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*** Health Anxiety During this difficult time ***

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    *** Health Anxiety During this difficult time ***

    Good Afternoon... I just wanted to come on here and see how many others are out there that may be dealing with this.. I don't have health anxiety. But my DW does.. so you can imagine how trying of a time this has been for her .. I can't imagine feeling like everything is going to make you sick and that you can't even go out for a drive without feeling that you must sanitize everything. We unpack all our groceries when we go shopping, wash what we can and change and show after each trip.

    I feel the same way about most of what she is wanting to do .. but may not do exactly what she does if it was just me .. However .. that isn't a thing that would be beneficial to argue about at this time .. On top of that .... my MIL is a cancer survivor and lives with us ( in the basement ) with my FIL.... who doesn't believe this is a serious thing going on so he doesn't wash his hands much and go out and socializes with his buddies/family and than comes home to my MIL. So you can imagine how that goes off with the rest of us ... we are all trying to keep our selves in check ( I don't deal with a lot of mental health , but this has been a trying time for me as well ) as I feel I am trying to keep it all together for everyone ..... I am the support the strength... and I am ok with that.. but I feel overwhelmed as well.. Been having a lot of crying fits lately ... due to feeling helpless and scared myself... I am lucky I am able to work from home so that is a mental distraction ... I keep my news coverage to a minimum and try to watch commercial free tv, as the message of what is going on right now is everywhere.... EVEN Netflix has a Coronavirus Show on there ... LIKE COME ON!!!!!

    On top of that my MIL has to go in for surgery and we all have to pitch in to help her and FIL is still going out and doing his thing and not being as sanitary as he should/could...


    I feel so scared and lonely also I feel so trapped by the uncertainty of what is going on ... and of the choices that my family is making ... it would be different if we didnt' live in such small quaters... but when he comes in we feel we must sanitize everything he touches.. and he can't come near our dog .... its just a huge shit show ..


    I wish there were more discussion about the pandemic on here so I can at least read that I am not alone and maybe get pointers on how others are dealing with things...

    I am so overwhelmed with everything.. mostly the health anxiety in the house and the worry of contamination and all the aches and pains that could be the worst case scenario .. has anyone had someone in their life that deals with this ... and how have you coped and dealt with what seems to be constant negativity/ fear.

    #2
    Hello Wantstounderstand. I'm sorry but I don't have any good answers for you. I'm not overly close to my father or for that matter any of my family so I don't have to worry about anyone visiting. My spouse does work in a grocery store and she has trouble with customers not using proper distancing and not wearing any protective apparel including masks. Her attitude is to politely ask them to ask them to step back. Some of the customers get irate with her when she backs away from them. So there are all sorts of people like your FIL. The pictures in the papers today showed literally 1000's of people in Toronto parks all crammed in together.

    I cannot believe just how care free people are taking this pandemic. If it was me I would just toss the offender out on their ear, but that is probably why I am not close to any of my family. I can be hard to get along with at times. I do get anxieties for which I take lorazepam.and I try to do my shopping very early in the day when the stores are not busy. Wal mart in my area opens at 7am just for seniors, although I have never seen anyone turned away for being too young. They also enforce one person per family at a time, although I have seen them waive this when one of the people say they have anxieties.

    We don't take the precautions that you do of changing our clothes and showering after every outing so I guess that I'm guilty of that and it's something that I really should do. Take Care. paul m
    "Alone we can do so little;
    Together we can do so much"
    Helen Keller

    Comment


      #3
      Hi Wantstounderstand,

      My parents are in their 60s and have very polarizing opinions on Covid-19 and the threat it poses to their health. My mom (a microbiologist and an authority on the topic of infectious viruses) takes it very seriously, whereas my dad does not. In fact, he is like your father-in-law: quite laissez-faire about the whole thing, still goes out in public, hasn't been wearing a mask or washing hands more than usual. To further complicate, my mother's sister, my aunt, is currently going through chemo and radiation as she battles cancer. She is the only visitor to my parents' home besides me, but I always sanitize before coming in and wear a mask. The bans here have been relaxed so that friends and family can visit in groups no larger than 10.

      What we have done to appease my mother's anxiety and to promote the health of my aunt is that mom sanitizes doorknobs, handles - any commonly-touched surface - 3 or 4x a day. She also has a specific set of dishes she *only* takes out when company is over so that there's no way dad can touch them and germ them up. We also simply don't let my dad hang around us if my aunt is around or is going to be around, and we cite specific examples of why ("dad, you went to the convenience store yesterday and didn't wear a mask or wash your hands/get changed when you got home", etc.) It annoys him, and honestly, it does create a lot of extra work for my mom, but it works.

      tldr: my dad is not taking covid seriously, my mum is and gets a bit anxious about it. for my anxious mother, the more she feels like she's "doing" to combat germs from within the house, the calmer she is. She doesn't become unhinged or unreasonable, but she does need to do x amount of very specific cleaning tasks in order to feel like the house is safe.

      Comment


        #4
        Hello Wantstounderstand. I commend you for being a responsible citizen during this pandemic! We can only try our best.

        It sounds really stressful, having your father-in-law's actions and attitude to deal with, and the overall health anxiety in your home; no wonder you feel overwhelmed

        Now that you mention it, there hasn't been too much reference made on the forum to the pandemic. You definitely aren't alone in dealing with it, and I'm not sure why there isn't much being posted here.


        Since you've asked, here's how I'm managing to get by. Having dealt with depression off and on for so long, and a certain measure of fear and anxiety too, I already have a "tool box" built up. The pandemic, in a way, is just the latest in a series of icky "life stuff". Different, of course, from anything previous, but my tools work the same:

        I take a walk, phone a friend, read something inspiring, post on the forum, journal, do a little creative writing, play some music, call someone who might appreciate a conversation, talk with God, even do that old standby of a bubble bath. Oh yeah, and read a trashy novel or watch a fluff movie. Find something funny to watch or listen to, or someone funny to talk to. And, importantly I believe, let the waves of fear wash over me once in a while , because this whole thing is very real and we're allowed to be scared. After a wave washes over me, I imagine setting the fear aside in some corner of myself, and look toward what's around me that will give me a focus that feels better. I don't know if I'm describing this very well. In any case, there's some of what I'm doing to deal with the &%*# pandemic!
        uni

        ~ it's always worth it ~

        Comment


          #5
          [QUOTE=paul m;n51587]Hello Wantstounderstand. I'm sorry but I don't have any good answers for you. I'm not overly close to my father or for that matter any of my family so I don't have to worry about anyone visiting. My spouse does work in a grocery store and she has trouble with customers not using proper distancing and not wearing any protective apparel including masks. Her attitude is to politely ask them to ask them to step back. Some of the customers get irate with her when she backs away from them. So there are all sorts of people like your FIL. The pictures in the papers today showed literally 1000's of people in Toronto parks all crammed in together. '

          My FIL thinks everyone should hug and get it over with ... He knows his daughter feels the way she feels he is just being extremely selfish .. Not only that .. but my MIL is a Cancer Survivor and just had her eye removed a couple of weeks ago and he is still acting this way ...

          I cannot believe just how care free people are taking this pandemic. If it was me I would just toss the offender out on their ear, but that is probably why I am not close to any of my family. I can be hard to get along with at times. I do get anxieties for which I take lorazepam and I try to do my shopping very early in the day when the stores are not busy. Wal mart in my area opens at 7am just for seniors, although I have never seen anyone turned away for being too young. They also enforce one person per family at a time, although I have seen them waive this when one of the people say they have anxieties.


          My wife wont' do the shopping anymore ... I have to ... I dont' feel as anxious ... becuase I know that I take all percautions I need to and avoid people when necessary.... the time it takes for her to unpack and repack our groceries almost takes as long as me going shopping ...so a few extra trips that are smaller are better.... I feel ..



          We don't take the precautions that you do of changing our clothes and showering after every outing so I guess that I'm guilty of that and it's something that I really should do.


          Thank you for acknowledging the fact that persons that take the precautions that my wife takes aren't crazy... Personally if it was just me I don't know if I would do everything she does but sometimes you have to make choices for the good of the relationship and the peace of mind of your spouse !!!!! I even have to sometimes negotiate with her about washing my hair after I come home.. because my weekends are filled with errands sometimes I am going out more than once... and I can't ( dont 'want to ) keep washing my hair.. I only wash it 2x a week usually anyway.. so it can be tiresome...
          !!!!



          Comment


            #6
            QUOTE=nm88;n51591]Hi Wantstounderstand,

            My parents are in their 60s and have very polarizing opinions on Covid-19 and the threat it poses to their health. My mom (a microbiologist and an authority on the topic of infectious viruses) takes it very seriously, whereas my dad does not. In fact, he is like your father-in-law: quite laissez-faire about the whole thing, still goes out in public, hasn't been wearing a mask or washing hands more than usual. To further complicate, my mother's sister, my aunt, is currently going through chemo and radiation as she battles cancer. She is the only visitor to my parents' home besides me, but I always sanitize before coming in and wear a mask. The bans here have been relaxed so that friends and family can visit in groups no larger than 10.

            What we have done to appease my mother's anxiety and to promote the health of my aunt is that mom sanitizes doorknobs, handles - any commonly-touched surface - 3 or 4x a day. She also has a specific set of dishes she *only* takes out when company is over so that there's no way dad can touch them and germ them up. We also simply don't let my dad hang around us if my aunt is around or is going to be around, and we cite specific examples of why ("dad, you went to the convenience store yesterday and didn't wear a mask or wash your hands/get changed when you got home", etc.) It annoys him, and honestly, it does create a lot of extra work for my mom, but it works.


            So my wife isn't the only one that changes and showers(?) when she gets back from going out ... (not that she goes out anymore .... I do the shopping now ..... we have been in isolation since the middle of march and my wife and I o ONLY went for a drive last week..... I have been wanting to for a long time .. as its a change of scenery ... and no harm done when its just us ... but she feels that the truck is contaminated...


            tldr: my dad is not taking covid seriously, my mum is and gets a bit anxious about it. for my anxious mother, the more she feels like she's "doing" to combat germs from within the house, the calmer she is. She doesn't become unhinged or unreasonable, but she does need to do x amount of very specific cleaning tasks in order to feel like the house is safe.[/QUOTE]

            My wife is the same way... we try to get lysol wipes when we can ( as we live behind an walmart and can call C/S when they have them behind the counter... so that we can clean the doornobs and such... but the hardest is our dog.. he LOVES to go to the garage with grampa and when my FIL does what he does we can't allow him out .. which puts even more stress on us ...


            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by uni View Post
              Hello Wantstounderstand. I commend you for being a responsible citizen during this pandemic! We can only try our best.


              ** I do try my best and every day its a struggle. I feel like I can't do what is needed ... my wife is feeling many physical symptoms ... always feels like she has COVID.... but this was the case before... the Pandemic has just escalated things greatly ..... She has been bed ridden for just over two weeks ( anxiety / pain ) and I am working and trying to help out my MIL who had eye surgery two weeks ago... I tend to the house while I have my breaks and lunches and tend to my wife on my time off.... I even spent 5 hours in the kitchen before my MILs surgery and made some meals in advance so that they had suppers to have while she was in the early stages of recovery ... this I enjoyed very much... I LOVE cooking and its my stress relief ..... its just a lot to take on .... ****

              It sounds really stressful, having your father-in-law's actions and attitude to deal with, and the overall health anxiety in your home; no wonder you feel overwhelmed

              Now that you mention it, there hasn't been too much reference made on the forum to the pandemic. You definitely aren't alone in dealing with it, and I'm not sure why there isn't much being posted here. ** I am surprised too.... because anxiety being a big topic on this site I was sure I would find more people discussing it .... ***


              Since you've asked, here's how I'm managing to get by. Having dealt with depression off and on for so long, and a certain measure of fear and anxiety too, I already have a "tool box" built up. The pandemic, in a way, is just the latest in a series of icky "life stuff". Different, of course, from anything previous, but my tools work the same:

              I take a walk, phone a friend, read something inspiring, post on the forum, journal, do a little creative writing, play some music, call someone who might appreciate a conversation, talk with God, even do that old standby of a bubble bath. Oh yeah, and read a trashy novel or watch a fluff movie. Find something funny to watch or listen to, or someone funny to talk to. And, importantly I believe, let the waves of fear wash over me once in a while , because this whole thing is very real and we're allowed to be scared. After a wave washes over me, I imagine setting the fear aside in some corner of myself, and look toward what's around me that will give me a focus that feels better. I don't know if I'm describing this very well. In any case, there's some of what I'm doing to deal with the &%*# pandemic!
              *** I try to take walks.. and honestly I should more .. however I have so much on my plate that I tend to leave that behind to catch up on shows or just play my scrabble.... I know that prioritizing would help me and I will work on that .. I tend to put others before myself and I don't benefit from that at all .... I know I can be my worst enemy .....

              when I try to watch tv its usually interrupted or I feel I can't concentrate due to being needed to called away or having another conversation about medical and how things hurt and the drs aren't doing the right stuff.... so I just usually stick to my 30 minute shows .. easy to get through.. I have like 7 movies on my DVR that I haven't watched because I don't feel I have the time / concentration ...

              Like last night my DW had such bad anxiety that I layed in bed with her all night after my shift.. I felt so down after because it was all medical talk .... I got up earlier than usual this morning to get some more ME time but that didn't work out .. more anxiety and asking for things ..... I have a 4 day weekend coming up and I am dreading it .. because of how much I will have to do ... clean and run errands and such .... at least work is a distraction and I am lucky to be able to work from home .. otherwise I am not sure what my mental state would be ... ***


              sorry for all that ...




              Comment


                #8
                Hello Wantstounderstand. No need to apologize, I'm just glad you can come on here every so often and vent if nothing else! Has there been any improvement in your situation?
                uni

                ~ it's always worth it ~

                Comment


                  #9
                  I have been feeling some health anxiety myself the past month and a half. When covid first started in Canada, every time I left the house my chest got tight and my breathing got shallow. I was in fear a lot and it lead to some bad stress and panic attacks. For me in times of high stress it start getting strange pains (chest pains, numb arms, rib pains, stomach pains, neck pains etc.) and then those pains lead to health anxiety and lots of worrying about other things like work, my child, my wife and my parents. If you have ever had a panic attack it can feel like you are dying and gets quite scary. Thankfully I have a very understanding doctor who will run tests to ease my mind and he offers anxiety medications if I want them but never pushes them on me. My wife is familiar with my condition and helps me a lot too. Its nice to have someone close to ease your mind.

                  This past couple weeks I tried an antidepressant called Trintellix. It really did more harm than good in my opinion. I have never been able to tolerate anti anxiety meds and antidepressants. I get every side effect in the book and it seems to only elevate my stress. With those types of meds you are suppose to stick it out for at least a month most of the time and supposedly the side effects go away but I never get that far. The only medication of that type I can tolerate is ativan and those are not the types of drugs you can take every day for long periods.

                  Prior to Covid I had a pretty good system going to keep me level. I go for a massage once a month, acupuncture once a month, a few mines of quiet guided meditation/controlled breathing every day and I try to get in lots of walks. Plus I try to take a friday off once a month just to have some casual alone time. I have coverage at work so the costs aren't too bad for massages and acupuncture. I always have a few ativans available too if things get overwhelming. Its also nice to have a place like this to vent a bit and not feel alone with this condition.

                  When covid hit it was suddenly no more massages, no more acupuncture and elevated stress about almost everything in my life. I quit taking the Trintellix yesterday and I already feel quite a bit better. I see my doc tomorrow and I have appointments for acupuncture and massage coming up now that they are opening again.

                  I hope to get back to normal again soon as this has been some of the toughest months of my life.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    uni .... my DW went to get a test for carcenoid syndrome this has been putting her on edge.. ( even thought I don't think she has it ) its still a stressful thing to go through .... the test should yield results in 7 business days. this test was delayed due to something.... so it will take another 7 days.. this has put her on edge.. which I totally understand.... so that has been a big thing that has been causing stress..... other than that .. so far... not too bad...

                    I had a 4 day weekend.. as I mentioned and it was pretty good... my wife and MIL made sure that I had a chill day... although it wasn't a full day but i got to relax some... my DW went to the hospital due to feeling like she was having a heart attack.... spoke to her Cardiologist today and he doesn't feel it was anything and the symptoms she is feeling isn't HF... so that is good...

                    Thanks for checking in and asking.... I do appreciate that

                    Comment


                      #11
                      uni the test came back good.. no red flags...

                      Comment


                        #12
                        OILERFAN I am so sorry that this time has been very difficult for you . I can appreciate how those steps you followed were important and helped you cope with everyday stressors... MY DW gets those same feelings when she is stressed and sometimes when I don't think she realizes she is stressed but with the health anxiety they get increased to actual health issues and has created a number of specialists like a Cardioligist ... because she is constantly worried that something is wrong.. as she always has aches and pains.. back stomach arm chest .. difficutly breathing and all tests so far have come back well. except for a couple but those are not terminal ...

                        I hope that as things are starting to open up... slowly .. as I feel ONT is moving too fast and it may result in a shut down again ... I hope you are able to get to the things you enjoy .. I also hope that you are getting great weather so you can still enjoy your walks...

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Hello Wantstounderstand.. Sorry for taking so long to respond to your post; I just haven't been on the forum. I"m glad to hear that your wife's tests came back fine, that is good news
                          uni

                          ~ it's always worth it ~

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