Wow, It's Hypochondria
I suffer from hypochondra which sometimes scares me so badly I can barely function. It started after my husband had cancer in 1996. He went into remission a year later and has been healthy since, but I had a horrible nightmare right after he went into remission. I dreamed that everyone was so worried about him dying, but that what they didn't know was that he was well and I was the one that was really dying. It terrified me. Every since I have been in an out of the doctors office and even have had some hospital stays. Every time the doctors find absolutely nothing wrong with me. Whenever someone says they know someone who has a disease, I start wondering if the ache or pain I experienced is that disease. My main obsession is rare and hard to detect diseases like lung or ovarian cancer, or a brain tumor or aneuryism, I spent most of the year before last convinced I had West Nile Virus, and spent most of last year sure that I had multiple sclerosis or a brain tumor. No to both, I was perfectly healthy. The past six months it has been cancer -- lung cancer or pancreatic cancer. I get online and research all the disease symptoms and I'm sure I have them. A friend called me tonight and said her friends aunt died of mesothelioma this week, and I began wondering if I had that. She said the aunt didn't know she was sick until a few weeks ago when she began having breathing problems. I always have a cough and think I have breathing problems. I feel dizzy a lot. I realize now that my sickness is hypochondria and that I should see a counselor. My husband does not know about this obsession, and I'm afraid to tell him. I worry that if I really do get sick my doctor won't find it. I'm afraid to go to bed at night -- afraid I'll die in my sleep. So I stay awake and worry. I have started listening to talk radio with an earpiece to distract me from my thoughts when I go to bed (it has helped). This is no way to live -- obsessing literally every minute, sure that this or that is a serious symptom. I don't know how to get out of this vicious cycle. On the one hand I'm glad I'm not the only one, but on the other I feel terrible for the rest of you suffering from this, too.