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Health anxiety!!

15 Feb 2021 16:56

hi,

looking for reassurance from anyone who is going through the same as me. I am a 21 year old female and am having really aggressive health anxiety. Standing in front of the mirror or in the shower checking my body for lumps every 2-3 days. I recently contracted an ear infection due to a feeling of pulse in my ear. My gp reckons I gave myself the ear infection due to constantly keeping at my ear and putting my finger inside my ear (ew I know) to reassure myself. I am now on an antibiotic but don't feel at ease at all. A lump has now appeared at the back of neck behind the opposite ear. I know it has just appeared because I don't miss these things because of my extreme paranoia about my health. Dr. google has told me that ear infections can cause lymph nodes to swell at the back of the neck and I've also read that extreme stress and anxiety can cause swollen lymph nodes. 
 

but then I get to the dreaded articles of lymphoma. I am terrified that this may be what is wrong with me. I am writing to find reassurance or maybe somebody who is experiencing what I'm experiencing. I find currently with the pandemic and also being out of work I have a lot of time to worry about my health which is causing muscle tension and headaches which isn't helping with my health anxiety if anything it is just making it worse. 
 

i hope somebody reaches out soon, thank you.

Health anxiety!!

2 Mar 2021 20:19 in response to Ej12345

Hi,

I am also 21 and have been dealing with health anxiety since 2019. I used to convince myself I had all sorts of types of cancer, to the point where I would at least think I had three types per day! At one point I ended up in A&E three times in a month and at that point I did end up having a complete breakdown. The last time I spoke to my GP in Summer 2020, he said " the likelihood of you having cancer is the same as you winning big in the lottery, and you don't worry about winning the lottery, so don't worry about cancer". At the time I found this to be quite abrupt and a bit like he didn't care, but now I look at it and think he was right.
 

One thing I would suggest is do not google symptoms because I think Dr Google only shows the worst case scenarios at times!  I know it is tempting when you get symptoms but it makes everything 10000 times worse.

I know how hard it is to deal with it and it is extremely debilitating. I would suggest speaking to your GP to see if you could maybe go on an antidepressant as this really helped me when it was at its worst and it's also good to look into a form of talking therapy so you can understand why you are feeling this way. Another thing that has helped me is finding a new hobby that will keep you busy and that you enjoy. Please also speak to your loved ones about what you are going through, I was embarrassed for the longest time but when I spoke out I received so much support and help to get better.

I found that the cause for my health anxiety was due to me being a student nurse working with patients who did have cancer. When I realised this I did change career path and now I am studying law and I am a lot better than I was in 2020. 

You are not alone in feeling like this and things do get better with time. I have only just now developed the way of thinking that if i ever develop an illness or condition I will deal with it when the time comes and for now I want to live my life and not let anything stop me from doing so. Please feel free to contact me if you need any support, you will get through this.