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Counseling/Severe anxiety & fear


I am 47 and have severe health anxiety since last 15 years and was diagnosed mitral valve prolapse with trivial regurgitation before 6 years. All this year my fear was related to heart disease, attack, stroke arrhythmia, nuero problems etc. but one week before urine came from my blood and got scared and went to urologist and did ultrasound for kidney, prostate, uterus etc and there was no stone & infection. The Dr. gave me antiobiotic & told to complete the course. Since one week I got afraid of Cancer, which started with this infection & all of a sudden I remember one of my aunt who died of cancer, she was having blood in the stool. I started to look at my stool everytime & fearing that there is blood or my stool is black & I will get or have some sort of stomach related cancer. I am afraid to go the bathroom for my poo, even small belching, bloating, gas makes me afraid. How to fight this fear. Plz help me I am dying of obsessing this stomach cancer fear. I know that, this is irrational fear and blood can come by ulcer, anal fissure, inflammation of the colon etc.My anxiety is very severe and I am unable to relax or sleep. I am taking cipralex(escitalopram) 10 mg including .25mg rivotril 2 times since one week and also taking bisoprolol (beta blocker) 5mg for my blood pressure. Please someone  help me to desensitize this fear, if I am unable to remove the fear, my heart problems will be increase.

Afzal:  Information is the antidote for panic.  What your are experiencing is a run away brain that is imagining all the worst case scenarios - whether real or not.  You need accurate information so that you can formulate a realistic and effective plan of action.  So, the first thing you need to do is make an appointment with your doctor, sit down with him and have a conversation about your state of health, your prognosis, and treatment plan.  You need to be an active participant in this process.  The worst thing you can do is sit alone and have these thoughts circulating in your mind.  A pond remains only fresh when new water flows in; otherwise it becomes stagnant.  Joel


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Joel Simon


General questions about counseling, psychotherapy and mental health.


Over 30 years as a therapist, clinical supervisor and solution-focused trainer. I've worked in a variety of settings including adolescent day treatment, inpatient psychiatric hospitals, community mental health clinics, and hospice. Further information is available on my website:

A founding member of the Solution Focused Brief Therapy Association, Academy of Certified Social Workers, Board Certified Diplomate in Clinical Social Work, Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in New York State.

Co-authored "Solution-Focused Brief Practice With Long-Term Clients in Mental Health Services: I'm More Than My Label." Authored: "Solution-Focused Practice in End-of-Life and Grief Counseling" Several articles published in professional journals including 2 with Insoo Kim Berg. Further details are available at

Masters of Social Work (Yeshiva University 1978). 5 years training in Transactional Analysis, certified in Advanced Ericksonian Psychotherapy and Hypnosis with the New York Society (NYSEPH), Advanced training and advanced supervision seminar in solution-focused brief therapy with the co-developers of the approach, Insoo Kim Berg and Steve de Shazer

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