by Ken Goodman, LCSW

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:

How to Get Over It: Fear of Vomiting - ADAA blog post
Overcoming the Fear of Vomiting - ADAA on-demand webinar
Overcoming the Fear of Driving
- ADAA on-demand webinar
Overcoming the Fear of Driving - ADAA blog post

Additional Resources:
Health Anxiety Is Way More Than Being A Hypochondriac — And It’s Way More Common Than You Think
This Is Why Being Anxious Makes Some People Puke - Article,, December 6, 2018 

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.



Read the message written above. I’m going through a bad bout of ha right now but the book called DARE is really a revelation... I don’t believe counseling cured me in the past but the approach in this book could work for many. Please do it. And my heart goes out to you all as I know how debilitating this ha is. We will get there xx

I also bought this book but fail to see how it helps with health anxiety. It isn’t really addressed anywhere in the book and comes with a caveat that your should also first go to your doctor to rule everything out. Maybe I missed something and hope you can maybe help me find more use in that book. It came across more as an ad for their app which becomes expensive if you want to access anything half decent to help. That being said for me, I am glad that you found help in it

this is so even afraid of touching my skin if theres itchines because of fear of finding a so afraid niw beacuse my muscle in my abdomen seems to be unproportion same with the muscles from my diap is so bad and annoying i just cried and felt wxhausted afterwards

Hi Lottie,
I never had health anxiety till this year, I'm 43, happily married, beautiful kids etc.. I would always ignore an ache or pain & have a valid reason for it! Then after a stressful, very very busy year 2018. I got ingestion & thought it was a heart attack! & since then every twinge in my chest or a headache is heart attack or brain tumour or stroke! I went to doctor afew times & got checked out & Im fine! I'm healthy! But still the fear of heart attacks / strokes etc. take over when I get an ache or pain! It's really annoying & I do try to rationalise it & breath & get over it! But it's not easy & am hoping it disappears as fast as it came! All the best guys.X

Kate it’s like you are living my life! I fear the grocery store, I always want to be with someone so if (when) I pass out I’ll have someone I know with me and they will be able to get help or contact my family! I have fought this off and on for about 18 months, though I had it under control but it’s coming back pretty strong last couple months. News stories about “sudden” deaths due to Heart issue or aneurism are a real trigger for me and I tend to go off the edge. This is where I am tonight, afraid to go watch fire works because I don’t want to be out in public in case I die! I just want to be normal! God help me!

I’m the exact same!!! I think it’s tome to get on anti depressants but oh wait I’m scared to take them?

Yes! I also have a phobia of taking medicines or even trying anything new for fear of having a reaction. I cannot eat chicken or eggs and it makes eating out impossible. I never thought I could be a hypochondriac before yesterday. Mainly because I don't think I have any diseases and am very healthy, but let me get a bug bite or an itch/rash/anything out of normal and I am in orbit with a hypersensitive acknowledgement of every tiny twinge or sensation in my body. I often tie my panic attack into something I have eaten and then I refuse to eat that item again. I don't eat out, I cannot try new things, and my food list is a short one to say the least. Generally, I don't go to the Dr but have been more this year because of some female issues. I've learned how to use natural methods of healing if I get sick- which is very rare. I do know that when my thyroid is out of whack, the anxiety hits. I would like to encourage everyone on this thread to ask for a complete thyroid panel (not just a TSH) to make sure that isn't what's causing a lot of your issues. When I have mine in balance, I'm a different person. Thank you all for sharing. I hate that we are all in this shape but it helps to know you're not alone. Praying for us all tonight and asking for miracles.

Hi Cassie. Hope you find yourself well. I wonder if I'm depressed even though I don't feel like it, but often wonder if antidepressants would help, but I'm scared to take them. Have you made any changes since?

I'm 56 and the older I get, the more I worry. I am starting to fear driving because I am worried I will suffer sudden death at the wheel. I don't want to be alone in public because I worry a medical emergency will occur and my husband will not be with me. Anxiety really SUCKS!

I suffer from health anxiety.I am constantly worried about health.I have a hiatal
hernia and irritable bowel syndrome which bother me all the time.I am also
constantly worried about dental problems.I also hae arthritis which bothers me along with muscle tension.Health anxiety has ruined my life.

Hi nick I have everything you have hiatus hernia, IBS arthritis, aches and pains. I get fed up with myself sometimes. I read it could be something in your life that’s done this. I could write a book on illnesses and people I love die. I was in hospital from the age of 8 for six months with a rare form of rheumatism. Away from my family, I’ve nursed my loved ones and seen so much pain.all that doesn’t help, as I’m getting older now, I worry that it’s my turn. But you will be fine, I know it’s hard, I’ve never been anywhere about it, I’m thinking of it though. We must take ourselves away from all of this, I’ve started to do some watercolour painting. That does relax me a bit, is there anything you could do. All this worrying is causing your tummy troubles to be worse. Ive had IBS and hiatus hernia driving me mad. Now I’m trying to deal with it. I hope knowing you are not alone with all you problems has helped take care Eve x

blood clots freak me out and like l strained my leg so l usually think its a bloodclot l have anxiety started when l was 8 now during this time l am 10 and a ten year old cannot deal with this panic attacks have happened it started with fainting(which l was scared of) the hear attacks the cancer then strokes now its bloodclots. all those things l have been scared of

Wow you described me to a T - some relief knowing I’m not the only person in the world with these thoughts! It is definitely exhausting! I’m glad you have it under control. Best of luck to you!

Your post describes me as if you knows me personally WOW this anxiety is taking over my life only had it about a yr now but reading everyone’s post has me so afraid that this is something I will be dealing with the rest of my life I definitely need help I can’t sleep most night because my thoughts are everywhere and mainly on my heartbeats this is very difficult to deal with.

I too am fixated on what my hearts doing .. beating too fast too slow, skipping beats. Have to try to find a way to lay in bed where I cant feel it or hear it. Making my life a complete misery

My heart makes me so uncomfortable. It feels like it will explode. My palms sweat my hands shake & I can't sleep.
Just started propranolol today.

I have heart anxiety too. I am 37 and have had it for 2 years. It tends to come and go but has been living in the back of my head since my last panic attack 8 months ago. The fixation is frustrating because i know i am fine, but the mind becomes almost accustomed to triggering the anxiety. I am not a doctor or a therapist, but my wife is a psychiatrist and has helped me as well as a therapist i was seeing for a while. I feel like i am slowly overcoming, but its almost like the health anxiety just keeps wanting to pull me in.

If i can offer some help/advice that may be useful from experience it would be this.
1.Try to find what caused it in the first place and think about why that event(s) are triggering your anxiety.
2.Know and understand your triggers-why they cause the anxiety.
3. Breathe right. This sounds stupid, but i wasn't breathing right. Your anxious feelings trigger fight or flight which makes you want to breath fast and shallow. Breathe slow and full breaths while saying to yourself...i am fine there is nothing wrong. again sounds dumb but it actually helps.
3.Big one for me...understand that the mind is very powerful. Your anxiety can manifest in different ways even physically. So that palpitation, elevated heart rate, numbness in your arm/hand, muscle twitch in the chest, tightness in your neck.. is either just a normal occurance or triggered by your underlying anxiety and you are hyper focused on it.
4. Exercise and eat better- i know that it is hard and exercise may not make sense but the more you strengthen your heart and understand it and your heart rate the less you will feel uncomfortable with it. That has helped me alot

Again I am just speaking from experience in hopes that this make someone at least feel a little better. Good luck to all of us. It is a tough thing to tackle and overcome.

Eric, seriously, thank you for this. All of these points are incredibly helpful and powerful. I'm 30 and my generalized anxiety turned into severe health anxiety in the past couple years. I feel like I've reached my breaking point, but my mind is still trying to convince me I'm dying--always of something specific and the exact symptoms always seem to materialize exactly when I'm worrying about that particular illness, and my husband doesn't know how to help me anymore--which is ok, because reassurance only fuels the fire anyway.

It's baffling because the "symptoms" I'm experiencing are real (and terrifying), but I've still never ended up being diagnosed with the feared illness. I was so sure I had colon cancer and Parkinson's and Crohn's and I don't even remember what else. (Right now it's MND. Ugh.) Point #3 is really helping me understand how what I'm feeling is connected to what I'm thinking. But everything you said is amazingly helpful. Thank you for sharing. I'm so encouraged that you're slowly climbing out of it!!! Keep fighting. Wishing you the best!

This really helped me I have had the panic that I’m having a heart attack loads of times this year I have been on a ecg machine twice blood tests ct scan as well chest X-rays always come back fine I did get told I have mild tricuspid regurgitation which is really common people can have this and not even know. But yet my mind still tells me that there is something wrong with me the brain is a very powerful tool and I can’t believe that it can even make you body have all the tell tell signs of a heat attack. Even though your not.

At this very moment I am sitting at work in the middle of a panic attack because I thought I was having a stroke. I am NOT having a stroke. It is the most bizarre thing ever and completely self fulfilling because the panic makes the 'symptoms' worse. Then heart starts beating out of your chest, hold on, now its a stroke and a heart attack! Or perhaps it was a heart attack the whole time. Anyway I always know I'm being ridiculous but there's always that thought of 'but what if I'm not?'...and then round we go again. Reading this thread has made me feel better though!

I have really bad anxiety and I keep having real neck pain but doctors can’t figure out what’s causing the pain. I’ve done plenty of mri ct scans X-ray blood work and nothing sinister shows up feel helpless cause my mind keeps racing with fear

To be clear: Im not a doctor. I have health anxiety and I am not qualified to hand out any advice : just my experience as a lay-person with health anxiety.

In response to your post - I have had lots of physical stuff including neck pain thats just nothing to do with my anxiety (and also nothing catastrophic) that i worked through with an osteopath and a personal trainer to great effect. Maybe ur neck pain is just a bit of an alignment issue or imbalance with muscle strength. Easily resolved and not dangerous. I recommend u talk to an osteopath - you might find a couple of adjustments fixes the issue immediately . And if ur a desk worker - try a standing desk or adjusting monitor height - sometimes its just the little things.

I also have neck pain a lot of the time runs up into my skull back of head. Then I have headaches seems like all the time not migraines just annoying pressure headaches and dizziness

I have been suffering from anxiety since past 4 years. I feel dizzy or weird sensations in my head most of the times of the day which make me really anxious. Sometimes I feel a vertigo kind of sensation in my head just for a second which make me feel very uncomfortable. I have gotten into few stupid beliefs and real experience the symptoms like if I don’t nap in the afternoon I feel dizzy in the evening and cannot do any activity can’t even cook. I can’t go anywhere on my own, even when I have to go to the grocery store I try to make the trip as quick as possible or convince myself that I can get uber if things get out of control. Travelling to work is a real issue for me I get really anxious about public transport and dread getting a panic attack in trains or while in transit , fear fainting in front of hundreds of people. At work as well when ever I get weird sensations and get obsessed with the thought of leaving work midday and taking a cab home. There have been so many times in my last job that I gave so many different excuses and left mid day from work , it also happened so many times that I left for work from home and changed my mind took a leave and came back home from half way to work. Because of this I got fired from my last job. Now with my new job I am really nervous of how I am going to manage this issue. I am so depressed. I envy people when I see them commute to work, go on holidays and be stress free and enjoy. I wish I can be like that but the symptoms are so real and worst we cannot control them. I feel trapped unable to do even the simple of the chores people do everyday and every day is like a battle for me which I am tired of fighting now.

Finally i came across someone with whom i share similar symptoms...or thoughts i would gets better when my family is around...but returns once im left alone with my toddler ...scared that if something happens 2 me who will take care of him...whats the solution to such prob?

I have horrible health anxiety since finding my mom in the floor 3 years ago. No none health issues. My dad chose not to have an autopsy it was ruled cardiac. Now as a single parent I have horrific health anxiety afraid I have a ticking time bomb inside me and that my son will find me or that I'll die and leave him all alone. Every day I think I'm dying of a heart attack or stroke. I hit my head last week and convinced myself it was going to kill me. The dr sent me home because I didn't have and neurological symptoms. Today I've cried for at least an hour because I noticed a bruise on my gums which lead me to look in my throat and now I'm afraid I have cancer. I hate this so much. I'm so miserable. I'm scheduling appointment now for oral cancer screening. Last weekend I whipped myself up into such a panicked and frenzied stated my blood pressure and heart rate really were dangerously high. Not due to any underlying disease but solely because of a vicious cycle panic attack over the thought of having a heart attack. I just wish I could find some peace and lead a happy normal life.

I can understand you completely. I too have dizziness very often and whenever something is wrong with my body, it immediately trigger the silly thoughts that I have some disease or sickness. I see doctor very very often to get assurance. I hate this feelings too. I even have anxiety attack when I think that something is wrong with me. The more I think the worst I become. Sometimes I even think that I have hiv, and this thought is killing me that I live in fear and check every symptoms and read every article online to confirm my symptoms and I get blood test every few months to make sure I am ok. I hate this feeling so so much.

You are not alone ! I feel your pain ! I have found reading what other people writes helps me understand it’s all in my head ! Prayers for you ! I suffer with it on a daily

I feel the exact same way not a way to live but ironically we sort about the alternative I dont even like saying the word I am getting therapy and meds just started I pray every night for good health and my family I cry to myself sometimes cause I’m so scared . No one really understands and the pain seems real. I hope for a better 2020

This panic episode is centered around the heart, a favorite of mine in my rotation of health problems I fear. Amongst issues such as having a heart attack, I’m deathly afraid (no pun intended) of being diagnosed with a brain tumor and/ or ALS. Oddly enough, cancers and things of that nature don’t bother me as much since I view cancer as something you can beat and something that, if caught, will not take your life suddenly like some of my other concerns. Between those three major issues, I am living in constant fear of sudden death. It’s exhausting and terrifying and frustrating at the same time. There are days I want to cry, and sometimes do, because I am a prisoner in my own body, and then there are days where I’m so fed up I find myself saying “just kill me already so I can at least be at peace!”, but either way, I am always in a heightened state of panic. Reading through these comments, I can insert my name into just about all of them as so many of my symptoms mirror everyone else’s. This is comforting to a degree, but as you know, there is always a little voice inside your head saying “but you actually DO have a medical issue”, so comfort is fast and fleeting. I wish everyone here peace, calmness, and strength as we all fight big bad health anxiety.

Hi Adi, hope you are feeling better or at least having a better week. I have also developed these stupid symptoms of thinking that if I don't take a nap I can't function and feel dizzy or light-headed and start to panic. Wondering how things are going with for you so far. It's nice to talk to people that feel the same way and knowing we're not alone. I have good and bad days, but I can slowly feel it creeping up:/

Hi there I came across this thread from being desperate to find answers and what you’re experiencing sounds so similar to me! It’s like a motion in your head every now and again that makes you a bit woah and then goes? Did you ever find out if it was anything serious? My ears really ache too and I have dull headaches I’m petrified I have a tumour :(

Hey Adi.
I feel consoled after going through ur post . Believee u have not said anything that I have not experienced. Infact I face them on daily basis .
I am 29 yrs old and suffering from this condition from past 1.5 yrs .
The things u said about feeling weird or unexplained lightheadedness , light continuous pain at the back of head , then vertigo sort of problem are exactly what I feel .
Sometimes the fear shifts from getting a heart attack to brain tumor or stroke.
I am really scared to go to a doctor
I have done 4-5 visits GP nd therapists too .I feel they don't take me seriously.

Can u tell me are u managing this.
It will be if a great help

I've convinced myself that if i don't panic about anything and everything (God) that's right God will punish me for not caring!!! I've had some blood in my poo recently and my wife has said it's probably piles however in my head it's prostate cancer without a shadow of a doubt...she said if your really that concernd go and make an appointment with the's irrelevant anyone trying to reassure me i go quite and don't want to talk to anyone even my wife and kid's I'm so lonley when I'm going through's so bad it's ruining my life....even now i see people on here going through the same thing and i still think I'm the only one..definitely need to see a shrink..

Its calming to see im not alone in this constant fear of a heart attack. 32 y/o it started last year after a night of drinking and partying. Came home and took a shower to go to bed and when i stepped out my heart went crazy, full on first ever panic attack. I 100% thought i was dying, couldnt get my heart rate to go back down until i passed out after about 25-30 minutes. Ever since then ive convinced myself something is wrong. Went to ER a few times, and cardiologists. All looked good, expect BP is normally at 150/85, but gets up to 180/95 when having anxiety attacks. So doc put me on carvedilol. Daily i stuggle with concentrating on how my chest and back feels. And now i guess from being so tense i have real back and chest pain and tightness, which of course triggers the anxiety creating a vicious cycle. Wondering if anyone else has the constant chest and upper back tightness/soreness and if so how they handle it. Also the random sharp pains in arms, legs, chest etc.

Yes I experience the same thing. Been to multiple doctors and was told I’m fine. Look into seeing a rheumatologist you might have Fibromyalgia. Also go to a Gastroenterologist you may also have GERD. I had an endoscopy done and was told that I had GERD. GERD can mimic a lot of heart Attack symptoms. Shortness of breath, chest pain etc.

I feel the same I have had anxiety since I was 16 I didn’t leave the house for 2 years and it went away and came back and went away now I am 25 just had a baby 6 weeks ago and it has came back horrible but last couple times I notice it’s health anxiety I have I fear something is wrong with my heart have had all tests all came back fine but now I have convinced myself labour has done something h to my heart (most likely just In My head) I started getting etopic beats now and again which has just started a vicious circle of symptoms like tight chest and back and pain breathless etc glad to see im not alone

Jeremy, I am experiencing a lot of the same things you are! I was diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat a few weeks ago and ever since I’ve had extreme panic attacks and anxiety overthinking that my heart is going to give out, despite the fact the docs all say it is ok. I too was placed on carvedilol for this and my hypertension. Have been on it for a week but have lightheadedness and chest and arm shoulder heaviness. You are not alone!

I also get the chest pain/tightness that’ll stick around for days after a panic attack and make me obsess over them even though nothing is really wrong. I get the random sharp pains too, I think it’s just the muscles being mad at us for being so tense.

Always :) and mine started with drinking as well.

Convinced I've damaged my body.

Check out trey jones on YouTube for some good videos on health anxiety and cardiophobia.

You are not alone I've had this and other health anxiety fears since I was 19 in 55 now and life is a living hell
All the best to you

My sister was diagnosed with (treatable) cancer a few weeks ago and I have spiralled into an extreme episode of health anxiety. I had a mammogram (clear) but the fixation then went on to skin cancer, cervical cancer and ovarian cancer. I feel like I never have any peace of mind from worrying and can't sleep properly. I constantly look for signs and Google symptoms. It's a living hell. I am starting seeing someone this Monday but don't have much hope

It feel good to know that I am not the only person going through this. I have a fear of not being able to breathe. I always feel like I have short breathe . It always happens when I think to myself " what if I cant breathe" then i start feeling a tight chest. I too am feeling that I am not living my life because i always wanna stay indoors and close to hospitals for incase I cant breathe. My life is sad

I can’t shake it. I am in constant fear that something is wrong with my heart. That I am going to have a heart attack or stroke. The really scary thing is I won’t go to the dr. I am deathly afraid they are going to tell me the worst. I am scared of them validating “what I already know”. I completely panic when taking blood pressure and it goes through the roof. I avoid it all together. I want to go to the dr to have a complete physical but I am too afraid. I hate feeling this way. I want a normal life. I avoid doing anything strenuous out of fear. No playing with my 10 yr old son outside, no walking the dog, nothing. This is no way to live but I can’t stop this vicious cycle. I want so bad to feel normal but unfortunately this is my normal.