Doctors Lounge - Psychiatry Answers
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Forum Name: Psychiatric Topics
Question: Hypochondria ruining my life
|libertylove - Tue Nov 17, 2009 1:42 pm||
I am a 23 year old young woman who has never been hospitalized and rarely even gets sick. And yet for the last several months I have been convinced that I am going to die very soon.
I have always been underweight (5'9" and 105 lbs) but have always gotten my period just fine and have had two very healthy pregnancies, gained 40 lbs with the first and delivered a 9 lb girl at home with no complications or tears. The second (born in Feb. of this year, now 9 months old) was 8 lbs 2 oz and also born at home. I had a hematoma that caused me to lose a lot of blood shortly after she was born. It wasn't serious enough to need to go to teh hospital and I healed insanely fast according to my midwife. But for days I thought I was going to suddenly bleed out and die on the spot. I was terrified to even get out of bed.
Things havent been the same since......although in the past I've had isolated panic attacks, now it is almost constant and almost always centered on something about my body....i see a mole I don't like and I'm convinced I'm going to be dead of skin cancer in less than a year. My heart races a lot (due to the anxiety) and I get arrhythmias so I think my heart is going to stop. Sometimes I feel like I can't breathe or can't swallow. I get random chest pains. Then today I noticed a smaller-than pea-sized nodule under my armpit, most likely a clogged milk duct or ingrown hair or something, and of course I feel like I must be dying of lymphoma.
I have two amazing kids and a wonderful husband and the perfect life. I just want to enjoy it and stop being so terrified all the time. I also don't want to be on benzo's my whole life, my mom has been and they have messed her up for life. (She has been in and out of hospitals as long as I can remember...) We don't have insurance so I can't get every little thing checked out and we live in a tiny town (500 pop) with no psychiatrists. I'm also phobic of driving in traffic, so I can't take myself to a bigger town. Anything at all you can tell me would be helpful; I just want to be able to feel healthy, because I'm pretty sure I am.....I mean I am tired a lot but I'm caring for an infant and a toddler full-time. Thank you for your help.
|Debbie Miller, RN - Sat Dec 19, 2009 6:01 pm||
You are wise to seek help with this condition which truly is a psychiatric disorder. You need to know that modern psychotherapy/pharmacology offers many options - much safer than in years past. Many of the SSRI antidepressants also work for anxiety. You need to find a way to get to a mental health clinic or at least see your family doctor about this so treatment can be found for you. It would be worth it to travel someplace to get the help you need. You might try nami.org for help finding a facility. Once the diagnosis is made, the prescriptions should be manageable so the investment up front is likely to be the bulk of the cost to you. Maintenance will be much less expensive to keep things going once you are in control. Granted, that could take a few visits at the beginning but it should not continue over the long run.
Ask your family practice doctor about this and if there is a recommendation for someone in the vicinity that he uses for mental health care.
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