Health Anxiety | My Story, Cause, Symptoms & Living with Health Anxiety | Men’s Mental Health


– My battle with health anxiety. (upbeat music) In this video I’m gonna touch on what caused my health anxiety. The symptoms I felt along with the impact it’s had on various areas of my life. So, starting with what caused it, it was basically a manifestation
of an unhealthy lifestyle. Which ended up giving
me a heart arrhythmia. I was basically on a night
out indulging as you do, probably drinking too much along with other things I
shouldn’t have been doing and I gave myself what’s
known as atrial fibrillation. For those of you that don’t know what atrial fibrillation
is, it’s basically where your heart goes into an arrhythmia for an extended period of time. Mine was about 24 hours and
it was really quite scary. Really, really quite scary. And it’s funny how these
things can come in twos. So, after the stress, the emotional stress that I went through with
the heart arrhythmia, a couple of months later I then faced the mighty awful “C” word
in the form of cancer. Which was just another huge setback, something I was not prepared for. Suddenly my heart had been compromised, the integrity of my heart
had been compromised, and then I got the cancer word, which is something you just
don’t hear at 20 years old. So, that just compounded all of my already very prevalent
stresses and anxieties that had come as a by-product
of the heart scare. It just made the whole thing
even worse, which is horrible. Now, the symptoms I then
went on to experience, they came in all sorts of forms. So I then developed, through
the fear of my heart, the integrity of my heart,
something that was wrong with it, I was then
getting heart palpitations that I thought were very sinister and that were life-threatening. That would then transcend
into chest tightness and I’d hyperventilate, which
would make me very stressed and make me very irritable, it would also make me just
constantly very worried about the health of my heart and whether I was basically going to die. I developed this huge fear of death. Just because obviously,
your heart is a huge part of your day to day health
and making sure that you’re functioning properly and that had been compromised. So, that then manifested into
all other sorts of problems. Like tingling sensations around my limbs through all the cortisol
and the stress hormones that were going through me. I developed insomnia
where it took me regularly about two or three hours
just to get to sleep. And then that meant, when I was asleep, I wasn’t actually sleeping very deeply and I’d wake up very lethargic, very tired and very anxious, I was waking
up in a very anxious state and starting my days
in a very anxious way. Which would impact, that
would have a huge impact on my day-to-day health and wellbeing. I was never present, I was
never present in the day. It would impact my work
and my concentration because I was in this constant fear state. It impacted all my
relationships with everybody because I wasn’t present,
I was constantly thinking, constantly thinking of
the problem with my heart and this constant fear and worry that was going through my head. So, socially I basically
became someone else because I was so far removed
from the person I was before because I just wasn’t myself, at all, for at least three years. It was horrible. And I’d have to have a real think whether I could go to
social events in the evening or at the weekend and do activities because I’d worry so
much, which would give me such intense physical symptoms that I just couldn’t be present. And then when we did
athletic physical activity in a social environment, I would worry, I still worry, I remember
I used to be part of the football team and
I used to love football then I developed this kind of hate for it because the running and
all the physical exertion would obviously get my heart going and sometimes I’d get palpitations
while playing football and that would send me into the fear zone and give me almost panic
attacks on the pitch which was horrible. So, social impact was massive. Sporting impact was huge. Professional impact was massive ’cause I was having panic
attacks at the office and I wasn’t concentrating,
I was very irritable. And then my personal
aspect was huge as well. My family can, as much
as they tried to help and were sympathetic as they could, it was something completely alien to them and they found it really difficult, they found it really difficult and I totally get why. They had a son that was
suddenly thrust into this realm, this mental abyss and
they found it really tough and that was hard for
me, that gave me anxiety just in itself because
I couldn’t be the son I wanted to be with my family. So that was huge. And then the last one
I will mention is the, just the personal aspect for me because I was so emotionally engaged, so sensitive to everything, whether it was all the
feelings I have within my body, the chest, the limbs, the tightness, every little tweak, every little pain, I was so, so sensitive
to it that I was just, I wasn’t present and it had a huge, it was hugely emotionally draining. Which was just horrible,
it was really horrible. I mean everyday, everyday was awful. It was just on a spectrum of how awful. There was never a good day, really, because I was just at the
mercy of all these symptoms, all the impacts that they did. So, yeah, health anxiety, I think in conclusion,
guys, was horrendous. It’s the worse thing
I’ve ever gone through. It’s just so prominent, it had such a big impact
in so many different ways. And it was a real ordeal. It was a real ordeal. So, for anyone out there
that can relate, God, my heart goes out to you
because it is so debilitating. And I really do feel for people that go through it because
it’s just one of the worst, it really is, I really
personally believe that. So, what are my key learnings? To be more forgiving of myself, and kinder to myself. To prioritize healthy habits and make sure I’m eating the right things, exercising the right way, employing different
mindfulness techniques, all the different lifestyle factors that can make such a huge difference. It really helped me understand that the lifestyle I was living before was not conducive to a healthy mind in the form, well, in my
case it was health anxiety. So, since changing all that,
that’s had a vast difference on my outcome, which has been great. But I think also, guys, some
of you might be able to relate to this, but, you’re going
through that adversity, as awful and horrendous and
as terrifying as it was, and as painful as it was,
I’ve actually come out a better person for it. So, for those of you that are
suffering and do feel like there is no light at
the end of the tunnel, I mean, persevere, do what you can, keep taking any steps you can in any direction just so
that you’re moving forward and giving yourself the best shot, but please know that
through that persistence, that you will nurture and
through some consistency, the light will come, the light will come. I thought for many years,
that was me for a long time, and over the past two years I’ve had, kind of made small steps up the ladder, but it does take time,
you have to be patient. So, just keep doing what you’re doing. Be patient, be consistent
because any small step is a step in the right direction. It’s just making sure that you’re able to keep it up. So, with that guys, if
you have any comments or want me to elaborate on
anything that I’ve said, feel free to leave a comment below. If you like what you
heard and it resonates, feel free to like this video. You can thumbs up or
just a leave a comment for any feedback and
then I’ll leave a link to my website that just talks a bit more about my story and a
few other bits on there that could be of use. So, with that, guys,
thanks for checking in. Ciao for now, all right, bye. (upbeat music)

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