doctor for a little more time to talk for one appointment helped, as I felt quite rushed most of the time. I made a list of my symptoms and read them to her and she reassured me on a lot after checking me out and has ended up referring me to an arrhythmia clinic just to double check my heart. I really hope people seek the answers they need, stay positive and remember you have to help yourself because nobody can fix this for you. Find the answers if there is any x

    Reply
  68. Veronika

    know I’m just reiterating what others have said, but reading this article and the comments is giving me an almost euphoric sense of relief. I’m in tears because of how surreal it is knowing that I truly do just have health anxiety, that I’m not always at risk of suddenly dying, that there’s others experiencing the same thing I am. I’m only 20, and this is is a very new thing for me. Mine started roughly two months ago. I had an extremely severe panic attack due to a caffeine overdose, and at that time I was completely convinced that I was having a heart attack and dying because I had never experienced a true panic attack before. That was the scariest moment in my entire life, and since then, the health anxiety began and it has been absolutely unmanageable. Brain tumors, blood clots, heart attacks, strokes… I’m in constant fear, and it truly is destroying my life. I’ll experience a sensation, and before I even fully process what’s going on, I’ll immediately start having a panic attack. I get incredibly hot, lose my hearing and vision, feel like I’m choking, heart pounds and races, I completely lose touch with reality. This happens daily. It generally doesn’t go away unless I’m somehow able to fall asleep. I can’t even take any kind of medication anymore, including over the counter pain killers and birth control, because I’m so terrified that I’m gonna have a deadly allergic reaction to them, or that if I mix two medications that are completely okay to mix, then I’m gonna have a severe reaction to them that’ll kill me. I’ll experience an “episode” even if I just feel really full after eating… Any “weird” sensation at all, and I’ll start to have a panic attack. My newest problem is bad chest pains that I experience even when I’m not anxious, and my left arm is extremely weak and has stabbing pains. So of course, I’m terrified that somethings wrong with my heart, or I’m gonna have a stroke cause I’m having a lot of symptoms all on one side of my body. I know I’m just going on and ranting, but holy cow it feels amazing to just talk and read about the exact thing I’ve been experiencing. Thank you so much for this.

    Reply
  69. Sarah

    I had a brain tumor and constant seizures when I was 14 until I was 16 (it was removed and my seizures stopped). I’m 24 now but still constantly scan and over analyze every symptom whether it be related to my head or general. You truly feel like something is fundamentally wrong and that you’re very mortal and vulnerable with health anxiety. Some days I am able to manage it well and other days I feel terminally ill despite rationally understanding that it’s so unlikely that that’s the case. The mind is amazing in it’s power to do both good and bad in all of us.

    Reply
  70. Maz

    I have just had a panic attack this evening
    Out of nowhere
    It happened because I was worrying about a pain I have had for a few weeks
    Convinced like most of you that I have a serious illness
    I had a mammogram in November because of a “lump” I found
    Then last month my GP referred me urgently to dermatology ?melanoma
    I couldn’t wait the two weeks for NHS appt so went private. Thankfully I am well
    Every day in fact every minute I believe the pains I experience are an indicator of something more
    4 years ago I was diagnosed with “probable” fibromyalgia and everything I experience is put down to this
    I am waiting on an appt for CBT
    I just need someone to help me through this
    Your posts have been helpful
    But even writing this, the intrusive thought about illness and symptoms are there
    I wish you all well and hope you get through it and thank you for sharing your stories x

    Reply
  71. Chris

    Glad I found this site, been struggling alot over the past week or so! I’ve had health anxiety for well over 15 years now on and off. Since having children I have got worse. My current situation is I believe I have either stomach, bowel or colon cancer. I have an uncomfortable stomach, annoying mushy poop and just feel very lethargic and flat all the time. I’m convinced I’m dying and won’t see my children grow up! The docs told me they’re not concerned about the consistency of my poop but I’m convinced it’s something really bad! God this sucks, I just want to feel normal again!

    Reply
  72. Tinkerbell

    Hi everyone,

    First time posting about my anxiety ever. I’m in the UK, I’m 27 and a mummy to a gorgeous toddler. I’m terrified of dying everyday. Literally everyday. I’ve had pains/ discomfort in my chest since October last year, I went to an out of hours GP, then two further GPs about it, nobody is concerned about it but me. I’m absolutely convinced it’s cancer, last week I thought I had skin cancer, this week non Hodgkin’s lymphoma or breast cancer. (Sore lump in armpit) My husband is supportive and I have had CBT but I felt anxious about the CBT that if I told my therapist how bad I felt she would think I was totally crazy. I don’t know what I’m hoping to achieve by posting this really.

    Reply
  73. Shell

    So glad to stumble across this page. I completely understand everyones comments. I have had health anxiety for 5 years now. It started about 6 months after my first child. It is the hardest thing to deal with and i wouldnt wish it on anyone. However over the years i taught myself how to cope and last year i felt great, but after having my 3rd child in august its hit me bad again. Feel like im back to square 1. They have been the worst years of my life which makes me feel really guilty because they are the years i brought my children into the world. It should be the happiest time but anxiety clouds over it all. I do have a happy life and i love my kids but anxiety is always there everyday to exhaust me. My oldest son has autism which can be very difficult to deal with, i dont even get 5 minutes in a day to try and mentally fix myself. I dont have time to socialise or take my mind of things, its such a difficult situation im in. My biggest fear is dying and not being there for my kids as there all so young. Especially my son as i dont want to leave him struggling alone in this world. It terrifies me! Which makes my anxiety worse! ..most days i feel tired, drained, neck tension and headaches, Im aware of every wierd sensation, its so hard to convince yourself your fine when your body is telling you different. And its so hard to deal with all these aches and pains when i have 3 little ones.. But im so glad im not alone it really helps to know others are in the same boat and Im not going mad. Best of luck to everyone, take one day at a time!

    Reply
  74. Madel de Guzman

    Reading your comments made me feel calm while im having this health concerns. I am too anxious and I googled all heart ailments the whole day and match the symptoms im feeling. I recently been to two ER hospitals in one day last monday because of shortness of breath and I was not convinced with the diagnosis of the first hospital Ive been. So I went to the next hospital feeling so fatigued…the doctor told me my heart rate is so fast…did some labs ecg, xray, cbc and all went normal. But Im still not convinced that Im well…they did refer me to a cardiologist for further work up on my symptoms and now Im scared as hell thinking of the worst possible things could happen like a coronary heart disease, an open heart sugery etc….it keeps on bugging me and i feel like when i go visit a doctor I’ll die hearing the worst diagnosis even before i can get the treatment….

    Reply
  75. Christian Newman

    Thanks for this post and for everyone who commented. It’s truly awesome to know that I’m not alone.

    I want everyone still challenged by health anxiety to know that you CAN overcome it.

    Here’s my story.

    I was 38 years old and perfectly healthy. I took pride in filling out health questionnaires – ticking no in every box.

    Like many “youngsters,” I didn’t pay health much (enough) attention. I was busy! Growing family, successful career, etc.

    In just a few short years, my father and father-in-law both died of serious illnesses (various cancers), very shortly after being diagnosed.

    I went to my Doctor and asked “what do I need to check to make sure the same thing won’t happen to me?”

    That was the beginning of a long series of vicious cycles.

    About a year later, I suffered a horrific health scare of my own. I thought I was going to die.

    What began as an Emergency Room (A&E) visit led to endless doctor visits, medical tests, fear, panic attacks and a constant feeling of held hostage by unexplained symptoms.

    It was burnt out, lost and incapable of enjoying life. My relationships, career, business – everything suffered.

    Laying in bed one evening last November, sweating, my heart rate skyrocketed to 140 beats per minute, for no reason at all. I had my wife call 911.

    Back at the Emergency Room, they ran some tests, which all came up negative. They kept asking questions about stress and anxiety, though. At first, I couldn’t understand why.

    Then, A-HA! All this time, I was suffering from severe health anxiety, not a physical illness.

    In the weeks that followed, I read stories of hundreds of people who’ve suffered for years – some, decades. I refused to accept this.

    I also refused to settle for the conventional health anxiety treatments (meds and counselling) – so I created a plan and put it into action.

    My plan sought to reduce my baseline anxiety level by eliminating anxiety risk factors in every area of my life, including: Career, Diet, Exercise, Language, Leisure, Mindfulness, Relationships, and Sleep.

    I augmented it with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT) to address any current or perceived threats.

    It was hard work, but I was committed. I even wrote a contract with myself (and had my family members sign it).

    My life began to change, faster than I ever imagined.

    Anxiety symptoms – gone.
    Relationships – deepened.
    Energy, mindfulness, focus – dramatically improved.

    Today, I’m better than ever, and on a mission to end health anxiety. For everyone. For good.

    It’s a big vision but every bit of awareness, inspiration and help goes a long way. This post is no exception.

    To everyone out there challenged by health anxiety – this is my way of sending you positive vibes.

    I hope someone out there will feel encouraged by my story and begin to take action for themselves.

    You’re healthier than you think!

    Reply
    • Emily

      Hi Christian,

      This was incredibly inspiring. I have suffered from health anxiety off and on for many, many years. It took off about 6 months ago after a bad bout with the flu. I have spiraled since then. Some periods where it’s okay and I sleep normally, other times, for whatever reason, it flares up and lingers for weeks at a time, which affects my sleep. The lack of sleep only makes everything worse (as I’m sure you know). I’ve done counseling, but I haven’t been back in over a month (making an appointment now!)

      I’m curious, what kind of things did your plan include? I feel this approach would be helpful for me, I’m just wondering where to start. Thanks in advance for any tips. 🙂

      Reply
  76. Rachel Smith

    Hello,
    I think I’m suffering with health anxiety. For years now every symptom i have I turn it into something more serious! I find lumps and make doctors do checks and still don’t believe them when they give me the all clear. I had a baby six months ago and everything was fine. Felt on top of the world. Now is a different story. I had a foot spasm that lasted a day. I panicked a researched it on google. Then I started panicking more. The twitches and spasms seem to then creep all over the body. Since then I now have suffered is to panic attacks I believe. I sit on google and think the worse. Then my heart starts going and I start shacking and panicking. I stuggle to look after my babies as it’s just taking over everything. I can not stop thinking about it. To the point I spend most of my day on google. I’m at that point where I can not bring myself to the doctors as I know he will tell me I will die! I feel like I’m only on here now for reassurance that one of you feel the exact same symptoms as me rather than me thinking I have anxiety issues. Please help. As I’m sinking into a hole of depression! I just want to sleep and close my eyes and just hope it all disappears

    Reply
  77. Kate

    Hi I also suffer with health anxiety, I have been diabetic type1 for 36 years and from a small child was always told of the complications I can have so I know that’s where my anxiety comes from. At this moment it is really bad I have had on going bladder problems they are still looking at for 8 Months now ( so I think I have bladder cancer) just been told they have found a lump in my breast ( so now I’m planning my funeral) as of course I think it’s cancer, going Monday for mammogram and I have been to doctors 3 times in 3 weeks as have dizziness pressure in the head every day and shortness of breath they say it’s viral but of course I think I’m having a stroke or heart attack. I know how you all feel I hate it and CBT has not helped me. I’m hoping I can get support somewhere but just reading your stories has helped.

    Reply
  78. Paula

    Hi all, I’m so glad I found this site although not so glad so many people are also going through such horrific thoughts. I am 53 and I think my bad thoughts stem from being sexually abused as a child, when I was a teenager my best friends auntie died of ovarian cancer I didn’t know her very well but I remember not be able to sleep from thinking about her. I would do the usual things as a headache was a tumour etc. I then went on to have 3 miscarriages which obviously knocked me for 6. I later went on to have my baby at 31 but i got postnatal depression so bad that it took over my life. I had a pain in my left breast and would touch it so much that even today it still hurts. Every since I have been on antidepressants and had countless counciling. At this very moment I haven’t eaten for 4 days as I went to the doctors for a pain in my back, which was all fine but just as I was about to leave I showed her a lesion I had on my leg, I have had it for quite a while well she looked and said the word cancer, she would refer me to a dermatologist, this is not something a person like me can cope with, I made myself so I’ll I went back broke down in the doctors room, he asked me to show him which I did, he said it’s not cancer, then another doctor came in and said thats as much cancer as England winning the world cup but I was in such a state he said he would do a biopsy anyway. See any logical person would take that as a good thing but I and people like me can only focus on if he was so sure it wasn’t cancer then why would he do a biopsy? I so want my life back.

    Reply
  79. James

    I feel like im having a heart attack for the last year, ive been to the doctor several times and each time they have told me im ok and ive had ecg tests done too and they have showed up that im fine, im literally terrified everyday for the last year thinking im having a heart attack i feel like im losing control i dont know what to do i dont want to go back to my doctor because i feel like im wasting there time, how can i reasure myself please help

    Reply
  80. Susie Malton

    Health anxiety is taking me over. Every pain I get I think I have something serious and I also seem to be surrounded with people who tell me stories of friends who have everything going…..then I have it too, I am scared of going to the doctors in case they find something and then I will be even more anxious. I don’t know how to handle all this .

    Reply
  81. Emily

    Hi Christian,

    This was incredibly inspiring. I have suffered from health anxiety off and on for many, many years. It took off about 6 months ago after a bad bout with the flu. I have spiraled since then. Some periods where it’s okay and I sleep normally, other times, for whatever reason, it flares up and lingers for weeks at a time, which affects my sleep. The lack of sleep only makes everything worse (as I’m sure you know). I’ve done counseling, but I haven’t been back in over a month (making an appointment now!)

    I’m curious, what kind of things did your plan include? I feel this approach would be helpful for me, I’m just wondering where to start. Thanks in advance for any tips. 🙂

    Reply
  82. Rooroo

    I’ve never talked about my health anxiety online. But I have suffered from when I was 16 and I am 25 now ! I research every sympotom I get and believe I have it and start worrying and panicing ! Also now while writing this I am feeling pins and needles in my hand and feet – and i wonder is it anxiety or do i have to go to the doctor. Last week I heard that 3 young people that are family friends got MS. And one of them is works with me ! And after hearing the story After 7 hours i started feeling pain in my hands and feet after the pain i started getting electricity feeling in my hands and feet and that made me have restless nights not been able to sleep at all! Crying and crying and thinking I really do have MS! And now the electricity feel left me with some pins and needles all around my body. Something amazing is that at the gym i feel completely healthy and fine no pain no feeling what so ever. Only the next morning i have to feel a new symptom. I really dont know what to do 🙁 i really want it to stop and i dont want to think about it what so ever! I dont want to go to the doctor because in the back of my head i know im okay but this thing in me tells me omg what if you are not okay! If i write a list down of all the disease i thought i ever had you would laugh!! —from cancer all the way to vitiligo which i started imagining whiter/lighter skin patched . I just hope what i have goes away and i stopped googling my sympotoms for 1 week now and hopefully forever ! Im so glad im not alone and im glad you guys all share your stories to make me feel better.

    Reply
  83. Brandi

    Thank you for this posts. I have had health anxiety for the last month. I feel like one side of my stomach is more hard than the other and it literally has made me sick to my stomach, no eating, having constipation and diarrhea because I am so nervous, heart racing, multiple crying attack saying I don’t want to die. I’ve been to three different doctors and they have ran some misc tests. Everything’s. Has come back great! Yesterday the doctor spend an hour with me poking and prodding to address all my concerns and told me there is nothing wrong no mass, no swelling, no bloating, no pain nothing. I feel so embarrassed and I still can’t stop diagnosing me. I have said I have an ulcer, tumor, colon cancer, kidney cancer, bladder/bowel cancer, ovarian cysts/cancer, all kinds of things. I just don’t know how to make my mind stop this nonsense.

    Reply
  84. Krystal Ryan

    You have no idea how much better this made me feel after reading it! I felt so alone and that no one else experienced Health Anxiety. Mine has always been bad but the last 2 days it has been the worst. Which makes me think there is truth to what I’m feeling because why would it be so much worse this time. My grandpa died of Esophageal cancer and I’ve always been paranoid I would get it. I am 33 years old. I am convinced I have esophageal cancer and I need to go to the Dr to check. I feel it to be so true like a gut feeling. Is that part of Health Anxiety?

    Reply
    • Chloe B

      Best to work on the anxiety I’d say – speak to your doctor or a therapist about the anxiety.

      Reply
  85. Anya Ross

    I thought I was so alone until reading this. I’m only 21 and my health anxiety started while I was in my 4th year at university. I experienced stomach pains in my left hand side like a stabbing sensation which lasted for months. I was petrified all day and every day I had a serious illness. During my 4th year I also started to starve myself, I was so anxious I didn’t want to eat. I lost loads of weight and I kept visiting the doctor determined I was dying. I had so many tests and everything kept showing up normal, when they suggested that my anxiety was perhaps ‘worsening’ any symptoms I was feeling I felt so upset. I felt like my brain was toxic and I was crazy and would end up in a psychiatric hospital. I was exhausted and needed to eat, I then started to experience overwhelming urges to make myself purge when I ate anything. I’ve now had a purging disorder for over a year, I don’t binge I just purge whenever I eat, I can’t stop. I think this is causing me health problems but I’m convinced that I’ve ruined my body. My health anxiety is at its worst and I’m so alone. I don’t want to worry my boyfriend or family or my work and I feel the doctors only suggest more beta-blockers. I’m so sorry to hear so many people are experiencing this horrible anxiety but I feel relieved to not be alone. X

    Reply
  86. Deb

    Hi all, I’m so glad I have found this site one thing that is good about google! I am so sorry for all of you that are going through this .

    I’m 43 and have suffered anxiety all my life worrying for one reason and another not being able to eat and feeling sick with worry loosing runs of weight .

    I lost a lot of weight during summer trying to gain muscle lifting weights but that didn’t happen I wasn’t eating enough on a vegan controlled calorie diet working out 4 fats a week and the weight fell off and I looked very skinny .

    I had a car accident in September which screws with my mind messed up my world and menstral cycle although age given it’s not unexpected. Couldn’t eat properly for 5 weeks until I knew outcome – more weight loss.

    I have had a cough for years which I thought was related to hay and straw as I have s horse so went to dr and was given an inhaler , I have hardly been to dr . 4 weeks ago I felt something bs k of my throat when I spat out was blood I had massive panic attack went hot and dizzy phoned family and 111 ended up out of hour at hospital terrified I had lung cancer . Dr couldn’t find anything wrong went home unable to test full of anxiety . I’ve had X-ray all clear went back to gp 3 times – 3 different drs I was put on sertraline which gave me horrid reflux I thought I was going to burn alive inside out .

    One gp panicked as my heart rate was all over the place with anxiety and sent to to hospital where they took bloods and ecg where I had 6 panic attacks one after the other unable to breathe and crying uncontrollably yelling out I know I’ve got cancer . Bloods came back all normal but due to being unable to eat for days dr was concerned about my weight ( I look dreadful ) said wanted to do more tests but not urgent .

    I recently found out I should have had a repeated ultrasound on a ovarian cyst 4 years ago that due to being pregnant never happened , I’ve been having off cycles bleeding in between periods which I have logical explanations for but yet now I’m convinced I have ovarian cancer / cervix etc .

    I’ve been back to gp again and checking for ibs and given stool samples to send off and I saw a tiny bit of blood which I now think I is some form of digestive cancer .

    My heart burn has settled but when it flares up I’m convinced I have oesophageal cancer . I lost my dad 8 years ago to endocarditis within weeks and my step mum 2 years later to oesophagus cancer she went into hospital not being able to swallow and died 3 days later .

    I’m having an ultrasound on my ovaries and been referred for respiratory and endoscope .

    I’m terrified that I have cancer , I can’t eat I’m taking diazepam at night , I wake up first thing and think what’s wrong with me ? What are my symptoms again ?

    I’m convinced wright loss is due to cancer despite the fact I was working out loads , stressed and not eating . I can’t watch tv or read anything to do with health and my family are loosing their patience with me .

    I just want it to be all over and live again . I have so much to look forward to yet I can’t because I’m in this trap of dying .

    Thanks for listening x

    Reply
  87. Holly

    Reading all of these comments makes me sad, somewhat relieved, but then again not so much. So, it’s just after midnight and I’m here lying in bed, exhausted yet wide awake, trawling through web pages in search of some form of reassurance, with sore eyes and a headache from completely breaking down after reaching the end of my tether, worrying myself sick!
    I suffer with general anxiety and take propranolol until I feel like I’m dealing with everything and so I stop taking it, but low and behold a few months later those dreaded physical symptoms of anxiety come back and slap me in the face again, yet I tell myself “you’re fine”, “you’ve got this”… but I’m not fine and I haven’t got this! My last visit to the doctor saw me being referred to a therapist, which consisted of an over the phone interview type thing where they asked me questions and determined whether I needed counselling based on my answers. Questions such as “do you ever think about doing anything stupid?” To which my answer was no and in the end they concluded that I didn’t need counselling. See, the problem is, I don’t ever think about ending it, my thoughts are quite the opposite, I am terrified of dying!
    Around a week and a half ago, my left breast started hurting and felt quite tender so I googled how to self check and was instantly convinced that the hurting breast was not right. A lump? Maybe… but different to the other I was certain. I googled symptoms, obviously and decided to keep an eye on it for a week and if no change, get it checked out. During that week, I came on my period, well, sort of. I had been on the depo injection for around 18 months and decided to come off it a few months ago and give my body a break and so this would be my period since coming off it. It was weird, there was some light blood for a couple of days and then nothing and then a few days later, stomach cramps, blood, the lot! So I googled whether the first period after coming off the injection was any worse and whether my breast issue could be related. All of the information I found almost certainly backs up that theory, however, am I reassured? Absolutely not. Now signs or coincidence? Probably the latter… everywhere I look, cancer stories! That advert for Polly that keeps telling women to take out life insurance, opening my front door to see a breast cancer donation leaflet in my porch and my mom telling me stories about how one of her customers lost his daughter in law because she had a lump and the doctor said something about lymph nodes but she wanted a second opinion and found out she had cancer and 10 months later she passed away! So tomorrow, I’m going to book that appointment and I’m going to tell the doctor all of this and fingers crossed there is nothing wrong with me, but will I believe him if he says I am? Probably not. Too many times I’ve heard people have been fobbed off and overlooked so I’m not sure an appointment with my GP will solve my issue. I’m terrified, I’m exhausted. I’ve already pictured being told I have terminal cancer and not being able to see my 6 year old boy grow up and him having to live without his mum. Me, not getting to live my life, it all being cut short. It’s devastating and the thought of it all is driving me insane! I don’t want medication, I just want to be happy and enjoy my life but recently it has become so hard. I wonder if my grandad passing away a couple of months ago has brought it all back on, or maybe the fact that there actually is something awfully wrong with me and these feelings are just my guts way of telling me that something isn’t right!
    My anxiety first started when I had my son, I was convinced for months I had a brain tumour and it was over for me but looking back I was 19 with a newborn child, of course I was tired and achy with headaches! I look back on that and think how silly but at the time it felt so real! But it feels worse this time! Every time I think I have it under control it comes back with avengance! Sorry for the rant. I don’t even know if anyone will read this but I’m just trying to lift a little of the weight off my shoulders, even if it is only so I can sleep tonight.

    Reply
  88. Shan

    Well reading all these comments is very reassuring, I know I am not the only one.

    I may not be your typical version of a health anxiety sufferer. I am 34 and own multiple businesses, I am also National Manager of another company, I train/exercise daily, in very good physical health and rarely rarely drink. I have though been a health anxiety sufferer since I can remember, I have literally had every disease under the sun, from HIV to all sorts of cancers, I’ve also thought I am going blind and my most recent one is ALS/MnD.

    Every day my thoughts are consumed by illness, I can’t go a moment where my mind doesn’t revert back to dying from some dreaded disease, it truely is life sapping. I also refrain from visiting doctors to get tests, I fear the waiting and the guaranteed outcome of death is not worth it so if I am sick then eventually it’ll just get me, really odd.

    Anyway, I am writing this as I am laying in bed, I have spent the last 2-3 weeks worrying about a muscle twitch in my bicep, but it seems when I am in a more relaxed state the twitch goes, that being the case atm. I prayed last night I could have a stress free Christmas, I hope the same for all of you.

    Reply
  89. Linz

    Hi Holly
    Im new to all this but completely get what your saying. I have suffered from depression for years with only mild bouts of anxiety. I lost my dad to pancreatic cancer 17 years ago. while my dad was in hospital dying my mum was in another hospital having surgery to remove cancerous lumps from her breast. Nigtmare of epic proportions! However i thankfully still have my mum. To get to the point i have suffered with heartburn and possible gallbladder pain for years and been to hospital for various tests & scans. My most recent was october 2018 i went for MRI yet i am still awaiting results from the consultant. I know they say no news is good news…… not in my head !! I then took shingles late november which floored me i was totally exhausted with them. Then a week later i sneezed & pulled a muscle in my shoulder blade and started getting pains in my chest and numbness on my face the doc told me it was all to do with the muscle. But then i started to worry i was having a heart attack or stroke. I googled symptoms and since then i cant stop. Then i had a bloody discharge coming from my left nipple and immediately diagnosed myself with breast cancer. I have been to doc yet again who have reffered me to the breast clinic on 3rd jan 2019. Not long to wait now ! However cant stop googling. In the past two months ive had every type of cancer imaginable and im obviously converned due to family history. The doc has diagnosed me with health anxiety im on diazipam. Its completley interfering with my life as im normaly full on fun but now im just scared every single day. I dont know where to go from here . Its good to chat with people going through the same thing. Here anytime if you’d like to chat
    Love lindsey x

    Reply
  90. Linz

    Hi im sorry to hear you are all having a tough time. Im going through the same thing yet feel completely alone so its good to find this blog. I would be happy to chat with anyone about what they’re going through as i completely understand

    Love to you all x

    Reply
  91. GEORGIA

    Hi guys. It has been really revelating to me to read all of these. I am exactly the same. Started when I began University but at first I was able to control it. Felt breathless one night all of a sudden and had a full blown panic attack- thought it was a heart attack. I was able to control it at first but I felt dizzy one week like i was going to pass out and I DID! Went to doctor they gave me tabs for vertigo, sinus infection, and migraines but I am feeling no relief. Spent a whole week in bed last week, crying everyday thinking my life was over. I am now getting head pains, eye blurriness and dizziness and i’m so worried it’s a tumour, or water on the brain or something! I’m so scared! 🙁 I try and focus and be happy but it’s so hard. Every morning I wake up thinking it’ll disappear I’d love to chat with some of you if possible. Thanks .G

    Reply
  92. Travis

    Hey everyone,
    I gotta say I’m glad to be seeing this. I believe i finally found a name to what i have been feeling. I have been battling high blood pressure. Not something crazy high, but i work in the medical field, and all i can think about is having a heart attack or stroke. I have chest tightness/pain sometimes, but no symptoms of heart attacks. So i know it is cause by my anxiety. I’m only 28 and that’s all i can think about. Even when i am relaxed, in the back of my mind it is still there causing me to worry. The only time i can not think about it is when i get drunk, but obviously i cant do that all the time. I would love to hear about any tips or tricks people have found to get through this.

    Reply

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