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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Colonoscopy came back totally clear.Now I'm a bit convinced that I've got a brain tumor (headaches), esophogeal cancer (reflux), and uterine cancer (irregular periods).Dr. Google also says that I have AIDS (frequent cold sores), carpal tunnel syndrome (hand cramps), multiple sclerosis (twitching), epilepsy (jerking in my sleep), and premature menopause (occasional hot flashes).But there is one disease that can cause ALL these symptoms.... ANXIETY. I need to stop self-diagnosing. We all do.
 

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The good news about the internet is the wealth of information readily available to everyone.The bad news, is now medical schoolitis isn't limited to the few with the grades and the money/loans to go to medical school.When the med students learn how to figure out what symptoms in what combinations mean which disease there usually is an epidemic of brain tumors and all sorts of weird and esoteric parasites you normally only get if you live in some remote valley on another continent at least once during the semester.The problem is everyone's body has pains and glitches and various quirks and spending too much time going "what could that mean, it must mean something" can ramp up anyone's anxiety. Some people just run anxious (like a car with the throttle adjusted wrong) so are more prone to this sort of disease of over-diagnosing things, but it can happen even to the calm when they spend a lot of time focused on nothing but symptoms for weeks on end.Recognizing your anxiety triggers is a good step. Unfortunately it can be a lot like an itchy rash where you know scratching the rash is only going to make it worse yet you find it hard to resist.
 

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Don't worry, we are all the same. If I have an appointment, an outing planned, a meal out, a trip somewhere, my first thought is - "How can I get out of it"? Isn't that awful?
 

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WonkyColon - very amusing post. However, if there was a serious part to what you were saying then have you ever considered a condition called Health Anxiety? This is a real condition that can and does cause all sorts of symptoms. I am afraid you will have to Google it because I am not going in to depth about it here but it can be treated by things such as Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. Hope that may help.Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
idkwia-- Thank you for your concern. I do have severe generalized anxiety disorder with health anxiety, and I have been getting treatment for it. It is a bit difficult to get people to understand that health anxiety and hypochondira, in and of themselves, are debilitating medical conditions. It's made worse by the fact that I do have some "real" medical problems, IBS being one of them. I think my family and friends think I'm just nuts and that the pain is all in my head.
 

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It that old "just because you are paranoid doesn't mean there can't be someone out to get you" conundrum.People with health anxiety can get ill, and often a big part of coping with the illness is making sure the anxiety is well treated. Even with good treatment it can sometimes cause trouble, but hopefully you are getting the right treatment so it is a lot better than it would be otherwise.The problem is it can be hard to know what is a symptom from the disease and what is anxiety causing havoc. Often the person with the anxiety can't tell, and there is no hope for anyone else to know. Unfortunately sometimes the only way for others to cope is assume everything is just the anxiety because sometimes discussing the symptoms and what they can mean just make the panic a lot worse and no one wants to set off a panic attack in someone else.
 

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Apparently hypochondria or health anxiety is a major issue for some of us here. I was freaking out every time someone handed me an apple or piece of bread with his bare hands because I thought I could get hepatitis A. It didn't stop until I got the HPV A+B vaccine.I was freaking out every time someone said he had contact with child with mumps because I thought I won't be able to have children if I get ill. Now I finally got some relief from this because I'm expecting my second child.These are only examples - the list is endless... and it's not easy to live like this. Being a biologist working in pharmaceutical business makes things even worse.
 
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