Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional so if you affected by this post then please seek professional advice and support.
I’ve been questioned on my health anxiety a fair few times – and most people seem to know that it’s medical term is “hypochondria.” While I dislike using that term to describe others with the condition, I don’t mind using it on myself – because I am – literally. Here’s some answers to frequently asked questions on my health anxiety.
So you are a hypochondriac?
Yes. Yes I am. It’s a hard label to accept, but I’ve had the label in a jokey way for quite a while. But the indefinite label just made things serious and meant that I was definitely a hypochondriac.
What is it? Do you just get worried over your health?
My health anxiety is crippling sometimes – if it’s not one thing, it’s another. But essentially – for me – yes. I get worried over my health. I used to avoid health-related shows and other mediums that would talk about health. Now, I’d say I’m much better, but it still gives me the same affect – I can just control it that little bit better.
What happens if you have a panic attack?
I must admit, my panicking does result in a panic attack. They aren’t as frequent as they used to be. It’s not like a panic attack where I’m short of breath, although I still get physical symptoms. For me, my thoughts race in my head. Physically, my heart beats a little faster and I have moments where my breath is “off” as I like to call it. I have a sharp intake of breath and that’s when the panic can set in.
How hard is it to control your health anxiety as you’re exposed a lot?
My health anxiety is more difficult to control than my social anxiety, but it’s tripled in its effect by having OCD too. I’ve been managing for a few months now with my health anxiety in my opinion, but it can slip especially in the winter months. I’m much better with controlling it in the summer (so far!) – it’s a bit odd if I’m honest.
Do you take medication?
I don’t take medication for any of my mental health problems.
The next question I normally get asked is why?
Why don’t you take medication?
I don’t take medication because I don’t want to put drugs into my body. It comes from my belief as a Buddhist but I also don’t really understand what it would do to me. I’m coping quite well and have done since I hit crisis point without medication. I did CBT but long story short it didn’t work out.
There are so many more questions, but these are the ones I wanted to focus on.
If you have any questions for me at all then I am happy to answer them.