Battling Health Anxiety

I ummed and erred about writing this post for quite possibly some of the most ridiculous reasons known to man; partly due to the nature of this post and partly for some kind of fear of putting my thoughts to writing.

 

However, I posted a 20 facts about me on Instagram a couple of days ago and was surprised to have a couple of messages and a few comments from others saying they had the same thing as me.

20 facts about me ❤ So I’ve been tagged four times now! Thanks @mayflowerblogs @mummascribbles @lifeasmum_blog and @everycloudmummy ❤ here we go! 1) I met my hubby on Facebook 2) I’m addicted to almonds…I eat tonnes 3) I must be the only person who doesn’t watch Game of Thrones 4) I have psoriasis and it itches on my head like crazy 5) I used to love cheap wine like Blue Nun 6) My favourite shop is New Look 7) if I miss a few days at the gym I’m in such a grump 8) I’m pretty good at pole dancing 9) I never dared do a wee outside until my mid 20s. 10) I passed my driving test when I was 25. Late!! 11) I have health anxiety and panic over everything 12) I met one of my best buds from blogging 13) I’ve always had long hair…don’t dare cut it! ✂️ 14) I’m a metabolic dietitian so I look after people who can’t process specific nutrients like certain amino acids 15) I’m going to really struggle going back to work this time 16) My maiden name was Boocock. It’s hilarious 17) I found someone dead once (yes morbid but true) in my house share. I was amazed how calm I was 18) I’ve always wanted little girls so was thrilled to have the grem and Piglet ❤ 19) I’m addicted to Instagram 20) I’m not sure if I want another baby There you go! I tag @helsy_1983 @oddhogg @backwithabump @the_f_word_blog @the.king.and.the.bear ❤ . . . #ukparentbloggers #perfectandproud #rememberingthesedays #capturetheday #pinklinker #motherhoodrocks #motherhoodunplugged #mamarazzi #fiercelittleones #worldoflittlies #letthembelittle #myhappycapture #happylittlebuttons #lionessmama #mamalife #igmums #humansofjoy #capturemypositive #littlestoriesofmylife #thismamaloves #2017incolour #mytinymoments #mamablog #honestmotherhood #documentyourdays #candidchildhood #igmommyposse #magicofchildhood #ig_bbcc #rockingmummylife

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I know I have health anxiety.

I have been a bit of a hypochondriac since I was a child. My parents and the GP would reassure me over small things numerous times but I fretted and worried myself sick sometimes. I was NEVER allowed to read any medical dictionaries, as I would have died about 3 times reading about various ailments I must have.

Sound familiar?

Googling everything incessantly and panicking. Panicking over the smallest thing and obsessing. A spot? That must be skin cancer, right? A chest pain? That must be a heart issue.

Seeing a health professional only to be reassured for a small while to then think they are wrong!! There IS something seriously wrong and they don’t know what they are TALKING about!

Talking about your health and other people’s health a lot. Other people commenting on this.

If your’re nodding along to any of these, you may have the same issue.

Health anxiety has come and gone over my life but has vamped up tremendously since having the girls. Ultimately, it is the fear of something happening to me and leaving them. It is horrible. Once that seed of thought is planted it is hard to stop thinking about it. It’s irrational, it’s ridiculous and frustrating. It’s a thought that can sit with you as you are about to go to sleep and make your heart go cold and then take your forever to get to sleep. I can be reading with the gremlin and suddenly a thought slips into my mind and I can hardly concentrate on the story.

It’s frightening. I have created these two beautiful humans, who rely on me for everything. I know I am the gremlin’s world and I love them so much it is just unthinkable to not have lots of time with them. But that’s the point. It is thinkable and that’s where the issues lie.

Ultimately we are all going to die and spending your entire life panicking over every small thing that happens to your body will make you miserable and you won’t enjoy living the life you have.

The final straw for me was having a period of anxiety at Christmas, which looking back, was likely entirely hormone related. I had a horrible burning sensation in my legs that lasted about a month. The GP was kind and assured me I did not have any scary neurological conditions and thought a bit of CBT may help. As expected I didn’t believe what he said. I was convinced it was something horrible and it was a crappy time. Time passed, I assume hormones settled and I felt much better; my leg sensations vanished but despite this I think I will go for the CBT. The anxiety is likely to come back so I think I should go and I know I will do.

So, if you have come to this post looking for answers I don’t have any I’m afraid, not yet anyway. I’m sorry for that.

I do however, think if your health worries are taking over your thoughts a lot, others are worrying about you or your day to day life is being affected,  contact your local mental health team. It’s very common and they are very supportive.

Also two little phrases really help me when I feel my thoughts are getting overwhelming!

“Look for the common and not the rare,” fabulous piece of advice from the nice GP I saw after Christmas. Your headache is just a headache.

“Thoughts aren’t facts,” from the lovely Rachel at Our Rach Blogs. I say this one to myself a lot. So true. Your thoughts are not facts; they are often crazy and absolutely irrational.

You aren’t alone my friends. It sucks, it’s hard work sometimes to set your mind to stop fretting and enjoy the days you do have but trust me, focus on the now. Be mindful. Relax. Hugs your little ones and love them everyday and it does get a bit better.

Now this was a bit of a serious post for me wasn’t it?

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8 Comments

  1. April 28, 2017 / 9:13 am

    Good on you for being so self aware and for talking about it. I get why you weren’t sure about posting but I think it does help to share this kind of thing. I think you know hubs is similar in some ways and though I’m less concerned about my health I totally get the anxiety since you’ve had kids. For me it’s more about something happening to one of us like a car accident or being stabbed or someone breaking in and taking the kids. It’s scary being a parent sometimes but yeah you definitely have to remind yourself that these things are rare! Xxx
    Caroline (Becoming a SAHM) recently posted…My birthday and bluebell huntingMy Profile

  2. April 28, 2017 / 11:48 am

    Your last sentences were the best advice, live in the moment, the here and now and don’t worry what will happen tomorrow. I’m one of the unlucky ones, not only do I have a daughter who ended up with a rare medical condition and having lots of surgery, I also ended up with an even rarer medical condition that came on suddenly. You don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow, it could be bad but there is nothing you can do to stop it happening, so don’t worry about it and live for the day.
    You are doing the right thing by talking about how you feel and CBT is really good so go and get some help and I’m sure you will be just fine. xx
    Anne recently posted…My Word of the Week!My Profile

  3. April 28, 2017 / 12:12 pm

    Ah thank you so much for the mention and I’m so pleased that has helped. I tend to live my life by it now.
    I’ve had health anxiety since I was a kid, it was worse when I was growing up and I’d worry a headache was a brain tumour or meningitis and a bruise on my leg was something sinister. It’s hard, so overwhelming and knackering. But it can be treated. CBT like another commenter said is so helpful.
    Sending you love. Great post. xx
    Rach recently posted…Where Is The Love?My Profile

  4. April 28, 2017 / 11:37 pm

    Never heard of the term ‘health anxiety’ before and never really thought about the impact it has on people to the extent they take to google. I’ve recently had anxiety but its not health related ans thats been hard to deal with. This seems so much worse because its about whether you could die from something serious. Definitely opt for CBT. I did many moons ago and it helped me a lot (I’ve scheduled a post related to it later next month).
    #thatfridaylinky

  5. April 29, 2017 / 2:45 am

    I’ve actually been thinking lately that I need to spend much more time worrying about my health than I do. I probably need to make some changes. On another note, I love that your maiden name is Boocock. That made my night
    jeremy@thirstydaddy recently posted…T Shirts and TattoosMy Profile

  6. April 29, 2017 / 7:38 pm

    A brave thing to write about Sarah. I don’t suffer from anxiety, but I do worry about anything happening to me or Nige and leaving our girls without one of this. This stems from the loss of my mum when I was 18. Mum was just 50. This is big worry for me, but I’m fit, healthy and so is Nige, so I know it’s irrational, but I can’t help worry about it. Thanks for linking up to #ThatFridayLinky
    Emily recently posted…5 Tips For Having A Jolly Summer Holiday This YearMy Profile

  7. Nige
    May 1, 2017 / 8:28 am

    Anxiety is just horrible and I have at different suffered myself I agree live in the moment it’s the only one you have control over great read sarah as always Thanks for linking to the #THAT FRIDAY LINKY come back next week please

  8. Nige
    May 1, 2017 / 8:28 am

    Forgot to say love the new design it’s wicked x