Chronic Disease Support/Management/severe anxiety
I am 47 and had been battling the health anxiety since 20 years. I have hypertension,hyperlipidemia & mitral valve prolapse with trivial regurgitation (which causes anxiety & palpitation). All these years my focus was mainly on heart, but since one month i has become very cancer phobic, as i remember one of aunt who died of cancer before 15 years..
I asked whether anxiety can cause cancer, so one allexperts counselor replied me that, anxiety & depression does not cause cancer, but cancer can cause depression. I don't know under what context she said that, which made my life like a living hell.
I know that, anxiety & depression does not cause cancer.
But Now i am fearing & obsessing that, depression is the symptoms of cancer.
What i know is that, upon being diagnosed with cancer, the patients become depressed, anxious & sad.
I have seen the people having depression for 30+ years & living with it & they don't have cancer.
Half of the world has depression, if depression would be the symptom & then half of the world would have cancer.
If somebody is depressed, when he will go to psychiatrist for treatment, will the psychiatrist will tell him to go & test for cancer.
This obsession had made me more fearful & i am having full blown continous panic attacks since 2 weeks. The anxiety is 10 out of 10 since i read that answer. I unable to function & get up from
the bed. I am not going to work since one week & unable to sleep since one week only obsessing that, cancer causes depression & it is becoming vicious cylce.
All these years i know that, panic & anxiety symptoms are harmless & i never bothered about these symptoms,only afraid for the first few years when i was not aware.
Due to continue ongoing challenges of health anxiety & mitral valve prolapse i have anxiety & palpitation. Now, every time when i feel anxious or depressed, i am thinking it is due to
Please help me. I will be grateful to you. Give me some cognitive tips to challenge this negative thoughts. It is killing me. My body is full of adrenaline & burning. Hyper alert 24 hours.
With the help of even a small stick in between the sea will be enough for me to come out this fear trap.
To start just a reminder I am not a healthcare professional and cannot give medical advice.
You are describing severe anxiety, so if it is possible for you to see a mental health professional that would probably be ideal especially since asking online has only increased your anxiety. AllExperts is not an accrediting body that requires or validates one's education, training, and expertise. Also even counselors who do online counseling deal with significant risks since much communication is nonverbal. I think that is especially key in a case like yours where you are already so anxious and online things can easily be taken out of context and it can take awhile to get a reply, which can be particularly troublesome when one is dealing with such severe anxiety.
If you have not already gotten a physical exam and cancer screening that might further help to alleviate your fears. You can also talk to the doctor about your risk. Granted I am not a doctor but it seems like one aunt dying of cancer is just an anomaly and not proof of a family risk of cancer. You could also find out if you have risk factors what you can do to control them so you can feel empowered and more in control of your life.
"Depression is not regularly linked with cancer, and there is no proof that one disease causes the other" ( http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/depression-and-cancer/index.shtml
From a scientific standpoint in regards to health and mental health issues it is difficult if not impossible to meet the scientific criteria to prove causation. Sometimes it is misquoting of studies to even suggest that is what the research found. According to the National Institute for Mental Health they are not even saying that cancer causes depression. I would imagine it is merely a correlation that a certain number of people after a cancer diagnosis become depressed. But even that would not tell the whole story. If people go into remission then they are probably relieved and happy and live "normal" lives. Some people may initially feel depressed but then bounce back with such fierceness about fighting it and being there for their loved ones and to fulfill their life goals.
It is amazing you already know and have the rational thoughts to dispute the irrational/ unrealistic belief. You told me them in your question. For more information: http://albertellis.org/rebt-pamphlets/Techniques-for-Disputing-Irrational-Belief
Again it might help to seek some professional assistance. Self-help approaches are great but sometimes a little professional assistance can help us achieve our goals especially since it seems like you are already trying to do this on your own. If finances are an issue there are places that use sliding scales, some professionals do some pro bono work, some universities have community clinics, some jobs provide employee assistance with a certain number of sessions. Counseling/ therapy can be short term and while you are dealing with severe anxiety you also have a lot of strengths.