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Being unwell, having health anxiety and living alone right now is really hard

Katerinya
Community Member

Hi everyone,

This is partly a post to acknowledge how hard things are right now, and also to express that I’m super anxious this week.
I’m unwell and am waiting on blood test results. I’m exhausted all the time, and feel BLAH.

What’s making it worse is my health anxiety. I can’t stop thinking about how unwell I feel, and worrying that I might suddenly become really sick and nobody will be able to help me. I live alone and I’m experiencing some dizziness. I worry that I’ll collapse on the floor and not be found for days.

While all my work colleagues are constantly complaining about not being able to escape their partners and families, I have to say I envy them a lot. Being alone and sick during a pandemic is so hard. No matter how unwell I feel, nobody can make me a cup of tea, or just sit with me to provide some comfort. This worry about ‘What if I get really sick’ is making things worse.

So, to everyone living alone, feeling isolated or scared during this time, and wishing that you too could complain about having a family, I hear you. It’s hard.

7 Replies 7

Sophie_M
Moderator
Moderator
Hi Katerinya, 

We are really sorry to hear that you are feeling this way. Health anxiety is an incredible challenge which we can understand is heightened by living alone and in the current context. What is wonderful is that you have reached out for support today and been able to share your experience. We know that there are others in the community who are feeling this way and you never know who might see your post and feel less alone in their own struggles. 

Anxiety is a difficult experience to manage, but you don't have to do it alone. We are here for you and ready to talk anytime on 1300 22 4636. Our team are ready to listen and support you without judgement. We know how hard it is and we have practical and supportive suggestions for when you feel distressed. 

You may want to have a look at this thread where there was a great discussion about health anxiety if you like, it is no longer active but has some experiences you may relate to.

We also know that living in lockdown is really tough, for more advice you can visit our website dedicated to support for these times here.

Thank you again for your post, please feel free to update us on how you are feeling if you feel comfortable. 

Kind regards, 
Sophie M

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi, welcome

Thankyou for this post. During this pandemic there is many people that are alone and your post highlights the adverse effects of that which others will be able to relate to.

I'm married and retired, so rarely alone. When my wife leaves on the rare occasion without me I tend to raid the chocolate draw so being alone isnt good for me. Lol. However, I can understand your frustration and moreso fear, of what will happen if you fall very ill. Your fears are not abnormal in any way.

It's really good you've had blood tests because blood tests and the like can find issues not thought about. My wife has been sleeping every afternoon for 12 months and last week found the cause- diabetes. So it is a good idea getting such support.

Feeling dizzy is a major worry as head trauma often occurs when fainting. The first feeling of dizziness you should lie down and raise your feet. This allows blood to reach your brain quickly.

Take your phone everywhere with you. Even make a holder on your wrist for it or similar.

If you havent already become an ambulance subscriber. That will take away the worry if you need one as they can be quite expensive if needed.

Other general actions is drinking lots of water and befriend neighbours. This is what elderly people do not unlike yourself that have the same fear of the ramifications of living alone.

I hope your tests come back ok. Regardless we are here 24/7/365 and again welcome to the forum.

TonyWK

Gabs_
Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Katerinya,

Welcome to the forums. I wish I could say something to make it better, but you're right. The pandemic sucks. The whole situation does.

Both Sophie_M and White Knight have touched on some good points re health anxiety.

Could I ask if maybe you could go stay with someone whilst you are going through this? I know in some States there are caregiving rules, so you could ask someone to stay with you or ask to stay with friends or family. We are in Melbourne, and my friend's husband passed away, so she has been staying with us during this difficult time (rather than staying alone at home) and it's allowed under the Victorian rules.

Alternatively, could you maybe organise some Zoom calls with friends or family? I know it's not the same as having someone there, but both my mum and I (she is in a different State) made scones and then sat down together and had tea and scones, so it kind of felt like we were together.

Regarding your concerns re dizziness, I know it might not help at home, but if you are out for a walk or at the shops, do you have "emergency SOS" sorted on your phone? I have an iphone and you can put all the info in, so if you do faint in public someone can access and call your emergency contact without your passcode.

Sending you a big hug x

Booklover17
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi Katerina,

I don’t have health anxiety, I have regular anxiety I guess plus other things. I know how you feel in terms of the feeling alone and isolation stuff. I also live alone and feel very lonely under lockdown. People with someone just don’t get it. Us people living alone need someone. Especially when sick. I was recently sick and alone too. It’s the worst feeling. I hope you fee better soon.

Katerinya
Community Member
Thanks so much everyone. You are so kind, and it’s wonderful. We need a bit more kindness in the world. I’m taking your advice on board and will think more about the practical things I can do. Though my anxiety is still huge, it really does help to know I’m not alone.

Really nice getting feedback like that Katerina.

Of the many thing I tried when having anxiety one technique stood out and that was - muscle tensioning exercises.

It has helped me get to sleep and lower my blood pressure.

Lie in bed ready for sleep. 3 deep breaths and hold them for several seconds. Tension up feet muscles 15 seconds, calf muscles same etc right up to the head muscles, then hold all muscles with tension for 20 seconds and relax. If done properly you'll be really relaxed and over the long term it is remarkable.

TonyWK

Ggrand
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hello Dear Katerinya...

I don’t have health anxiety..but do have anxiety about going out into public....I live alone and being 65 I do struggle with the thoughts you are talking about not being found for days if I got really sick...

I live about 1.5 hours away from the nearest fully functioning hospital...and it takes an ambulance 45 minutes to get to this little village....It can be quite worrisome at times....

What my elderly friend and I are doing now..is ringing each other each day..to check on each other and have a little chat...With my neighbour if we don’t see each other’s dogs outside in the morning or hear any noise coming from the house...we ring first and if no answer...we pop in next door to check on each other...

I mentioned this because I’m thinking that maybe this is something that you could do, with your neighbours or/and friends...

Do you think that would be something that your able to do....It has made us all feel safer just knowing that each day we have someone that checks in on us...

My kindest thoughts dear Katerinya....

We are here for you....with our care..

Grandy..