The Student Room Group

Health fears ruining my life/why am I so mentally weak?

Idk, like the title says, fears about my health are ruining my life. Mainly fears about having cancer but also other life threatening diseases. I have new symptoms basically every day and it just turns into a frantic cycle of googling symptoms, getting the result that it’s cancer and panicking about it. I’ve been the doctors so many times that they now act visibly fed up of me and that just makes me worry more that when it actually is cancer they will refuse to take me seriously/do the tests.

It’s destroying my life/health. I can’t do uni work for entire weeks sometimes and I’m worried about my grades. I feel like **** most days and I feel like I’m decaying already. I “self medicate” it I guess, I drink half-full bottle of wine a day or approx 4-6 shots of spirits, I take codeine for my migraines and to help me feel more relaxed (rationing it at the minute because I get refused sale if I buy it too often) and I have to take sleeping pills or I will just lie awake all night then feel worse. It makes me feel better for a while then I just worry about whether the symptoms are from my lifestyle or from cancer. It also sometimes calms me down to repeat the Lord’s Prayer (even though I’m not really religious) or I have a “ritual” of tapping along my arms that calms me down but other than that I just wait out the spiral of panic until I feel better.

What the **** is wrong with me? I think I’m just really mentally weak because how do other people not worry about these things? I wish I could be normal and feel normal and behave like a normal person. I don’t want to talk to anyone about it because it’s so pathetic when other people have real problems and mine are made up
Reply 1
It's as if I wrote this post. I am constantly worried myself about having an ILD (interstitial lung disease, I do have scars at the top of my lungs) throat cancer, and COPD. I have also had swollen lymph nodes for weeks and only just started to quit smoking, which will help in combating these fears I am sure. I think you may find this link interesting.
All you and I can do is try to stay as healthy as possible even if you're starting on the backfoot like I am and if any symptom lasts longer than 3 weeks, get it checked for your sanity and future health. When you're young (under 50) it's likely that most of the symptoms are lifestyle related and will improve after your lifestyle has improved. If it doesn't it's down to the drs to get it sorted. Stay on top of things and you will feel better.
I completely relate to all of this.

Last year I was in a constant state of panic; I had a horrible feeling in my chest, couldn't enjoy anything and I tried various things like breathing exercises to get to sleep (similar to what you describe). I never knew what "chronic anxiety" actually meant until I had that experience and all I wanted was to be normal again.
During this time I had twitching that wouldn't go away. I was very disturbed by the twitching, as it is a sign of many diseases and I was scared it wouldn't go away, but I think it was actually a symptom of anxiety.
I now don't have twitching any more (or not often) either.

It might sound unbelievable or ridiculous (though it is no more ridiculous than the hypochondriac thoughts themselves), but I "cured" myself when reading on /r/healthanxiety how someone said they think something along the lines of "in this moment I will accept whatever disease I have, if I am really dying so be it, if I survive then I am okay". I just mentally banish the thoughts now with this idea.

Also, please do NOT Google symptoms! have self restraint about this, it's very important...

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