I get really anxious over my health and convince myself I have different diseases, normally some type of cancer, to the point that I will almost develop the symptoms of it. It's been like this for years and almost comes in waves, I will have months f being fine then a period of thinking I have a disease, usually involving going to the doctor's and getting checked for it, then when they tell me I don't have it, I'll be fine for a while and the symptoms will disappear almost overnight.
There was a period of about a month over summer where I was so convinced that I had a brain tumour that I basically refused to get out of bed and had almost daily panic attacks about it. I thought I'd got over it and would be fine but now I'm back at uni, I've been getting stomachaches and I'm starting to worry I have stomach cancer. I know in my head that it's ridiculous and pathetic and that some people have actual problems while I'm just making mine up but I can't help worrying about it and often find myself lying awake at night or googling symptoms.
I'm pretty sure my family think I do this just for attention so I try to avoid talking to them about it but I'm not attention seeking, I am genuinely convinced that I have these diseases until a doctor does the tests and tells me that I don't. I'm worried that it will affect my grades though. How can I more effectively manage the anxiety? My usual strategy is just to try and distract myself.