Health Anxiety | A day in the life
You may heard of health anxiety before. Maybe you’ve heard it called hypochondria. Maybe you’ve even joked about someone being a hypochondriac because they worrying about that cold they had. But take it from me, waking up everyday with that relentless anxiety spinning around your head can be debilitating.
So to give you a bit of an insight into what it’s like to deal with health anxiety, I wanted to give you a bit of a day in the life on one of the more troublesome days.
A day in the life of a health anxiety sufferer…
I wake up, and head to the shower. As I get undressed I see that mole on my arm. The one I have had checked million of times and been told it’s nothing to worry about. But right now, in this moment, I am convinced that it is cancer. I brush it off and try to take my mind of it in the shower, but now, with the water running over it, I can feel its presence even more strongly. My relaxing shower has now turned into a chamber of anxious rumination! All of a sudden, the water goes cold, and I realise I have just spent close to half an hour completely zoned out and worrying under the running water. Alas, it is now time to get dressed and head to work. I was going to wear that nice sleeveless top of mine. But I’m afraid if I do that I may end up spending the entire day looking at and feeling my arm, rather than actually working. I guess I will go for that knitted jumper instead. At least then it’s hidden from my sight. Out of sight out of mind right?….
Well now I am at work. I mean the jumper kind of worked, I’m not thinking about my mole right now. I do have a bit of a headache though. I bet it’s a brain tumour. Oh shit I definitely have a brain tumour, it’s probably linked to that mole on my arm! I know, I will google it. Google always has the answer!
(Now is about the time when the mother of all panic attacks will start to take a hold of the situation, after I have spent a countless number of hours scrolling through WebMD.. DON’T EVER GO ON WEBMD! TRUST ME!)
Well Google confirmed it. I’m dying. Now my heart is racing, so if this brain tumour wasn’t going to kill me, maybe this heart attack will! Oh shit now I’m panicking, time to go for a walk outside, get some fresh air and try to calm down.
Now, it’s the end of the day and I’m getting ready to go home. I don’t know where the rest of my day went, but I spent most if it in my own head just going through the motions and now I’m exhausted. I drive home, eat my dinner, and almost immediately go to bed. At least when I’m sleeping I’m not worrying about my health. The only problem is those few moments before I fall asleep, where I begin to wonder again if I am sick and don’t know it, and question whether I will even wake up tomorrow.. oh man this is going to be a long night isn’t it… Eventually, within this anxiety cycle somewhere I manage to doze off, then wake up the next day and start it all over again.