Psychiatry & Psychology--General/Obsession about depression


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.

Sids, I'm glad you asked us, and will answer directly, if somewhat harshly.

It's good to be aware and mindful of health matters, but bad to obsess over unlikely events. Being obsessive is not your fault -- it's how the mind works, especially in people with medical issues, and you should get proper help in controlling it.  For instance, you can look for a psychiatrist or clinical psychologist to teach you how to manage an obsession. That's what they do.

Forget cancer. Only a minority of people ever get it, and there was nothing to suggest that you are at risk. Fact: worrying does NOT cause cancer, and two decades is long enough. (But if you thought it would make sense to see a cardiologist some time to make sure your heart does not need any management, I would support that.)

Hope that helps, my friend, and the best of fortune to you.


Psychiatry & Psychology--General

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Alan Auerbach


Taught psychology for 30 years, authored four textbooks. Specialize in introductory and industrial/organizational psychology, but will tackle wider range of areas.

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