HomeAnswersPsychiatryhealth anxietyI suffered from hypochondria for 15 years, which has led to exacerbated anxiety about minor health problems. Please help.

How do I overcome my health anxiety about minor ailments?

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The following is an actual conversation between an iCliniq user and a doctor that has been reviewed and published as a Premium Q&A.

Answered by

Dr. S. Adithya

Medically reviewed by

iCliniq medical review team

Published At November 26, 2023
Reviewed AtNovember 26, 2023

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

I have suffered from hypochondria for 15 years, with little ache or pain, and I investigate compulsively. My mind is fully occupied with my health, which has made me hypersensitive to all aspects of my body. Since the pandemic, my main focus of anxiety has been heart attacks and strokes. I have a reasonable biology background and have extensively studied COVID-19 and the vaccines. I was very nervous about taking the COVID-19 vaccine and built up a lot of concern about sudden death in sleep or myocarditis. When I had the vaccine, I think I had a panic attack as I developed shortness of breath and paresthesia. I went to the doctor and underwent an ECG, blood sugar, and health check. They said everything was normal, and I needed to manage my anxiety. He prescribed me Omeprazole and Diazepam to take when needed. During Christmas, we had COVID-19 for the first time, and I knew this could worsen my anxiety because of the anticipation that I may end up with heart damage or stroke. So I visited the doctor, who did another ECG, heart rate, blood oxygen, blood sugar, and physical exam and said all was normal and to stop worrying. I bought some Nattokinase to take as I read it is useful for cardiac health, and I started going to the gym and lost 44 pounds. Then, I bought a smartwatch to monitor my heart. It does an ECG, heart rate, and blood oxygen assessment. I test each day, which helps, but sometimes I get a result that panics me. On Sunday, I had an episode of shaking. I took my pulse while sitting down, which was 118 bpm. I was confused as to why it was higher, as I was only arguing with someone online. I was trying to get it to below 100 bpm, and it seemed to be going up as I watched it, which panicked me more. My legs became weak, and I felt dizzy and could feel my heart beating quickly. The pulse was 157 bpm when I drove to the hospital with the oximeter on my finger. When I arrived at the hospital, it dropped to 140 bpm and 130 bpm, so I thought it was a panic attack and headed home. When I got home, I took a Diazepam, and within two hours, it was back at 74 bpm. The next day, I went to the medical center, and the doctor did another ECG and blood pressure test. ECG was normal. The only thing that bothers me now is I feel like I become tensed constantly and develop twitches or tremors in my leg and face. These symptoms are only noticeable when I lie down. I spoke to my doctor, and they said this is a chronic anxiety disorder, and I require medication and some psychotherapy. They have prescribed me Sertraline, and I have to see a psychologist tomorrow. The doctor said the muscle twitches and tremors are normal in this situation. I know my anxiety is obsessive. What are your thoughts? Please help.

Thank you.

Answered by Dr. S. Adithya

Hello,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

I have read the query, and I can understand your concern.

Can you be more precise regarding your concern?

I hope this will help you.

Thank you.

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

Thanks for the reply.

I have anxiety right now about the constant muscle twitches and tremors. Of course, with my anxiety, I fear whether it is Parkinson's or a tumor at times. As the feelings are constant, I did not think it could be related to anxiety. My doctor says it is due to my hypersensitivity. I never back down from fight or flight. Does it happen? Please help.

Thank you.

Answered by Dr. S. Adithya

Hello,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

I have read the query, and I can understand your concern.

I understand the kind of distress you are going through. However, I agree with what your doctor mentioned earlier about anxiety symptoms. During distress, anything you do seems hypertensive or hypersensitive. And for this condition, you should be on regular treatment.

I hope this will help you.

Thank you.

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

Thanks for the reply.

My body feels like it is in a constant fight or flight. I am pumped up and waiting for the next panic, it is causing muscle twitches. What concerns me is that I have this feeling when I lie down, supposedly relaxing. Is this a common sign in this anxiety condition? Please help.

Thank you.

Answered by Dr. S. Adithya

Hello,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

I have read the query, and I can understand your concern.

Yes it does happen when you are in an anxious state. However, you should be following the below things every day to overcome them and keep you in a relaxed state.

1)Regular physical activities.

2) Deep breathing exercises.

3) Talk to close ones.

4) Listening to music.

5) Muscle relaxation techniques.

6) Hot shower before sleep.

7) A cup of hot milk before sleep.

8) Avoid screens before sleep

Try to follow these and, if possible, ask your local psychiatrist to prescribe a few medications.

I hope this will help you.

Thank you.

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

Thank you for the reply.

It is hard to believe how your mind can develop physical symptoms.

Thank you.

Answered by Dr. S. Adithya

Hello,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

I have read the query, and I can understand your concern.

Mind and body are interconnected, and whatever you sense or perceive is acted upon by the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems, after this, certain neurotransmitters and hormones get released. Subsequently, you develop physical symptoms.

I hope this will help you.

Thank you.

Same symptoms don't mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Dr. S. Adithya
Dr. S. Adithya

Psychiatry

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