Hi,

I am 24 years-old who's suffering from some severe anxiety over my health.

It all started when I did some research on my symptoms on the internet. A lot times, the results would have the word cancer and I would be totally paranoid. I would read the symptoms off the medical websites and I would be in dreadful fear. After that, I constantly non-stop thinking that something is severely wrong with my health. I started this around a year ago when I had pain in my body that doctors and health tests can't diagnose. I've seen a couple of different family physicians and also a couple of specialist doctors. All of them told me that I have nothing to be concerned about and there is nothing severe. Since I live in Canada, health care is free. I've changed family doctors 2 times over the past year and half to get more suggestions and answers. However, they all seems to say relatively the same things. I've been to the doctor's clinic once a week complaining the same issues, because he wouldn't send me to do tests. I've also cried a couple of times to my current doctor because I am seriously concerned. He told me I don't have cancer and that I am a young woman who is somewhat hypochondriac.

I've recently wanted to do a colonoscopy because I've been getting thinner stools. Researching on "thin stool" all I get was colon cancer. My family physician and the gastroenterologist both thinks that it's not necessary with the symptoms I have. They both just said that I have IBS or a sensitive stomach. However, I believe there's more than that. I used to have IBS since a long time ago, I know how it feels, and it's not the same. I've been getting thinner stools than before but it's true that sometimes, they are back to the normal size however, it's rare now because it's usually thinner. I told all my doctors and they all said that it's a myth because thin stool doesn't mean you have polyps or something severe is wrong with your colon. Someone with totally normal stool/bowel movement can have colon cancer. And my age, since I'm 24, they all said that it's really unlikely something is severely wrong with your colon.

However, I am not relief at all! I cannot stop thinking about it. I am fearful to go number 2 (sorry for being disgusting) because I'm afraid to see the size of the stool. I also have a loss of appetite because when I eat I feel pressure. I also constantly weight myself because my doctor told me that if there are something severely wrong with your colon you would be continue to loose weight and never gain weight. I have to admit that I did loose 10 lbs over the past 2 years. However, recently, the weight has gone back up 10 lbs but has also gone back down a few pounds at times. Whenever people tell me that I'm really skinny or how come you lost weight... I immediately feel dreadfully fearful and extremely depressed. I don't know, but I've also been experiencing fatigue! I get tired easily and feel sleepy most of the time. Sometimes, I would get foggy brains and just don't have energy. I'm scared.

I need a relief. I need help. I don't want to suffer. I would never be happy if I don't get this straight and doctors don't seem to give me a lot of help. What can I do? I've seen therapists before because I am depressed. Therapists think that I am also fearing over death due to seeing young people dying the past couple of years. However, they are really expensive and I can't afford for 10 sessions. Help! What can I do?


Answers


Chemar
674 days ago
Hi

if a variety of healthcare professionals have told you that you don't have cancer or other serious health problems then it does seem perhaps you are suffering more from attempting to incorrectly self diagnose than anything else! Psychosomatic symptoms appear to be what may also be occurring.

Ongoing therapy really would be helpful, but I understand when you say you cannot afford it. The new health laws may be able to put you in a better position to get proper care.



CDN_socialworker
672 days ago
Choco-fever,

Congrats! According to many medical professionals, you are in excellent physical health. Sometimes what doctors forget to talk about, is the status of our mental health. We generally go to the doctors every year for a physical, we have a "check up" to ensure that everything is working fine inside our bodies, but rarely do we ever think to have a "check up" for our minds. Is it possible that you experienced something 2 years ago that would trigger this sort of anxiety? Maybe even getting triggered by your age? The 20's can be a scary time, trying to find your place in the world, setting the tone for the rest of your life, It can really bring up some questions about our own staying power on this planet.

At it's core, this issues seems to me like one not of your inner self, but one of your outer self, your environment. The internet can be a fantastic resource, but it can also offer up TOO much information. ALmost every symptom you can think of from a sniffling nose to high fever to a sore throat can be linked back to something considered a "Severe" illness. That doesn't mean that every symptom is. The internet does something sort of dangerous, it allows you to self diagnose, the problem with this is that all to often, people read a list of symptoms and the ones you don't have manifest psychologically along side the ones you do have physically. The result is a bunch of fear that doesn't serve as a productive motivator for anything.

Think of this, not even REAL doctors diagnose themselves, they go to other doctors when they feel something is wrong. We were not meant to be our own clinicians, if real doctors aren't qualified to identify illness' within themselves, we most certainly aren't either. It's human nature to find patterns within the field of random stimuli. but we certainly aren't always right when it comes to identifying patterns in ourselves (this includes symptoms)

My suggestions to you are these.

Do a google search in your area for volunteer positions, get involved with something you love to do, go out and interact with individuals in your community. Distract your mind with positive thoughts and experiences, make sure the position has you active and engaged at least one night a week. Vollunteering is free! you will be getting something out of it, and helping out individuals in the process. A win-win.

2) Find a yoga/taichi/meditation group in your area and begin attending. The eastern approach to healthcare has been scientifically proven to be benificial to both your body and mind. Classes are inexpensive and found all over the world, utilize the skills taught in these classes to maintain a connection with the present. It is evident that you have a difficult time keeping your mind in the moment, and tend to let it wander into those unhealthy places that cause your anxiety.

3) Limit your internet usage, ask a friend or family member to block the website "WebMD" and the like. Out of site out of mind, have them block only those sites. If you feel something unusual going on in your body, take your questions to a doctor. Also buy a timer and set it to 30 minutes per internet session. Research has shown that it is often when we are bored that we fall back into old online habbits. Go on the internet with specific purpose, and stick to it. (checking facebook, email, articles, gaming etc.)

4) Last but not least, put up some afirmations for yourself around the house, put them in places you go everyday (bathroom mirror, on the fridge, in your car, on the back of your mp3 player) wherever you are most likely to see them. Write things like "I feel good today" "stay in the moment" "I'm healthy!!" I also suggest keeping one of these taped to the corner of your computer screen, let them become a constant voice in your life, and also allow them to keep you in the present. Anytime you feel you are being triggered, look for an afirmation and repeat it to yourself.

Keep in mind that on a long enough time line, we are ALL human, and we will ALL sucomb to our own mortality, no one is exempt from that. Although that is the truth of existence, it also means that worrying and obsessing over our health, isn't going to change that fact. Our greatest weapon against our own mortality, is enjoying the life we are given, the time we do have should be spent experiencing how wonderful this world can be, not fearing the day we will no longer be in it.

If life was a road, and while walking it we looked only up at the sky, or only down at the ground, we would completely miss out on what is right infront of us.

Enjoy Yourself :)