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  1. I know its a super low number and I'm sure there are so many people who visit the UK and eat beef. I just cant stop thinking that because I did risky behavior it means I'm for sure going to get it. I read that there were 2 BSE+ cows in the UK that were identified in 2012. I know the chances are low, I just cant stop thinking that I'm going to be the next case. I just wish I could suppress these thoughts
  2. HI everyone, I've been really struggling with my health anxiety lately. It's been really hard, especially since I am in veterinary school and I have to learn about some of the scariest, deadliest diseases in the world. We learned about variant CJD (mad cow in people) a few weeks ago and ever since, it has just consumed me. I've been so worried about it, convinced I am going to get it. I visited the UK (England roadtrip) with my family in 2012 and we definitely ate a lot of beef (meat pies, steaks, burgers). I'm 23 years old, which is around the average age of onset for variant CJD +/- a few years. I'm just worried sick about it. I feel like I've doomed myself by eating beef in a country endemic for this disease. I feel like I've been more annoyed lately or have been having weird behavioral problems...signs of the disease. The disease can take decades to manifest, so even if I don't have it right now...I fear I will get it soon. I have a younger brother, and I'm worried he is going to get it too. It's invariably fatal. I honestly just feel like its only a matter of time before the symptoms show up and that I will have a year to live. Has anyone else had this fear? I'm really struggling to move on from this. Thanks everyone.
  3. Hi everyone, I am having a really rough month. Let me start out by saying that I have a really bad health anxiety/OCD condition that I have been on and off dealing with for the last 3 years. I'm currently in veterinary school and my anxiety levels lately have been going through the roof. This last month in particular has been rough as I have not been sleeping well, I have been dealing with my cat that had a horrible illness and had to get multiple procedures, surgeries, biopsies, a feeding tube placed, etc. It was right in the middle of midterms and it was incredibly stressful running around taking him in and out of the hospital. I was incredibly worried for him and freaking out it was rabies. I went to the hospital to get the rabies shots. After a while I was convinced it was ok and I stopped worrying about it. After all the stress of this, I started to develop a finger twitch in my right index finger. it happens all throughout the day both at rest but also when im using my computer or after I perform an action and then rest. It's been causing me a lot of grief over the last week and I saw 2 primary care doctors about it. Both of which refused to refer me to a neurologist and told me it was most likely from stress or anxiety. right and sometimes left arm. IDK if those are just from being more anxious and hyper-vigilant. Other things have started happening like pin and needle feeligs in my left foot and percieved weakness in my I've been worried sick about ALS, PD or MS. 6 months ago I was taking Accutane and around finals time I had parasthesia in my left arm. It freaked me out so I went to the hospital numerous times to get cervical and brain MRIs...they found nothing. I also got tested for Lymes, had general panels done at the hospital and had my thyroid levels checked (all 6 months ago)...nothing wrong. It was dismissed as anxiety or problems from the Accutane, which I discontinued and started feeling better. Im worried the paresthesia in the left arm and the finger twitching in the right index finger are related and indicitave of a neurodegenerative disease. I used to be treated for anxiety and I was taking meds. I went cold turkey and stopped taking them out of laziness about a month and a half ago. Dumb, dumb decision I know, but my anxiety has gotten out of control since then. I started seeing a new therapist and I am getting back on my medication for good. I don't know what to do. Does this sound like a neuro disorder or just anxiety? I know people here arent doctors, but have people experienced this? Just twitching in ONE finger due to anxiety???? I guess there is the pins and needles feeling in my left foot, but I'm just freaking out and I cannot think about anything else. Is it likely to just be anxiety? Should I just trust my primary care doctors and attribute it to stress??? Any comments, advice or help would be much appreciated. Im having a hard time functioning and I'm so close to going to the ER to just ask for more tests. Thanks so much all, Sorry for the rant.
  4. Thanks guys :). I try to distract myself with school or funny videos on YouTube. I even do "exposures". I used to have a crippling HIV fear and exposures would help. I'm currently in vet school and I'm being bombarded with all these crazy medical conditions, learning about cancer and viruses and flesh eating bacteria. Its terrifying and exhausting to try and not worry about everything. I think I may try to get a regular therapist to help. I don't know if I'm capable of fixing this on my own anymore.
  5. Hi, I used to have a crippling HIV fear. So bad I spent thousands of dollars on PEP and PrEP and made multiple ER visits. It took me nearly a year to get over it, so I totally understand your pain. Here's a couple reasons why you shouldnt worry and also how to help quell your anxiety: 1. HIV is an EXTREMELY fragile virus. I know because I work with it in a laboratory. People get HIV from needlestick injuries when they are sharing needles and the blood is fresh. You cannot get HIV off of dried blood, it dies when it is exposed to air in a matter of minutes. You also cannot get HIV if infected blood gets on your skin, you need to have a skin break or get it in a mucous membrane like your eyes or mouth. 2. When I had a fear I would do "exposures". It involved me sitting with the thoughts and letting them flood over me. Either that or even saying it outloud. Multiple times. Like 10 times. For example, "Yep, I caught HIV from brushing against that needle. I 10000% brushed against that needle and I have the virus and my life is going to change and I'm going to die...." I know it sounds scary, but when you repeat it over and over again its not as scary anymore and sometimes it almost becomes funny. When those thoughts pop up, doing exposures helps for me. I'm currently dealing with a rabies fear and trying to do the same thing. It's a work in progress. You dont have anything to worry about
  6. Also the cat scratch was in a foreign country. Either Romania or Italy, I cant remember. It just has be even more worried
  7. I hope so. Thanks for responding :). I'm trying really hard to move on but I just keep panicking. Do you have any tips to make it less distracting?
  8. I got the rabies pre-exposure shots before veterinary school, not when I was scratched 7 years ago. I'm not sure if that means anything :(. I got so scared because I read about all of these instances where people manifested the symptoms like 7-20 years after the onset. I guess these are crazy exceptions but I cannot get the possibility out of my mind. I don't know how to be at peace with the uncertainty :/. I feel like I'll have to wait 20 years to be at peace if I keep this up! I know its a crazy low chance but it's bothering me that its not a 0% chance. Ive tried distracting myself or doing exposures but nothing seems to shake this one :/. Thanks so much for your responses. I feel like I can't talk to many other people about this and the fact that a couple people have responded this fast really makes me feel comforted.
  9. This is going to sound stupid, but I have been so worried about contracting rabies from a cat that scratched me (maybe bit, i dont remember???) 7-10 years ago. We are learning about rabies in class and it had me in a panic. For vet school I had to get the vaccinations, so I have all of that, but Im just so scared I'm going to be one of the rare cases that gets rabies years after they have been bitten. Who do I talk to???? What do I do?? Should I be worried? My health anxiety has never been this bad and I'm worried I'm going to flunk out of school because the only thing I can focus on is dying.