How I Balance Advocating For Myself as a Patient with Avoiding Hypochondria

(Disclaimer: I am not a doctor and none of this is meant to provide medical advice. This is just my personal experience.)

I struggle with being my own patient advocate and not being a hypochondriac. I know that having OCD means that I have a tendency to catastrophize and this includes imagining worst-case possible illnesses or medical situations. I know when I’m at my most mentally ill that I can see an aneurysm instead of a migraine or some other catastrophic illness in a simple flu or cold.

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Anxiety Doesn’t Always Have a Trigger

Anxiety doesn’t always have a trigger. Sometimes it’s clear to me why I feel anxious: I am waiting on test results or about to meet with a new client. Sometimes, I find that my anxiety is triggered by alcohol or caffeine. I can often pinpoint something that’s making me anxious. I can say to myself: if I resolve this issue or once I get this information or if I avoid caffeine, I’ll be fine and relaxed.

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Waiting for a Diagnosis

This is not the first time I’ve said it and it probably won’t be the last. I am tired of being tired, especially now that I know that there is a physical reason that I feel tired and headachey all the time, but not the underlying cause. Now that I know this much, I want to know what’s causing it. I’m waiting for my specialist appointment. As anyone who’s ever had more than the flu knows, it takes a while to see a specialist and get answers to what’s going on and how to treat it. Instead, I just have to wait and wait and wait. And try not to worry at the same time.

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