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by Ken Goodman, LCSW

Join ADAA member Ken Goodman, LCSW for a LIVE webinar on December 7 -  Health Anxiety Part 2: Learn How to Face Your Fear of Death and Overcome Health Anxiety

The illness you fear might not be the illness you have. I recently conducted an online support group for people with all sorts of health fears, from cancer and heart disease to ALS and MS. Each shared their worries about moles on the skin, irregular heart palpitations, and numbness and tingling. Although their specific fears varied, they all had one thing in common; none of them had ever been diagnosed with a series illness and they all related to the following scenario:

Dina felt great after getting a clean bill of health from her physician but as she tried to fall asleep, she dwelled on one statement he made, Tumors can grow at any time. Come back in six months if you’re concerned.  Questions raced through her mind as she tossed and turned, Why did he tell me that? If there was nothing wrong, why would he say come back in six months?  What if he missed something? Why do I keep getting headaches and dizziness? Dina felt so anxious she got out of bed and searched the web for answers.  As she reread the same articles about symptoms of brain cancer, she began to feel lightheaded.  Why do I keep feeling this way? Do I really have brain cancer? Is this really happening? 

The good news was, Dina did not have brain cancer or a brain tumor. Dina had health anxiety. There are two types of health anxieties: Somatic Symptom Disorder and Illness Anxiety Disorder, formally known as hypochondriasis.  Many people with health anxiety are often unable to function or enjoy life due to their fears and preoccupations. They obsess over bodily functions (breathing, heartbeat), physical oddities (skin blemishes), and physical discomfort (headaches, stomach aches, lightheadedness).They might worry about a specific organ (brain, heart) or a disease they heard about on the news or at work (MS, diabetes). They are preoccupied with the belief that they have, or are in danger of contracting, a serious illness. Many will purse doctors and tests repeatedly for reassurance, but are reluctant to seek mental health treatment since they believe their condition is medically based.   

Why does health anxiety persist despite reassurance from doctors?

Although some refuse to be examined by their physician due to their fear of discovering the worst, seeking reassurance from doctors, insisting on repeated medical tests, and visits to urgent care, are more common in health anxiety. Being reassured by the doctor that there is no serious medical illness brings relief -- temporarily. The vicious cycle quickly resumes as new thoughts and physical sensation surface, followed by googling and self-diagnosis, misinterpretations of news in the media, anxiety, and more visits to doctors to resolve the uncertainty. The cycle ignites with each new alarming thought or symptom. 

The False Alarm

Car alarms are set off when a criminal breaks in but imagine how problematic it would be if the siren blared each time a pedestrian walked by.  The car alarm would be misinterpreting innocent people as dangerous criminals.

With health anxiety there is the misinterpretation of discomfort and normal bodily sensations as dangerous. The body is very noisy. Healthy human bodies produce all sorts of physical symptoms that might be uncomfortable, unexpected, and unwanted, but not dangerous.

Normal sensations in the body that can produce fear and worry include changes in visual acuity, heart rate, blood pressure, saliva levels, depth of breathing, balance, and muscle tone, just to name a few.These are normal and harmless bodily changes, but when a person believes they are symptoms of a terrible disease, it causes anxiety.The sensations are real, but the beliefs are false.

Why do people misinterpret sensations in their body and overestimate danger? 

Sometimes misinterpretation is due to assumptions about an illness. For example, “My cousin died of cancer. It’s only a matter of time until I get it.”  Or, viruses sped easily. People in Africa are dying of Ebola. It could easily spread to the U.S.  People with health anxiety might hold rigid definitions of good health, perhaps believing that any discomfort whatsoever means bad health.

Anxiety is a protective mechanism and scanning the body for an illness seems like the right thing to do to protect ourselves. However, when we are preoccupied with something, we tend to notice it. Last month when I was looking to purchase a new car, I suddenly began to notice every car on the road; the make, model, and the color. Previously, I didn’t pay attention. Looking for symptoms makes you notice subtle sensations you might otherwise ignore. When you become preoccupied with bodily sensations, those sensations become amplified and last longer.

This is when it gets tricky. 

Each scan of the body produces uncertainty and doubt, giving the imagination opportunity to create stories. As you imagine the worst, your body’s alarm system sounds off in the form of symptoms of anxiety (racing heart, tightness in the chest, difficulty breathing, jitters, tingling, lightheadedness, nausea, stomach discomfort, sweating, headaches, etc.) giving your imagination additional fuel to create great works of fiction.The symptoms are real. The thoughts are false.

The Most Effective Treatment is Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

Since it is possible to suffer with anxiety and a serious medical condition, medical problems must be ruled out with a thorough physical exam. Once this is accomplished, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is the most effective treatment for any form of anxiety including health related anxiety.

CBT is a therapy model that focuses on our cognition, the way we think, and our behaviors, the way we act. The main concept behind CBT is that our thoughts about a situation (the fear of ALS) effect how we feel (afraid and anxious) and how we behave (holding out our hands to see if they are trembling). We tend to assign meaning to specific situations (tingling means we have MS).  It’s not the actual situation causing our anxiety, but the meaning – accurate or not. And, when you have anxiety, you give your thoughts a lot of meaning, and thus, a lot of power. 

CBT aims to help you overcome fears by correcting irrational thoughts and changing problematic behaviors.  By acquiring a certain mindset, you can learn to approach anxious situations differently and learn to tolerate discomfort and uncertainty. Illness anxiety can be overcome with the help of a skilled anxiety specialist and CBT.  You can find a therapist in your state on the ADAA website.  And for additional information on Illness Anxiety watch my free ADAA webinar.

This blog post has been updated by the author - June 22, 2020


Additional ADAA Resources by Ken Goodman:

LIVE Webinar - December 7, 2020 - Join ADAA member Ken Goodman, LCSW - Health Anxiety Part 2: Learn How to Face Your Fear of Death and Overcome Health Anxiety

Additional Resources:


About the Author

Ken Goodman, LCSW, treats anxiety and OCD in Los Angeles. He is the author of The Anxiety Solution Series: Your Guide to Overcoming Panic, Worry, Compulsions and Fear, A Step-by-Step Self-help Audio Program, Break Free from Anxiety, a coloring, self-help book for anxiety sufferers, and the Emetophobia Manual, for those who suffer with the fear of vomit.  Ken Goodman is an ADAA board member and Clinical Fellow. Visit Ken's website.

 

Today I sit here, during a very scary time in all of our lives, the Covid-19 Pandemic. And my brain can't help but to tell me that, not only am I going to contract this disease, I also have heart problems (I do not, I assure you.) and I might even have lung issues (that too, I do not... easier typed than thought) I might even have brain issues (please note I am not naming the disease as I do not wish to type it into existence.)

I am a relatively healthy 33 year old mother of 1 - 18 month old. Married to a very patient man. A stay at home mom. despite being very busy with my son, my brain has more than enough time to take trips to no mans land and get lost. And when I finally return, it's decided that I am going to die and I need to call 911. And it's very hard to talk me off that ledge. I have tunnel vision and the only thing I can see is my impending doom.

And I do. Almost always because I am alone with my son all day and do not want to just drop dead. ( I won't.... try telling frantic, alone, and scared Mary that...)

As someone who is struggling to deal with these demons, I find comfort in reading articles that articulate exactly what I am feeling. But disheartening to find there isn't a solution. Nothing easy. And that scares the heck out of me.

I don't want to take drugs to help me. I just want to talk to someone who specializes in people with health anxiety. I've tried and tried getting a Dr. But the soonest I can see one (before Covid-19) was 5 months out... FIVE.... I'm scared yesterday.. I don't know what 5 months Mary will feel....

Can anyone else relate? If so, please email me so we can talk.. mzaia@ymail.com

I can totally relate to you ! I just had a massive panic attack and had to take some Ativan to calm me down . A little back story I’ve had health Anxiety as long as I can remember. I was diagnosed with thrombocytopenia(low blood platelets) about 11 Years and they still haven’t Changed still low . They also sent me for a ultrasound a couple years ago and was discovered I had an enlarged. They did the us 6 months later with no change.So today something triggered me to believe this itch on my left side of my throat is a mass because I probably have lymphoma.. I was just about to go to urgent care but decided that’s not a good place to be right now .. I called my doctors office and they are only doing phone consults .. ahh I’m sure this is all in my head And probably triggered by the covid but it’s so debilitating. And extra scary with all this instability

I've had health anxiety a year now since I lost a loved one to heart failure.
When I read the part in this article where it says that the things we are feeling are normal sensations in our body that really helped me and now every time I start feeling my anxiety I think about that. Obviously my anxiety isn't all the way gone but educating myself has helped a lot. Thank you so much.

Im going crazy.About 4 mths ago l sat with my leg scrunched up under me and got this weird feeling like my body was shaking but it wasn't visible.Not long after was having trouble sleeping and unbeknownst to me my hubby was jerking in his sleep.I felt this movement many times and was in a frenzy thinking it was my body shaking again.This stressed me out so so much and l dwelled on it so much that now l have actually given myself internal shakes.They are terrible and have seen doc and told it's anxiety.Now l am giving myself headaches, weird sensations in my limbs etc etc.Always be a hypo re cancer had every one imaginable in my stupid head...now this 😳

I was lying on the couch felt as though my heart was beating out my chest searching for answers and help and reading this article has helped me feel relaxed as it perfectly described how I felt and gave me common ground with other people suffering.

My anxiety make my blood pressure to rise and every time I take a bp test my heart and bp rises so I'm not able to ever get an accurate reading. I struggle with that and worry about bp. Check my pulse too much with fingers I look at veins and my pupils too much. How can I get over these fears?

I think what this person forgot to include is that many health anxiety sufferers actually create very real sensations in their body from fear worry and stress. It's a mechanism of the autonomic nervous system. We read symptoms online and then will start to experience them in earnest minutes, hours or days later. This is why people get so scared by this disorder.

Hi everyone I am really glad I found this page where I can read and understand more on this....I am new to it and it freaks me out....so this is my story....last yr I went to my husband sister to spend the weekend with them to celebrate my bday....unfortunately her husband was murdered on the day of my bday and it was a heartbreaking most stressful day for us....I happen to stay due to family support seeing this a devastating time for them...while there I was fish out of water....couldn't of sleep properly all sort of thoughts circling in my head.....I was introduced to some herbal (weed) tea to calm and relax myself....I drank it the 1st and 2nd night I was gud normal slept well....but the 3rd night was a total different kettle of fish....I eat it after I drank it and after an hour in bed I start getting panic attacks. Felt my body shutting down heart racing I was out of it. 1st thought that came on my head is that this dead man come for me lol...I happen to fall asleep and I was ok until I returned home...as I said I never experienced this and never heard anyone in my family going through it..so to me I still thought I was dying....i started checking every little thing that happened to me if i get a chest pain is heart attack if I feel dizzy and het headaches is brain tumor or a vein gonna pop...sometimes I feel like I'm gonna get a stroke....I went by the doctor get ecg,chest xray,blood test urine test done and everything came back normal but in my head I keep thinking negative. No lie the mind does really play games with u and if you dont control it u will go mad thinking going online and checking every little thing....I kept telling myself this have been happening to me since last year and if I was to die it sure would of happen already... anxiety is something we can handle keep talking yourself I am in control of u...you're not in charge of me...it is a scary thing i dont like it but God give me courage to deal with it and i am trying to deal with it....why it's even more hard for me my dad died from heart attack and stroke and in my head I keep saying am I gonna die the same way...everytime I get this anxiety I keep remember seeing my dad taking his last breath and miss him ....but God will help us through this.....accept anxiety say I'm in control every pain or headache u get talk to God and he will guide u through it.....I had a fear of death ( death anxiety) and nw after talking to God I am not afraid of death anymore after this health anxiety came up and running to doctors to check everything little thing I am saying to myself this is reality i am ok i am just getting older and my body changes.....i am not saying i dont get it I still do but trying to handle it and take charge of myself.....we will be good God gives us as much as we can handle....I tell my mind god loves us more he gives us challenges in life to make us stronger than others......hope this helps cause all your artiles helped me too....

I also experience all of this too. Health/Heart/Death anxiety. All the symptoms. I'm too prone of stress. I am a worrier. I worry in every little thing, not until I come to cast all of my worries to the One who was, who is and who will control of everything. God cares. We just need to cast it all to Him. Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Praying for our peace of mind..

Thanks for the info. I have a friend who I think needs mental health anxiety therapy because he told me that he's having fatigue and unexplainable fear of interacting with people that he never felt before. I know a therapist in our area, https://www.therapysummit.com/anxiety-therapy/, deals with this kind of condition and I just want to ask your opinion or if you know any therapist in Irvine CA area. TIA.

It startedat 14. It felt like my throat was closing and I thought Iwas going to die. I am till this day struggling to swallow. Itwent away for a while, but returned. Ithink it's because of what's going on in the world at the moment. I am scared. I google some disease and I feell the symptoms. I swallow different some days,then my throat feels dead or paralysed, then it is my breathing.Thel list goes on and on. And it happened out of nowhere... I wonder how other people feel... They look so cool, as if nothings wrong with them... I hope it goes away... This anxiety....

Hey man, I'm a young guy with health anxiety such as yourself and I've had your same problem. For weeks I thought I was having trouble swallowing. After I finally calmed down about it, it went right away and I never felt it again. Trust me when I say health anxiety can make you feel physical symptoms. You got this.

I have been reading all these comments but cannot find anyone that has a fear like mine which makes me believe maybe its not fear and its real. You see, I am convinced i have Bi Polar or psychosis and it totally freaks me out and sends my anxiety out of control. I have been seeing the same psychologist for almost 20 years on and off and i am currently on Lexapro. I really dont know what else to do as i believe my doctor or psyshologist just havent picked up on the fact as i am able to hide it well.

Hi there, my health anxiety has gotten worse over the last two years and as I am in the midst of one of my "phases" as I call it at the moment I am roaming the web to try and make sense of this all. I'm a 23 year old female and this anxiety about my health is like scratched record playing over and over again. I go for weeks and sometimes months without having any issues, but then it hits me like a tonne of bricks again and usually ends up in many doctors visits or trips to the emergency room. I'm so sick of it. I wonder if I will ever get over it? I am going to seek help for it, I feel that it will ruin my life if I dont

my 23 tear old son is obsessed totally consumed thinking he is terminally ill. He has been to his dr twice in April. He was tested for Covid19 and it wS negative. We live in Ohio my mom lives in Arizona she took him there for a month. He will be back June 20th. But has been obsessed out there with his health. I don't know what to do anymore. I am so stressed bc I don't even want to talk to him because that's all its about is he is dying and feels excruciating pain. I yelled at him and said people fought in war and lost their limbs and get up everyday and some have jobs. Thst he needs to stop with this. He has never been sick growing up. Both of my sons have strong immune systems. I am desperate because I don't know how to help him. Please give me advice how to help

It’s like you are inside my head! Everything you said is me to a T. It’s comforting to know my “craziness” is understood by therapists like you and that I am not alone with my health anxiety. It also provides me hope for getting beyond this. Thank you!

The present situation is such that has forced us to stay inside our home. My health anxiety has caused me stomach issue which makes me think that i might have a serious issue in my stomach . Some time a little chest pain makes me tremble with fear. But when i do workouts or play games or go for a walk i heardly have any such issues.

I'm so glad to see I'm not alone in this! I can't tell you how many times I've gone to the ER because of chest tightness, pain, skipped heart beats or something of the like. Every test comes back fine, but I constantly feel like they're missing something! Deep down, I know it's anxiety, but it's so crippling! I feel like I'm losing my mind! I constantly feel like I'm going to have a heart attack and Googling it only makes it worse. I can't stand living like this. I'm currently getting CBT Therapy and I hope through that I can learn how to deal with this. I just had to ER visits in a month timespan. Previous to that I had a holter monitor for 48 hours, an exercise stress test, an EKG, electrocardiogram and x-rays taken, they all came out normal. My Doctor must think I'm a lunatic. 😅

Was mild until coronavirus. Now I am sure I will get it. Mostly stay home. Groceries delivered. When I do go out I wear a mask and sometimes gloves but still sure I will get it. Have sinus issues so that adds to fear.. Constantly taking temp, oxygen and blood pressure. Bought all these gadgets since covid. I am in counseling.

I can totally relate to this. I have a blood pressure monitor, a Pulse Oximeter, a glucose monitor. Just to help convince myself when I'm feeling lightheaded or dreamlike or my heart is palpatating that its just the anxiety. My fear is something happening to me or having something wrong with me and leaving my 4 year old daughter or needing to be away from her due to some serious medical condition. I stress about passing out and then her being all alone. I gained some comfort with that by making a plan and explaining things to her. She knows to got to the neighbors house and say," my mom needs help" and I also spoke with the neighbor who is aware of my anxiety. Now I don't have that as part of the anxiety.

I'm not sure what occurs first. Some weird body sensation that I stress over and that causes the anxiety, or random anxiety attacks occur out of nowhere when i don't even feel stressed, and then that makes me think there must be something wrong because I was feeling great 3 minutes ago. Why would my heart all of a sudden start palpatating.

I don't like living with the fear. I don't like living with the unpredictability of this. I don't like feeling scared to die. This is debilitating. I can't make plans to do things because I never known when I'll have a random anxiety attack. I feel defeated ever time. Its an emotional Rollercoaster when I think I'm getting better and then WHAMMO. It strikes again. I just want to feel normal.

Going to talk to my doctor about this cognitive therapy.

In 2018-my birthday to be exact-I got food poisoning from some bad fish. Going into year three with 'IT', I was certain that this would set off even worse episodes. The shaking, vomiting, and overall malaise was surely something to make this health anxiety even more unbearable.

Yet, strangely, for about four days-maybe longer- there were ZERO episodes. I did not think about dying at all, even with a potentially life-threatening bacterial infection. The phantom bodily sensations were replaced with a legitimate physical ailment that required attention. The inexplicable and unwarranted fear and dread that had consumed me for over two years was nowhere to be found. The only thing wrong with me was that there was ACTUALLY something WRONG with me!!

As my body healed from the infection, I was feeling a real sense of relief. I battled through a particularly nasty, physical illness and for several days I felt great! My old self had returned! Then, like clockwork, IT returned as well! Out of the blue, no warning, no trigger. My mental illness was not done with me!

The theory is this: the subconscious mind lays dormant when we are either fully engaged in something, actually sick, or in a deep sleep. These factors have all been proven to be effective several times. It's seems that mainly when I'm trying to relax, it switches on. I mean that literally: it feels like an actual switch is flipped on and it begins; much like that very first one. Something just went 'click' in the pit of my stomach and it's been that way ever since.

I've managed to develop some rather unorthodox coping mechanisms, such as sitting in front of a fan, lying in the grass (warm months) and having an occasional glass of whiskey (yes, alcohol suppresses it; for me at least). These help on occasion but when it's too overwhelming I just sit and let it pass, which can be anywhere from 10 to 40 min.

I never believed in my wildest dreams or imagination that my subconscious would turn on me like this. However, knowing that this is indeed all mental has provided not only hope but ammunition to destroy this affliction. I don't want to cope, treat, or manage...I want this GONE!

I found a swollen lymph node on the neck, which turned out to be normal, but Dr Google gave me anxiety because of it's stupid results of serious illnesses that happen to be rare. Worst thing i've done lol.

I am also feeling the same way everyone does. M6 anxiety is above all now. Still when i am writing this comment i am feeling i have something serious illness which doctor still not able to find in the reports. After negative/normal reports new symptoms emerges after a day and i am again falling and start thinking endlessly.

An interesting article, nice information shared which is really reliable and useful. I know exactly what you mean! Every time you have a negative thought, try to immediately shut it down by thinking of something/ doing something positive.

You are not alone

September 30, 2020

I've had this since the pandemic happened. I'm still anxious about my health until now and thought I might have brain tumor by looking up online. I don't really know what to do. :((

My son sent me the link to your article. This is the best information and help I have read and listened to about dealing with health anxiety ever. I am a psychiatric nurse so I know about anxiety and CBT but putting interventions into practice on myself was difficult and even my husband who is a psychiatric nurse has tried to tell me what process I should follow with minimal success and much frustration on his part. It is the way you have explained it and particularly about seeing the anxiety as an opponent and separate which I found refreshing and very helpful. At the time I was listening to the webinar I was having a bout of anxiety but whilst listening I felt it disappear. I would just like to thank you and when I next get my pay check I will seriously consider investing in your 12 week programme.

Well, it's been five years to the day that my life and overall well-being took a turn.  This is the day, October 25, that while sitting at home watching a football game, feeling great and not stressed about anything in the world...well, you know the rest.

It seems with every passing year, this thing gets worse.  There are times when I feel like I'm turning a corner, then it comes back with a vengeance.  I wake up with this, spend the day with this, and now-lately moreso than usual-go to bed with this.  My sleep has suffered, the night sweats are brutal, and the dreams...just plain bizarre.  The thoughts just won't go away, my brain will just not turn off.  I don't know what all of this is really about, where it comes from, and why it's coming to the forefront now.  Some old, wayback memories are there, stuff that should have been deleted from the file.  I once heard someone say, 'I'm getting everything'.  That's exactly what it feels like. 

The physical manifestations are just the worst.  I'm now not sure if one is the cause and effect of the other.  The aches, the pains, the palps, the numbness, the heaviness, the shaking, the sweating, the gas, the peeing, the pooping, the weight loss.  An ache or pain in my arm, leg, chest: heart disease, failure or blood clot.  In my gut: colon, bowel, stomach, pancreatic cancer.  That little voice in my head keeps telling me that I have or will have some serious disease, whether it's the aforementioned common ones or something rare with some guy's last name.  The medical experts have not found any.  If anything, I am 'at risk' for diabetes (like everyone else in the world because there is an abundance of accessible sugar-soaked foods), even though after nearly 46 years I still don't have it. 

FIVE YEARS OF THIS!  I keep telling myself if something was going to happen it would have happened already.  For some reason, along with the negative tests and images, this never gives my any kind of solace.  I walk everywhere I go, always have.  Now it seems like a struggle some days, like my body wants to quit. Haven't fallen, haven't fainted...nothing wrong, right?

There is a deep-rooted, unresolved issue there but it won't come out. Something that is just eating away at me, both literally and figuratively.  I have some guilt about not being there for my mother and father when they died.  I spoke to a grief counselor about that, only for her to tell me in so many words that she is not a grief counselor!  HUH? CBT,CBD, SSRI-all tried, all failed.   The medical field will cop out with drug treatment that won't work but will destroy your liver and kidneys in the long run. I praise anyone who is healing with their help, but it just hasn't work for me.

I relate these three events as possible triggers for the intensified episodes:

1. My spouse passed away, a year ago yesterday.  The lead up to that was an extremely stressful period that lasted two months, as she seemed to be recovering physically but her mindset was just worse off that it was when she was admitted.  She kept saying 'kill me, kill me', over and over again.  I had to leave and was so rattled I admitted myself into a hospital.  Of course my BP was thru the roof (something else I'm 'at risk' for) but it was more so the ingrained anxiety that was spiking out of control.  That day, her birthday, we celebrated her and she was alert and coherent. 'Will you raise the bed up?' Those were her last words. When I got up, she suddenly convulsed and became unresponsive.  Her eyes were open.  We all called out to her but nothing.  THOSE F***ING MACHINES DID NOT GO OFF AT ALL!!!  For an hour she slipped in and out.  The heart and lung doctors were baffled, even though they shouldn't have been.  We believe it was a blood clot as she had surgery two days before. Based on what I described what happened to her to people, they agree as they have seen it.  How can a life be snuffed out like that by a tiny clump of blood???  It just wasn't fair.  I wrestle with that image of the life leaving her face quite often.  I've lost so many loved ones prior to this as well: my parents, two of my sisters, my grandmother.  I think my father was the catalyst, as he was my go-to guy and now I have noone to talk to about things, life, etc.  I wasn't there when he died and said I would be.   

2. Now, to something that I thought for sure I would never experience in my lifetime: a pandemic.  I do not consciously fear this, but maybe that troublesome little region of my brain is petrified of it.  I have survived measles, chicken pox, strep, pneumonia, gum infection (jaw looked like a golf ball was stuck in there), food poisoning (read about this from August 2020 under my name).  I've had the flu maybe once and never a shot for it.  I believe I have a rather seasoned immune system, and if I haven't caught it in nearly the year it's been around I won't.  The mask and distancing does indeed help out some. :-) Could it be that I am subconsciously afraid of contracting this?

3. Finally, the death of Chadwick Boseman. This has truly unsettled me, as well as, I'm sure, a lot of people who admired and loved this wonderful man.  It's really depressing that this young, healthy 42 year-old 'kid' died of cancer, and moreso he was fighting it privately to the point we all only found out after his death.  That's where the thoughts begin:  if he can get it, so can I.  The proverbial linchpin of this ridiculous affliction!  I obsess over something someone else has and just KNOW I will get it soon.  It's so bad at times I go far back as 200 years for people that have died either prematurely or from a rare disease! WHAT IS THAT!?

I am afraid.  But of what?  Losing my job and home? No. Fearing I will contract COVID? No.  Fearing someone I love will contract COVID? Of course.  Dying? No.  Dying early and leaving my daughter behind? YES!  She doesn't deserve that, no child does but it happens.  It's not fair!  I take some solace in the fact that the men in my family live long lives. Sure they go thru ailments that come with age as well; but they don't keel over before they're 40...or 50...or even 60!

I knew this would be a long entry but I have noone or nowhere else to share. Please know that I share your pain, and encourage all of you to seek a cure, not a cope! We shouldn't have to go thru this. Our mind is our friend, not our enemy.

I'm only 16 and im terrified of having a brain tumor!! i show some symptoms but those symptoms are symptoms of other more common things.
such as brain fog, depression and anxiety, mood swings, headaches, all are symptoms of a brain tumor, but are also symptoms of normal bad anxiety or waking up on the wrong side of the bed. every time i wake up with brain fog it is worrying for sure!
i hate health anxiety!

The illness you fear may not be the illness you have. Do you worry about cancer, heart attacks, or a brain aneurism? Do you regularly google your symptoms or reexam parts of your body that are concerning? If so, you might have Health Anxiety. ADAA board member, Ken Goodman, LCSW, presents the second of two webinars on this debilitating disorder. In Part One, Ken explained health anxiety and provided tools and a strategy for overcoming it. In Part Two, Ken dives further into the treatment and teaches how to incorporate exposure therapy into recovery. This LIVE webinar will also include a former patient who suffered with fears of ALS and MS. There will be plenty of opportunities to ask Ken questions about your specific fears and query his former patient about her journey to freedom.  It is recommended that you watch Health Anxiety Part One (available at no cost on-demand) before participating in the second webinar.

Please note that registration is required for this live webinar with a $10.00 fee for this event to help ADAA continue to offer this type of educational content.

ADAA professional members - please note that this is webinar for ADAA's public community and is not eligible for CE/CME credits.

The illness you fear may not be the illness you have. Do you worry about cancer, heart attacks, or a brain aneurism? Do you regularly google your symptoms or reexam parts of your body that are concerning? If so, you might have Health Anxiety. ADAA board member, Ken Goodman, LCSW, presents the second of two webinars on this debilitating disorder. In Part One, Ken explained health anxiety and provided tools and a strategy for overcoming it. In Part Two, Ken dives further into the treatment and teaches how to incorporate exposure therapy into recovery. This LIVE webinar will also include a former patient who suffered with fears of ALS and MS. There will be plenty of opportunities to ask Ken questions about your specific fears and query his former patient about her journey to freedom.  It is recommended that you watch Health Anxiety Part One (available at no cost on-demand) before participating in the second webinar.

Please note that registration is required for this live webinar with a $10.00 fee for this event to help ADAA continue to offer this type of educational content.

ADAA professional members - please note that this is webinar for ADAA's public community and is not eligible for CE/CME credits.

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