What It’s Really Like To Struggle With Health Anxiety

February 24, 2016

health anxietyWhat’s It like To Have Health Anxiety For 6 Years You May Be Asking…

It was a long six years dealing with GAD and health anxiety. My morning routine was usually the same each day:

I woke up and felt relief that I was still alive. Checked if the pounding feeling and pain in my chest was still there, which it was. Staggered to the bathroom, holding on to something due to the unsteadiness that constant health anxiety causes. Looked in the mirror and noticed how God-awful I looked, and wondered what the hell my fiancée saw in me.

This was followed by a morning shower.

Thinking about how I would ever get through the day, working on my fake smile and personality so I could stay positive enough to keep my tennis coaching position on the side. As well as get a few hours of tennis training in.

Then I would go over how much I dreaded seeing everyone I would have to come into contact with that day. In the end, the worry and fear process would be chugging along full speed ahead, with no relief from health anxiety in sight.

A simple walk in the park where someone looked at me a second too long and the anxiety cycle would begin. All of a sudden I would start looking out for people that stared too long from the fear of being judged for something like my clothes, or the way I walked.

Being at a shopping mall where a sales clerk would ask, “Can I help you with something?” A desensitized person would realize that this was her job, and she gets paid to help customers.

I would say, “No thank you, I’m just looking,” but really I would be thinking, “Why am I being pressured to buy something! If I needed her help I would ask for it! Geez, I hate pushy people!”

This usually started the cycle of anxiety and panic attacks…

It’s like a bad tennis match when plan A, B, and C are all failing miserably and you just can’t stop. What usually followed was either a slight cough, my usual spitting routine, cracking my knuckles, and the most popular one of them all, nail biting. Quickly, thoughts became negative and fearful, which manifested into some kind of physical symptom of anxiety – extreme dizziness, heart palpitations, and migraines, in my case which leads to leaving the park or mall as soon as possible!

Then came the shortness of breath, followed by feeling like I was dying, the worst feeling I’ve ever felt in my life and wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.

truth about health anxietyAfter that someone would call the emergency, landing me in a bed next to people I was starting to know quite well. This was due to the fact I was there an average of 2 days a week due to my constant health anxiety.

As if general anxiety isn’t enough, it morphs and creates brand new tennis court surfaces to play on. The anxious cycle never seems to end. Agoraphobia is avoiding places that can cause unusual panic attacks and anxiety for a person, and boy did I have a long list of places to avoid in my mid-20s to early 30s.

Not only would certain places trigger these emotional reactions that led to more panic attacks and chronic anxiety, but it was also food, drinks, people, pets, and even music. To a person that doesn’t suffer from GAD or Panic Disorder, having a beer on a warm day on the patio is as relaxing as lying next to the ocean listening to the sound of the waves. However, for me, having a glass of beer would bring up memories of another incident where I had found myself in the ER, or shaking in uncontrollable fear in bed at home.

So I avoided it at all costs, but being a very part time tennis coach as well it was difficult to say no to a client who wanted to share a few beers after a tennis lesson or a group session. Thinking it would be rude to say no, I would attend these get-togethers and have a few beers.

Once in a while people would ask me if I was alright after my first beer, because I would be so stricken with fear that another deadly scenario would happen that night and my panic attacks would set in. Next thing I knew, the physical sensations of anxiety would come back. I would get extremely dizzy again and around and around the anxious cycle would go. My mind quickly associated alcohol to feelings of panic, and it didn’t matter how many drinks I had.

The Health Anxiety Spiral Continued… 

I remember one day walking around on my day off from work on a beautiful weekend, feeling absolutely exhausted. Even though I had a good eight hours of sleep and a healthy breakfast. I was thinking to myself that something was terribly wrong, why was I feeling as if the world was like a dream?

That day I realized that I had been hit with the experience of de-personalization and de-realization, the sense that the world had become less real and lacking in significance. I dragged myself around in a sort of daze, almost like being on a street drug.

People were walking past me but it felt as if I was in a dream and this wasn’t real. This off balance, unreal feeling had kicked in so badly that I would act in ways that I never thought I would.

My thoughts spiraled so far out of control that one day I knew that if I didn’t make some drastic changes in my life in every aspect, then I was headed down a road that deep down I didn’t want to be on.

I Was At A Crossroads.

While I wanted to change, part of me was comfortable. GAD and health anxiety was my comfort zone. My mind said if I don’t worry about these things and don’t take care of these threats around me, I would lose complete control. If I lost control that would lead to the ultimate fear that being a hypochondriac brings, which is an early death.

And so it reached a point where my mind was in full on fight or flight mode from the minute I woke up, to the minute I went to sleep. On top of all the physical manifestations that health anxiety brought, now I was also stuck in this dream-like trance all day. My daily life was affected in every way, and people noticed.

*Watch This Video – The Truth About Health Anxiety You’ll Never Hear Anywhere 

Sometimes my fiancee Robyn would be talking to me and mention something that would be important for me to remember, but of course it didn’t register because I was too busy keeping an eye on my physical symptoms of anxiety and how I was feeling. It must have been so frustrating for someone that close to me trying to understand what was really going on, and have a regular conversation with. Instead, this man, this love of your life, has turned into a mute who is clearly miserable and with no end in sight.

Thankfully, That No End In Sight Part Wasn’t True At All. I Found The Will-Power And The Knowledge That No One Told Me About Before To End My Health Anxiety Naturally!

It pains me to see other people now suffering from health anxiety, generalized health anxietyanxiety disorder, panic attacks, and depression because I know what they are going through. It may have first started for many because of the pressure to “fit in,” or the feeling in your body that felt odd, or scary, or a recurring traumatic event that becomes difficult to forget.

To those people I say that you can grow stronger from this pain if you don’t let it completely destroy you. I am living proof to everyone in this world that the true way to success through severe health anxiety, is to get the right team around you.

A team that won’t quit until you have completely desensitized yourself from your fears, and have gotten your life back once and for all.

This Is My Goal For You. 

Ready To End Your Health Anxiety Naturally? Join the #1 CBT Based Program Today. 

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22 comments on “What It’s Really Like To Struggle With Health Anxiety

  1. mohanned Feb 28, 2016

    having GAD constantly when I wake up in morning until I go to sleep, when I get up I feel depressed want to cry, then I get depersonalization for a while then it shift to physical anxiety … full body numbess short of breath dizzy very scared tremendous fear. preak and go down whole day long. some time I accept it sometime the fear comes all of sudden and controls me , but I stay still, before I used to run away or calling friend or even txting when it hht strongely, but now been for 2 months not calling anybody or flee I depend on my self. as u said dennis it takes time and depends on u acceptance and noy being aafraid and facing it. problem only whenever I want to travel it hit v strong when dead line conmes I get full panic attack I force my self and travel with my family I take with me anxiety its uncomfortable but when I get home I feel I have accomplished good thing, but after aperoid when I think of travel again it comes again I don’t know why my mind should be programmed to face fear I don’t know maybe it taked a lot of travelling . even if I want buy a car my mind plays with me telling me maybe u anxiety will get worse then u will resigned from u job and u have to pay for instalment no money . makes like negative story , so wht do u recommend thx

    • I have a feeling you’re on the right track Mohanned. I suggest you begin on the anxiety guy podcast right away, catch up on those episodes. It’s always nice to relate to someone else’s experiences and suggestions. There’s also a great video on YouTube outlining the 6 steps to end GAD. HERE it is. Understand and begin applying these steps today and with persistence you’ll get there.

  2. Franklin London Mar 27, 2016

    Very good article. My mind races all the time and I feel that I would think the same things when a customer rep asks if I need help. I try not to be mean, but I think I come off that way mostly due to the fact that I cannot stand around people for very long.

  3. Andrew Johns Aug 19, 2017

    Fears, including the fear of being judged, thoughts of fitting in and the likes trigger anxiety. While healthy anxiety seems normal for many, they can grow over it. I’d like to know if having the right team is the only way out of the healthy anxiety. Thanks

    • Having the proper understanding, a set method based around CBT for anxiety like the end the anxiety program, and support system that preaches patience is key to overcoming health anxiety.

  4. Adams Brian Aug 19, 2017

    I was a slave of health anxiety, being too anxious and having fears over the slightest thing, until a friend introduced me to the Anxiety Guy. Since I got to know about him, his articles and podcasts, I’ve found some ways to control to get through health anxiety.

  5. Logan Hammock Feb 10, 2018

    Hi. I’m not sure if I’m in the correct forum or not. I recently had a stressful few months. I’ve always been a little anxious and jittery, but never to the point that it affects my daily routines. I was doing terrible in my last semester of college and constantly stressing the reality of failing as a 25 year old with classes full of people younger than me. It was a tough few months mentally but I graduated and even received a promotion at my college job (which I was reluctant to take because it eliminated my great schedule and put me in a position I despise, only taking it for the monetary gains). About a week after starting the position, I noticed how hard my pulse was. I could feel it everywhere, my chest, fingers, neck, head and even my abdomen. Went to sleep thinking I was getting sick, and sure enough I woke up and had a terrible headache and the pulsating continued. My heartbeat was my rapid, just very forceful. My resting heart rate was actually low, and has consistently been in the mid 40s to mid 50s. I have had multiple panic attacks in the weeks since this began and been to the ER 3 times, and 3 different doctors. My PCP gave me a brain MRI to rule out a brain tumor or anyuerism, but even when I’m calm, I can feel this bounding pulse and almost feel out of body, I have no motivation or energy. Im constantly yawning and trying to get a deep full breath. I’m trying to get in with a cardiologist to rule out any heart conditions but I’m very new to this and constantly worry that I have some heart disease or that I’m going to suddenly die before my appointment. Can anyone relate to any of this as I feel it would help assure me that it’s anxiett and not something wrong medically. Accepting he anxiety diagnosis is the hardest part of all of this with such severe physical symptoms.

    • Alyssa Feb 11, 2018

      Hi Logan,

      I actually came here because EVERYTHING you are feeling is exactly what I am going thru. Pulsating that I can hear in my ear constantly, rapid heartbeat, and I am constantly trying to take deep breaths for some sort of relief due to pounding and tightness in my chest. It seems to get worse at night and in the morning. I’ve had an MRI, Chest X ray and Catscan, all have come back negative. I try to calm myself down but nothing works. It’s hard not to think about it. Hoping we can find answers soon!

      Best wishes

      • The answers you seek are within this site, as well as my YouTube channel and program. You’ll find that they are targeted towards people with growing health anxiety and GAD. ❤️

  6. dadang Mar 26, 2018

    Hi dennis,I like your articles very much and its very useful for me.I have been reading your podcast, and practicing your advice on how to overcome my health anxiety. I ve got a lot of progress now, my anxiety level has dropped significanly, thanks to you , by the way I am from indonesia and hope you can visit Bali again. thank you very much

  7. Thank you for this video Dennis. It is truly helpful to know that other people have gone through something similar. My health anxiety began after the birth of my daughter nine months ago. I’m sure this was some kind of significant trigger. I am constantly on Google checking symptoms, I think it really is a compulsion for me. I also know it only makes things worse but have some kind of addiction to it! I also catastrophise very easily and I am apt to misinterpreting/overinterpreting doctors’ comments et cetera. I have got to the point where health anxiety pervades my daily thoughts and has driven out any desire to pursue hobbies/have interest in other topics. This is a great shame as it makes me rather one-dimensional and repetitive to my partner! The problem is when symptoms feel so real it is very easy to convince yourself that there is indeed something dramatically wrong. I also often worry that doctors have missed something or being too dismissive of me and then will find some over sensationalised article online giving an account of someone who was indeed ignored by doctors and then found to have a serious disease! This is the first time I have heard of you, but I intend to pursue your work closely. Many thanks, Liz

    • Very welcome Liz.

    • Tammy Aug 1, 2018

      OMG…Liz I swear you wrote exactly how I am feeling and have been for several weeks. I went through a very stressful 5 months starting back in March this year. My boyfriend and I bought a house after a nightmare process and finally got moved. About two weeks later my stomach started bothering me and it’s been a health anxiety roller coaster ever since thinking everything from abdominal aortic aneurysm to stomach cancer. I’ve been to dr and she thinks it’s my anxiety but I think it’s more serious and my regular anxiety is through the roof.!I have another appointment tomorrow. Scared it’s serious and it’s taken over my life 🙁

  8. Hannah Sep 9, 2018

    I am literally at my wits end with my debilitating health anxiety. I feel comfort in knowing that I am not a total basket case and there are others that feel the way I do

    • You’re far from alone. The program on this site is for health anxiety sufferers looking for a cognitive and behavioural method to end health anxiety. I’m sure it will help.

      • Hannah Sep 9, 2018

        Thank you Dennis,

        I have been watching your YouTube videos since leaving this original comment and I already feel better. It’s funny how once your anxiety starts to settle the symptoms of the illness you are convinced you have aren’t nearly as bad.
        I will definitely be looking into your program because I have suffered with this anxiety since I was a child, i DO NOT want my children seeing my behaviours and living their lives this way. It is a long and exhausting existence. I don’t want to look back 40 years from now and say.. I wasted my life in a state of anxiety trying to control the future and what may happen.. Thank you xx

  9. Doreen Cascagnette Nov 11, 2018

    I love listening to your stories and what you have done to overcome your fears and such, i think you are the best you are heaven sent, i feel better just listening to you. I do have a question and that is dud you experience GERD and laryngitis with your condition, i hate it. Thanks so much Dennis your the best.