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Hypochondria is ruining my life

Community Member

Im a 20 year old girl who has struggled with health anxiety for years. It all comes from growing up with a chronically ill sister who had frequent hospital/doctor visits and I nearly lost her, my dad had appendicitis in his 20s, and my mums side of the family has a history of vascular/cardiovascular and gut issues. My entire teen years was surrounded by medical stuff and it’s gotten so bad that its on my mind 24/7 and interrupting my university studies, my social life (which I don’t really have) and  I constantly seek assurance from my family and they’ve grown fed up with me over the past years. 
the worst part of it all is that maybe all my worst fears will come true because even though I’m 20, I don’t even know how to look after myself. Even though I’ve improved my diet recently and have been doing morning stretches, I still feel worried.  I try to meditate and focus on the present, but I’m worried. Im worried about my period/reproductive health  but I don’t even track my cycles because a girl told me that she got cancer in her reproductive system while she was studying for university and she was completely unaware of it. I’m worried that all the crappy foods I ate before I turned 20 will bite me in the ass in the future, I read that people who eat crappy foods are more likely to develop illnesses in their digestive systems. I’m  worried that all this stress and anxiety will make me live a shorter life because of its effects on blood vessels and the heart and I read that stressed people are more likely to get an illness/die early. Im worried about dying in my sleep. I’m worried about getting a serious illness. I’m worried about having an illness right now and it me not noticing it’s there and before I know it it’s too late. And don’t ask me to look up my symptoms- doing so has ruined my entire life and distorted my perception of my body and health. I’m now scared of what to eat, what to touch, what to do. I’m just terrified and afraid that I’ll end up sick and ill like my sister. This anxiety speeds up my perception of time and I’m scared of getting older and being st risk of more illnesses. I still live my parents and I’m scared of moving out because how will I know if something is wrong with me if my anxiety has distorted my view of my health so much and I get misdiagnosed? I’m just sick of all this fear. It’s ruining my life, my studies, my relationships, my perception of myself, my health. 

1 Reply 1

Community Member

You poor sweetheart - it is a b*tch of a thing to go through, isn't it? The anxiety does become consuming and it's so awful. I went through this a few years ago because my anxiety developed into palpitations - I was convinced I was having a heart attack. 


It sounds like you are catastrophising, which is such a horrible form of self-torture. You've been through so much with family members, it's hardly surprising it has taken it's toll on you.


Please see yoru GP re a mental health care plan to assist you with this anxiety. Also, just because it happened to your sister, does not mean it will happen to you. And another thing: you're making good choices with your diet and exercise, and these will help your physical health. 


A good counsellor will help you find the strategies and, if necessary, any medications to assist you through this.


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