I am scared of getting diseases. Is it due to illness anxiety disorder?

Q. I am worried about the symptoms of mental illness in me. What to do?

Answered by
Dr. Siva Anoop Yella
and medically reviewed by Dr. K Shobana
This is a premium question & answer published on Feb 22, 2021

Hi doctor,

I want to know what is happening to me. Before three weeks, I had panic attacks when my father made a negative comment to me. My dad has a brother and he has schizophrenia. I am scared about this disorder. I do not want to have it. I have contacted some therapists and they all think that I might have anxiety. But I am scared of it as schizophrenia. I am searching a lot about the symptoms of it. I have more stress due to it. I have weird thoughts and dreams as soon as I close my eyes. I know that it is not normal to have dreams right after sleep and it should be after ninety minutes. I remember every single dream getting after the sleep. This causes more anxiety in me. I do not want to be crazy. What can I do?



Welcome to icliniq.com.

Please answer these questions to provide you a proper diagnosis. Please mention whether you have any symptoms of schizophrenia, hearing any unknown voice continuously or any running commentary goes on your mind while doing any actions. Please mention whether you have any suspicion of any kind of people. Please mention whether you have any difficulty in managing your daily activities. Please mention whether you have any sleep disturbance. Please mention whether you have excess worry, fear, sweating, and breathlessness.

Thank you doctor,

I do not have hallucinations or delusions. I am going well by managing my daily life. My concern is about dreaming right after sleeping. I am worried about my mental illness. I was alone for a month as my husband went out of station.



Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Please do not be worried about the mental illness. Sometimes having dreams immediately after sleeping is quite normal and there is nothing to worry. You might get into the deep phase of sleep immediately after sleeping and it is a good sign. The apprehension of having a mental illness should be avoided. Please mention the duration of having panic attacks.

Thank you doctor,

I had panic attacks once a week for three weeks. My husband came back and I am feeling better now. But still, I have a big fear of having a mental illness. All the symptoms of schizophrenia got started when I searched a lot about the symptoms of it. I have negative stuff that I am having this problem and getting treatment in a psychiatric clinic and my husband leaving me due to this issue. Because my aunt left my uncle due to schizophrenia and he seems to be very scary. I always get worried about my health. Before few months, I had a red spot on the back of my throat. I got scared and searched online. I got a diagnosis of cancer and started to have fear of cancer. Last year, my friend fell down after drinking and I helped her. When I picked her, my hand had some blood. I ran to the bathroom and washed it off. After that, I started to worry about HIV because I had a wart on my finger. As I do not know the medical history of my friend, I got worried about HIV. I went to the hospital and did two tests for HIV. All the results came negative. Now, I am dreaming a lot after sleeping. I searched a lot online and it gave me the symptoms of mental illness. How can I stop this fear?



Welcome back to icliniq.com.

According to the symptoms, you appear to have an illness anxiety disorder which is the anxiety of having some illness. I advise you to stay calm and do not be worried. You need medications and counseling to deal with it. Consult a psychiatrist soon to get the medicines and counseling to have better improvement. You should avoid having negative thoughts and stop searching for the symptoms. Avoid the habit of searching for symptoms online. Try to practice relaxation techniques like mindfulness exercises. You may need cognitive behavior therapy as counseling.

Probable diagnosis:

You have an illness anxiety disorder.

Treatment plan:

Consult a psychiatrist soon for medications and psychotherapy.

Preventive measures:

Avoid having negative thoughts.

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