Hello loves, ❤
Day 2 on the Hypochondria Series – Below are some ways you can build a support system – Hope the below helps you ❤
- Get a medical evaluation with your primary care provider.
- Make a list of your current symptoms to take with you to the appointment. Since IAD can be associated with having been ill as a child or other traumatic events, make sure to inform your healthcare provider about your medical history. Your primary care provider may refer you to a mental health professional for additional treatment.
- Locate a healthcare provider you can trust.
- Obviously, the most difficult part of being a hypochondriac is that you constantly feel as if there is something terribly wrong with your body. Ultimately, a trained physician is the only person who can diagnose your symptoms and monitor them for any changes that could require a medical intervention. If you aren’t in regular contact with a doctor, finding one should be your first step
- Create a good relationship with your physician.
- If you suffer from hypochondriasis, it’s likely you’re going to be getting to know your doctor quite well. When you have an appointment, don’t be afraid to ask questions and get as much information as you can.
- Be honest about what you are feeling and how you perceive your symptoms, even if you feel embarrassed about them. Give your physician as detailed a medical history as you can. Your doctor needs as much information as possible to offer an accurate diagnosis.
- Keep an open mind. It’s very possible that both you and your doctor will go through periods of frustration with each other. There may be times when you think certain medical tests are necessary, and your doctor will disagree. There may also be times when your doctor will feel that you do not trust his or her judgment, and you may feel as if your doctor isn’t taking you seriously.
- If this happens, try to remember that your physician is trying to help you, even though you differ in the perception of your situation.
- Follow the treatment plan. If you deviate from the treatment plan, your doctor cannot accurately evaluate if the plan is working for you. This inhibits the doctor’s ability to modify your treatment plan and to provide new strategies for you. Following the treatment plan includes taking your prescriptions as prescribed by your doctor. Taking extra pills or skipping pills does nothing to build trust with your doctor. Be truthful and up front about everything related to your treatment plan.
- Consider joining a support group.
- It’s common to feel alone in your illness. Your doctor says you’re not really sick, your therapist is teaching you that you can’t trust your own perceptions of body sensation, and you’re starting to wonder how it’s possible that you’ve been so wrong. Add it up, and it can be very overwhelming. Talking to other people with your condition can help you better understand what you’re experiencing. Group therapy can introduce you to people who have learned to thrive with your condition, as well as people who are just starting out in treatment. They can provide you a support system for the times when you begin to waver in your treatment and start to doubt whether you want to continue. No one can challenge your thinking better than someone who has had all of the same thoughts that you do. You will get a chance to give back to those who are helping you. If you stick with your group, you eventually will become a resource for others who are struggling. If you’ve never met someone with your condition, it can be profoundly validating to talk to someone who has suffered from the same sorts of fears and intrusive thoughts.
- The internet is filled with message boards and forums for anxiety disorders. On these sites, you can connect with and share feelings with others with IAD. You’ll likely meet folks with anxiety disorders different from your own, but may find that you have many things in common
- Talk with a trusted friend.
- It can be embarrassing to admit that you are consumed by obsessive fears over your health. You don’t want to be someone who is constantly complaining to everyone about how you’re sure you have a terminal illness. Unfortunately, isolating yourself only makes things worse.
Since many of the worst symptoms of hypochondriasis emerge while you’re alone and your brain starts spiraling into a series of dire “what if?” questions, it’s important to maintain a social life to distract you from those thinking patterns.
Friends are no substitute for treatment, but anything that helps you break up that avalanche of worries before it overwhelms you is a positive resource
A close friend might be able to see patterns in your life that you don’t. Did your symptoms start escalating after the death of a loved one? Did you begin having anxiety about pains or aches after you lost your job? A trusted friend might be able to connect those dots easier than you can.
Wherever you are in the world, have a lovely day ❤