Posted by: worried | 2013-01-13

Always worried about health

Hi doc

about 10 years ago i went to my gp with a headache and pins and needles in my fingers. before he consulted with a specialist he told me i was having early warning signs of a stroke-i was 20 at the time.he left me thinking this for 15 minutes while he consulted with a specialist and cam back and apologized that he had jumped the gun and sent me home with pain killers saying i had a migraine. Since then, Ive had really bad anxiety about my health-ive been for every test possible. Any little symptom i feel, im convinced i am dying and land up in the er. this has been going on for 10 years. I have anxiety attacks and i find it so hard to trust any doctor! I still think i have some sort of illness that they have not managed to pick up! Now 10 years down the line, my partner was also misdiagnosed. They misdiagnosed a tumour as cancerous, and then after going for all the scans to see if it had spread we were given the all clear. We then wen to a specialist that deals with this type of cancer and he did numerous tests only to find that it was benign and is one that can be easily confused with the cancerous type. Im to my wits end, how do i ever trust a doctor again and ever believe them? I know they only human but its made my health anxiety even worse now! How do i manage to just stay calm and believe we are both healthy after all of this?

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Our expert says:
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OK, honest mistake and at least he had the sense to check with a specialist, but maybe not the very brightest GP in the business.
Apart from MIgraine ( I have long had it myself, so I understand its variations ) you seem to have developed, understandably, hypochondriasis, an excessive and unpleasant worry about your health, and this fits very much with the anxiety attacks.
And how sad that your partner also suffered serious misdiagnosis and mistreatment.
As you will have discovered, no amlunt of testing or visiting different specialists is reassuring for you.
But instead, focus on treating the real central problem, the excessive anxiety about your health. See a really good local psychologist first, for assessment and treatment using the CBT, Cognitive-Behaviopur therapy, method, which is excellent for reducing unhelpful anxiety, and revising unhelpful automatic assumptions and reactions of the sort you are definitely suffering from.
Not only is this effective and usually doesn't take very long, but it will both greatly improve your wuality of life and general well-being by removing the unneeded anxieties, but actually enhanc e your degree of safety, by letting you assess any symptoms that turn up, realistically.
Remember that at any given time, around 80 % of people we might stop randomly on the street, are experiencing one or more symptoms. And hardly any of them actually have any significant illness as such

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Our users say:
Posted by: Jenna | 2013-01-14

You need to relax and start living. You obviously aren''t dying, so why panic?

You don''t mention if the first gentleman that you saw was a specialist himself, or a normal GP. Some conditions have very similar symptoms and mistakes can be made (I had my first panic attack the other day, I thought I was going to literally die- many people mistake panic attacks for heart attacks because the symptoms are so similar). Also, it was 10 years ago, things have changed so much.

With regards to your partner, how did they misdiagnose? Did thy do an excision biopsy, did you see pathology results? What kind of cancer did they say it was? If you didn''t get any results, then it is also sometimes up to yourself to educate yourself and do a bit of research before heading straight into panic mode.

We get a lot of referrals from GP''s, people with moles that they think may be cancerous. I understand that can cause panic itself, but until there is an actual pathology result from a lab, then there is no need to panic.

There are a lot of doctors out there who don''t quite know what they are doing, and I do know that they can cause panic.

All this panicing is bound to cause a stroke, and then you WILL be right, but not because it was meant to be, but because you caused it with all your stressing.

Reply to Jenna

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