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About BriannaB

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  1. Hi guys, I'm not sure if anyone will remember me. I had nearly 2 years of perfectly fine, productive, happy, awesome life. I got into the program I wanted to at school, and managed a full workload without skipping a beat and getting all A's. I was very excited for the year to start back up again. To save you a long back story, last week I discovered a breast lump. Now, in my other breast, I have something called a Fibroadenoma, which is a very common benign mass. This other one, does not feel quite the same. I immediately was thrown into the worst, most desolate panic about this. I booked an appointment, and saw the doctor yesterday. She examined me, says she highly suspects it's another Fibro and that I should not be worried, but booked me for an ultrasound. If you look at statistics, BC rates in a 21 year old female are so rare it barely registers on charts. Most lumps are benign even in older women. Yet still, my life has been turned upside down by this. I feel I cannot rise to the occasion for any of my multiple tests, work, projects and it's suffocating me. All I want to do is poke, prod, self examine, and cry and panic some more. When young women do get it, it's apparently a much worse prognosis and more aggressive. This fact alone has been killing me. The doctor's confidence only comforted me for a few hours. I can't shake the deep sadness and panic that I'm preparing to die very young, really. I don't know why I'm sharing this other than I know you guys know what this is like. Has anyone ever had a relapse after such a good period of time? I feel so weak and ridiculous that I couldn't maintain it or couldn't be strong enough to cope better. I don't know what will reassure me..... Be well, everyone.
  2. Hey guys- long time no see. I went through a good few months of a break from worrying of my health, and the mini depression that ensued. I thought I had a handle on it. But I started, for no good reason at all, becoming afraid of the idea of becoming mentally ill with anything relayed to psychosis, primarily Schizophrenia. My mom said there's no history in our family and the very reason you can ask yourself if you have it means you don't. The past few days after feeling so great for a few months to even begin working out again/lifting weights, I had 2 new jobs, I felt so on top of things, I felt a bit fuzzy/ tired in my head so I fell into the hole again I had an anxiety attack and couldn't sleep last night had to wait for the sun to rise I felt so riddled with fear of going "crazy". And then similar to physical diseases I keep trying to "check" my head to make sure I haven't lost it yet, which in turn makes me feel anxious. THIS IS TORTURE and I would love to know if anyone else has ever had these fears accompany their health anxiety. Hope all is well, Brianna
  3. Bri checking in. haven't really been worried about any health issue for awhile. I got so tired of the constant checking, fear and obsession, it became very bleak. Shortly after my bad bout of anxiety my 3 year old cousin died, I was in a hospital alot and was with him while he died and a big part of the funeral. Completely soul crushing. Ever since I've been fighting so many thoughts of just, feeling like everything is pointless and reeling apathetic. I have trouble looking to the future and feeling like there will ever be things to be happy about or look forward to. I try to get excited about a goal and it just seems exhausting and daunting and pointless anyways. I recognize this is a bad place to be and I just am so desperate to know I'm not alone. Also the health anxiety kind if creeps in, when I try to remind myself that I will find passion for life again it tells me "but you'll probably go crazy-you'll probably get schizophrenia or other psychosis". Just seeing if anyone has ever felt the same. Will it get better?
  4. Bri here. PLEASE. I need your input. So I made the hard, hard decision to reach out to cognitive behavioural therapists of my city. There was no number for just the overall office so I had to contact someone directly. Didn't know who or what to do, just chose a random guy and left a voice mail (I hung up 5 times before finally going through with it.) He got back to me a few days later (today) and we had a 20 minute conversation. I'm do fed up with how the health care works He told me that health anxiety is indeed best treated through CBT. my insurance covers 350$. He told me that would only be enough for me to tell my story, and then the insurance would run out. There are free services through my university, although, they are only counsellors and not clinical psychologists and his biased opinion is that they wouldn't know how to handle the disorder. These are my options: A) go to the grad students at the University. Con: they FILM your sessions to train off of, he said they'd probably see me quickly because it's uncommon and they'd like to learn how to treat it. B) see the supervised psychologist who isn't registered yet for 100$ an hour. So insurance would cover about 3 and a half sessions. And then pay afterwards. C) what he told me to do- buy 2 books written by psychologists he knows on the topic, which are written with CBT method, and do it the self help route. And if it doesn't work, go see a psychologist only to fill the gaps of how I don't see the treatment works. D) give up because it's atrocious that this isn't covered by public health in my province (I'm in Canada.) He said that there'd a big difference between someone who went to school for 4 years (counsellor, therapist) and 14 years (clinical psychologist). There's a lady in my city who specializes in it and wrote a book on it, but doesn't see people privately and does one group session a year (since health anxiety is uncommon) and I already called the clinic. It would be a 9-16 month wait to even be considered for it. This is so helpless you guys!!!!
  5. Take these words to heart (your perfectly fine one): You aren't alone in these feelings. Everytime you have these doubts and insecurities that no one else must be suffering the same way, trust me, we're in this together. All of us with HA share some symptoms, have different expressions of symptoms that we decide to fixate on, but it does boil down to a shared anxiety from concentrating and expecting a symptom to be there. When you are so hyper focused on your heartbeat, you'll notice those things so much more! I have survived quite a few different symptoms that I used to obsess over. Once the mind stops putting meaning to the symptom it fades away. You can even do a little test with yourself- try as hard as you can to focus on say, believing your hand will feel numb. Eventally, I find, it will, which is the whole reason placebo's even work. The mind-body connection is a powerful force and it works against those of us with this problem!! As for the depression, I'm sorry to hear that you aren't feeling okay right now. I found my anciety sparked some really icky thoughts after having dealt with it long enough, and I am regularly totally mentally okay, so for someone who regularly deals with depression I'm sure it is no walk in the park. You will get through this. Will yourself to remember that this is all temporary. As long as you have the courage to face this as the correct diagnosis (anxiety) the help is there and you will have amazing, happy days ahead of you. Best of luck
  6. Hey guys, It's Bri. I feel weak and upset for writing this, but I wanted to update that my anxiety has morphed a bit. I'm not worried about any particular symptom or illness right now. It felt like things got bigger- I still have the physical symptoms of anxiety and it's made me have many thoughts of just, what's the point? Is this how I'll always feel? So stuck in my head? Will I ever enjoy life again? Everything feels very bleak. It's been really hard to deal with this. It's like a nervous pit in my stomach, I'm scared that I won't enjoy life. This has prompted me to, with my family's support, probably take next year off University. I need to find peace. I don't want death. But these feel like depressive symptoms. But I'm anxious about the fact I have them? It's icky. It takes a lot of effort for me to do the regular everyday things. Yesterday I made the mistake of drinking a large coffee, and I guess (maybe you could could clarify this) when your body has been hyper stimulated caffeine us exaggerated- I had the shakes and jitters all morning because of that, which just made me feel defeated. I started Journaling and decided to call it my quest for inner peace. Because I want so badly to fight and to be able to feel light and content everyday, and appreciate everything, instead of this foggy feeling of not even sure the point of things. I want to be able to enjoy Christmas time and see friends and not be so far in my head about it. Has anyone else had these feelings? I don't want to be alone about it. I read a good article on how giving and being generous can help ease personal sorrows so I went out and bought my mom, sister and roommate flowers, and started handing out compliments to strangers more. I'm fighting guys. I'm fighting.
  7. A great point someone made that stayed with me was that "worrying won't stop it from happening." I personally find comfort in thinking of the worst case scenario, and then coming up with how I'd deal with that. So, worst case, you do find a health issue. You've been very on the ball with catching it, and there are treatments. You would treat it and you would fight and you would continue with your life. Worrying won't stop it from happening. This is a bit more of a blunt point of view, but maybe like me you get sick of people reassuring you that you don't have the issue, because that assumes that the only good outcome is the absence of illness, which, the nature of the world, is impossible at some point. The silver lining is that advancements in technology and overall aging trends assume that now? These things aren't a death sentence. If we're sick, we cross that bridge when we get there, and we truck through it as best as we can. But this is in no way to assume anxiety isn't pulling some strings with this pain. It will, bit of a strong statement, always heighten the pain. I can assure you, there are symptoms that go away if you stop letting them have power over you. You expect it, fear it, and your body clues in to worsen that symptom. You need to teach yourself to let the thought come to you, but give it no meaning/emotion. This is happening, and that is okay. I wish you all the best, keep us updated. Xx
  8. Hey everyone, Bri again. So I had my wisdom teeth removed, all 4. The procedure despite being awake went well. Although, it is 4 days later and one side of my face remains swollen and a muscle in my cheek is a complete knot. My health anxiety is just DELIGHTED at all these new things to worry about- found myself just carrying around a flashlight to constantly check and re-check my incision spots. Terrified of possible complications, and they are on my mind constantly. It is exhausting, as you all know. I did the bad thing and called my dentist too even though we have an appt on Saturday. Every moment I feel I'm closer and closer to calling again and meeting sooner. So I try to be as vocal as possible with my family regarding these things, and although my mom loves me so much, she does not understand. She constantly will yell at me that I need to think of other people (our terminally ill cousins- this worsens my problem I'm sure you guys would know) She tells me to be appreciative of what she does to me, give my head a shake, get on with "like the rest of the world." And when my sister mentioned how my one professor wrote down the location of counselling at my University, she rolled her eyes and prodded about it, seemingly thinking counselling was for the weak. She turns it on her and thinks she just "can't give me enough to make me happy" and I cannot express to her properly that this is something I didn't want to choose. She insists it's just from classes starting, though I remind her of the couple incidents in summer time when I had no stress. This isn't heightened by class. This has been with me since I was 10. So how does your family take it? My sister refuses to give in and reassure me with checks (I often hand them the flashlight to look.. or ask if they've experienced ____ symprom too. She thinks this doesn't help me.) It's very hard when you know they mean well but just, for lack of better words, not get it.
  9. I jumped to thinking I had a hiatal hernia because as an effect of my anxiety I started having as the above poster did too, bad acid reflux every night for about a week then it ceased. I also had a very off schedule of normal digestive functions. Unimaginable gas pains and belching. It really is all affected! You aren't alone.
  10. Hey everyone, it's Bri again. The darkest, most dreadful days seem to have passed for now. The days that I genuinely did not think I would make it through, I somehow did. I'm here. Not without a failed midterm and another bad mark though. Damn health anxiety definitely messed with my university marks. Anyways, one of the comments made by I believe one of the moderators here (maybe Mark?) Resonated with me and I wanted to make sure everyone else keeps it in mind. Your anxiety will cease when you stop giving it power. Don't FIGHT it, anxiety will be fueled by that because you're still giving it attention. And don't fear it. When a symptom comes and your initial reaction is to internally freak out, your teaching your body a very dangerous cycle of symptom-anxiety-symtoms. So what I started doing to get me through those moments, was I'd even say it out loud, "I'm having a headache right now, and that's okay." The less power I gave those symptoms, the less it all mattered... the less I noticed them, and yes even I have trouble believing still that it was caused by anxiety, but some stopped. I had complained on here about vision problems. I was FOCUSING on finding a problem. I was purposely giving it attention. As soon as I stopped, I don't notice it anymore. Another thing I find useful is noticing when a symptom goes away. The other night I had a particularly bad headache, and instead of googling or going on my phone, I had a bath and read a book. When I woke up, it had passed. THIS IS IMPORTANT! Know when to realize these things come and go in every one. If it goes away and comes back here and there, the biggest likelihood is a lifestyle change and you need to take note of what seems to bring it on. Thirdly, I know our instinct is to jump to the rarest and most grim Outlook of a diagnosis, but don't rule out very common reasons. For example, last night I had a bit of a relapse and caught myself googling ALS (bad!). Because I had felt shaky earlier, and also they mention difficulty swallowing and with these wisdom teeth I was having trouble but again? Only when I paid attention to it. But a lot of muscle twitches, tinglings, fatigue etc can also be explained by nutritional deficiencies- and I reflected on how when I'm anxious, I hardly eat, and when I do, it's complete garbage food. I don't even have vegetables or fruit in my apartment. I don't put my health first and then question why I don't feel 100%??? These are things the doctor might suggest but we would immediately shrug off and say no way. They just don't understand. But until we are living as optimally as possible getting proper exercise and diet and loving ourselves through symptoms, we can't make rash decisions of what we think the explanation is. I know it's scary. I hate the moments where I start planning for the future again and start feeling happy but my mind reminds me something like "it's all ending soon don't bother." Or "I wish these could come true but it won't because we have a secret terminal illness." But keep planning. Keep pushing. Happiness is worth it. Freedom from the chains of anxiety is worth it. Give yourself a break, okay? Take the night off from worrying and just be happy to exist. Find a joy in a small thing. Do everything with intention. Say, you know what, worst case scenario there is an illness coming my way. So I'm going to do spontaneous things like go buy cookie mix and really smelllll those wonderful smells as they bake. Dance around the kitchen. Do fun, sweet little things and take care of yourself. Until we definitely know something is up, then guess what? We cross that bridge and we smile through it too. We have the power to control our thoughts, and this time health anxiety can take the backseat. Hope everyone feels okay today and had a moment of peace. You all deserve it.
  11. Hey guys. I'm trying really hard to stay on top of my anxiety. I find it really hard to dismiss symptoms as anxiety problems without having every test there is for me out there. For example, I feel like I have increased visual snow/light thingies in my field of vision when staring at solid colors, like a blank wall. I see nature and everything crisply but it's really starting to nag at me. Especially since it's paired with tinnitus. I woke up to a horrid headache, made the conscious decision to relax my jaw, and within 5 mins the headache was gone... TMJD seems more and more likely! I had a comprehensive eye exam around a month ago, but I'm worried there is something there. One of my resolutions I'm trying to replace my own health worries is by putting all that energy into caring about my family instead- my parents are older and have more likelihood of being ill than I do, so I should focus on them and not me. I had one carefree moment today and I cherish those as they aren't often anymore. I guess I'm trying to develop an attitude where I care so much more about my family and friends that my death isn't nearly as scary as losing them... if that makes any sense?
  12. Thank you for this reply. I try so hard to rationalize with myself- I assume neurological problem from the vision even though I not only had a complex eye exam a month ago, but two doctors checked the back of my eyes for cranial pressure throughout these past weeks yet I'm still not quite satisfied. This leads to me to ask, do you believe those with health anxiety benefit or don't from getting into the health care system test grind? Would it even benefit me to get an MRI or would I find a way to not be satisfied with those results? I'm scared that since I've gotten comfortable going around to all these doctors that it's going to become a habit where I am never satisfied with what they tell me. I'm doubting if they were tired, busy, and not paying attention enough to believe me... it probably isn't even helpful after all to get all these testings done.
  13. Hey guys, I'm new here. I am so surprised to see how similar a lot of symptoms we all share.. does make you make the correlation with anxiety eh?! Anyway, a quick background! I'm a 19 year old Canadian university student studying (lol how funny, kinesiology! Study of human movement) I developed emetaphobia when I was 10, which lead to me even avoiding sleeping in my room for an entire year assuming I'd get sick again along with other weird behavior for a 10 year old. This left me when I got to a drinking age, but the fears of being trapped somewhere and couldn't relieve myself if I had to have since stayed. (Especially airplanes or concerts not being in the row seat-anyone else?) Throughout the years school, friends, dance have all been the forefront and little blips of hypochondria have come and go. I burst into tears at age 12 when I heard Dr.Oz mention ovarian c****r. So irrational but felt so real. Boy oh boy, now comes this year. This summer I had 2 crippling bouts of fear over blood clots. I was at the point of asking the universe to "heal me" from an ectopic pregnancy when in reality I was having ovulation pain. I felt so desolate though. You make your self so sure of these things. Now here is the grand, turning point kicker that has brought me to seek help- it all started a few weeks ago. I was having a routine bath when I felt a sharp sting in my nostril. Oh lord, yes, it was time to make the fateful Google search we all know of "brain tumor." This changed my life. I continued to feel a one-sided headache and these occasional quick "stings" for a few days but I was driven MAD. Full blown anxiety attacks trying to sleep. Complete dissociation with my university life. I HAD to see my doctor. She shrugged it off as sinus issues! And gave me a nasal spray. This was NOT the answer. I say when I got home that day, I weeped into my bed for hours I thought this was the end. I've never been so distraught. I didn't really find relief, just survived each day. Until I checked in my mouth one day and saw a wisdom tooth was partially erupted-so a bit sticking into my gums/cheek. HALLELUJAH! A reason for headaches and pain! Does anyone else get mini relief? This to me meant I would not worry about it anymore. This was not the case. I even went to the dentist and he was like oh ouch! Did x-rays, two infected teeth. Relief. 10 days antibiotics and painkillers? Relief! Until it wasn't. I convinced myself into a spiraling mess that the infection was spreading. I began having difficulty swallowing. Jaw pain, constant ringing in ears, vision that felt a little out of focus. I went to the ER at 2am and they had to do an EKG on me because my heart rate was sky rocketed. 26 beats over normal. All for a doctor to tell me at 4am to go to bed. Sleep, hydrate. That my "swollen" neck was muscular tension. I again felt relief... But the swallowing did not go away! The shaky vision didn't either! These symptoms prevailed. I went to ANOTHER er doctor for him to be even more frank with me and give me a strong painkiller and told me there isn't significant signs of infection or swelling. As I sit here, it's 2 weeks until my teeth are removed. I think all my symptoms point towards having problems with TMJ, the tinnitus and fullness in ears with limited opening of mouth. Apparently it can even cause swallowing issued and eye pressure. Either way it has completely stolen my motivation and happiness in life, and worry has become my main activity. My family is stressed out over me, my friends are sick of talking about it, it's made me a lonely, alone, shell of a person. My studies ARE being affected too. Help?