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Question
Posted by: Me | 2011-11-28

I need to get over this, but how ?

Dr with your help I realised I am a hypochondriact (health issues !!), BUT I have the white coat disorder...I didnt realise this existed as I thought a hypochondriact was the opposite (always at the doctor). Not me ! No way ! I hyperventilate just walking past a doctors rooms and sniff nervously and uncontrollably, I tremble too. I dont feel myself at all lately and think there may be something not quite right (trying to be positive here so I dont want to say something is seriously wrong but that''s how I feel). I''m dizzy and have a few other issues.....looked up the symptoms and well some very sinister things have come up, now I''m stricken with fear. I feel guilty that I cannot take care of myself - I am a mother of 2 beautiful children with a husband that cares so much. My sensible brain is telling me that my biggest fear is that because of my fear I am going to miss something and not get treated and well, you know, it will kill me and I could have done something about it ! I thought I''d start with something easy today and have a glucose test, but I walked in and out of the chemist 3 x - I just couldnt do it. What do I do ? I look at other people all the time and think to myself you are so healthy, you are so lucky, why do I have to be sick - it''s just typical of my luck !! I have a few disorders that paralyse me with fear. It''s like a block, I cannot take another step, but I know if I do consult a GP or specialist I may be surprised to find that I''m actually ok and that I dont have a sinster malady. I do see a phyciatrist (funny, not scared of him though (or dentists), but I have never told him of this issue) and I have some tranquilisers to take if things get tough. So without sharing this with my phyciatrist, really really dont want too.....Where to from here ? What steps can I take myself - little ones..there HAS to be something I can do ? Thank you for always listening.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

I suppose those of us who believe doctors can always help, when we get hypochondriacal, keep visiting the doc. Those who dread that there won't be anything he can do, avoid him. Different ways of reacting to the same excessive anxiety about one's health. And if one takes the avoidant route, fearing he'll confirm some ghastly condition, one effectively prevents oneself from discovering that one is fine.
In an odd way, one can come to organize one's life around the belief that one is awfully ill, and can become almost reluctant to have to re-organize everything by discovering one is fine.
Anxiety makes one feel awful, even if one is in physically perfect condition. And it routinely causes a range of physical symptoms, which each have dozens of possible causes, of which you unfortunately and uncomfortably focus only on the most awful ones, however unlikely they are.
When you look at other people, you see them from the outside, and they look fine and happy, no-matter how ill or miserable they feel. Yourself, you look at from the inside, with all the fears obvious to you.
And its the fear that handicaps you and causes the suffering, not any other condition. Which is why one needs to work with the right specialist to learn to eliminate that fear.
Maybe its worth discussing this with your unfrightening psychiatrist ( after all, he is fully medically trained, too ). Have you figured out why you DON'T want to tell him about this ? What's the worst that could happen if you did ? He won't think any the less of you, and will be really pleased to help.
It really would be best to work on this with the right expert - with encouragement and support to take little steps at first and then bigger ones. And if the psychiatrist at least knew enough to help you. with CBT style work, to reduce your over-all levels of anxiety, that would help you approach the other examples more easily. I wonder if the chemist can sell you a small bottle of those stix tests docs use to test the urine - you just dip them into a sample, and then match the colours of each little block against a chart on the bottle. That will probably show, for instance, no sugar in your urine, so no diabetes.
Do remember, too, that while some symptoms are very specific - they almost always mean something significant and possibly serious, and usually mean only one or two particular things ; many symptoms, esp[ecially those you have been experiencing are actually very vague - they are extremely common in entirely normal people, and almost always don't mean anything ; and where they have meaning, they can have dozens of different causes. Most headaches, dizziness, tiredness, means nothing much at all, though they also occur in so many conditions, serious and trivial.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011-11-28

I suppose those of us who believe doctors can always help, when we get hypochondriacal, keep visiting the doc. Those who dread that there won't be anything he can do, avoid him. Different ways of reacting to the same excessive anxiety about one's health. And if one takes the avoidant route, fearing he'll confirm some ghastly condition, one effectively prevents oneself from discovering that one is fine.
In an odd way, one can come to organize one's life around the belief that one is awfully ill, and can become almost reluctant to have to re-organize everything by discovering one is fine.
Anxiety makes one feel awful, even if one is in physically perfect condition. And it routinely causes a range of physical symptoms, which each have dozens of possible causes, of which you unfortunately and uncomfortably focus only on the most awful ones, however unlikely they are.
When you look at other people, you see them from the outside, and they look fine and happy, no-matter how ill or miserable they feel. Yourself, you look at from the inside, with all the fears obvious to you.
And its the fear that handicaps you and causes the suffering, not any other condition. Which is why one needs to work with the right specialist to learn to eliminate that fear.
Maybe its worth discussing this with your unfrightening psychiatrist ( after all, he is fully medically trained, too ). Have you figured out why you DON'T want to tell him about this ? What's the worst that could happen if you did ? He won't think any the less of you, and will be really pleased to help.
It really would be best to work on this with the right expert - with encouragement and support to take little steps at first and then bigger ones. And if the psychiatrist at least knew enough to help you. with CBT style work, to reduce your over-all levels of anxiety, that would help you approach the other examples more easily. I wonder if the chemist can sell you a small bottle of those stix tests docs use to test the urine - you just dip them into a sample, and then match the colours of each little block against a chart on the bottle. That will probably show, for instance, no sugar in your urine, so no diabetes.
Do remember, too, that while some symptoms are very specific - they almost always mean something significant and possibly serious, and usually mean only one or two particular things ; many symptoms, esp[ecially those you have been experiencing are actually very vague - they are extremely common in entirely normal people, and almost always don't mean anything ; and where they have meaning, they can have dozens of different causes. Most headaches, dizziness, tiredness, means nothing much at all, though they also occur in so many conditions, serious and trivial.

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