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That’s the main concern of many anxiety sufferers, it was mine at the core of my anxiety.
It took me a long time, years, but through treatment and self-help I learned to cope with the utmost truth about human life: we all have to die and it can happen anytime. Once you accept and embrace that fact, you accept without fear that what must happen, will happen.
The saddest part of being afraid and anxious all the time about your health and your mortality, is that you are not concentrating on life, but on death. So, in a sense, you stop living. Your life becomes empty and all things around you become senseless. You lost touch with the people around you, you lose opportunities in life, you become sort of a zombie. When you accept that your health is part your responsibility, and part the randomness of life, you start living again, feeling the beauties of the world around you and the love of your relatives and friends. Stop obsessing about your health, and avoiding all “unhealthy” stuff. Even if you eat lettuce and water, you will die eventually, and probably from something not related to your health. So if you want that cheeseburger with bacon, go eat it! Moderation is the key. You’re intelligent to know that if you eat that everyday, you will develop obesity and all its health related issues. Yet, you can die from a car accident, totally unrelated to your eating habits.
So go on, start living again! It is always said that it’s better to live a short life full of quality than to live a long one with suffering and pain, specially at a psychological level. The uncertainty of life, if you it from the right angle, can make life a lot more enjoyable.
Treatment of health related anxiety is similar to the treatment of any other form of anxiety.
Some anxious people repeatedly check. This brings short term relief, but worsens the matter in the long term. I tend to check that domestic appliances are switched off, or that I have locked the front door. I know that to do so fuels the problem so have learnt to check these matters once before I leave home, make a mental note that I have done so (today Wed 1 Jan) and then absolutely resist temptation to re-check. (Do I really think I left the home unlocked – or could this though be a manifestation of anxiety?)
You need to do the same about your health anxiety. This may require professional help from a psychiatrist or psychologist.
I regret that there are some health professionals, particularly in private practice, who make a (in my, dishonest) living from taking repeated tests on people with health anxiety without attempt to address the underlying problem.
Treatment by a psychiatrist or psychologist might include counselling, cognitive behavioural therapy, or medication. Sometimes, acknowledgement of the problem is sufficient to achieve improvement.
Remember that it is quite normal to be concerned about one’s health. We are all mortal. Health means the tolerance of imperfection. When concerned about a symptom, a useful tests are: does it stop me living my life? If not, it’s unlikely to be serious. How long since it began? The longer it’s continued and you can walk, talk, and go about your business, the less you should be concerned. (As when my car makes a unusual noise: how does it run? for how long? If the noise has happened for 1000 miles then the wheel is not about to fall off).
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Anxiety is when one continuously is worried about future and infact starts living in the future. Here are few ways to avoid health anxiety:
- Live in the present: Try to be more conscious and live and enjoy the moment. For making this happen make sure you use all your sense organs. Visualize, smell, feel the things around you.
- Meditate: There are different types of meditation. You can make any one of it your best friend. Meditation helps you to calm your mind and teaches you how to be still and stable.
- Exercise: Exercise produces the happy hormones which makes one feel nicer. It makes one feel stronger and fresher. One forgets about everything for a while.
- Pray: One super powerful technique is to simply pray. Thank God for everything you have. Be grateful, count your blessings. This will make you worry about things less.
- Eat Right: It’s very important to indugle oneself in eating good and healthy food. One should always be hydrated. Many a times people do eat excess because of anxiety but they need to be stronger than that and control it. Honestly, it truly is everything in the mind.
- Change thinking patterns: One needs to start believing that great things are happening and great things will happen, even if there’s a voice inside them saying no, that’s not true. Keep lying to your mind until it starts becoming your reality.
- Boost self confidence: A person who is always worried generally lacks a lot of confidence. Make yourself believe that you are confident and you attract all the goodness of the world. Belive that you can do it and you are doing it.
- Creative activities: Indulge yourself in creative activities like dancing, art, singing sports or anything. It need not be that you have to excel at these activities, just make sure you are enjoying the process.
Lastly, please smile and laugh a lot more. You look beautiful and you are loved.
Lots of love to you, I’m sure you can feel it and hahahhahahahhaha (laugh)
Anxiety is a sticky wicket in that it can be triggered by biological/chemical, environmental, and mental sources in any combination. Anxiety is also a fancy word for fear that hasn’t found an outlet yet or a way to move you out of what the bodymind perceives as a threat. (if it’s purely chemically driven, this part does not apply as much). Anxiety as a general statement is a part of being human. I expound on that idea here: Shane Hennesey’s post in The Stress Dojo
I made peace with the fact that I would always have a little bit of anxiety in me at all times. What I changed was my mindset about it. Instead of being a scary monster, I relate to it as different things depending on what I need at the moment.
- A puzzle to be solved. It is sometimes a red flag notifying me that I need to work on something I’ve been ignoring.
- A grumpy old person who is trying to keep me safe but is unskillful in the way they execute the idea. My image is of Ouiser from Steel Magnolias.
- As a chronic illness which I deal with by exercising chronic self-care. Here is a starter kit of ideas: Shane Hennesey’s post in The Stress Dojo
There are no magic potions, but you can create meaningful menus of practices that work for you. The bigger your toolkit, the more choices you have when you need them. (the other side of that is only having a hammer which makes everything look like a nail).
Don’t give up on medication and therapy. Life without them might be far worse. A few random ideas on things to add:
- Rescue Remedy from Bach Flowers (homeopathic anxiety reducer I’ve seen work remarkable results for some people)
- EFT/tapping (acupressure technique easily found on youtube by searching for ‘tapping’ or ‘tapping for anxiety’)
- Reiki energy work
Again, for a chronic issue, you need a chronic approach to dealing with it.
As Anxiety is the “Fear Of” there is no knowing how it affects people in different ways.
I know many people can get sickness, headaches and feeling unwell generallly, there are some that think they are having a heart attack every miute of the day, and a lot more.
Anxiety is one of our biggest enemies and will affect people in different ways.
I really feel for some of the more serious cases of people with sever and chronic Anxiety as it does ruin their lives when it gets out of control.
It really can make some people very distressed and worry about their health both physically and mentally and it really does need a lot of help to calm some down and prove that there is nothing wrong.
The best way I have found to deal with it is to talk to people, reassure them and hope I make a difference to their perspective that their is nothing wrong, if, I mean if all tests have been done to make sure there is no real illness.
Too many mental health and medical doctors are too easily, these days, to label people psychosomatic without really knowing if there is a problem, as with an elderly lady who kept complaining of chest pain.
They were all of the same opinion it was in her head, until she had a heart attack, so how somatic is that?
Even with symptoms that should not have been ignored, I had to prove she actually had a heart attack that was confirmed when I insisted on tests.
It is such a very difficult thing for a lot of people to really understand what Anxiety can and does do to people, and I believe a lot more should be taken into consideration before writing a person off as crazy/somatic.
That is the way I have always thought of it and still do, reassurance is my way.
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I have had a lifetime of health anxiety and I will be 65 in a few weeks. It goes away and then comes back again. My idea is that people with severe health anxiety have either had over protective parents. and/or have had trauma in their life and a genetic predisposition to anxiety. I’ve had all three. My therapist tells me it is about control. We want to control the bad things that can happen to us but no one can. We have to live in the present moment and try to be happy. I also believe we anxious people have a sensitivity to their bodies that other people don’t have. We sense every new symptom and then catastrophize until we think we are dying. Well, reading Claire Weekes books and audios help as do breathing methods, mediation and other alternative therapies. I go to an acupuncturist and pressure point masseuse when I have money and when the anxiety happens I used grounding by looking at five things, touching five other things and that usually changes my point of. I am better than I was when younger and used to go to the ER every time I had a panic attack due to health anxiety. Good luck and healing thoughts
Its not that hard. I personally suffer from health anxiety. Let me tell you during last exams, i fell ill had random chest aches. That is where it all started. I also had a strange pain in my left upper arm, everything seemed to indicate a cardiovascular issue, heart related. I rushed around 7 times to GPs because my bp was also high (135/80). I got really depressed because i am just 19 and everyone said those conditions are not normal.But afterall, it came out that i was not getting enough sleep due to exams, moreover, i was also having fever and all this elevated my bp a bit. Nevertheless, after that, i fell inside deep ocean of hypochondria. Every lil pain seened to be cancer, brain tumour, diabetes, and what not. But now am better, took no medications, nothing. I just advice that please DO NOT GOOGLE YOUR SYMPTOMS. Believe me it can even take to path of suicide! Please do yourself a favour and do not google anything. If you have some pain or aches somewhere on your body, just do not assume that it is something serious.Just wait a day or two, and see if the pain goes away or become weak with time, this is the best way you can get rid of your anxiety.Just give it time, only if it gets worse or persists, visit your GP. In 99 percent cases, it will go away. I am sure. Still if you wanna share a word, drop me a dm on instagram @aakashdeepsingh98. I will definitely reply within an hour, i promise. Peace!
May I propose that this “question is perhaps approached more as a conversation among those who would have input and that you, are passionate enough in the exploration of possibilities to take steps in being accountable with any information you take actions with. The reality here is that perhaps the arenas where results come together may cross several scopes of experience, professional capacity, insights in research and among those with experience and practice in disciplines among other cultures.
In this context I represent nor assert no professional nor liscensure as a professional of any related capacity.
Given these disclosures and I make no claims nor recomendations that are not recommended to speak with your trusted professionals upon taking any actions with.
All that being said, I encouraged to engage in conversation here in that what has been described brings to mind potentially a number of factors to consider and or question and eliminate.
Being that you are 17 years o.d it makes sense that there are a number of changes developmentally going on with your body that may be influencing your quality of health physically, mentally and emotionally…in fact many would say ount on this. While there maybe some periodic imbalances e perienced it makes sense that not all systems develop at concurrent rates and are often felt of experiecned in uncomfortable ways.
Too and regardless of any personal beliefs use of substances and even food and certain drinks can also effect the growth or development expreience of an individual at different times and in differentways.
It makes sense to look at habits life sleep, food and diet, nutrition and potential allergies. Jumpingback to the developmental thoughon a deeper level homone expression and function for that matter can have an effect on some of what is mentioned in your comment.
Physicians may be a great place to start in that they perform certain test and studies in order to not only identify potentialresons for what is being reported ut they also are trained to look for and eliminate what can be ruled out based on results of testing and study participation.
Being that this is a convesation it makes sense to pause here and look to hear from you about any questions or whatmight be of interest that you would bring more insight into what you are exploring here…..
It’s incredible how searching symptoms online is my arch enemy, but I still do it! Over the years I have worried about so many fatal illnesses that I’ve lost the count. Have had so many blood works done, head CT, MRI and so many tests that all came back telling me I was healthy. My heart rate is almost always high, my body seems like it’s almost always under stress. And of course I have worried about my heart, feared heart attacks, strokes etc. I’ve even ended up in ER twice thinking that I have a heart attack. After then I’ve been to over 7 different cardiologists have done over 30 ECG’s, over 15 Echo diagrams, 2 stress tests, 24h holter monitoring, and I’ve ALWAYS been told that I have no issues regarding my heart. Now I’ve read somewhere that I may have hormonal imbalance or thyroid issues, not even a month ago I underwent a full body medical which they took too much blood from my arm, I guess they’ve done more tests? I’ve passed the medical and I got appointed for the job, and now here I am in a war zone country not being able to go to a doctor to have my hormones checked and it kills me. I’ve read that not having an erection in the mornings is a really big issue and it could be heart related? I’ve asked this on a different question but none is helping out.. I have forgotten when was the last time I woke up with an erection although I have no trouble getting an erection when near a girl, and yes my sexual drive is incredibly high, too. But I cannot find enough information in relation. All I can find is that not having morning erections is heart related.
I don’t know what triggered your health anxiety. You may have general anxiety and your focus is your health. In any case you should see a therapist and or a psychiatrist for meds if you need them.
I was hit with health problem after health problem, one almost killed me. I had been very healthy until these came along and I wasn’t prepared to deal with not being healthy. I, for the first time, found out that I was vulnerable, of course I always knew I would die, but it was in the future. The future became now. My anxiety over what was next was off the charts. I just knew another illness was lurking around the corner.
It took my therapist a while but he finally got me to see that maybe it is and maybe it isn’t. But right now I am feeling as well as I can, all my physical issues are, if not gone, at least not debilitating and I can do most activities. He helped me realize that living my life expecting the worst took away from the quality of my life now. Once I really got that into my head and saw the truth of it, my over the top anxiety disappeared.
I have to be careful, but I no longer live in dread.
I suffer from health anxiety and it’s not a joke, it’s life ruining. In the past 6 months I have diagnosed myself with every type of cancer, MS and other life threatening illnesses and I convinced myself so much to the point where I was beginning to accept the fact that I would die in a few weeks I lived in misery everything was doom and gloom I visited the doctor more times than I care to admit but I couldn’t afford counselling so I decided to come up with a plan, I read forums of people going through the same thing, stopped googling symptoms (VERY IMPORTANT), meditated, ate healthily and exercised, distracted myself with other things, kept busy with studies, social life and worked on myself, kept a diary and listed everything I was grateful for each day, wrote down my thoughts, shared my feelings with my family and friends (this may not always help as people don’t understand/take you seriously), thinking rationally: tell yourself you have a tendency to overthink things and have anxiety with health and you are magifying symptoms and making them worse, my heart honestly goes out to anyone who has health anxiety it is a life ruining disorder