Sunday, 12 April 2015

Health Anxiety....

So generally I'm a bit dramatic, I do jump to conclusions, worry about things before they happen!  You know fly off the handle and have a good old moan at the slightest thing; without knowing the whole story.  Mostly this happens when I see a ridiculous Facebook status...

So this trait in my make up; comes through most when I'm worried about my health,  I definitely suffer with health anxiety, see I'm even over dramatising this, I think in days gone by, I'd be called a hypochondriac.  But the slightest thing can get me in a right woe!  A cold lingering on, can make me question my immune system, and have me worrying and fretting. 

It seems that once I get a worry in my mind, items on my newsfeed jump out at me and fuel my worry.  Like I was having usual hormonal aches in my boobs, this coincided with Anne Kirkbride passing away from a short illness of breast cancer.  I panicked for about about a week and went to my GP for no reason at all, except I was a bit 'anxious'.  I'm lucky with my doctors; they do squeeze you in, the receptionists must have an ear for the 'desperately in need of reassurance'.   So, she said "this happens 10 or so days before your period, I'd recommend taking evening primrose oil" (I did btw and this eradicated the problem).  

It does get stressy for me though, after being run down with a cold for a couple of weeks, the type of viral thing that everyone at work picks up and shares between you for a few months, I found a tiny little lump in my groin, typically this was on a Friday evening (it had to be didn't it), I worried and fretted and couldn't leave the lump alone, a lot of the time in my blind panic prodding and poking I couldn't find the tiny lump... but of course, made myself sore with all the pressing.  It consumed me for a full weekend, I burst in to tears when bathing the kids on the Sunday night... I was thinking who'd bath them in my demise  (I quickly pulled the shower curtain to, you know don't want the kids to see I'm a bit mental). 

8am, on the Monday after getting the engaged tone 57 times, a GP called me back, "Okay it seems like nothing to worry about, but I can hear that you're 'anxious'... so come in at 10:20".  Bless the GP at my practice, I was only there a minute, he felt round a bit and said, "yup you've been off colour and your glands are a tiny bit swollen". 

At the minute I've got this bad back, it's driving me mad, I know I've probably pulled it lugging our Willow in and out the car (he's a big lad at four years old), sitting at a desk doesn't help.  It's when I sit it hurts the most.  Well it's on my mind pretty much all the time, even when I'm not in particular pain, I'm wondering about it.  I've been to the docs a few times, got prescribed some painkillers that sent my tummy off (so that opened up another can of worms for me).  I really try to tone all this down, mindfulness practice helps, I can even feel calm for some hours, then checking FB before bed, I come across Taylor Swift news that her mum has cancer (no details given... I wonder if it started with backache).  I'm dreadful really, making it all about me!  

But I do need to give up with it, I'm back at the docs this week (I made the appt weeks ago on the off chance my backache didn't improve).  I'm sure I'll get the reassurance I crave.  One of my other panics is that the docs will have me down as a  demic (they must have my records marked by now), and one time I really will have something wrong with me, but like the boy who cried wolf... they'll ignore real symptoms and send me away with advice to take vitamin B6. 

I'm going to really engage with my mindfulness programme... because I have to get over this, the stress brings about physical symptoms, headaches, aches and pains, sleep problems... and then that feeds into the health anxieties.... I'm making light of it, but it's no fun, it's hell at times.

Also no, google or internet for medical advice... I've diagnosed myself certain death time and time over.   Red wine in the evenings help too I found... (that's self-help at it's best). 

xx Emma-Lou 



4 comments:

  1. I'm exactly the same! Avoiding googling symptoms really does help, I'm constantly diagnosing myself with weeks to live its madness! I've done some research myself and find that wine, red or white really may be the answer ahaha xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Avoiding google is defo the first practical step to 'recovery' xx

      Delete
  2. I have this same issue and was referred for CBT (Cognitive behavioural therapy) which I found helped masses. I now understand my triggers and also how to calm myself down when I find I am getting in a tizz over something. It's horrible when it happens and I think the hardest thing is knowing on the one hand how silly it sounds but on the other when it's playing on your mind it can really cause upset. Hope your mindfulness works, and drink an extra large glass of wine :) #sharefriday

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks Jess, I was put onto this book today, 'overcoming health anxiety' self-help using Cog-behave techniques, by Rob Willson and David Veale, so I'll give that a read and report back x

    ReplyDelete