Health anxiety and hypochondria: my story

My Health Anxiety Story

My health anxiety / hypochondria story…

Over the last few years, it feels like talking about anxiety has almost become one of those blogger trends: like pineapples, or crown braids, or wearing Birkenstocks, even although you know they make you look a bit like a hobbit.

I realise that’s probably going to turn out to be a controversial thing to say (The “anxiety-is-trendy” thing, I mean, not the “hobbit” comment. Although, that too, now I come to think of it…), but, well, first came all of the “I suffer from anxiety,” confessions, THEN came the, “I hate the fact that every blogger around is suddenly claiming to suffer from anxiety, just because Zoella did it it first!” posts – and as soon as you have a backlash, you know you’re dealing with a trend, right?

Health anxiety, on the other hand, has never been trendy.

It probably never will be. Health anxiety – or hypochondria, as it’s perhaps better known – has always been one of those comedy illnesses: the mental health problem it’s OK to roll your eyes at, because it’s just a bunch of silly people who take themselves off to bed as soon as they sneeze, and think every little twinge is probably cancer. It’s hard for a lot of people to take that seriously, or to have any sympathy for it, so those of us who suffer from it end up keeping quiet, for fear of being dismissed, or even laughed at.

I’ve had both of those responses over the years, and while I’d never wish any kind of anxiety on anyone, (Just to make things even more fun, I ALSO have generalised anxiety disorder – and yes, that’s been diagnosed by numerous doctors and psychiatrists: I promise I’m not just trying to copy Zoella…) it does occasionally make me wish I could tell my health anxiety story, so they could understand, just a little bit, what it’s like.

So here’s what it’s like:

It’s like permanently standing in line for the roller-coaster you’re scared to death of. The churning stomach, the sweaty palms, the conviction that THIS will be the thing that will kill you, and that there’s no way to avoid it. All of this, without the adrenaline rush afterwards, or the feeling of blessed relief when it’s finally over, because you know that when you finally get off, you’re just going right back to the end of the line again.

It’s like having the joy removed from every last bit of your life, because you’re so scared of what might be to come that you can’t take pleasure in anything any more.

It’s like being on an airplane that suddenly hits turbulence at 20,000 feet, right in the middle of the ocean. You would do anything – anything AT ALL – to just not be on that plane anymore, but you know the only way is down, and that all you can do is cling helplessly to the arm rests and wonder if it’ll be the fear that kills you, or the crash itself.

It’s checking your symptoms multiple times an hour: sometimes even multiple times a minute. Googling them. Researching them. Checking them again. Are they still there? Or have they gone? Maybe you should try to MAKE yourself feel that strange twinge in your side again, just to see if you can? Maybe if you just press right here? Did you feel it that time? Does that mean it’s back? Or did you just prod your own stomach so many times that now you’ve actually created a symptom that didn’t actually exist? Maybe if you just check one more time…

My health anxiety / hypochondria storyMy health anxiety / hypochondria story

It’s watching a TV show or reading a book in which someone has a certain symptom… and then immediately convincing yourself YOU have that symptom, too. It’s taking a two-mile trip to the post office in the next town, because the one that’s right around the corner has a poster right next to the scale you weigh your parcel on, saying, “DO YOU HAVE THESE HIDDEN SIGNS OF BOWEL CANCER?!” So far, you’ve avoided reading the poster, or finding out what the “hidden signs” are. But now that you know there ARE hidden signs, you’re going to obsess over whether or not you have them: to the point where you can’t think of anything else.

It’s hearing someone casually mention an acquaintance who died of cancer, and then lying awake all night worrying that it will happen to you, too. It’s asking the people who know you not to tell you those stories: and having them laugh, and roll their eyes, before launching into yet ANOTHER story, which will lead to two more sleepless nights, at least.

It’s like raaaaiiiin, on your wedding day, it’s a free… wait: that’s an Alanis Morisettte song, isn’t it? Sorry, got carried away there…

Hypochondria is not a joke, is what I’m saying. It’s not something you can just forget about or “get over” – no matter how many times people tell you to. It is, in fact, a form of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder – or so the psychiatrist I was referred to told me. I had never thought of it in that way, but he explained that people with health anxiety / hypochondria have an obsessive compulsion to check their symptoms (often to the point where they create new ones), worry about them, then rest and repeat. And, yeah, that definitely sounds like my health anxiety story, for sure.

Here, for instance, is the reason I finally plucked up the courage to visit my doctor and get that referral: a list of every symptom and health-related worry I’d had over a three month period around 8 years ago, which Terry had kept in a bid to persuade me to GET HELP for the health anxiety that had, at that point, taken over both our lives:

brain tumour
skin cancer
ovarian cancer (left)
ovarian cancer (right)
leukaemia again
skin cancer again
heart palpitations
cancer under ear
Cancer on cheek
groin cancer
Cancer of the lymph nodes
heart palpitations again
ovarian cancer (right)
brain tumour again
ovarian cancer again (right)
bleeding swollen gums (leukaemia)
throat cancer (sore throat)
brain tumour because of headache
ovarian cancer
stroke because of sore jaw
brain tumour because of forgetfulness
brain tumour because of migraine
throat cancer because of phlegm
ovarian cancer , both sides for three weeks
brain cancer because of light to dark eye problems
baldness for a month now
abdominal aneurysm for two weeks
brain tumour because of migraines

This was over a space of just three months, back in 2008. THREE MONTHS, people. Fun times, huh?

After that, I finally went to see the doctor. This was hard for me, because there are two types of hypochondriac in the world: ones who basically set up camp in the doctor’s office, so they can consult him/her every time they sneeze, and ones who avoid any kind of medical situation at all costs. Guess which camp I’m in?

If you’re having trouble guessing, let me just tell you that, when we moved to our current home, it took me a full six-months to register with the doctor here, and even then I only did it because I needed to renew my birth control prescription, and they wouldn’t do it without seeing me first. When I finally went in, Terry had to call ahead and warn them that I wouldn’t be bringing the mandatory urine sample, because waiting for the results of whatever test they’d do would cause me so much anxiety I’d literally be unable to function. He also had to accompany me to the appointment, because I was almost crying with nerves. It’s THAT bad. And actually, that was during a time when my health anxiety was fairly LOW – so you can imagine how hard it was during those awful three months in 2007/8, can’t you?

living with health anxiety: my story

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So, back in 2008, at the height of my health anxiety /hypochondria , I went to the doctor and he agreed I should be referred for counselling. I got an appointment the following week with a psychiatric nurse, whose job it was to listen to my health anxiety story and assess me – and who met me at the door of his office with the news that he had a student observing him, and did I mind if she stayed?

Actually, I DID mind if she stayed. It was hard enough for me to tell even ONE person about my health anxiety, let alone TWO: but I was so freaked out by the fact that I was in a doctor’s surgery that I blindly agreed, and then walked into the room, to be faced with a hostile-looking teenage girl (I mean, I’m assuming she wasn’t ACTUALLY a teenager, but she looked like one, and was dressed like one…), who sat in the corner rolling her eyes (yes, literally), the whole time I was there.

I left with a workbook on cognitive behaviour therapy, which I was instructed to work my way through. It didn’t help in the slightest. A few weeks later, I was referred to the psychiatric unit at the local hospital: a move which was almost breath-taking in its stupidity as far as I was concerned, because one of my biggest fears of all? Is hospitals.

I think most people assume that, for people with hypochondria, the main fear is, well, DEATH. It isn’t, though: or, at least, not for me. I mean, I DO fear death… but I mostly fear everything that comes before it. The hospitalisation. The operations. The general anaesthetic – the idea of which scares me so much I’ve made Terry promise me that if I ever need one, he’ll just let me die. (I have a sneaking suspicion that he is lying to me when he agrees to this…) I’ve feared these things for as long as I can remember: when I was a little girl, with tonsillitis, a doctor once suggested that I have my tonsils removed, and I screamed the place down in horror. I still have my tonsils, needless to say – and everything else, too.

The great irony of my situation, you see, is that, despite having what the psychiatrist I was finally referred to described as the most severe case of health anxiety / hypochondria he’d ever seen, back then I was the healthiest person I knew. I’d never been hospitalised, never had an operation. Yes, I’d had the usual run of childhood illnesses, and a few doses of the flu, but nothing more serious than that.

How my health anxiety (probably) started

Why am I so scared of hospitals, then? Honestly, I don’t really know. I suspect it comes purely from observation. As a child/young adult I watched three of my grandparents go through long illnesses, including many months in hospital, and many events that are still burned on my brain, even now. In my twenties, meanwhile, Terry got kidney failure and an eventual transplant… which meant more time in hospital, and more horrific scenes. Unfortunately, most of the hospital experiences I’ve witnessed have been bad ones – some of them Very, Very Bad Indeed.

And, of course, lots of people go through this kind of stuff: I’m not trying to claim to be some kind of special snowflake here, or to say I’ve been particularly unlucky, because it could all have been so much worse. (Or some of it could, anyway. Some of it quite literally could not have been any worse: you’re just going to have to trust me on that…) For some reason, though, while most people are able to process these experiences in a rational way, I just can’t. There is nothing rational about health anxiety / hypochondria : and, for me, there’s an almost Pavlovian response to even the suggestion that I take any kind of medical test, or visit a doctor for even the simplest of reasons.

The psychiatrist didn’t help me. His main suggestion was that I try group therapy, which seemed like the worst idea ever to me (In addition to my health anxiety, I also have a generous dose of social anxiety, and I’m at the extreme end of the “introvert” scale. As I said, it’s hard for me to talk about my issues with even one person: so the idea of having to bare my soul to a group of complete strangers – who would then presumably start listing their OWN health concerns, thus giving me even MORE things to worry about – was just unthinkable to me…), so he agreed to refer me for a course of psychotherapy. “You’ll get a letter in the mail with the first appointment,” he told me. “But be warned: the current waiting list is two years…”

Amber standing underneath the cherry blossom trees on Princes Street in Edinburgh

Two. Years. I promise I’m not making this up. And honestly? I was relieved to find that I wouldn’t have to address the issue for at least two years, because, the fact was, I didn’t really want to. I didn’t want to confront my fear: mostly because the sessions, I was told, would be held in the hospital – and asking someone with health anxiety to attend hospital every week is like deciding to hold your Arachnophobiacs Anonymous meetings in the spider room at the zoo, isn’t it? It’s a bit like, “The first step to overcoming your hypochondria is to first of all overcome your hypochondria” – and that makes no sense at all, does it?

That letter never did show up: and, thankfully, it didn’t really matter, because gradually I started to get better. I don’t know why THAT happened, either: all I know is that, over time, I stopped worrying so much about my health. Yes, I had that freak out when I had to register with the new doctor three years ago, and there have been a few minor bumps in the road since then, but they’ve been small ones, and I’ve somehow managed to deal with them – I have no idea how. What I DO know is that I’d been fairly anxiety-free for several years… right up until I got pregnant.

Health anxiety and pregnancy

Pregnancy was always going to be a challenge for me, given my various issues, but, in my case, my anxiety was only increased by the fact that two of my biggest pregnancy-related fears came true, and I had a miscarriage, followed just a few weeks later by an ectopic pregnancy – which had been my biggest fear of all, and something I’d obsessed over for as long as I’d known what it was. (Which was a long time, actually: I know it’s something a lot of people just aren’t aware of, but my mum had an ectopic pregnancy a couple of years after I was born, and I’d grown up knowing that it was one of the reasons I didn’t have any brothers or sisters) In the hospital I was diagnosed in, even the nursing staff couldn’t believe that the women who’d come to them obsessing over the possibility of an ectopic pregnancy had been the one to actually end up having one, but yup, that happened: and it made my third pregnancy, five months later, one of the most difficult experiences of my life: it turns out pregnancy and hypochondria aren’t particularly good together – WHO KNEW?

Why am I telling you all of this? Because, as I said at the start of this post, health anxiety isn’t one of the “trendy” conditions. It’s not one that people really understand – or even WANT to, really, preferring to dismiss it is a bit of a joke, really.

It’s not a joke, though: or, if it is, it’s not a very funny one. So, if you, or someone you know, is suffering from hypochondria, I hope this post will help you feel a little less alone: and a little more confident that it IS possible to live with health anxiety – and even to go through something like pregnancy without (totally) losing your mind.

After all, if I can do it, anyone can…

Some helpful links for people living with hypochondria:

Anxiety UK

No Panic


Read more of my health anxiety story

11 Things Not to Say to Someone With Health Anxiety
9 Things You Only Know if You have Health Anxiety
Dealing With Focal Migraines When You Have Health Anxiety
Heath anxiety & coronavirus
Dealing with health anxiety as lockdown eases
A warm welcome back for Amber’s health anxiety

Update as at December 2022:

In the years since I published this post, I’ve had a huge number of messages from people who also live with chronic health anxiety. I’m so glad to know this post has reached so many people, and has helped some of you feel less alone in your worries, but I’m sorry to say that I’m not always able to answer all of the messages I receive, and as much as I’d love to be able to help you all overcome your fears, I have no magic formula to help overcome it, either. I’ve linked some of the other pieces I’ve written on the topic above, but although I’m fortunate to be doing OK at the moment, when the anxiety kicks in, it’s basically just a matter of dealing with it as best I can at the time, which I know is something many of you will be very familiar with already. I’m so sorry that I’m not able to offer any more useful advice, but have found the comments on this post really helpful, so would recommend giving some of them a read if you have the time!

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  • Anonymous


    I have never read something so relatable, I suffer with health anxiety. It is not massively talked about on the internet and you are right everyone rolls their eyes as soon as I mention yet another symptom or problem..thank you for describing it in such a relatable way! The rollercoaster comparison is so true.

    April 28, 2018
    • CC


      This is the first truthful blog iv read and it’s like looking in a mirror. I almost have to brace myself getting out of the car to go to a doctors appointment. I recently had blood tests and was convinced that I would get a phone call asking me to book an appointment which lead to 4 days of nearly jumping out of my skin if my phone rang or delaying going home in case they had left a voicemail on the hone phone. I try so hard to think rationally and keep saying to myself to trust my Doctor but then the thoughts take over and I start searching google for answers. Iv just submitted a online self referral for help. I feel very proud of myself for doing this but I am dreading the next step. I just wish I could wake up and look at things the way others do take each day as it comes and enjoy life.

      December 29, 2019
  • Megan Killpack


    Thank you for this story. I struggle with Health Anxiety after watching my father die of ALS, although I was really young it was engraved in my memory. I just got off of antidepressants with hopes of having a family but I have been discouraged due to my anxiety creeping back into my life. Thanks for sharing your experience, it feels good to know other people are going through or have gone through similar situations.

    May 3, 2018
  • TJ


    Thank you for writing this. My journey with health anxiety has been a long one and mirrors yours in many, many ways. It’s a relief to find someone who has experienced the same thing.

    August 2, 2018
  • anonymous


    thank you for your story I have just through anxiety and just getting better and trying to build up my life and focus on studying at this time, your story is really interesting and shows people what it is like to go through anxiety. its really good to know that other people have gone through what I have went through.

    September 7, 2018
  • Thank you for writing this. I am going through a bad patch with my health anxiety and instead of playing Dr Google this morning, I decided to search for ‘health anxiety blogs’ and came across your wonderful post. I can relate to so many of these things, including making myself sick and the paralytic fear. It’s comforting to know I am not alone. Thank you xx

    November 3, 2018
  • LT


    I’ve come back to read this a few times over the last 2 weeks. I’m currently suffering a debilitating bout of health anxiety. Mostly about lymphoma, but occasionally I hop over to heart stuff for a day or two but then head back over to lymphoma.

    I know I need to see a therapist, but first I just want all the reassurance in the world that I don’t have lymphoma (I went to the doctor yesterday in sheer panic…he was “not concerned” but also didn’t reassure me enough).

    Anyway, thanks for the relatable and, yes, often humorous look at health anxiety.

    May 8, 2019
    • HS


      Thank you for posting this. After coping with anxiety and panic disorder for years I’m just experiencing my first and most severe bout of health anxiety (that I’m aware of – pretty sure I’ve always had it) and it’s terrifying.

      I’m really struggling and I feel like it’s taking up my every waking moment so hearing that other people have been through almost exactly the same thing has made me feel the most normal and at peace I’ve felt in months.

      Thank you again!

      November 25, 2019
  • Clare


    Thank you for sharing your health anxiety story. I too am a sufferer ( I work part time and I have four children a lovely husband but an extended family who roll their eyes as soon as I utter a word regards to my worries. As as result I mainly suffer alone. In my head. I try my best to live in the moment but truthfully the joy of life is always slightly tainted – a bit like the Sunday night feeling that there is school the next day. It’s reassuring to know I am not alone and I wish you and all of us suffering some kind of mental enlightenment. Xxx

    June 13, 2019
  • Brilliantly written. Us health anxiety gang have to stick together. It is bloody horrible but I am determined to get through this blip like I’ve done before.

    June 21, 2019
  • Natasha


    Thank you so much for writing this. I’ve recently just realised that all my constant worrying and clouded days of concern are not normal and are in fact health anxiety and reading your words has made me very emotional. You described it perfectly and It’s very reassuring to know other people are going through the exact same thing as me. Thank you so much for taking the time to write this.

    August 2, 2019
  • I’ve been reading all of your Pregnancy and Parenting blog posts lately because of your tokophobia. (Thanks for giving me a term for what I feel about pregnancy!) I knew you had health anxiety and were terrified for your elective C-section (again, thank you so much for writing about that and letting me know it was an option!), but I didn’t think to search your blog for a health anxiety-specific post.

    This describes me down to the ground. It makes so much sense that it’s a form of OCD – the intrusive thoughts are real with health anxiety. Thankyouthankyouthankyou for this blog and your candid, honest, personal stories. They help so so much. I’ve bookmarked so many of your posts for if I eventually get pregnant – I’ll be re-reading them religiously.

    Also, currently going through some serious health anxiety-related fear of DVT, so this post came at exactly the right moment. You’re the best.

    August 5, 2019
  • Sarah


    I am so glad I read this. I have suffered with health anxiety on and off for a number of years. I grew up an anxious child and have suffered from excessive worrying for as long as I can remember. Social anxiety and mild ocd have been a problem too as I’ve got older.
    I find my health anxiety comes around at least once a year and can last for months. It can be triggered by any number of things (last year it was my grandad passing away) and I try to rationalise it to myself and have mixed success. I too hate going to hospitals/ the doctors mostly out of the fear I will get diagnosed with something awful.
    I have tried getting therapy for it through nhs but perhaps I wasn’t a severe enough case. I am thinking of going private as I would like to have the tools to cope with this when it rears it’s ugly head again 🙁
    It’s comforting to know that I’m not the only one who has health anxiety and fears going to the doctor- most things I’ve read say that those suffering tend to visit the doctor constantly and that never rang true for me.

    October 4, 2019
    • CR


      I’ve been googling colon cancer symptoms for weeks (before that was breast cancer and although my mammogram was normal I googled how many cases of breast cancer are missed during mammogram.) So much so that I think I’ve talked my body into having these symptoms. I’ve put off going to the dr for fear of dreadful news. I finally made an appointment last week but am terrified to go. I will not miss this appointment though because I can’t do this to my husband any longer – the constant discussion of my self diagnosed cancer. Your blog was a relief to read. Thank you for posting and being so honest. I’m sorry you’re dealing with this (as I am obviously dealing with as well) but I thank you for your honesty. I am relieved to read I’m not alone.

      January 21, 2020
  • Kirsty


    This is so good to read I suffer with health anxiety and it’s horrible nobody understands unless they have it. Thank you this is so true and I’m glad I’ve came across this to read makes me feel I’m not the only one that’s suffer and there is actually people out there that understand.
    Thanks again

    February 1, 2020
  • Dana


    Wonderfully written, 100% relatable. I started suffering in 2012 after the birth of my third child. I had many of the same worries you listed. Unlike you, I was the type to run to the doctor or ER for reassurance repeatedly (nearly daily). After being put on medication, I was able to manage my health anxiety for years. By December of 2019 I had been off of medication for 3 years when an old enemy started to appear in my life again. At this point, my doctor has dismissed me and claims I’m healthy (same happened in 2012). I am receiving counseling, hoping to get out of line on the “roller coaster of doom” you described. Thank you for sharing.

    February 26, 2020
    • Sally


      I can really relate to this. My HA did exist before kids, but it definitely got worse after pregnancy. I had a terrible 2013 thinking I had everything and after a while that settled and I was fine for a year or so then it all came back after my second child and I’m always worried about symptoms… it’s gets particularly bad if I have a couple of symptoms at one and put them all together as one a ‘sign’ of something serious. I’ve noticed I’m worse during certain parts of my cycle too- anytime there’s a bit hormonal shift I worry more. It’s awful and I feel sad for us all!

      February 27, 2020
  • Carol


    Thank you for sharing. I have just started to admit to my family that I suffer terribly from health anxiety, they are lovely but they don’t understand. I have felt desperate recently and reading about others experience really makes me feel less alone. I pray to reach a point of relief X

    March 21, 2020
  • Just come across this post now. Thank you so much for sharing, it’s really relatable. As you said health anxiety is still laughed at and isn’t “trendy”, but I feel that the more people who share their stories, the more it will help.

    I’ve had health anxiety for about 20 years. When I was 13 my grandad died of Non-Hodgkins lymphona, and also I knew two people who went to my school who died of cancer and a brain tumour. My main worry is cancer/brain tumours but also MS and even dementia/losing my mind. In 2008 I honestly thought I was losing my mind and had some form of dementia because I was forgetting things, despite being only 24 at the time. It’s a constant worry, although I have tried CBT, therapy, self help and other things over the years. I also have depression, OCD and general anxiety. In recent months the depression have been worse but every now and then the HA “spikes”.

    Thanks again for sharing. It helps to know that other people experience the same things, although of course I’m sorry that you have it too. 🙂

    April 27, 2020
  • Sally


    Thank you for sharing , as others have said it’s like finding a little island of understanding in a world where most people are kind but just don’t get it. Having a horrid bout of HA now and searched for help with HA rather than playing how long will I live once diagnosed . Unless you’ve experienced the overwhelming terror and that rollercoasters where relief is brief I don’t think you can truly understand it . Witty, emotive writing thank you ???? x

    May 5, 2020
  • Kay Caton


    Gosh, I feel like I was reading my own thoughts when reading this post. I can 100% relate to all of this. I feel like I’m currently at the peak of health anxiety; I had to go to A&E with a suspected clot in the lung – all good. One week later I had the ambulance turn up at my house with suspected cardiac symptoms – all good. I even got referred to a Cardiologist with the concern there was something bigger go on – all good. All of this was off the back of experiencing weeks of chest tightness, aching in my arms and back, shortness of breath etc. which turns out is stress, apparently.

    I’ve never been anxious over symptoms I experienced before, but after weeks of this I’ve suddenly become 10x more anxious over a small throb in my head which is likely due to the bottle of red me and husband drank, or the stomach cramp when I’m not even due my period, or even the slight tingle in my leg which is more than likely because I haven’t moved off the sofa for a couple hours to get my blood pumping.

    Thanks for sharing your story.

    Kayleigh x

    May 17, 2020
  • Sam McPherson


    This post makes me want to cry because of how similar we are. I don’t know you, but reading this gave me comfort. I have severe health anxiety and reading your list of things you felt like you had was me in 2016. My husband took me to the ER at least 6 times in 3 weeks and the primary care Dr several times too. I had blood work again and again and CT scans all coming back negative but I couldn’t stop. I was so convinced cancer was going to kill me. And then like you, I got pregnant and my worst fear, the rarest thing ever, an ectopic pregnancy happened to me. I almost passed out when I found out. My anxiety has come and gone sometimes worse than others , but now it seems to be spiking again. Fear of melanoma and I’m only 23. Its so hard because I don’t even have any weird moles but I can’t stop thinking about it. I don’t want to be constantly scared anyway, I took great comfort in hearing your story. Thank you for being brave enough to put yourself out there.

    May 20, 2020
    • J


      I understand exactly how you feel! My anxiety is currently (and has been for two years) centered on skin cancer and it is exhausting and terrifying. Have you found anything that helps you?

      June 3, 2020
  • J


    Just now coming across this post, and thank you for it. I usually forget that I’m not the only person in the world suffering from this. Mine began with watching my mother suffer and die from MS, which began a four year battle of MS fears. Right before my husband deployed, a dermatologist “helpfully” commented on a “strange” mole and suggested removal and biopsy…I was terrified and still haven’t recovered from the wait to hear that it was benign. I’m not over that fear and feel like a crazy person, searching my skin daily (sometimes hourly) and picking up on the slightest of spots. It’s exhausting, and has only gotten worse since the birth of my children. I’m convinced I’ll die and leave them motherless, like I am.

    June 3, 2020
  • Lilly


    Thank you so much for writing this. I’m 20 years old and anxiety has been consuming my life… especially during the pandemic. I’ve worried about MS, lymphoma, breast cancer, brain tumour, kidney problems, liver problems and so many more.

    July 4, 2020
  • Kylie


    I’m so grateful for reading this blog. I’m suffering from what I can only call as extreme Health Anxiety! I’ve just started seeing a Pyschologist to start CBT to see if that will help.
    I have my 3rd baby 9 months ago and since the start of the year I’m convinced I have MS. I have had an MRI done of my brain, neck and spine – all clear. Neurologist has confirmed this plus he did nerve studies…. still no one can convince me I don’t have it. It’s debilitating!!! It’s all I think about.
    I would love to hear some success stories of what people have done to overcome their health anxiety.

    July 12, 2020
  • Kate


    Thank you for writing all this. It is a relief when you hear other people describing how you’ve felt for years and acknowledge that many people laugh or get exasperated at it still. I’m the opposite in I’m the kind that wants to, and has, ran to the doctors as soon as I notice something but everything else is spot on for me. Being consumed with worry about one case, asking for reassurance from whoever won’t be annoyed by it and then once I feel better about that it’s on to something else I will worry about.

    Not just me but worrying about others’ health too can be equally if not more exhausting and upsetting as at least you’re in control of yourself and how you handle it.

    Thank you for writing this and giving many people something relatable.

    July 13, 2020
    • Sofi


      I am so relived I come across this blog!! I have just turned 23 and since I 18 I have suffered with crippling health anxiety, I really tend to avoid anything ‘health’ related. I can’t remember the last time I went to the doctors as I am just convinced they will find something severely wrong with me. I have also convinced myself over the years I have all different types of terminal illnesses, even a rash automatically equals some form of serious skin condition (in my head) and I struggle to rest until it eventually clears up by itself. It really is the worst form of anxiety to have to deal with day in day out. Any type of health related check ups I avoid, I even now have a massive phobia of the dentist which has come out of the blue! This health anxiety has caused me to have major tokophobia and I struggle to believe that I’ll ever have kids in the future due to it even though I’d really love children, it’s more the thought of being pregnant and loosing complete control over my body and the bump that scares me! Health anxiety makes me feel like the biggest drama queen and I feel as though no one takes it seriously! Once again I’m so glad I have this blog as it’s really helped me feel so less isolated!

      July 22, 2020
  • Lauren


    Omg this is my life its so accurate. My health anxiety started last year after finding a lump in my breast. Fibro adenoma. Now my life is just obsessed with finding things. Today I’ve spent a full day touching my lymph nodes and I swear I’ve been prodding that much I don’t even know what I’m feeling anymore. My whole day has just revolved around my lymph nodes I feel sick. The other week I was obsessed with checking my breasts for an hour and a half. It’s a vicious cycle everyday. I need to see a doc. Thank you for speaking about this

    July 23, 2020
  • CC


    Thanks so much for posting this. I have health anxiety too. It is very difficult to talk about and for people to understand. One thing, though. Health anxiety and hypochondria are two distinct conditions. People think they are the same, but they’re not. Health anxiety is a heightened response to health issues whereas people suffering from hypochondria are calm when they find things wrong.

    September 8, 2020
  • FeeD


    I can so relate to this honest and thought provoking blog. I am 49 this week and I have had major episodes since I was 40. I have no idea why but I have experienced trauma and I had 3 v difficult births- One of which I ended up in ICU. Anyway since I have been 40 I have been convinced that I have liver cancer, breast cancer, tonsil cancer, and bowel cancer. I have had the bllods checked, the scans and a colonoscopy. Then I am usually ok for a while. COVID has not helped at all though. A few weeks ago I had more symptoms- thought it was either ovaries or liver so GP sent me for pelvic and abdominal US. The results of the abdominal US came back to GP on Friday saying that there is a “minor abnormality” in pancreas head so he is referring me for an MRI but said he doesn’t think it’s a major problem. I however am now fairly certain I have pancreatic cancer. It’s all so scary and draining. I went for CBT before and it did help but I think this is going to be me for always…….. I hope I am wrong about my current self diagnosis. It is a small relief to know that there are actually other people like this and that I’m not (totally!) crazy! x

    September 29, 2020
  • Vanessa


    Thankyou for writing this. I’ve just read this post and comments and teared up. I’ve never read something so relatable to me. Im constantly worrying about my health, the slightest symptom and I’m determined its cancer. The past 2 months or so have been exhausting, I’ve convinced myself I have colon cancer, i have so many of the symptoms. I finally reached out to my gp this week and due to coronaviris he wasnt willing to see me and just told me its unlikely to be colon cancer due to only being 25. This gives me no relief what so ever. I’m so fed up of feeling this way I just want to enjoy life again without the constant dread and checking myself. I never open up to anyone, I broke down to my partner recently and his words were ” he cant be with someone like this all the time”. I understand it must be annoying for him but it isnt something you can switch off. This is probably the worst I’ve been in such a long time and I feel like my mind is spiralling out of control. I hope like you one day I can learn to overcome this! Xx

    October 18, 2020
  • Susan



    Just came across this blog today whilst looking for Health Anxiety forums. I am 46 and a mother of three and for the last few years I have had crippling health anxiety. It has been truly awful and although I am much better than I was a couple of months ago(nearly got sectioned) it is still a constant daily battle. My biggest fear is the dreaded C word…..Cancer. Suffice to say that every twinge, every pain, every lump and bump is worst case scenario. I am also peri menopausal so this has only made things worse due to fluctuating hormone levels. There is no rationalising with my brain on the days that things get really bad. Although I know that these thoughts are totally irrational there is just no way of controlling them when things really get out of hand. My husband has been an absolute saint putting up with the daily task of having to reassure me that I am not dying of cancer. This week it has been esophageal cancer and throat cancer due to a sore throat and watching a programme about someone who had it and convincing myself that I had those symptoms. Grim.

    It has been reassuring to me that to read some of these comments and to learn that I am not alone. It is so lonely isn’t it? Thank you for posting so wonderfully about a very misunderstood illness. There still isn’t enough research being done about this particular illness so blogs like this really help raise awareness xx

    October 31, 2020
  • LizzieLeedsgirl


    I always go to this blog whenever I am going through a Health Anxiety episode. Reading the posts by so many going through the same irrational thought processes as I do is very comforting.
    My HA started following the death of my Mum 6 years ago. Every so often something will crop up that sets me off and I become a jibbering wreck.
    Sheer terror is the only way I can describe these spikes and I know that when it is resolved another episode will be waiting in the wings.
    It has been so helpful to read all the stories on this blog and to be able to see a lighter side to this awful affliction. So glad I am not alone in this – thank you.

    November 18, 2020
  • Bill


    you have no idea how your story resonated with me, it is me and I’m so glad I’ve found I’m not alone.
    I suppose my HA seed was planted along time ago by my father, who I now know also suffers from HA. he used to talk about Cancer being in the family alot but when i was young i just shrugged my shoulders ” that’s what old people get” but the thought was there for years later.
    I was fine until my early 30s when a sequence of stressors released the demon. we had just had our first child, I had switched jobs to a more senior position to support our family and the crashing blow strangely enough was when I was asked to be a best man at my friends wedding. The compounded responsibility triggered the HA in me. It first started with waking with numb hands, now normally I would just brush that off but I started to focus on it, research it and down the rabbit hole I went, from early onset parkinsons to motor neurons disease and the obvious cancer. it consumed me I would dismiss anything that didnt aline with I am seriously ill.
    my poor wife didnt know what to do other than attempt to reassure me I was ok, but my constant rants and fearful outbursts ground her down to just tell me I need to go to the doctors.
    I went there obviously in a bad state after weeks of convincing myself I had something terminally wrong with me , he sent my bloods off and a passing comment of we need to check for diabetes sent me further down. I was convinced telling my wife I had it before any results came back. my life at this time I can only describe as being behind a veil, I was there but not fully. my mind was constantly clouded with fear and it stayed that way for months. The tests all came back clear but that wasnt enough for me. they’d missed it, they didnt check my kidneys it’s a sign of cancer, my liver they never checked that. more and more internet feeding the monster.
    After several months I regained my old self but it’s always there waiting, any ache or twinge that dosnt go in a few days screams Cancer at me and then the googling starts to reinforce it. back ache becomes liver,pancreatic, kidney cancer. internet says things like ‘ early onset shows no symptoms ‘ I’m convinced it’s been there for ages but I never knew. I would actually contort my body to see if I could still feel the scary pain I felt 2 days early and if I did …boom.
    I know this will always be a part of me and I’m a big talker to anyone who will listen but when I’m bad I think I just wear people down with it.
    I’m so happy to have read your post, it’s made a big difference to me, more than you would know and made me question my paranoid thoughts because I know I’m not the only one now.
    HA is horrendous and is an illness of sorts. it’s a compulsion and I think in the same family as OCD the more we talk about this the better we will all be.
    love to you all.

    November 21, 2020
  • Claire


    Thank you so much for this. I have struggled with HA for a number of years on and off but became more intense this year a month after my mum died of bowel cancer. Since then I have ‘had’ bowel cancer, MS, breast cancer, heart attack after minor electric shock and potential heart damage a month later when turned light on and bulb burned out. I am a doctor visiting person and now embarrassed to ring them because I know how many times I have spoken to them recently. It is exhausting. NHS referrals are on wait lists at the moment. Trying to find a private one. I feel like I am worrying my life away. Thank you all for your stories it is a lonely thing to manage. Claire

    December 6, 2020
  • susan gallagher


    I can so relate! Had health anxiety almost as long as I remember – latterly more terror of cancer. I focus on one body part./perceived symptom then, when I feel reassured, will turn to another, (and likely re-visit previous one). Sometimes more than one at a time. I’m also afraid of what medical tests/checks will reveal, or that there could be a inaccurate diagnosis and I will go through needless procedures. When I have the blood test to check thyroxine levels to ensure I have the right dose, (I have the common condition hypothyroidism), I insist they only check that, but still really stress out waiting for results. I am scared of what they will find, and if they find a slight variation in blood factors and want me to take ‘meds I don’t need, even though I know this would normally be checked further. With our family history it is clear I would be far more prone to CVA’s than cancer, but, although of course those scare me, it isn;t the same level of sheer terror I have about cancer. I’m also scared of being over-medicated, (no problems with taking thyroxine or the ‘vit. D capsules I was prescribed as those only put in what should be there anyway). Had a bad time with ‘med side effects a decade ago – called it my “Iatrogenic nightmare” so stopped the blood pressure pills and refused to try any others, stopped the statins, (I feel “normal” cholestrol levels are more varied than current guidelines), and also stopped the steroid injections for raised scars, which caused post-menopausal bleeding – that was checked out and I was losing my mind! My doctor is very sympathetic thank goodness. She suggested beta-blockers to help with my anxiety and blood pressure – I told her I’d take arsenic first – that would work as I wouldn’t have those problems if I was dead! (Luckily she has a sense of humour)!!

    December 20, 2020
  • Anne


    You all have described my life perfectly. It started when I was 16 and has ruled my life for the past 18 years. It has cost me relationships, and sucked the joy out of wonderful things in my life. It is so hard to explain to people how I can go years (YEARS!!) convinced I have some horrible disease, because I am too afraid of actually being diagnosed with it to see a doctor. It’s exhausting and paralyzing. I have no plans for the future because my anxiety won’t let me believe I’ll be alive for long enough for those plans to come to fruition. The times between spikes are so, so sweet, but inevitably, something always triggers it again and I am back down the rabbit hole. I have a scary scary diagnostic procedure this week and I can’t differentiate between my symptoms and my anxiety anymore. I have been working in therapy and reading Buddhist teachings about mindfulness and fear, which has helped a bit. I hope we can all experience peace and tranquility soon. So much love to you all!

    January 11, 2021
  • Anya


    This post has been a saviour for me today. I have had some scary physical symptoms for some time now for which I automatically assume the worst…a lifelong debilitating condition, only to finally have an appointment with a private consultant in a few days as NHS wait list is just not an option. I am petrified of the wait (3 MORE DAYS?!?), how mad I am going to go in that time and actually going to my appointment. What if they have to run further tests? Oh the absolute terror.
    I cannot function, I am having anxiety attacks multiple times per day, I cannot sleep, eat or think straight. I am so in-tune with my body sensations that I go into a state of panic at the slight twitch, ache or tingle. I feel like I am stressing out my boyfriend and I don’t know how to handle my thoughts.
    It’s reassuring to hear that others have gone through similar situations and that I am not alone.
    Thank you for putting this out there and for the others who have commented.
    X x

    January 17, 2021
  • Mary Anne


    Thank you so much for sharing your story to let others know they are not alone. I have had Health Anxiety for most of my life and I am not young now. It is my ever present companion. I lost my father in a tragic accident in 1984, watched my mom nurse my bed-ridden grandmother for 8 years, cared for my mother who had a terminal chondrosarcoma of the bone in the spine for 4 years- full time, after my mom died my very close aunt (mother’s sister) died of ovarian cancer, and two years later her daughter dies of pancreatic cancer. Many losses in a somewhat short period of time. I like you avoid the doctor at all cost and do not want to know what is wrong with me, as I can’t stand the thought of waiting for the test results and all of the what-ifs that will follow if there is something wrong. I somewhat fear death as an unknow, but I love the Lord and believe he does have a place prepared for me and I will live with him. I like you do not want any parts of the dying process. I have gone through many treatments, regular psychiatrist, CBT Therapy and a PTSD therapist – she helped me with many other things in my life and made things clearer as to how I came to suffer from the Health Anxiety, but it did not take it away. Four years ago, I went to a new GP doctor asking for some relieve from the anxiety and all she did was take my family history, pressed on my stomach, checked my heart and lungs and then proceeded to tell me that as a new patient I needed to get all of this blood work done, a colonoscopy, visit a gynecologist, mammogram, etc. For someone that was not suffering from HA this might have been acceptable, my head was spinning and { felt like I was going to die right in the office in front of her. I tried to explain my feelings and all she said before I could even get a fourth of what was on my mind out was “I may not be the clinician for you as you do not want to be compliant in what I am asking you to do. You have a huge family history of cancer so it is not will you develop cancer but when”. She also told me that the only reason she thought I came to see her was because I wanted legal prescription drugs for my habit. I was dumbfounded, shocked and totally speechless. I thanked her for her time and said I was leaving. She then said “there are less invasive ways to check for cancer as well”. I walked out the door, feeling like I had escaped the twilight zone. I went out to my car and just cried. Never in my life did I expect a doctor to talk to me like that. Someone who was always careful about what medications I put into my body and you tell me I came to your office to get drugs. I went to her office to get help with out of control anxiety. What doctor tells you that you are going to get cancer? Needless to say you can guess how I was after that episode. Almost a year to the date I developed blood in my stool (my big fear is colon cancer), so I mustered up the courage and called another doctor. She was very pleasant and I explained up front my feelings (with tears) and told her that I had not seen anymore blood except for that day and that I thought it was just hemorrhoids (which she agreed). She was very concerned about my mental health and immediately got the mental health therapist in the practice to see me. This was all good, but before I walked out the door she slammed me with I need blood work done and a colonoscopy because you are a new patient and can you get that soon. What did she just miss here from our conversation? I needed someone to take it slow and easy with me. I never did get either, but did end up doing the CBT which did help somewhat but not with the Health Anxiety. I went into this detail because I feel like doctors do not know how to deal with people like us.
    After falling and breaking an ankle and thinking about going to the hospital it sent me into a flash back about my mother and I ended up in PTSD -EMDR Therapy. It was wonderful in many ways and I guess in a small way has helped with the Health Anxiety. I have been in a full blown episode since October when my daughter-in-laws father was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer, I got a case of Covid /pneumonia (did not go to the hospital) and then the death of my daughter-in-laws father. I developed in the last week back pains in the ribs and shoulder blades. Consulted Dr. Google to find out that it could be a problem with my organs, as I have done nothing to have muscle pains and aches. So I have imagined every type of cancer while I suffer with the random pains all over my upper back. I am driving my husband crazy. Of course I think it is colon cancer because I have IBS and it all just leads to a vicious cycle and it all leads you back to I am dying, but too scared to seek medical attention for what I may find out. How irrational is all of that? It makes me upset because I know what the rational thing to do is and I can’t make myself do it. Rather I sit here and suffer through it and die or I go to the doctors and they tell you it is terminal, the end result is the same. I get so upset with myself because I can’t turn this hellish nightmare off. I get upset with myself because I love the Lord and I claim to put my faith and trust in him, but I really am not. I have been telling myself that there is a time to be born and a time to die and we cannot live for ever – that is truth. I can hold on to truth. If we could just turn off the what-ifs. I have had too many experiences watching people with cancer die and that is the problem it is imprinted in my memory cells. I don’t want my husband and kids to watch me die like I have watched others. The reality of that is that I can’t control what happens to me at all and I can’t control how they deal with what happens to me – so I hold on to that truth, no matter if it is unpleasant, it is truth. I also know God will give me his grace when I am dying and it will be sufficient to get me through – that is truth. I just feel like I have wasted so much of my life on this stupid worrying all of the time and have let it consume my life and irritate my husband. I do not know if I have something terrible with this pain in my back but I am hoping and praying not. I know you all know how I feel and to be able to share with like minded people is a blessing. I wish you all of the best in your journey with this terrible affliction and thank the writer of the blog for her honesty and sharing her story.

    February 15, 2021
    • Jessica


      I too am a Christian and I suffer extreme health anxiety!

      October 17, 2022
  • Caitlin


    Reading this blog and everyone’s stories has been a weight off my shoulders. I cannot sleep at night as I’m crippled with fear that I do not wake up. I am 23 year old female and over the last 3/4 years my anxiety has gotten worse. I have crossed every condition- cervical cancer, skin cancer, DVT, brain tumours, the list is endless. I tend to get a symptom and focus on it for WEEKS and it even sometimes gets worse (I’ve read tht anxiety can make you actually become the symptom) and then I find something new to focus on. Currently I am crippled with fear that I have breast cancer – over nothing really. I think about the future and think I can’t get excited about it in case I die or have cancer and can’t live life fully. It consumes my thoughts. No one understands – my family, friends, boyfriend – they all think I’m overreacting. I have tried therapy- it did not help:( I feel helpless. And I now avoid everything to do with health / illness – but work in a hospital so feel like this could be making it worse. It is a comfort to know you are not alone- makes you feel less “crazy”.

    February 24, 2021
  • Sydney


    Thank you so, so much for this post. I have yet to see someone so closely mirror my exact level of health anxiety (and our list of self-‘diagnosed’ illnesses is pretty much the same verbatim). I’m in the midst of it right now. Last week, I had blood labs and a CT showing normal. This week, I went back to the hospital to ask them if they are *sure* the CT didn’t ‘miss’ something. I’m a run-towards-the-hospital kind of gal. Today, my achievement was not googling symptoms all day. Baby steps. It’s very reassuring to know I am not alone. Thank you!

    March 15, 2021
  • Maureen


    Hi Everyone. I’ve had HA for over 40 years. My brother died when I was five and by age 10, I was convinced I had leukemia. Anyway, I am not working now and focusing on my HA full time. All those years of working, focusing on my kid, and tossing back wine on the worst days, just put off the inevitable. It’s time for me to talk to my brain and tell it to knock off this nonsense. It’s not true what it’s trying to get me to believe. I want to only keep up with the tests recommended by the medical association and make my only job to talk back to my brain about the false messaging. And, I’ve found out that even a drink a day just fans the flames for me. Hang in there HA friends! I hope we can stop this because at the end of our lives (and we will probably all live a very long time; there was a study that showed people with HA do since we test everything), we’re going to be bummed that we spent it this way.

    March 31, 2021
  • Niamh


    i cannot believe how many people are going through the exact same thing as me. it’s crazy because HA feels like the most isolating problem but in reality there are so many of us in the same boat. the pandemic has made my problem worse as i have been unable to distract myself with things and spend a lot of time on my phone thus turning to google (the worst thing to do). for the past few months i convinced myself i have breast cancer and then started imagining symptoms that completely stop once i am not focused on them. i even had a virtual drs appt because of it which reassurred me at first but then i started thinking ‘well she didn’t do a physical exam so what if she missed something’ then sometimes i worry i have a brain tumour or an undetectable cancer that is slowly spreading through me and it just never ends. i find that keeping myself busy is the only thing to help slightly but i have also been referred for cbt by a great organisation so i’m hoping that this will help me deal with my thoughts when HA occurs.

    April 8, 2021
  • Christy


    I thank all of you for sharing your stories. I believe I have health anxiety, even though I believe the doctor when he tells me there is nothing physically wrong with me. But then, after some time has passed, I start feeling sensations and believe I must have developed an illness since I was last checked or that somehow the doctor missed it last time. I know exactly where my health anxiety comes from. When I was seven, my father had bypass surgery. From then until his death 22 years later, it seemed like he always had some dangerous illness. I always believed he was on the verge of dying, and I believed his death would be the worst thing that could ever happen to me. Since his death fifteen years ago, I’ve gone through several periods of believing that something was wrong with my heart, and I had the physical sensations to go with it. I also have Generalized Anxiety Disorder, so I’m often kind of a mess.

    April 23, 2021
  • Shamina


    I had tears in my eyes reading the article and all these comments. Thank you for all your brave people for sharing your stories.

    I pray we can all stick together and overcome this somehow somewhere ❤️ I have been suffering from health anxiety since I was 13 but it has gotten really bad in the course of the pandemic. No one take it seriously because they just don’t understand you either want to see a doctor or you don’t. But somehow you get advised to seek therapy or take medication. But this.. this is a part of us that some people will never understand. Please stay strong ❤️

    May 6, 2021
  • Kristina


    Thank you so much for sharing this. I am currently going through this exact situation, your story and the “possible” things that you thought were wrong with you are almost identical to me. I am struggling to function, and finally went to the doctors and had some anxiety medication prescribed. Your story has helped me know I’m not alone.

    August 31, 2021
  • Simona


    Honestly… when I began to read this I thought: “Why even bother reading this ? It’s not like you will ACTUALLY learn something new …”. Because I always felt as if I am alone in this. My father is an OBGYN (but still I always fear that I have problems with my reproductive health or that I will not have children), my mum is a nurse and everyone is wondering how can I suffer from health anxiety!
    Do you really think I will call my parents to tell them I’m sick because I have muscle cramps ?! Do you actually?

    My partner is on the opposite side: doesn’t worry about things like that. And he, and my best friend, are the only people I can actually talk to.
    At first, they reassure me, but then it’s not enough. I think to myself: “They’re not doctors, so go to the doctor !” Sure, if I wasn’t terrified of hospitals and doctors, and needles

    However, thank you for sharing your story and helping me realise that I’m not the only one and that there is always a solution.

    September 9, 2021
  • Ashleigh butturini


    I can’t even begin to tell you how much your article and these comments have made me feel, I’m 23, My nan just died of pancreatic cancer and breast cancer, and since she had been diagnosed it triggered my health anxiety and sent it through the roof. I went to my GP and he told me I was fine, but didn’t do any tests and said I was okay but In my head I was thinking “how would he know he can’t see inside of my body”. Fast forward to 3 months later, my nan passed away. And this hit me like a tonne of bricks, I had convinced myself that I had breast cancer and could feel a lump and ended up making myself so sick over it I rushed myself to the emergency room at the hospital to speak to a lady doctor to check my boobs, I also had a ultrasound and everything was clear. That made me feel at ease for a little bit, but here and there I have days where I make myself sick over worrying about myself, or my families health. Tomorrow I’m getting a blood test just to do a regular check up, and I am absolutely terrified of what might come up. No body understands, everyone just tells me to think positive and that I’m over thinking. But, lucky for me after I do get things checked I do feel more at peace, but this is a new step I have learnt to take as I have avoided going to the doctors for years and years as I was scared of finding out if there was something wrong with me. I’m so mentally exhausted and I feel like it is consuming my happiness completely. I am also a student nurse so I am focusing on my health so I can help others.

    September 15, 2021
  • Akath


    I can relate so much for this post -thank you for sharing. Just re-read it for the second time after another sleepless night!

    December 27, 2021
  • Sue


    Thank you. I could be reading about me I tick all the boxes. It’s awful and taking over life. Being happy is all I want and to relax and laugh and not worry.

    January 1, 2022
  • Sue


    Just me… your blog could be me. Thank you for sharing,

    January 1, 2022
  • Meg Perdue


    Thank you so much! I am crying my eyes out, but it’s okay. I just realized I am not alone.

    April 5, 2022
  • Laken


    I’m so thankful you wrote this post. I found your blog through a list of style bloggers, but couldn’t help but click on this article when I saw the title. I suffer from health anxiety, too, and reading this helped me put my thoughts into words in a way I hadn’t before. And the realization that someone else has felt this way before and has improved helps more than you might think. So thank you!

    April 8, 2022
  • Jill


    I have read and re read this post many times as I have been suffering so badly over the past 7/8 months worrying about taking cancer especially ovarian cancer and leaving my daughter with no mummy.It’s breaking my heart and I feel so alone but knowing that so many people are going through the same torment makes me feel less alone as most people cannot understand.How have you managed to get through and deal with it all the thoughts??x

    July 23, 2022
  • Brittany


    Having health anxiety and going through the fertility journey is pure hell. I am so grateful that I found this article and your blog. This process can feel so isolating and seeing everyone else’s comments it reminds me that I’m not alone or the only one that goes through this. Hugs to everyone!

    August 6, 2022
  • Tom


    I’ve had GAD for around 10 years now (I’m now 28) and a couple of years ago started to realise I also have health anxiety to which lately has been to me, pretty extreme. It started two years ago when my partner had a giant cyst removed from above her womb which pregnancy hormones were making grow. She had an operation and this was benign and thankfully our beautiful boy was born 20 weeks later. During that time I was adamant she had cancer and I was going to lose her and learn to parent on my own, sleepless nights, couldn’t eat and couldn’t even sit and watch tele without needing to get out the room and walk. This died down gradually over the next couple of weeks. A year later my Step grandma was diagnosed with breast cancer and at the same time my mum was having blood tests and MRI scans after certain health issues. I thought this was it, I’m going to lose my mum with cancer and my Nan with cancer. I had counselling again and this and my medication took the edge off but it was still constantly on my mind, every story or advert I heard/saw about cancer just reminded me what I was about to lose. Fast forward a few weeks and my grandma has had her breast removed and is cancer free and although my mum is still having regular blood tests, the doctors are sure she has auto immune disease.
    Fast forward again 5 months and now it’s my turn… I developed back pain and a dull ache in my right testicle in early October this year, was told it was an infection and after an examination of my testicles I was given antibiotics. After the two doses of antibiotics the dull ache would still crop up a few times throughout the day, the doctors booked me in for a scan to be on the safe side, which was booked in for 5 weeks later. Luckily I was in a good frame of mind for a few weeks and was busy with work, fishing and home life and I didn’t have the ache for 2-3 weeks leading into the start of December. After waking up with very bad hangover after my works Christmas party, the ache was there and back again and like someone had flicked a switch I was in full blown anxiety mode. For the next few days I was convinced I had testicular cancer and I was going to die and my son was going to grow up without me. I got the scan rushed forward because I could not sleep, eat or focus on anything whatsoever apart from the fact my mind was telling me I am going to die. I had the scan (cried the whole way there, waiting and during the scan) but the lovely lady who did the scan told me straight away after checking my testicles and kidneys that there was nothing there at all. I had three days of peace (and surprisingly no more dull ache in my testicle) when I now I noticed a aching in my grown and my leg… which I’m currently still dealing with at the moment which I keep fighting with myself with every minute of everyday that I have some sort of cancer that is blocking circulation to my leg or groin or something like that. Taking each day hour by hour but just hoping and praying for some relief. I just want to wake up and look forward to the day ahead, be happy and live a happy life!
    Thank you for your post, it really helped me this morning.

    January 1, 2023
  • Jay


    Thank you for sharing this.

    March 13, 2023