You are here:

Counseling/Anxiety obsession

Advertisement


Question
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
cancer.

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.

Answer
Hello,

You don't have cancer, but you may have if you will it to be. Thoughts are very powerful things. If you are going to worry about something, why not choose to worry about what might happen if something fantastic occurs? Thoughts are a CHOICE. When you think of how depressed and sick you are, think about how that gives you a challenge to overcome that will make you stronger. Think about how you manage to function despite these problems. Think about the good side of this and you will begin to see life in that way rather than the sick path you are on.

Let me give you some PRACTICAL advice that will help you get rid of some of these problems or lessen them rather than just coping with it.

Eat well. Health problems occur because of dis-ease. If you eat well, your body can heal itself. Eat whole, natural foods. If it comes in a box or bag, don't eat it. If it has chemical preservatives, artificial colors, or artificial flavors, don't eat it. If it has sugar- artificial or natural- don't eat it. If it  doesn't look as it did when it was flying, swimming, walking, or growing on land, don't eat it.

Sleep. Get into a routine of sleeping 8 hours each night.

Exercise. The body needs to move each day, but it doesn't need to over exert itself. Walk. No headphones. No speed walking. Preferably walk outside in nature for 15-20 minutes each day in varied terrain.

Get a check up. Ask specifically for blood work to check for Vitamin D and Bs. Most people are deficient. These can cause significant mental illness symptoms as well as physical symptoms. It's an easy fix.

Breathe. We all breathe each day, but most of us do not know how to breathe effectively. Breathe deep into your belly. Exhale all the way out. Make the inhale the same length as the exhale. There are apps that can help you train your breath. If you can do 5 breaths per minute for 20 minutes, you may be amazed at how simple a thing can reduce or eliminate anxiety. When we are anxious our bodies tense up so we don't get enough air. Release that tension and you release the anxiety.

If you want to stop your racing thoughts, relax your tongue. The tongue is tied to language- even mental language. Watch what happens when you relax that.

If you can only do one of these things, do the first. However, this is a case of more is more. The more of this that you can do, the better you will feel.

Good luck,

Laura Giles

P.S. This is a mental problem with a physical cause. Check your DIET and lifestyle. It will make a huge difference.

Counseling

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Laura Giles, MSW

Expertise

I can answer questions about sexual assault, sex offending, domestic violence, substance abuse, acudetox, hypnosis, biofeedback, neurofeedback, ADHD, relationship issues, and run of the mill mental health questions.

Experience

Extensive inpatient, outpatient and criminal justice experience.

Education/Credentials
BS counseling, MSW social work

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.