Dealing With Health Anxiety (Especially When You Actually Are Born With A Condition That You Can’t Do Anything About!)

Hey all,

You may have noticed, I’ve re-posted a lot of my older posts – I feel like it is right to have them up to see the light again once more. I took them down originally because I felt like I wanted to have a clean slate. In the end however, I have decided that I want to have these posts up to show my journey to people. For those people that may have similar feelings or thoughts, I want them to be able to read them and feel like they are not alone.

Recently, I’ve been ignoring a lot of my positive thoughts. I have retreated into myself out of fear and my mental health has been going the opposite way that I want it to be. I thought I was protecting myself, and doing the world of good by retreating into myself – when really it was causing more harm than anything else.

It has come to a time to talk to you all. A time to help myself get back to where I was. When I spread my thoughts it is in hopes of reaching someone, anyone. When I feel like people have taken the time to read and take my thoughts in, it makes me feel better. Because when I am trying to preach positivity, it’s for me too. I’ve missed talking positively, I feel like happiness truly does breed happiness.

I feel like there is a right and not right time to turn your brain off. Not in the sense of shutting down, in the sense of turning those negative feelings and thoughts off. I find myself overthinking and obsessing on thoughts that will hurt me, things that I can’t pull myself out of because it’s like my brain is against me thinking anything positive.

When it comes to health anxiety, this is where my negative thoughts breed. It’s hard for me to talk about because it is very raw and real. I have a rare condition that I was born with called Syringomyelia. If you try to Google it, you will find a whole load of nothing. There is hardly any research for it! It’s nuts – try living with it and having doctors goggle when you tell them about it! “Oh no, not this one. Um, what do we do with this human?”

Syringomyelia is where a cyst forms in your spinal cord and can cause nerve damage over time if untreated or if it pushes on things, potentially even paraplegia. That would be the worst case scenario. Many have it from the Chiari Malformation, spinal injuries or even tethered cord – etc., I just have the weird case where I was born with it, I have two cysts (syrinxes) in the T4 of my spine.

It’s never done anything, never caused dramas – and at 22 years of age I seem to be doing alright with no pain nor crazy symptoms. I get MRI’s to monitor it, and if anything happens my neurosurgeon will take it from there.

I tend to forget that I have it, and recently I’ve booked in for a referral to the doctor to go to a hospital for the first time here since my fiance and I have moved to Melbourne. This has set my health anxiety off it’s rocket.

My doctor has said that when your brain is searching for pain or symptoms, even the smallest of feelings in your body – you are going to notice it. You are actively looking for something to be wrong. This has stuck with me, because I absolutely am. Now that I have appointments in the horizon, I am actively looking for things to be wrong and searching for things that could go wrong all over Google. I’m Googling diagnosing myself with other peoples stories and situations, and applying them to myself.

Something that my mother has told me is that no one will be posting things if they have a positive outcome, people will only post when things go wrong. This is so true, if you notice when you are searching on “Doctor Google” when people post questions when they are scared, let’s say about a weird pain in their head they have been having. When people comment asking for what happened because they have a similar symptom, there’s no follow up, probably because they are absolutely fine and forgot about it – or they.. well.. nevermind. Let’s stick to the first option. *insert anxious breathing here*

Anyway, what I am trying to get to is that – if you are waiting for a doctors appointment to happen, to get your results, or just staying up late one night nervous about something to do with your health – focus on things that make you happy. Try and do things that distract you, or things that just make you calm and collected.

If you are going to stay up late Googling symptoms, only do it when you are mentally collected enough to read logically and understand rather than getting yourself worked up over nothing. Deal with the facts, not the false information.

I know I am absolutely fine, but Google doesn’t help and being inpatient doesn’t either. I need to surround myself in positive energy, and do things that keep my health anxiety at bay because winding yourself up doesn’t help if there is nothing else you can do.

Anything can happen to anyone at any time. No one is guaranteed forever, no one has tomorrow absolutely promised in the cards. You could be as healthy as ever, and a plane could fall out of the sky and land on you. You could get a butterfly stuck in your throat. Who knows – so many random things can happen to anyone, so try not to overthink things if you are like me! There’s no use to it.

Health anxiety is a real deal, it is terrifying when you physically believe that the worst possible case is going to happen to you in a matter of time. If you feel like this, you are not alone, because there are many out there that feel this way as well as myself and the best possible thing you can do for yourself is to find something that excites you and gives you that drive for life.

You need to find a new hobby or go back to an old hobby that makes you smile and you find joy out of. You can try meditation, aromatherapy or even just go for a walk in a nice beautiful green area.

Take your time with yourself. What do people say, it takes 30 days to change a habit. It won’t happen in one day.

It’s a continual struggle for me to turn my brain into the other direction, but tomorrow is a new day.

Speak soon!

Jess x

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3 Comments

  1. Hope you feel better Jess, just know that you are not alone. And remember, continue sharing your thoughts and emotions with us because you never know who you might be able to help. We are ONE, we are in this together. Stay awesome and never ever forget to stop for a while and just smile cause you matter.

    Liked by 1 person

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