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Hi, my name is aimeealxo! Health Anxiety

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aimeealxo
aimeealxo Community member Posts: 8 Listener
Hello guys! I have suffered with health anxiety for a good few years now. I started working in a care home at 16 and was given a lot of responsibility and seen some very heavy stuff for such a young age. This is when my health anxiety started I am now 23. It's only recently got the worst it has been. It started with headaches which I went to my gp for a phoned nhs 24 this got put down to stress and possibly needing an eye test! So off I went to specsavers to get my eyes tested as it was long over due, after the exam they advised me I had a slight swollen optic nerve and that they would have to refer me to the hospital with in 2 days. I was crying in the opticians scared out of my mind and the 2 days I had to wait for the hospital we're almost unbearable. I couldn't eat, I didn't want to shower ( gross ), I couldn't focus on anything else apart from googling the symptoms and diagnosing myself with a brain tumor. I eventually went to the hospital and they gave me the all clear, the optician in the hospital actually said I have better vision than him!!! Since then I've not been able to shake the thought of having a brain tumor. I started experiencing pressure in the back of my head which had me on the phone to nhs 24 numerous times and seen at the out of hours department where the nurse briefly checked my eyes again and done some nerve testing which she said was textbook and nothing to worry about, didn't stop me!!! Now I feel like I am experiencing floaters in my vision and pain in my eye balls which AGAIN I have phoned nhs 24 for as it has been a nightmare trying to get another opticians appointment. I went to A and E and the nurse said there was not a lot she could do and I really needed to see an optician but I shouldn't be concerned because my blood pressure etc were all absolutely normal. Now I can't stop thinking about my vision being blurry but only long distance and on the tv and seeing floaters in my eyes. I'm constantly looking for them and checking my eyes by covering one eye and moving my eye ball back and forth to see if I can see better when my eye ball is a certain way. Thankfully I have an appointment for the opticians tomorrow but another stress is if I will be able to make it to the appointment due to loosing my job from anxiety and having no money. My partner is working a new job until 5pm and the appointment is at 2pm so I think it's adding extra stress trying to find transport or money for a taxi. We have recently moved 2 hours away to a new city and I still don't know my way about and there are no bus stops near. Overall my health anxiety is killing me, my partner thinks I have something new wrong everyday and it's causing tension between us because we're also trying to care for his mum who has Parkinson's. I feel like I'm constantly going out of my mind and over analysing every sensation in my body but right now it's my eyes I'm panicking about

Comments

  • Cher_Alumni
    Cher_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 5,741 Disability Gamechanger
    edited May 2021
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    Hi @aimeealxo and a warm welcome to our community.  I'm so glad you found us  :)

    I'm sorry to hear you've recently begun experiencing health anxiety and I know from personal experience how easy it is to become highly attuned to changes in the body and panic.  I recently heard a good saying and that was instead of focusing on 'what if' to look at 'what is'.  And taking this viewpoint, all the evidence points to you being healthy - the hospital said you had excellent vision and your blood pressure came back within the normal range.  I get though how the 'facts' can become obscured by fear and that's why I think it would be a good idea for you to speak to your GP about how you're feeling - are they aware of what's going on?  If not, perhaps give them a call to speak through your anxiety and explore what treatment options are available.

    Alongside this, you can self-refer to your local Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) team who would be able to assess you and see if any therapies i.e. CBT, counselling would be beneficial.  Visit this NHS website to refer yourself and read more :)

    There's some online resources that you can use to help manage thoughts around health anxiety.  These are:
    You also mentioned that you've recently lost your job and don't have any money.  I'm sorry to hear this and wondered how you were getting on?  Have you visited an online benefits calculator to see what your eligible for?  

    Just to advise - I've removed the duplicate thread you posted so we can keep all answers in this one space.  I hope the above has helped but please keep talking to us so we can support you through this difficult time - remember, look at what is and be kind to yourself  <3  It won't be this way forever.  
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  • janer1967
    janer1967 Community member Posts: 21,964 Disability Gamechanger
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    Hi and welcome to the community 

    As a visually impaired person I do understand your anxiety but be assured if all your tests are normal it is probably your anxiety causing the symptoms rather than a eye disorder 

    You often can find there are local community services that can help get you to appt if you are unable to use public transport your local council will have details 

    Also spec savers do home visits for those unable to get to them 

    Try not to worry about it as this won't help easier said than done I know 

    Let us know how you get on 
  • Lisatho11987777
    Lisatho11987777 Scope Member Posts: 5,911 Disability Gamechanger
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    The care home you were in should be reported there are special rules for 16 year old working in care and I am sorry that you were treated bad and wrong working in care is hard but for such a young age they should of followed the rules and regulations 

    I hope thst you get the help and support you need 
  • aimeealxo
    aimeealxo Community member Posts: 8 Listener
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    Thank you for replying guys! So I had my exam today and they told me my eyes were healthy! Just that I needed stronger lenses which have been now ordered, but since coming home I’ve had a black ring in my left eye vision almost like I can see the lense of my eye if that makes sense!!! So I feel like I’m back to square 1 worrying again!!!!! Why can I see this big black ring on and off?! I’m honestly drained from everything my partner told me I looked exhausted today and it’s purely from worrying!!! ?????
  • aimeealxo
    aimeealxo Community member Posts: 8 Listener
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    I am so scared guys! My partner thinks I’m being silly because I was seen at the opticians today but this is a new symptom :(
  • Ross_Alumni
    Ross_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,652 Disability Gamechanger
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    aimeealxo said:
    I am so scared guys! My partner thinks I’m being silly because I was seen at the opticians today but this is a new symptom :(
    I'm sorry to hear about the new black ring symptom, is it still there today? Have you considered contacting the non-emergency 111 number for medical advice? You could also contact your opticians again.
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  • aimeealxo
    aimeealxo Community member Posts: 8 Listener
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    Hey! I’ve not yet noticed it today but I feel like I’m actively looking / waiting on it :( I’ve been on the phone to 111 numerous times the past weeks and they always tell me there is nothing they can do for eye issues :( 
  • OverlyAnxious
    OverlyAnxious Community member Posts: 2,678 Disability Gamechanger
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    I also have severe health anxiety - some of which about conditions I do have, others about conditions I 'probably' don't...

    All I can say is that nothing you do will satisfy the anxiety...you could have 20 eye tests and brain scans and it wouldn't make any difference.  Just have to try and learn to live with the uncertainty. :(  

    Are on any anxiety meds out of interest?  That might help make the anxiety a bit more manageable.  Alternatively mindfulness or distractions can help in the short term.  
  • aimeealxo
    aimeealxo Community member Posts: 8 Listener
    edited May 2021
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    @OverlyAnxious

    Hey! I hate taking medication but it’s at the point now where I need something to calm me down. My jaw is always clenched and I honestly don’t get a break in the day where I’m not worrying about something in my body. I have phoned the opticians and they want me back in tomorrow to do more tests. Again tonight will be another stressful sleepless night ? can it be possible that they missed something yesterday I am so worried 
  • aimeealxo
    aimeealxo Community member Posts: 8 Listener
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    Hi guys don’t know if anyone is still following, went again to the opticians and they said again my eyes were healthy! The optician even reassured me his prescription was double mines ? but I’ve woken again this morning with a sort of blurry vision in my left eye really trying not to panic but it’s hard with health anxiety ☹️
  • Ross_Alumni
    Ross_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,652 Disability Gamechanger
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    aimeealxo said:
    Hi guys don’t know if anyone is still following, went again to the opticians and they said again my eyes were healthy! The optician even reassured me his prescription was double mines ? but I’ve woken again this morning with a sort of blurry vision in my left eye really trying not to panic but it’s hard with health anxiety ☹️
    Hi, I'm glad to hear that the opticians didn't find anything out of order. As suggested previously, will you be speaking with your GP about some medication for your anxiety? I understand your hesitance about taking medication, but as you suggest above it might be at the stage where it's worth considering and speaking with your doctor about. 
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  • aimeealxo
    aimeealxo Community member Posts: 8 Listener
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    Yes definitely I will be speaking to my GP but my health anxiety is telling me that it can’t be my anxiety that’s making one eye blurry ☹️ But I don’t want to see the opticians for a THIRD time in FOUR days for it to be nothing again! It’s honestly all I’ve been thinking about all day. I can’t seem to take my mind off it. Constantly checking my eyes by closing one and keeping one open to see the difference ?
  • OverlyAnxious
    OverlyAnxious Community member Posts: 2,678 Disability Gamechanger
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    aimeealxo said:
    Yes definitely I will be speaking to my GP but my health anxiety is telling me that it can’t be my anxiety that’s making one eye blurry ☹️ But I don’t want to see the opticians for a THIRD time in FOUR days for it to be nothing again! It’s honestly all I’ve been thinking about all day. I can’t seem to take my mind off it. Constantly checking my eyes by closing one and keeping one open to see the difference ?
    Not sure if you know but you will have a 'dominant' eye...  Only noticeable if you close one as your brain compensates for the pair together.  I never knew this until I went for an eye test myself for fuzzy vision, light sensitivity, vertigo, headaches etc (of course, they found nothing wrong lol!) and was horrified when I was told to close my right eye and couldn't read anything with the left!  

    Stress and anxiety can easily affect your vision.  I also find stomach problems & IBS affect mine too, despite seemingly being totally different systems.  So chances are it is nothing major causing yours.  Can you get out and go somewhere as a distraction today maybe?  
  • aimeealxo
    aimeealxo Community member Posts: 8 Listener
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    Hey! Thanks for your reply! What’s worrying me as I’m certain the optician told me that it was actually my right eye that needed a stronger prescription but it’s my left eye I’m noticing the blurry ness? This literally happened the day after I was there for the second time. The second time the optician had a deeper look in my eyes and also had me do a proliferal vision test and I got full marks on that!!! I don’t know what’s causing this, I’ve been using a dry eye mist and it’s not helping either. I’ve not had headaches for ages but since I’ve started stressing I’ve had some pressure in my head. Maybe I’m just completely obsessing over the situation and when my new glasses come I won’t notice it so much. It’s just so hard because I’m completely focused on it right now so it’s all I’m thinking off. I do take my mind of it for nearly an hour but it comes creeping back my anxiety is making me feel guilty for enjoying myself and not worrying If that makes sense :( 
  • OverlyAnxious
    OverlyAnxious Community member Posts: 2,678 Disability Gamechanger
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    Yeah, it does make sense.  The relief is only short term for me as well.  I wish I could offer some longer term advice!
  • ben665544
    ben665544 Community member Posts: 1 Listener
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    I have suffered with health anxiety from a young boy all these things your saying make so much sense to me I thought I had a brain tumour I had headaches blurry vision sweating feeling dizzy then got told I was all ok from doctor then I thought I have lymphoma I had swollen nodes I had hot flashes once again told it was all ok then I thought I had lung cancer and guess what had symptoms once again thought I had throat cancer sore throat all the time coughing tired sore throat all the time and dry as soon as I’m told I’m ok even if it’s for a minute it goes even though you question anxiety it can cause all of this your saying about I realy hope you manage to deal with it even when you think it’s not my anxiety because I’m not thinking about it or tallking about it a massive bit of anxiety is sub concious so you will have symptoms without thinking about them my health anxiety destroys everything because I think everything is cancer 
  • L_Volunteer
    L_Volunteer Community Volunteer Adviser, Scope Member Posts: 7,983 Disability Gamechanger
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    It sounds like you have had some really tough experiences with health anxiety @ben665544. It must have taken a lot of strength to share your experiences with us.

    Does anything, in particular, help you to deal with health anxiety? We are here for you if we can do anything to support you  :)
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  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Scope Posts: 12,505 Disability Gamechanger
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    Welcome to the community @ben665544 :) Thank you for sharing your experiences with us. I'm sorry to hear that you've been struggling with health anxiety for a little while now. 

    Have you spoken to your GP, or another professional, about your health anxiety, and how it's been affecting you? 

    Do you have a support network of family or friends who help you to manage your anxiety levels? 

    I'm glad that you've found the thread helpful to read. 
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  • Community_Scope
    Community_Scope Posts: 1,012 Scope online community team
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    Hello @maisontaylor

    We just want to let you know we’ve edited your comment because it contained promotion of paid for services and advertising. For more information about why we removed this, please consider our online community house rules.

    All the best,

    Cher

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