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swollen lymph nodes

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Hi everyone - new here!

I found a swollen lymph node under my ear about 4 weeks ago. At the time I was getting some earache so I went to the doctor. He said he couldn't find any sign of infection and said the node was probably due to me fighting off a throat infection or something.

The node didn't go and I was checking and fiddling with it night and day. The earache got worse so I went back to see a different doctor. She said that my ear canal looked a bit inflamed and prescribed some drops. I asked her about the node but she checked it and said she felt it would go away on its own and that they looked out for nodes much much bigger and rubbery.

So I got the drops and calmed down a bit. I've been using the drops for just over a week. The earache has got better but now and again I get the odd pain which feels like its coming from the ear drum/back of throat area.

The node remains and I did some checking on the internet to find that if you continually check them, they can remain inflamed. Also, in my calmer moments, I notice that I can't feel it if I look straight ahead and check normally. It's only when I crane my neck that it really pops out.

My problem is that it's beginning to really take over my life. Usually, if I've had an infection or whatever and my lymph nodes swollen, they go down really quickly.

I just wonder if I was in a state of mind when I found the node which has convinced me that it's something more serious.

I had PND which appeared four months after my first son was born. I was shaving my legs one day and found a blemish on my leg which from that moment on, I was convinced was skin cancer. I saw four different doctors and practically begged one of them to cut it out!

It went on for weeks and weeks and I probably missed out quite a chunk of my son growing.

This is beginning to feel the same and I start a new job in a week's time. I don't want this to take over my life - I just don't know what to do.

Mrs Bod
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First Helper Mrs Bod
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replied July 19th, 2007
I can say that I totally relate..it has gotten to the point when I ask a person a simple question about something-they automatically assume I am worrying and they make a joke saying "maybe it's cancer"...I hate that it because I don't mean to freak out-but I have watched my father go completely downhill from cancer and worry that I would do the same and not be able to be there for my kids..I do so much that I worry obssessively over the little things...Over the past year or so I have gotten much better-I just tell myself it isn't anything to worry about and that it will go away in time..if it IS something to worry about, I can have it taken care of...I hope this helps a little-in the least you know you arent alone Wink
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replied July 19th, 2007
Hey, I know exactly what you mean. Read my thread a couple down about understanding compulsions and obssesions. I found a lump a month ago and worrying about that developed into acute anxiety syndrome. When you couple this with OCD it is not good news. I am getting increasingly paranoid about my health and often think I've got some serious undiagnosed medical condition.

The strange this is, it dawned on me a couple of days ago that I do actually have an illness and it is anxiety. Ultimatly, I may or may not have another medical condition, all the evidence and GP advise suggests not but having the worry is causing me real world issues with anxiety that need to be addressed. It is a vicous circle but I am feeling that having a better understanding of knowledge as to how and why anxiety strikes and also the underlying reasons why I worry inordiantly about my health is helping me.
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replied July 19th, 2007
Experienced User
Pan wrote:
Hey, I know exactly what you mean. Read my thread a couple down about understanding compulsions and obssesions. I found a lump a month ago and worrying about that developed into acute anxiety syndrome. When you couple this with OCD it is not good news. I am getting increasingly paranoid about my health and often think I've got some serious undiagnosed medical condition.

The strange this is, it dawned on me a couple of days ago that I do actually have an illness and it is anxiety. Ultimatly, I may or may not have another medical condition, all the evidence and GP advise suggests not but having the worry is causing me real world issues with anxiety that need to be addressed. It is a vicous circle but I am feeling that having a better understanding of knowledge as to how and why anxiety strikes and also the underlying reasons why I worry inordiantly about my health is helping me.


You are totally right Pan, the disease is Anxiety. Constantly checking your body for signs of cancer and other diseases is not normal, healthy behavior. Searching for information on the internet and talking to other anxious people about it only validates your anxiety. Anxiety is a big liar, it makes you believe crazy stuff. I know it is hard to believe that when you are in this anxious state, but it is true. Not to say we will never get sick, but 99.9% of the symptoms i read about here on this forum are straight up anxiety.
As Pan said, we need to treat theunderlying mental issues. Talk therapy, CBT, and medication are all fantastic ways to deal with worry or anxiety disorder. Anxiety will not go away on its own, it is part of who we are. It is not just being nervous. It may be not be as bad sometimes, but it always comes back until you deal with it.
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replied July 19th, 2007
metalcrystal wrote:
Pan wrote:
Hey, I know exactly what you mean. Read my thread a couple down about understanding compulsions and obssesions. I found a lump a month ago and worrying about that developed into acute anxiety syndrome. When you couple this with OCD it is not good news. I am getting increasingly paranoid about my health and often think I've got some serious undiagnosed medical condition.

The strange this is, it dawned on me a couple of days ago that I do actually have an illness and it is anxiety. Ultimatly, I may or may not have another medical condition, all the evidence and GP advise suggests not but having the worry is causing me real world issues with anxiety that need to be addressed. It is a vicous circle but I am feeling that having a better understanding of knowledge as to how and why anxiety strikes and also the underlying reasons why I worry inordiantly about my health is helping me.


You are totally right Pan, the disease is Anxiety. Constantly checking your body for signs of cancer and other diseases is not normal, healthy behavior. Searching for information on the internet and talking to other anxious people about it only validates your anxiety. Anxiety is a big liar, it makes you believe crazy stuff. I know it is hard to believe that when you are in this anxious state, but it is true. Not to say we will never get sick, but 99.9% of the symptoms i read about here on this forum are straight up anxiety.
As Pan said, we need to treat theunderlying mental issues. Talk therapy, CBT, and medication are all fantastic ways to deal with worry or anxiety disorder. Anxiety will not go away on its own, it is part of who we are. It is not just being nervous. It may be not be as bad sometimes, but it always comes back until you deal with it.


agreed.

The biggest mistake I made was to google my symptoms. The problem is that if you already have a tendancy to anxiety or obssesive thoughts then you can easily focus in on the negative aspects. You then put yourself in the bizarre situation when the anxiety symptoms that this brings on are mistaken for the symptoms for the condition you believe you have.

I had totally 100% convinced myself I had testicular cancer. I read on the net that back pain was a symptom of advanced testicular cancer and it would be no exaggeration to say that within 15 minutes my back was killing me. Now, this reinforced further the belief that I had cancer...in reality it was of course just anxiety. It was just anxiety and my mind combining to send me on a negative thought loop that in the end totally fried me and from which I'm still recovering.

I am now a lot more selective of the sites and threads I look at. Support and discussion is fine but on lots of sites you find people with very little knowledge presenting information as if it is fact....the problem is when you are in a state of anxiety the capability of determining the valididty of information is severly reduced. Your focus and and rationality goes out of the window and you just get deeper and deeper into the mire.

I now know the reasons for my recent preoccupation with my health and understand that the reasons for my acute anxiety syndrome where caused where my total inability to deal rationally with my health scare. I am feeling much better over the last week....I am on meds but don't know if they have kicked in but am convinced that by looking into the subject and finding out about anxiety this has helped hugely. It is anxiety that is the enemy and you need all your energies concentrated on combating that and not being drawn into the trap that it is something else hidden away. Knowledge has helped me hugely but above all be very very careful where you aquire this knowledge. As someone once said ' a little knowledge is a terrible thing'....I can't really think of a more relevant quote that could have helped me through the nightmare I have endured over the last few weeks.
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replied July 19th, 2007
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Anxiety
You sound like you are in a much better place. I know that even when you start your meds you feel a lot better because you know you are doing something about your crippling anxiety , and it is going to get better. Oddly, my meds have made me feel less depressed, and I went to the doc seeking help for anxiety! I am sure everyone here has heard that anxiety and depression are the "ugly twins", anxiety is often the symptom of depression. My anxiety was off the charts! But after 6 weeks on Cymbalta I find myself thinking more positive thoughts, and seeing issues more clearly. I can feel the old tapes and thought patterns in my mind start to play, causing physical reaction, but i am able to cut them off better now. Funny, cause I was thinking it would just be my anxiety stopping.
I had about a year of Cognitive Behavior thereapy, and I still remember all the things my therapist taught me about irrational thinking. It works very well. In my case, I need the meds also.
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replied January 13th, 2008
Swollen Lymph In the Neck
Hi everyone.
Recently my boyfriend told me he was diagnosed with chlamydia. I have the symptoms too such as pain during intercouse, abnormal discharge and need to urinate more frequently. Knowing that just freaked me out. I become very afraid of having another deasease like hiv. Since when I espend my days on the web reading about symptoms of other STDs; can't sleep well anymore and eating is almost impossible to me now. Never been so stressed im my whole intire life and now I notice that I have a enlarged lymph node in my neck. I'll search for a doctor in the next few days, but until now I can only think about the worse. Is this a answer from my immune system for such anxiety and stress? Just psychossomatic ? Or do I have to keep thinking that I'm going to die???? Please, help me.
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replied May 21st, 2010
Mouth Cancer
Anxiety really sucks big time, but no matter how many times I get over it, it finds a new way of making me scared.

So far due to Anxiety I have convinced myself I have:
Lung Cancer x2
Stomach Cancer x1
Throat Cancer x1
Prostate Cancer x1

and i'm currently going through mouth cancer. As much as I know this is only Anxiety, I need to know for sure it isn't.

I blame the media for constantly bombarding us with the 'C' word everyday. I at least read or hear it twice a day.

Also another sign of something being Anxiety is. If you still have the symptoms directly after you wake up. Usually all I'm interested in when I wake up is getting a coffee. When I completely wake up I realise my symptoms have gone, but because I'm thinking about it, they soon return.
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replied May 21st, 2010
Anxiety really sucks big time, but no matter how many times I get over it, it finds a new way of making me scared.

So far due to Anxiety I have convinced myself I have:
Lung Cancer x2
Stomach Cancer x1
Throat Cancer x1
Prostate Cancer x1

and i'm currently going through mouth cancer. As much as I know this is only Anxiety, I need to know for sure it isn't.

I blame the media for constantly bombarding us with the 'C' word everyday. I at least read or hear it twice a day.
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replied February 11th, 2011
I know these posts are pretty old but ive been going through the same thing for months now.

i had some swollen lymph nodes in my jaw back in september for no apparent reason, i was put on antibiotics and i guess they went away quickly, it didn't concern me because i had never worried about my lymph nodes before (and i didn't know everything i know now after googling symptoms)
a month or 2 later i had a really stiff neck and some different swollen lymph nodes, but then i went to the dr about a sore throat and was diagnosed with mono? Its really been taking a toll on me, mostly mentally, because ive been spending the whole time questioning whether it was really mono or not (i didnt have all the classic symptoms and of course im considering the worst possibilities)
Now its mainly just my neck that's still really bothering me, but i have some swollen lymph nodes that remain. theres one under my right ear and a few tiny ones down the sides of my neck. i've been to a couple different doctors but since the mono diagnosis they all say that it doesnt concern them. as for my neck, there seems to be tense muscles all over my body, so i'm thinking that might just be the anxiety? its been over a month since ive seen a dr. and ive been checking my lymph nodes and thinking about them constantly. Sometimes i really feel like im dying, its a horrible feeling. And while i can tell i'm thinking irrationally, i can't do anything to stop it.

Has anyone checked an area of their body so often that they don't know whats normal and what isnt anymore? I feel like im questioning every little bump and bruise on my body now.

I didn't realize how awful anxiety could be. And it's so much harder when nobody in your life understands where you're coming from(which is why im posting here i guess). i havent felt like myself in a while and theres so much more going on in my life that i should be focussed on. I feel like i'm way too young to have to feel this way... Ive been thinking about getting help but im nervous to go on any kind of medication before i know that i'm physically healthy

if theres anyone else with similar stories or advice id love to hear it
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replied July 5th, 2011
I don't know if you are still going through this but in reading your post it was like I had written it myself! I found this thread while looking up swollen glands. My throat is so tight and I feel like it is affecting my breathing. I have had a lot happen over the past month at work and I am sure it has to do with it but my mind is telling me I probably have cancer or something else. I don't sleep well at night and have recently started re-doing things that were already done and not doing things I should be doing. I am a mess! I need to get to the doctor but am afraid to go. I was never this bad and I feel it is getting worse as time goes by. I don't even know myself anymore, it is weird! I have heard that meditation helps with anxiety, I need to find out how or where I can learn this exercise...if I don't do something soon I will probably make myself physically sick. Very frustrating....
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replied February 13th, 2011
gmar17, I can totally relate. I am 27 years old, I have 2 young children, married and in the last year I have diagnosed myself with lymphoma, lung cancer, breast cancer and a brain tumor. I had the lymph nodes checked out and the doc didn't show much concern for it at all. I've started cognitive behavioral therapy and it seems to help. The key for me has been to keep my mind busy as much as possible. For me, I was having pain in my left breast and armpit, but when I didn't think about it, the pain wasn't there. Same with the pain in my ribs. When I didn't think about it, it wasn't there. The only pain that I know is really there is the pain in my upper back and my neck and my tension headaches. Good luck to you! This forum has been very insightful to me. I also learned that if you smoke, stop and if you consume a lot of caffeine, stop. Both of those things are stimulants and cause your blood pressure to go up which can in turn cause muscle spasms and can draw attention to a pain that isn't really there. Best of luck to you
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replied February 14th, 2011
I've definitely diagnosed myself with all of those things before, as far back as the age of 12. I get what you mean about pains not being there unless you think about them, but my neck pain is pretty consistent too. It totally makes sense to feel better when your mind is busier, but I find that having a lot of other stress in my life tends to make my health anxiety that much worse. I'm in university and the pressure of all of the exams I had to defer due to mono has been really adding to the problem(my neck/headaches). This also makes it hard for me to avoid caffein, although I've never smoked. After recovering from mono I've been working out at least 4 days a week again. I think it's a great release, but my anxiety is still worse than it's ever been, so I'm open to try almost anything. I plan to talk to my Dr. about it, but what exactly is cognitive behavioral therapy?
I find the forum really helpful as well, especially to see how common this all is. Thanks for replying and good luck to you too!
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replied March 25th, 2011
wow...
Oh wow. This is me in a nut shell. I have so far diagnosed myself with an eptopic pregnancy (that of course, I thought made my tubes explode bc I was having a little abnormal bleeding), a brain tumor, stage 4 cancer (of what i have no idea...) and my newest one lymphoma. I'm getting a cat scan today for 3 (completely mobile and rather soft) lymphnodes on my neck. I currently take remeron, and it has stopped the panic attacks (was having 5/day) but I still obsess like crazy. Is there anything that can be done about the obsessing over health? Is this part of anxiety in everyone, or do only some people have this? I have had anxiety since I was little, but this new obsessing and not wanting to go to new places just started when I was 21 (I'm 23 now) It started after a REALLY stressful 6 months. I just want to make this better....
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replied August 8th, 2011
a
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replied August 8th, 2011
a
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replied August 8th, 2011
if anyone could understand health anxiety besides you- is me. i have been like this for so many years, i think now when i go to the doctor it is stamp MAJOR HYPOCONDRIAC. it is the most scarest thing to think you are sick, and it could be one little symtom you find then you go off in your own little world of irrational thinking. it is such a joke with my friends that if i have a paper cut they will be like " did you want me to take you to emergancy". it may be a joke to them but it is so real to me. 2 weeks ago a found a lump in my mouth so natually i thought it had to be cancer, went to the doctor he said its nothing- but the lump is still in my mouth so i went to another doctor and he said it was nothing too, so i got over it. anyway two days later it felt weird to swollow, like a lump in my throat-so natually i thought i have throat cancer now and the two lumps-one in my mouth and one in my throat are cancer. so off i went back to the doctor then he said its just my glands. as soon as he said that i found it easier to swallow. i few days after that my chest felt weird and i coughed a few times- so natually i thought i have lung cancer too now. though i have convinced myself it is not lung cancer(for now) my glands are still up and im scared there is something room with me that the doctor hasn't found yet. deep in my heart i know its just the anxiety but its just these irrational thoughts are scaring me. its true that as soon as you are preoccupied with something else the symptoms will go away then as soon as you are alone again the symptoms come back. i don't have heath anxiety all the time but it does come at least once or twice a year. it is so crippling and you feel so alone. since i was 18 i have had(in my head) breast cancer, brain tumor, stomach cancer,kidney failer, heart attack(the usual favourite), ovarian cancer, cancerous lumps in my back, bowel cancer, lung cancer, diabetes, eye tumor(yes for real), skin cancer, aids,thyriod disease, mouth cancer now throat cancer its sounds so silly now but as soon as i turn off the computer im back to my scary thoughts that consume my life, my job and my well being for the next how ever long till im over it again till the next time it starts up again. i hope this helps anybody out there i guess as much as you think your alone, your really not. anxiety just comes in all different forms. i have had anxiety since i was 14. im 27 now and i have a good job, nice house and lots and lots of friends- but when you have anxiety you don't get to enjoy thoughs things, you just worry all the time about everything and anything.
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replied September 25th, 2011
hypochondria
hypochondria..... ive had it for such a long time. Like alot of you i have convinced myself of having very many different kinds of cancer,hiv tetanus,various parasites, HEART ATTACK(yes this is the usual favorite). and to be honest the internet hasnt made it any easier. At the drop of a hat i can look up hundreds of horrible diseases and convince myself i have atleast 3 of them. although recently i went to webmd which im sure we all have but instead of looking up all these crazy diseases i searched hypochondria, panic syndrome, and anxiety disorder. as i read through these and marked off the symptoms i had it began to ease my mind and i found a sort of calm which i never really found before, while going through my "crap its cancer" moods. I know how it feels to go through those moments where you find a lump or feel a pain and then your mind goes to the worse places.We all know in our heart that its just anxiety, but the feeling of impending doom is to powerful. It hurts alot when you tell a loved one that "my elbow hurts" and they cut you off mid sentence "oh lord what is it now?" the boy who cried wolf is what we live through and through, and it feels we have no control over it but we do. We need to realize our symptoms and take precautions to try and control them. reading through the symptoms of anxiety and hypochondria worked for me, it may ease a few of your minds as well. also we can schedule regular checkups with our doctors (this is alot cheaper and easier then popping up in an emergency room everytime we find a lump. i hope this helps atleeast one person thanks for reading this far
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replied March 31st, 2012
I don't think hypochondria is all that it is. I think that it is also a psychosomatic disorder. The difference is that hypochondria is a preoccupation with a problem that probably isn't that bad. While psychosomatic is stress on the immune system etc that actually manifests into physical ailments. Unfortunately Western medicine seems to have taken a stance against a lot of the mind/body connection thinking that if they cannot diagnose a problem then the patient must be making it up or exagerating.
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replied August 15th, 2013
I know no one has posted in a year but I just wanted to add that if you think about something constantly it will make it worse! My lymph is the half the size of a bean and it is hard! I am unwilling to go to the doctor! I never noticed it before I did research!
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