I am a hypochondriac, which stems from an anxiety disorder, or so I have been told.
Now, not to be rude, but there are a lot of self-diagnosers out there. Why they claim they have an anxiety disorder when all they do is get a little nervous over major things (don’t we all) is beyond me, and when they do that, it makes people like me look like we are just attention whores.
Firstly, if you think you may have a condition, please see a doctor. If you don’t like what that doctor says, we have second opinions for a reason. In fact, most doctors recommend you get them because they know they are only human and can make mistakes.
When I say I have anxiety issues, I really mean it and yes they are diagnosed. I have separation anxiety, abandonment issues (this is a story for another day, on where these started. I’ll drop the hint of they started where all my issues started, in the year 2008), hypochondria and plain old generalized anxiety. I know my panicking over little things is silly, but my logical mind cannot overcome the panic.
For instance, when that shit happened with the ex-bestie (whom for the purposes of this blog, shall be called “the Skopijan”), I was nothing but a bundle of raw nerves. Why? The separation anxiety and abandonment issues, which he wound up separating and dropping me like a bad habit because a girl told him to (That’s all it boils down to. A girl told him to. So he did. Maybe one day he will grow some testicles, but at this point, I fear it is too late). Yet, looking back on it, I can see how silly it was for me to get so upset over it. A person without my “condition” would have been a little sad at the end of a friendship, but would have easily gotten over it, especially since the friend had done nothing but use them for money (I wonder if he has acquired a job yet. I’d ask his lady friend who was nice to me and seemed interested in talking, but once she realized I couldn’t send her screen caps to fuel her paranoia that he was cheating on her, she didn’t want to talk. He probably is, dear.). They wouldn’t have been so upset. Not me, I lost my collective wits and did nothing but freak out for over a month. Now, of course, I look back like, “The Skopijan was not worth my tears. Good to be rid of someone like that. I don’t need that shit.” A doctor also told me that this boils down to another bit of GAD called “adjustment disorder.” I apparently don’t take change too well. Now whether I believe that to be a real medical condition that needs to be “medicated” is another story. Most people don’t deal with change well at all. I just happen to be one of them.
Because of this, I am also a severe hypochondriac. For those of you who don’t know, I think I have everything wrong with me. So let me tell you what the past two weeks have been like for me.
I have convinced myself (or near convinced myself) that I was:
Having a heart attack (slight twinges in my chest, mainly due from leaning on my elbows which puts strain on your chest muscles)
Having a stroke (because I lean on my elbows a lot, I stretch out the cubital nerve. It’s also known as cellbow, or cell phone elbow. It’s like carpal tunnel but on the other side of the hand where your pinky and ring finger go numb, tingle, etc)
Had breast cancer (thought I felt a lump. Then I sought it out and couldn’t find it again, and wound up making my breast a little sore, which further solidified my cancer fear)
Had uterine/cervical cancer (had a shorter than usual period.)
Had a brain tumor (headache from staring at a computer monitor for too long while working on my new book)
Thankfully, my mother is a nurse, and God love her, she puts up with so much shit from me. I call her in a panic like, “Mom, I think I’m having a stroke!!”
She will go, “You’re not having a stroke, J. Theberge! (I’m not putting my real name here. Unless I did already and forgot but I’m not doing it now XD)” Then she will proceed to go into a list of reasons WHY I am not having some medical crisis.
My whole point of this blog post is to point out that anxiety issues aren’t cute. They aren’t quirky. Stop romanticizing mental issues (looking at you tumblr)! They can be severely debilitating and crippling. They aren’t funny. They aren’t sexy. They aren’t NORMAL. Yeah, I said it. I don’t care if you get mad at that. Take it from the severe hypochondriac with severe anxiety issues (I can’t even smoke marijuana, you know that? PARANOIA.). It’s not cute. If you sound anything like I do, please for the love of God, go to the doctor and get some help. They’ll do their best to help you, but sometimes the initial treatment does nothing (see you soon, doc!) as I can attest, but they will keep it up until you can get to the day, and breeze through it without an issue.
Or in my case, without thinking you’re having a heart attack. Seriously, I know it’s silly, but in my head I think, “Wait, what if this is the STARTS of a heart attack, and I ignore it, thinking it’s all related to muscles, and my constant leaning, but I am wrong, and it really IS a heart attack!?!?!?! Omg, I should go to the hospital.” Then I’ll pace around the room for thirty minutes, call my mom in a panic, get yelled at by my mom who is now annoyed at me because it’s the tenth time this week I’ve called her upset, thinking I have something major wrong with me.
Help is out there. You don’t have to live like this. The upside is that once you have almost convinced yourself that you’re having a heart attack (nine times), you start trying to be a little healther. I have cut down on the caffeine, cut down on smoking, and started watching my sodium intake. That’s the ONLY upside to hypochondria.