Suffering from Health-Related Anxiety, as I do, can be a real handicap. It means that every symptom, every lump, bump, swelling and ache can be blown out of proportion – and assumptions of serious illness settled upon me with depressing speed.
With me, the feared outcome has always been cancer, I think partly because a friend of mine at primary school developed osteosarcoma in her early teens and had her right leg amputated on her fourteenth birthday, partly because female cancers are fairly common in my family; but mainly because my mother also suffered from this insidious anxiety and was, thus, unable to give comfort and reassurance.
I have noticed, however, that my fear level ebbs and flows according to the levels of stress in my life: To put it bluntly, I am more likely to over-react to a minor illness when general anxiety is high – and, during the…
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