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Hi guys, another health anxiety post...is it all in my head?

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PaleRider13

Active member
Joined
Dec 7, 2019
Messages
28
Location
United Kingdom
Hi everyone, Pale here.

Quick update for anyone who's been following past posts: My stepmother who's suffering from Motor Neurons Disease, went to the hospital over new years but has now been discharged and is in a hospital bed in our home. The doctors cannot do any more for her and have given her a DNR on medical grounds.

While she was in hospital, I must admit my health anxiety was very tame, behaving itself almost. So much so that I could get upset about normal life things and not have it transition into a panic attack! Fancy that. However this came to an aprupt end last night. I was called yesterday by my biological mother (my stepmothers partner) and told that they were both coming home. It didn't take long for my mind to connect the dots. She came home to die. After a normal workday I tidied the space in which her hospital bed would be standing and it must have dawned on me a few hours later, I had essentially just prepared a deathbed.

Needless to say this threw me straight into palpitations with no forewarning. Heart fluttering, burning ears, tingly neck - the whole spiel. It's like I can feel the adrenaline and cortisol enter my brain (weird)? I don't think I'm ever going to get used to my body doing things before my mind can figure out why or even physically worry about them. Maybe that's why I never seem to have a discernable trigger?

I'm getting chest pains now as well, but just a couple of months ago I had ECG, blood tests and pressure done - all clean. Docs told me it was all psychosomatic - a physical manifestation of my own mind in layman's terms.

Is it all in my head? I've no problem if that is the case, but if so, why? What is the purpose of this suffering? Why is it worse when I go to work, despite it being far away from my horrible situation at home? Why during this arduous time of personal stress and why my heart? I've got epilepsy as well so my mind could have started messing with my actual brain instead, so why bother with this twisted focus on my heart, despite the knowledge that all is clear in that area?

Maybe I think too much, but I don't exactly have many things at my disposal to slow or distract me from said rumination (alcohol, drugs etc). I'm not the biggest fan of the world or working in general, but am I honestly that dysfunctional, that my mind has to give me anxiety and depression in heaps, just so I can retreat from the world and feel safe? I can see and admit that my condition has cut off my future, but how can I mediate between what feels comfortable and what is necessary, whilst also staying alive? Anxiety is a crazy thing.

Anyone got any advice? Has anyone ever been through the wringer like this before? If so, how are you now and how did you get there? Any tips or experience would be appreciated.
 
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Professionalhypochondriac

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 14, 2020
Messages
53
Location
United Kingdom
Hello, fellow health anxiety sufferer here...
Let me start by saying that I can totally relate to most things that you have talked about.
Times of stress and family going threw such a horrible disease can both cause and exacabate symptoms of your health anxiety.
Symptoms of anxiety are very real, they are not in your head but they are also essentially harmless.
Chest pains in particular are usually caused by muscle tensing that we sub consciously do when we are tense and anxious.
the reason that heart is so involved because those hormones cortisol and adrenaline have big effects on the heart as they are essentiallygetting you ready to fight or flight.
My health anxiety mainly focuses on my heart so if I can help you with any other advice then let me know
 
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