I'm a hypochondriac, AMA. Watch

princetonalec
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A lot of understandings of hypochondriacs seem to be viewing us as attention seekers (and yes I do see the irony of making an AMA on the subject whilst insisting that i'm not an attention seeker) so figured I may as well open an AMA if anyone wants to ask any questions to get a better understanding of hypochondriacs!
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Reality Check
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(Original post by princetonalec)
A lot of understandings of hypochondriacs seem to be viewing us as attention seekers (and yes I do see the irony of making an AMA on the subject whilst insisting that i'm not an attention seeker) so figured I may as well open an AMA if anyone wants to ask any questions to get a better understanding of hypochondriacs!
What do you currently think you've got?
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princetonalec
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(Original post by Reality Check)
What do you currently think you've got?
Some form of cardiovascular problem, mainly going back and forth between A-FIB or just general heart-will-stop-for-no-reason anxiety. I also think I might have some form of leg cancer because of a spot which has been there for a while and hasn't yet receded, as well as anaemia and heart disease.
Did also recently have a concern about breast cancer and I get random fears that I have a brain tumor because I'll get a tingly feeling in my frontal lobes.
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DiddyDec
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Have you actually ever been diagnosed with anything?
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princetonalec
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(Original post by DiddyDecAlt)
Have you actually ever been diagnosed with anything?
Depends what you mean by diagnosis.
I have been formally diagnosed with ADHD and Autism, but in terms of physical diagnosis i've always been given a clean slate. Never even broken a bone in my life. I regularly have to go for checkups for my cardiovascular health because of my ADHD medication, and I have been told my blood pressure and pulse is a bit higher than they'd like, but I am also overweight and do suffer from severe anxiety.
So I guess the short answer is in terms of physical health? Nope. Worst thing I've ever had was chicken pox.
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Reality Check
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(Original post by princetonalec)
Some form of cardiovascular problem, mainly going back and forth between A-FIB or just general heart-will-stop-for-no-reason anxiety. I also think I might have some form of leg cancer because of a spot which has been there for a while and hasn't yet receded, as well as anaemia and heart disease.
Did also recently have a concern about breast cancer and I get random fears that I have a brain tumor because I'll get a tingly feeling in my frontal lobes.
Wow.

How does your GP deal with you? Do you regularly make appointments, and are these appointments honoured by the surgery? Does your GP still investigate you, or are you sent away?
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DiddyDec
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(Original post by princetonalec)
Depends what you mean by diagnosis.
I have been formally diagnosed with ADHD and Autism, but in terms of physical diagnosis i've always been given a clean slate. Never even broken a bone in my life. I regularly have to go for checkups for my cardiovascular health because of my ADHD medication, and I have been told my blood pressure and pulse is a bit higher than they'd like, but I am also overweight and do suffer from severe anxiety.
So I guess the short answer is in terms of physical health? Nope. Worst thing I've ever had was chicken pox.
So does having the all clear physically help at all?
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princetonalec
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(Original post by Reality Check)
Wow.

How does your GP deal with you? Do you regularly make appointments, and are these appointments honoured by the surgery? Does your GP still investigate you, or are you sent away?
I don't actually go to the GP often, because to some degree my health anxiety can be muted? I'm also extremely mindful of taking up NHS time.
One thing which helps is that I come from a reasonably large town with two practices, so you can't really have a dedicated GP. I also recognised very early on that my symptoms are a result of anxiety, and not any underlying healh issue.
If I do have any concerns I normally go to the walk in, and every time I have they've given me the all clear. Other than that I bring up my concerns during my routine appointments and always get told "it's anxiety, you're fine".
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Em.-.
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How are you coping with the new coronavirus (or how do you cope when there’s any sort of infectious illness outbreak)?
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princetonalec
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(Original post by DiddyDecAlt)
So does having the all clear physically help at all?
Absolutely not. I remember when I had an ECG because they thought they heard and irregular heartbeat which turned out to be anxiety. I felt reassured for all of 2 hours, and then I felt anxious again.
Tell me some obscure symptoms and i'd find a way to stress about them. I've always been a worrier, and it doesn't help that SCA (sudden cardiac arrest, which is my main fear) doesn't commonly have symptoms.
Also, I don't know if you've ever had a panic attack, but they can feel like heart attacks. On Tuesday I very almost called an ambulance because I was convinced I was having one.
All it takes is me realising that I can't feel my heart beating in my chest, then I can have anxiety anywhere from having to get up and walk around to being on the floor hyperventilating trying to figure out if it's anxiety chest pain or if this is really the moment I die.
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-Eirlys-
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Are you aware that your thoughts are disordered and that you're likely jumping to unrealistic conclusions? Do you get those moments of clarity or do you constantly feel 100% certain that you have these conditions?
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DiddyDec
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(Original post by princetonalec)
Absolutely not. I remember when I had an ECG because they thought they heard and irregular heartbeat which turned out to be anxiety. I felt reassured for all of 2 hours, and then I felt anxious again.
Tell me some obscure symptoms and i'd find a way to stress about them. I've always been a worrier, and it doesn't help that SCA (sudden cardiac arrest, which is my main fear) doesn't commonly have symptoms.
Also, I don't know if you've ever had a panic attack, but they can feel like heart attacks. On Tuesday I very almost called an ambulance because I was convinced I was having one.
All it takes is me realising that I can't feel my heart beating in my chest, then I can have anxiety anywhere from having to get up and walk around to being on the floor hyperventilating trying to figure out if it's anxiety chest pain or if this is really the moment I die.
Is there any treatment for hypochondria?

It is an affliction that fascinates me as I am the complete opposite, I avoid healthcare like the plague and just wait for things to get worse or better then do nothing about it.
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(Original post by DiddyDecAlt)
Is there any treatment for hypochondria?

It is an affliction that fascinates me as I am the complete opposite, I avoid healthcare like the plague and just wait for things to get worse or better then do nothing about it.
Lol why? No wonder you get joint pain (as you mentioned in another thread (I have have a relative who's the exact same as you)) tbh don't trust 100% NHS doctors either
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princetonalec
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(Original post by DiddyDecAlt)
Is there any treatment for hypochondria?

It is an affliction that fascinates me as I am the complete opposite, I avoid healthcare like the plague and just wait for things to get worse or better then do nothing about it.
There is no set medication which makes hypochondria go away, and the most tried and tested treatment method is CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy, which I'm currently on the waiting list for).
Hypochondria is very closely related to OCD, I have the intrusive thought (OCD may be "did I turn the stove off? if I don't check it might be on, and my house will burn down, and so will my neighbours, and i'll be held accountable for manslaughter, etc. whilst hypochondria may be "do I have breast cancer? I need to check again so I can catch it in time, otherwise it'll be terminal and it'll kill me. It may already be terminal. Maybe it's deep tissue cancer. Maybe its hidden cancer. etc) which becomes an obsession, and compulsions are created to ease the anxiety they cause (turning off the stove or checking for cancer), the problem is the anxiety doesn't go.
There are also hypochondriacs who don't seek medical help! They just assume they're a lost cause, or don't want their fears confirmed.
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princetonalec
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(Original post by -Eirlys-)
Are you aware that your thoughts are disordered and that you're likely jumping to unrealistic conclusions? Do you get those moments of clarity or do you constantly feel 100% certain that you have these conditions?
I am aware that my thoughts are delusioned, but it can be hard to remember this in the moment should that make sense. If I'm sat in a lecture with a feeling of dread in my chest, a high heart rate, sweating and my brain shouting at me "This is it. You're about to die." Then it's pretty hard to not feel like i'm about to die.
I'm also finding myself getting more and more moments of clarity as time goes on, but I always to some degree feel anxiety normally anywhere from 1-5 on a scale of 10 for severity.
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princetonalec
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(Original post by Em.-.)
How are you coping with the new coronavirus (or how do you cope when there’s any sort of infectious illness outbreak)?
Weirdly it doesn't bother me. The concept of pandemics really freak me out, where one single person can have the chain reaction to infect about 5,000 other people, but viral diseases don’t concern me. I suppose because if I maintain good hygiene I can lower my chances of anything terrible happening, and my immune system isn't too bad. I'm just a baby when I get sick.
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DiddyDec
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(Original post by 1st superstar)
Lol why? No wonder you get joint pain (as you mentioned in another thread (I have have a relative who's the exact same as you)) tbh don't trust 100% NHS doctors either
Because most doctor's are ****. But I'm on the road to get that joint pain looked at after 10 years.

(Original post by princetonalec)
There is no set medication which makes hypochondria go away, and the most tried and tested treatment method is CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy, which I'm currently on the waiting list for).
Hypochondria is very closely related to OCD, I have the intrusive thought (OCD may be "did I turn the stove off? if I don't check it might be on, and my house will burn down, and so will my neighbours, and i'll be held accountable for manslaughter, etc. whilst hypochondria may be "do I have breast cancer? I need to check again so I can catch it in time, otherwise it'll be terminal and it'll kill me. It may already be terminal. Maybe it's deep tissue cancer. Maybe its hidden cancer. etc) which becomes an obsession, and compulsions are created to ease the anxiety they cause (turning off the stove or checking for cancer), the problem is the anxiety doesn't go.
There are also hypochondriacs who don't seek medical help! They just assume they're a lost cause, or don't want their fears confirmed.
The joy of NHS waiting lists :indiff:

I'm fairly well read on mental health issues. I hope you get some value out of CBT when you eventually get it.
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(Original post by DiddyDecAlt)
Because most doctor's are ****. But I'm on the road to get that joint pain looked at after 10 years.
Lol true
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princetonalec
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(Original post by DiddyDecAlt)
The joy of NHS waiting lists :indiff:

I'm fairly well read on mental health issues. I hope you get some value out of CBT when you eventually get it.
Yeah, waiting lists are a pain. It's gotten to the point where I used my university library to find resources for psychology students on administering CBT, so believe me when I say it doesn’t matter if I have to do it myself, I will be getting over this anxiety one way or another!
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DiddyDec
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(Original post by princetonalec)
Yeah, waiting lists are a pain. It's gotten to the point where I used my university library to find resources for psychology students on administering CBT, so believe me when I say it doesn’t matter if I have to do it myself, I will be getting over this anxiety one way or another!
I have been on a waiting list since November 2019 to see someone in May 2020 :banghead:

At least you have the drive to push through and get it sorted by any means possible, that is incredibly admirable.
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