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hypochondria - fear of cancer and other illness

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Since a very early age,I have been a chronic hypochondriac. I am now 67,a working musician,don't drink,don't smoke,am a very keen cyclist [normally do 20 km a day] I live in rural France,have a fantastic life,brilliant wife and family,so no visible reason for depression etc.WRONG! I am 'underground' with worry most days. I have a morbid fear of cancer. Ever since I was a sailor in the Royal Navy,age 21,I suddenly became like this.I can remember the day! Ever since then,I have had brain tumours,heart condition,lung cancer,kidney disease,liver disease,cancer of every part of me. At the moment it is going between cancer of the lower spine and back passage! Of course,I concentrate on these areas and lo and behold I have the symptoms!!! How great is that?! I can tell you,it is a living HELL,and unless you have experienced it,you cannot begin to imagine what it is like. I also take on the illnesses of my friends!
I am absolutely terrified of seeing a doctor,as I might actually have something. The ones I have seen before have just laughed and told me I am ok,but I never believe them. All this anxiety puts up my blood pressure,I do know that. I only have to see a sphygmamometer and it is off the scale! Am I going mad? I haven't even thought about THAT one yet!! A couple of years ago I had two knee change operations,where my blood and urine were tested every day,with no worries.Also,I had a bout ot 'stomach cancer' whilst I was in hospital,so they tested my faeces too. No problems there either.
At the moment,I am on autopilot.I am desperate for help,yet afraid of it!! How can you help? Better still,how can I help myself?
Yours in hope, Ian Ash
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First Helper ianashworth
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Users who thank ianashworth for this post: Jenin 

replied July 8th, 2010
oh my god you are me i have the same fears and spend every waking moment looking for lumps bumps (blood red wee, and bringing up blood. i am at the docs all the time. my life is a misery and very hard to exsplain to those who do not understand this. i too have a wonderfull life hubby kids freinds. but very lonley when traped in this living hell.i am seeking mentle health treatment. but like any real illness its there and you need to treat it.logic is not somthing we have when you suffer from this so you need to find a way by talking to a professional. good luck and i wish you peace of mind.
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replied September 29th, 2010
I can't believe that I'm not the only person who feels like this. Everyday is an uphill struggle. This has come to such an extreme that it has ruined relationships and friendships. I'm also petrified that I will have my three year old taken away from me because of it.
Just writing and looking at the 'C' word and I am in floods of tears.
Like you Ian I am too afraid to go see the doc's incase they do actually find something. This is no longer a case of thinking I'm going to get 'C' but a ticking time bomb until I do.
I wish I could put something positive about this but I just wish I could always sleep as I'm starting to dread just waking up each day.
I think the people who are fighting this disease are incrediable and are not only doing it bravely but with amazing self-respect and dignity.
I wish you both understanding and care.
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replied November 6th, 2010
I too am like all of you. It is a living hell. My friends joke around with me about it and I try to laugh with them, but they don't understand the constant fear I live in. My biggest fear is cancer. Right now I'm afraid I have cancer of the throat. I think my voice sounds funny and my throat is always tight. My family and friends say I sound like I always have but I don't think I do. I have had a scope done about 2 months ago and they found nothing wrong with my throat but I'm afraid they missed something.
I see how my friends and fiancee' can laugh and not have a care in the world and I want that so badly. I've tried therapy but it hasn't helped. And I can't stand how anti depressants make me feel. Glad to know I'm not alone but wish none of had this condition!
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replied November 6th, 2010
Community Volunteer
I think somewhere along the lines all people make the decision that they can't change what they can't change...Now this doesn't mean not to be aware of your body and problems, but why worry about something that is not there...I have found with age that you just don't worry about things happening that haven't happened....This is true with many phases of life...My best advice is why worry about it until it shows it face....Take care...

Caroline
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replied March 15th, 2016
Caroline,thanks. I am 72 now and still upright! Like you said,until the bits start coming off the wagon,why the hell worry? Not easy,but I will try! I wrote on this forum in 2010,and I am still around,still a musician and STILL cycling! Why the hell have I spent the last 6 years and the 40 odd before that like this!!! Go figure! Thanks again. Ian Ash
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replied March 11th, 2012
its a hell to have tht kind of mental illnes
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replied March 11th, 2012
when i was 10 years old i think i have a cancer in every part of my body ,i have a cancer in the brain cancer in my chest ...its realy hard i cant eat properly ..my mind always saying that i have a cancer...when i was 12 my mind says i have leukemia because my hair can easily be fall..then when 1m 15 i think i have umor in my brain again..then lung cancer because i can feel back pain at that time every year i have a cancer its realy ruin my life ...then when i was in college & I'm 22 years old there's a mass in my neck then i went o a doctor she said it must be cancer..i was afraid & shock then when i came back home i feel something in my chest i cant breath there's something stuck in my troath i was depress.lonely & afraid that im going to die at the very young age..then i went to another Doctor & he said no its not a cancer its just a mass in the neck near at the back of ears he said its just a mass because i have a fever& flue..i cant sleep at night because my mind believe at the first doctor said maybe its cancerous then i came to cardiologist they found out that i have a spot in my lungs & must be treated atleast 3 months so i take the medication after 3 months the mass in my neck is gone & also my spot in the lungs ,,,but my problem is still i cant breath there's something in my trought my mind says maybe i have cancer in stomach..then i was amaze when the time that i met a someone that realy change my life i fall inlove & have a relationship with that person those moment change my mind settings & forget about cancer then my symtoms in my chest is gone i can breath easily now...but after 3 years the hell is back again i cant breath my chest very i very tight..my mind says maybe i cant breath because of acid reflux, & according to some websites acid reflux sometimes cause by cancer in stomach ,,im so afraid ryt now i can barely hear the air of my stomach. am i crazy? am i Hypochondriac? or maybe i have a sereios illness ?why its hard to breath if my mind says i have this kind of disease,, i do not drink alcohol,or too much softdrink ,or even cegarettes ...plsss help me what is this.,.............is all of this are just in my mind..???
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replied March 11th, 2012
Community Volunteer
Hi wakawake and welcome to ehealth: Yes, it is all part of your mind, just as my worry was all part of mine...Now you, like I had to do, must fight that part of youself that says that you are ill...Once you have seen the doctor and know you are not sick, then make yourself believe it...Keep telling yourself this when it speaks to you....You will win...

Many people have worries like this, but just as I did, you too will be able to fight it off...Oh, every once in a while it will show its face, but I put it back where it belongs and stay strong...You can do it too....Take care...

Caroline
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replied November 11th, 2012
My story reglects yours by all bits.. I am a Doctor and it seems to me that everytime i get a disease of the week. I did visit some of my Professors according to the department i wanted to see. They all confirmed about my good health and even i know all the symptoms are illusionary ones but its difficult to get rid of them. The worst is when you are idle, nothing to do, then your mind will try playing tricks upon you. You should always do self hypnosis. Take a mirror, and say loud that' i am fine, i am strong' .. Many small changes in your lifestyle might get you peace of mind for sometime. Meditation is a good way as well. I am a spiritual person, when my mind tries to kill me, i turn myself to God. This also helps very much. Thank you all and remember that you people are not alone in that.. We are all in together!! Love All & Serve All...
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replied November 11th, 2012
My story reglects yours by all bits.. I am a Doctor and it seems to me that everytime i get a disease of the week. I did visit some of my Professors according to the department i wanted to see. They all confirmed about my good health and even i know all the symptoms are illusionary ones but its difficult to get rid of them. The worst is when you are idle, nothing to do, then your mind will try playing tricks upon you. You should always do self hypnosis. Take a mirror, and say loud that' i am fine, i am strong' .. Many small changes in your lifestyle might get you peace of mind for sometime. Meditation is a good way as well. I am a spiritual person, when my mind tries to kill me, i turn myself to God. This also helps very much. Thank you all and remember that you people are not alone in that.. We are all in together!! Love All & Serve All...
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replied November 13th, 2012
Bad ass Hypochondriac Man
wow, i thought i'm the only one having this kind of illness..
it started when i'm 12 yrs old, my mind is always convincing my self that i have a cancer, and for almost 1 year, i felt that i'm living in fears... kinda sad but it's true, the worst part is when i start reading some symptoms and other causes of my illness, and guess what? cancer is very common in my symptoms, like blood in the stool, freaking lymphomas and other scary sh*t.
i start crying onto this, i almost think that i want to die because of fear of dying in pain and leaving my love ones behind.. i'm guilty and i think i can't escape from this nightmare... i just want to have some advice or something that can make my mind in peace, i just want to leave normal and healthy...
i'm now 19 , and of course i have some "illness" again and can't stop searching for the symptoms... ugghh.. hate this..
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replied December 3rd, 2012
Wow I was another hypochondriac, the problem is not your body but your mind it is a form/ symptom of anxiety, I was also at the docs every week with a new disease and I never forgot what he said to me the last time I went in there thinking I had or was about to get epilepsy as I have a fall from a bunk bed when I was a child, his words to me were "you are going to live a long and miserable life waiting for your first epileptic fit!" The words rang true but he should have known that the problem was in my mind and sent me to a psychiatrist as I was only 14 and really stressed that I was going to die of something different each week, even that much that I vomited with the stress, in the end (years after of suffering) I was put on anti-depressants and haven't looked back since, I can now live my life without stress and for once my mind is clear , I am now 34 with 2 kids and I can see it starting in my son, he is 11, so I think it's definitely a hereditary condition as I found out after my aunties had the same thing.. So hang in there as I am proof things will get better with the right help Smile
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replied July 28th, 2014
I wish i could find the right medication to help with this problem. right now i am on Welbutrin and i don't think its helping Glad to know you are doing so well
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replied June 4th, 2013
I'm a 15 year old girl, and a few months ago I lost my grandfather to cancer. Ever since then, I have Been living with the fear that I have cancer. My mom always tries to reassure me, but i want to go to a doctor. I was diagnosed with costochondritis and it made my breast swell a bit, and I thought I had inflammatory breast cancer. Now, i am convinced i have either throat cancer or lung cancer because i feel short of breath. It could be from the anxiety, but I am terrified.
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replied July 21st, 2013
Hi. I am glad to find this forum. I definitely have the same problem since my mom died of breast cancer 8 years ago when i was 22 years old. Now about a week ago my friend died of cancer - it was a tumor somewhere inside his body not even attached to some organ. Not sure actually but it all happened so quickly and this week has been hell for me. Not just that I feel bad of losing my friend (we weren't close anymore and I wasn't involved into his everyday life many years anymore) but mainly thinking about deceases and feeling a lot of symptoms on myself. It has been bad all the time but this last week has been really crazy.

Generally speaking I'm always visiting doctors and feeling so relieved and all symptoms gone after they have assured that I am fine. Many doctors have had smile on their face telling me that I am fine and I souldn't think about it so much. I understand I am definitely hypochondriac. Always thinking of new deceases that I might have. My main fear of course is breast cancer as my mom died from it. So my plan now is to find out do i have this cancer gene and then if I do I want all my breast tissue to be removed. I don't know is it a good idea but I feel I should do everything to reduce my risk of developing this cancer.
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replied October 8th, 2013
I have been a hypochondriac since I was a kid. I remember being afraid to fall asleep in fear of dying. I have also suffered from mental illness as a child resulting from physical abuse and neglect at the hands of family members and others. I have always had a health anxiety all my life, it has gotten worse over the last 20 years. About 12 years ago I developed Type 2 diabetes and was immediately put on medication, I have done well so far but 3 years ago my mother died from diabetes and almost at the end of her life they amputated her right leg. I constantly reflect on what could happen to me with this incurable disease. I take my medication faithfully, watch what I eat, and follow doctors orders but in my mind I am always thinking I have kidney failure, heart disease, going blind, have a stroke. Every thing abnormal that happens to my body I freak out. I see a psychiatrist, therapist, and I take psych meds. My whole life has been one disaster after another and I am constantly asking the question "Why?" but after reading all the post on this forum I see that I am not alone. I ask for your prayers. Thanks so much. Take care.
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replied July 30th, 2014
Experienced User
Sometimes she gets headaches for no reason. Sometimes she feels dizzy or lightheaded. What could be going on that modern medicine can’t explain? Surely, there must be something terribly wrong that the doctors can’t figure out.
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