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Counseling/obsession of the 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.

Sid; I think the answer is fairly simple (remember, simple is not necessarily easy).  What you need is information from someone who is qualified, and knowledgeable.  I don't know who told you that cancer can cause depression and I'm certainly not qualified to offer an opinion since I'm not a physician.  I'm assuming that you have a family doctor that you are seeing.  I would suggest that you sit down with him or her and discuss this.  He/she can point you in the right direction.  This is a much better strategy than creating your own myths and then acting as if they are true.  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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