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Do you worry about your health?

(119 Posts)
MaggieTulliver Sun 11-Oct-20 19:05:37

I’m interested to know how much other Gransnetters are concerned about their health. I’m 63 and as far as I know reasonably fit and healthy but have very severe health anxiety. Every blemish or mark on my skin, every unusual pain is the harbinger of some awful illness (usually cancer). It’s getting worse as I get older and realise that I’m at the age when things start going wrong. I marvel at how other people get on with things and don’t let the fear of serious illness blight their lives. They have the attitude that they’re ok at that moment and if they something wrong they’ll deal with it then. And not catastrophise over every little symptom, which is what I do. I have a season ticket to the doctors!

Please tell me how you manage your health concerns and cope with getting older. I feel utterly defeated by this and it would help so much to know that I don’t have to live like this.

MissAdventure Sun 11-Oct-20 19:15:39

What do you think you would do if the very worst happened, and it was cancer?
I think you would deal with it, because that is what we all do when disaster or illness strikes.
We go through it, and we (hopefully!) come out the other side.

Apart from that, is there any illness which is prevented or helped by worrying?

That's my take on health issues. Give yourself enough credit to know you would be strong and resilient, because humans are just that.

Maggiemaybe Sun 11-Oct-20 19:23:13

I’m at the other end of the spectrum. I’m not easily worried and always assume that whatever symptom it is will go on its own, so I very rarely go to the GP. I appreciate that I’m lucky to be fit and well at the moment.

My way is much easier on my mental well-being, but I doubt that either of us has the right attitude to our health. Those with a better idea of what should be checked out and what isn’t important are the sensible ones.

MaggieTulliver Sun 11-Oct-20 19:26:38

I think th

MaggieTulliver Sun 11-Oct-20 19:29:16

Sorry I think that’s the problem @MissAdventure. I fear that if I did have cancer I’d fall apart. Maybe I should have more faith in myself. Wish I was more like you @Maggiemaybe!

BlueSky Sun 11-Oct-20 19:39:40

I suffered with health anxiety all my life, but now that I’m older, it’s not so bad not so all time consuming, not quite sure why, perhaps because my children are adults and won’t need me as much? I deal with it by seeing the GP as soon as I have a worrying symptom, and I go from there.

tanith Sun 11-Oct-20 19:41:46

I do take my health seriously and take all the health checks offered and watch my weight as I have diabetes and take my meds but I don’t worry constantly at what may happen. I see no point as worrying will change nothing and if the worst should happen I am pretty confidant I would deal with it as I dealt with my DH and his illness which took him from me after all what choice is there. I think you are stronger than you think you just need to try and live for each day.

MaggieTulliver Sun 11-Oct-20 19:50:40

Thank you Tanith, good advice and I’m sorry for your loss.

Pantglas2 Sun 11-Oct-20 19:53:36

I do all I can to keep well with good food, sleep and exercise and cross my fingers on the genetics! I’ve been blessed so far....

dragonfly46 Sun 11-Oct-20 19:56:32


What do you think you would do if the very worst happened, and it was cancer?
I think you would deal with it, because that is what we all do when disaster or illness strikes.
We go through it, and we (hopefully!) come out the other side.

Apart from that, is there any illness which is prevented or helped by worrying?

That's my take on health issues. Give yourself enough credit to know you would be strong and resilient, because humans are just that.

You know what, worrying about your health is a waste of precious time.
I was diagnosed with breast cancer 2 years ago. I have had treatment and of course I worry that it will come back. It may do and I may die but in the meantime I am going to count my blessings and enjoy the rest of my life.
Don’t look forward just enjoy each day as it comes and make the most of it.

dragonfly46 Sun 11-Oct-20 19:58:09

Why did I get a quote on my post - it was not intentional - sorry * missadventure*

M0nica Sun 11-Oct-20 20:01:21

Perhaps a course of CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) would help. It would help you break the patterns of thought that lead up to your constant health worries.

MaggieTulliver Sun 11-Oct-20 20:06:58

Thank you so much for your posts, they’re very helpful. M0nica I have actually just started CBT on the NHS and hoping it will help.

PamelaJ1 Sun 11-Oct-20 20:15:50

No I don’t, in fact I presume I’m going to live forever!
That isn’t to say that I don’t look after myself. I’m fit and well , I exercise and eat well. Because of my life when I was small I have had a few incidences of BCCs., I just deal with them when they happen.
I suppose we all respond differently to life but if it really is causing you problems then, as has been said already, you should address the problem and see if you can relax a bit.

kittylester Sun 11-Oct-20 21:09:51

I think I have a bit of health anxiety - I currently think i have a heart problem and possibly something awful going on in my stomach.

I have to give myself a severe talking to and I'm better. I'm sorry you are really worried and hope the cbt works.

MaggieTulliver Sun 11-Oct-20 22:23:24

A severe talking too 😊 I’ll try that. It does make me wonder why I’m like this whereas other people don’t worry. Whatever the reason, and there might not be one I can find, I want to do something about it and not waste precious time worrying myself half to death.

Marydoll Sun 11-Oct-20 22:32:11

I'm the opposite.
I have a number of comorbidities, but realise I can't change things, so no point in stressing.
I'm so used to it now, nothing really phases me.
My attitude is to meet it head on! I know my !ifespan is shorter than it should be for my age, but I accepted that a long time ago.
I try to enjoy the good days and make the best of it.
Just be glad you have good health, you don't know what you've got until it's gone!!

Georgesgran Mon 12-Oct-20 01:19:39

My dearest friend is a genuine hypochondriac. She must have more ‘medical records’ at her Surgery than a family of 6!
She keeps a daily diary of how she feels and will note a runny nose or bit of earache and give her GP a call. If I ever meet him, he’ll get a piece of my mind - he panders to her, refers her for unnecessary tests (always negative, but as a true hypochondriac she doesn’t believe them) and hands out sick notes like confetti! She’s had counseling for one issue and frequent courses of physio, just because she can! She hasn’t been to work since March, claiming a low immune system, but has moved house and is now chasing around buying furniture and fittings for it! She’s now decided she has a very rare condition - it’s very difficult to diagnose and usually confined to people living on The Silk Route, but her old GP has already referred her to Hospital, where they can’t confirm one way or the other. She’s very happy that they plan to see her 3x a year.

I love her to bits, but I hope when she registers with a new GP they get to the root of the problem and don’t just carry on prescribing the lowest dose of whatever medication she’s read about.

Sorry for the rant.
I’m almost 70 and haven’t seen my GP for years - ‘flu jab from Nurse though. Life’s too short to worry.

Hetty58 Mon 12-Oct-20 01:42:30

I worried about my health (every little thing) as a young adult but 'transferred' all those concerns to my children when they came along.

I stopped any worry about myself and it's never come back.

I do have a friend who worries to a ridiculous extent about her health, fitness and looks. She has no real problems - except the anxiety. She is obsessive and can't sleep well due to recurring intrusive thoughts.

It takes up her whole life, the appointments with doctors (they never find anything - but it brings no reassurance or comfort). Sometimes, she voices regrets about getting old and never having 'done' anything, missing out.

I think her anxiety is, in fact, her illness, needing therapy and/or medication - before it really does make her physically ill!

MaggieTulliver Mon 12-Oct-20 06:54:08

Marydoll, it’s inspiring to hear what you say. Georgesgran, I’m surprised your friend’s GP hasn’t identified her real issue. I’m very open with mine about my health anxiety so they know that’s why I contact them so often. Hetty58, you’re right about your friend. Does she have no insight into her condition?

Calendargirl Mon 12-Oct-20 07:08:35

It’s people like Georgesgran friends who annoy me. At the doctor’s every touch and turn, hospital consultations, unnecessary prescriptions, etc. etc.

No wonder genuinely ill people can’t get appointments.

As her friend, I would be a bit more blunt and tell her to sort herself out.

BlueBelle Mon 12-Oct-20 07:12:26

maggiemabe I m exactly like you the opposite of the poster
I m not foolhardy and if something crops up that I was really concerned about I d do something about it but on the whole I have the attitude that it ll go away when it’s ready I don’t often see the doctor my mum was anxious about her health but lived to 90 Dad lived to 92 so I think my genetics are good
I have a young friend with a severe case of Cystic Fibrosis but she puts it all behind her and carries on doing everything as a normal person and has worked with the public throughout this Pandemic she won’t hide away I admire her spirit

Urmstongran Mon 12-Oct-20 07:33:55

I’m 66y and as far as I know I’m in good health. I take one tablet for hypertension a day is all. That said, as I’m getting older if I notice anything different I do tend to worry about it until (hopefully) it sorts itself out. I’m definitely more anxious about my health than I used to be.

I calm myself with the sage words of advice our old lovely GP used to say years ago - that one symptom on its own is rarely anything to worry about.

But wasn’t it Spike Milligan who had ‘I told you I was ill’ put on his headstone?

Whitewavemark2 Mon 12-Oct-20 07:56:25

I think it is normal to be more concerned about your health as you age, because not to put too fine a point on it the next illness could be your last.

So yes I’m like everyone else.

Every pain is the start of cancer except in my chest which is heart.

I give myself a talking too and wait for it to go away. So far it far😬

Esspee Mon 12-Oct-20 08:00:01

I am in control of my health. I try to take care of myself as best I can but am not worried about dying. If I worried I would be wasting precious time.