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4245052 tn?1351626302

Anxiety and Hypochondria.

For the past year, I've been suffering from severe anxiety. Ever since my mom passed away I think that I'm gonna die at any moment. I have trouble sleeping, and I just worry any time any new symptom pops up. I am a 21 year old male. I am 280 pounds, 5'11. I've actually lost about 33 pounds in the last 6 months with diet and exercise. But the past 4 months have just been awful with my anxiety and hypochondria.

It started with a lump in my light breast. After getting a mammogram and an ultrasound it was found that I had gynecomastia. I was sure I had breast cancer. And still even doubt the results sometimes because of my anxiety. And these last 2 months have been hell. My bowel movements started to get really thin and I became constipated often. I started taking Metamucil to help me go more regularly. It would help, but on the 4th day of taking it I started getting bad diarrhea. So I started to use less of it. Well these past 2 weeks I've started to have abdominal cramps and pressure. I've been 2 the ER twice because of panic attacks thinking something is seriously wrong with my bowels. Both times my blood work, urine tests, and stool samples came back fine. I also had a cholesterol blood test at my doctors. And my HDL was a little low, but my LDL was near perfect. So he said I shouldn't worry about that. Well today I've been worrying about my heart rate. I feel like it's speeding up and slowing down randomly, like it's skipping beats or something. I can't tell if it's in my head. I've also had chest pain today. And I feel like I'm nearing a panic attack again. So I decided to find somewhere on google that I could share my thoughts. My primary doctor doesn't take my anxiety seriously. I really think I need to be put on some kind of anxiety medicine. I was on ativan for a month last year, and it really seemed to help. But he didn't wanna continue it. He said it was habit forming. But for that month my mind was really at ease and I was able to get full nights of rest. I find myself worrying about every little ache or pain I get and I can't control my mind once it starts worrying. I'm just so frustrated with this anxiety. I'm not sure what symptoms are real anymore. I asked my doctor if I should get a colonoscopy for the bowel issues I've been having and he said he didn't think I needed one. I just don't know where to turn. Also, my father is getting really tired of all my worrying and anxiety, he gets really frustrated with me always worrying about my symptoms and always tells me there nothing to worry about. He usually is always right. But I don't know how to control myself when I get into panic mode.

I know this is long, any help would be appreciated on any of the issues I'm having. I'm just really tired of feeling like this. I was never like this before my mom died. Anyway, any help would be greatly appreciated.    
3 Responses
3455166 tn?1347507133
Hi there Jamie,

I'm very sorry to hear about the loss of your mother, I really am.
Hypochondria is certainly a terrible thing to have, but it does go away with proper therapy over time, it may take a while but just stay persistent with it.

Gynecomastia is normal in some young men, if you are overweight than I would think it is rather common and nothing to have concern over, it goes away with losing weight. Or it just goes away with time. If your bowel movements are becoming irregular, I would suspect that you examine your diet and see what you are eating on a daily basis as that is usually the prime culprit in non-normal bowel movements, but certainly as well, anxiety can cause it. Anxiety can easily stir up your digestive tract and cause anything from upset stomach, to nausea, diarrhea, constipation, acid reflux and so on. Anxiety can also interfere with the way you eat and this can be causing your digestive upsets.

As for you heart (which responds exceptionally well to anxiety-provoking stimuli) palpitations can result and these are completely harmless in and of themselves. A palpitation can range from a flutter, to a skipped beat, or a thud, a double beat or just a very fast heart rate. They won't do anything other than make you aware of your heart. Anxiety or stress is a major trigger for them, sometimes they can be caused by bending over as well, or even influenced by diet. The ones you are experiencing are most likely from anxiety.

About your constipation: Are you drinking enough water? If not, that can cause constipation for sure. Six to eight glasses per day is adequate, if its hot or if you are out doing things, even more is necessary. Water and good fiber intake is key.

You can control your panic, but you need to re-train yourself. I would suggest doing something very simple like daily relaxation, set a certain amount of time each day to totally let go and relax, just chill out for half hour or so. Be constructive, read a book, take a drive, go for a walk and keep your mind busy. If you have anxiety or hypochondria and you are not busy, its easier to get into some worry mode about "x" whatever it may be.

I hope everything gets better and do take care. ;-)
Avatar universal
Jamie, I am pretty sure somebody is going to answer you.  I saw your post because I started posting yesterday because I am having some symptoms and I am thinking as you, that I have this or that.  I also don't have anybody to tell it.  I never before pay attention and did not think how bothering are anxiety symptoms.  For me , is something real.  I was reading last night here some posts and think I found a good page...keep coming and hope you could get help to cope with your anxiety...I also hope I could get some relief because its the first time in my life that this is happening to me....
4245052 tn?1351626302
Hi, thanks very much for your response.

I decided to see a different doctor last week, because it didn't seem like my primary was taking my anxiety seriously. The new doctor was very helpful and she said a lot of the things you said. And she put me on paxil and ativan. Which I am happy to report are really helping me calm down. I am also going to start seeing a therapist for my anxiety. She scheduled me to see a G.I doctor just in case anything was actually wrong. But since I got started on this medicine my bowels have started to get back to the way they were. So it was most likely all due to anxiety.

This all could of been avoided if my primary would have understood the severity of my anxiety. I'm very happy to have a new doctor who actually listened to what I had to say.

Thanks again for your reply!

- Jamie
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