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Overcoming Hypochondria

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by COgirl05, Nov 17, 2015.

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  1. COgirl05

    COgirl05 Peer Supporter

    I just posted over in the support forum as well, but I thought I'd also bring up a discussion on hypochondria as it seems like most of us are. I've been battling TMS symptoms for years and have recognized it for the past 2 years for back pain. I've worked with a therapist and done lots of work on my own to overcome that pain and namely the fear associated with it. Today (at 6 days postpartum), I woke up with intense pain in my kidney region, flanks and lower abdominal region. I actually went to the ER because I was convinced it was a kidney infection. Turns out after many tests, they found nothing. I cried all day and become highly anxious about what it is and if I'll have to live with it forever. I have no faith that the medical community will find out what's wrong with me and that I'll just have to feel it forever, which is how I view most of my symptoms. I've been a hypochondriac since I was a little girl and I've realized today that I really need/want to overcome this. I want to be like other people that when they get symptoms, they deal with them and don't catastrophize about them. I'm tired of annoying my husband for reassurance when he has no idea what's going on - other than he thinks everything with me is TMS. I need help overcoming fear in my life - fear of the unknown. HELP please!!
     
  2. Mala

    Mala Well known member

    Cogirl, when u have been in pain for a long time, live in fear of pain or become obsessed with pain u naturally get anxious. This anxiety then manifests itself in the body in so many ways & can lead to all sorts of emotions, feelings & more pain. This then causes hyper-vigilance where u r aware of even the slightest change or twinge which can lead to hypochondria & catastrophising.

    Its good that u went to the ER to rule out anything serious but at some stage u will have to believe when the doctors tell u that nothing is wrong & learn to calm & soothe yrself. They would know immediately if there was an infection or something wrong with yr kidneys. Why? because its an easy thing to diagnose. So u should be able to rest assured about something like that & try not to get yrself all wound up.

    In order to get better u will HAVE TO SHIFT OLD BELIEFS. The way to do this is by developing alternative thoughts preferably positive ones. Its going to be hard just like learning any new skill but not impossible. In the beginning these thoughts will seem strange even awkward but remember its a skill which will take time. Yr mind has been used to a certain way of thinking which in turn affects yr moods, feelings & behavior which in turn affect yr body. What u feel in yr body is a product of yr thoughts.

    So here r 2 examples

    Example 1. You were in pain & you were worried so u went to the doctor. The dr said nothing is wrong. You believe him becoz this is the 21st century & diagnosing things is easy & much more accurate. You go away feeling relieved, relaxed that all is well. This changes yr mood, u feel more positive, endorphins r released. You r in a better mood so yr thoughts & yr behaviour correspond. Yr nervous system calms down the flight & fight response & yr body reacts by saying all is well. Pain decreases.

    Example 2. You r in pain & you were worried so u went to the doctor. The dr said nothing is wrong. You don't believe him becoz somehow u r convinced there is something wrong despite the diagnosis. You go away feeling anxious, worried that u have something incurable. This changes yr mood, u feel more negative, toxins r released. You r in a worse mood so yr thoughts & yr behaviour correspond. Yr nervous system ups the flight & fight response & yr body reacts by saying ' Ill never get better'. Pain increases.

    If u want to overcome catastrophising, there r no short cuts. You will have to change the way u think & learn a new set of skills in order to get better.

    Good Luck!

    Mala
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2015
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  3. mike2014

    mike2014 Beloved Grand Eagle

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  4. Mala

    Mala Well known member

    Great link

    "You're not trying to get rid of the pain, or overcome hypochondria, or beat an eating disorder, or eliminate OCD, or bounce from one of these preoccupations to another. Your ultimate goal is to alter your relationship with fear and preoccupation as a whole, to connect with yourself, and to connect with the emotions that are underneath these defense mechanisms."
     
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