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Health anxiety about mens issue


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I had a squeezing feeling of my man’s area and I knew I would become obsessed about it. That was a week ago I can still do toilet and when I go out I notice it less. I had a similar issue about my backside I had a painful backside for 2 months never found a cause but forgot about it and it went. Having health anxiety ocd I end up googling cancers of losing mens area. How can I deal with the constant symptoms I get?

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Hi there.

First off these aren't symptoms that you're getting but normal sensations which your brain is interpreting as symptoms. When you have something genuinely wrong with you, rather than just health anxiety, you will know the difference and you will seek appropriate medical help rather than just sit and worry about your "symptoms".

What you have to do is cut down on the compulsions you are doing which keep the obsession going. No more googling and stop repeatedly checking yourself. You will feel a lot of anxiety at first if you stop doing compulsions but by continuing to resist the urge to do them your anxiety will eventually reduce and you won't worry about this anymore. Watch out for mental compulsions such as rumination as this can be a hard one to spot when you're doing it.

Some people need the guidance of a CBT therapist to help them reduce compulsions and overcome OCD/health anxiety. Others manage to do it on their own using self-help tools. One great self-help book for health anxiety is "Overcoming Health Anxiety" by David Veale which I've used myself.

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Thanks so the fact I’m sitting managing the symptoms I get could mean it’s anxiety bad ocd? I find it hard to believe the mind can be so powerful and create so many aches down below or chest pains ect 

thanks I will the check out the self help book. 

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17 minutes ago, Phil18 said:

Thanks so the fact I’m sitting managing the symptoms I get could mean it’s anxiety bad ocd? I find it hard to believe the mind can be so powerful and create so many aches down below or chest pains ect 

thanks I will the check out the self help book. 

Obviously none of us are your doctors and can't say for certain, but the mind is absolutely powerful enough to create all kinds of sensations in the body. I frequently get chest pains, stomach pains, palpitations, weird visual symptoms, tinnitus, breathlessness etc, and all of it is anxiety based. I've had numerous tests done over the years which have ruled out anything sinister.

I just compare it to when I had a real health issue about 12 months ago. I had crippling abdominal pain and other gynaecological symptoms which came on out of the blue. I knew it was real and not health anxiety and after having various tests done I was diagnosed with stage 4 endometriosis. I knew straightaway that the symptoms I had felt different to my usual anxiety based symptoms which my brain had interpreted as real.

Definitely give that book a try as it does a great job of explaining how health anxiety works in both the body and the mind, and goes through effective techniques to help overcome it.

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Update no doctors appointments today but I got through to a nurse at 111 they asked lots of questions I can urinate fine no swelling or change of temperature maybe that will reassure me? They said I can GP back when they have appointments to make sure. 
 

I found the book on my tablet so I can buy it for £2.99 and give it a read will see if that helps. 

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I had stomach pain and I became obsessed all day about it. Same with palpitations feelings in my throat. I have become consumed by health anxiety. Can’t stop obsessing about my men’s area despite no other symptoms. It’s become obsessive I start to fixate on it?  

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13 minutes ago, PolarBear said:

That's what OCD is: when thoughts become stuck and you fixate on them. But you don't have to. You can leave them alone.

Yes. True but I don’t understand why I have physical pains. I had a sore backside late summer I obsessed over it for months before I got bored and moved on and it never came back. I am now obsessed about my testicles/palpitations or other aches or indigestion pains. The more I think about it these symptoms can come on. I have become a bit stuck 

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Precisely. If you fixate on a body part, you can start feeling sensations in that body part. It's all anxiety related. Anxiety can lead to a lot of different ailments. 

Solution? Work on not fixating. Get your mind on other things. Research reducing your anxiety, too.

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18 minutes ago, PolarBear said:

Precisely. If you fixate on a body part, you can start feeling sensations in that body part. It's all anxiety related. Anxiety can lead to a lot of different ailments. 

Solution? Work on not fixating. Get your mind on other things. Research reducing your anxiety, too.

It’s the niggling voice saying what if it’s not anxiety? Or what if in general I am sure others suffer that too. It’s hard to accept its anxiety sometimes as thoughts or pains seem strange. I think I have health anxiety ocd right now. Perhaps if work on the anxiety the pains will go?

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So many sufferers get intrusive thoughts like, what if it's not OCD? Those what ifs can be dismissed as irrelevant too.

Yes, reducing your overall anxiety will help. So will ignoring the sensations and thoughts. Takes a lot of practice but it is the way to go.

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Thanks I get that. I have had palpitations and became obsessed by them and get a jolt or vibrating feeling at the back of my throat. I got advice online and I forgot about it but the thoughts keep popping back up. Heart issues or worry it’s coming off the testicle issue. I come off the forum and I realise it’s anxiety then within one hour I’m down the rabbit hole obsessing over symptoms again as the sensations come. I know I need to change now I’m thinking to get better 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I had palpitations ocd that lasted about a week or two and went

Then the sore stomach that mostly went 

Sadly the testicle ache remains. I feel low had lots of advice online and from doctors but cant relax. This symptom won’t go away the moment you forget it will it? I notice it’s intensity more the more I actually worry about it. How can I get the ache away? Being honest I think about it 24/7 so I know that’s the issue. Watched a movie other night and it went away as it was a movie I had never seen before. I have good and bad days some I google other days like I say I can distract. Any advice? I feel hopeless about it

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1 hour ago, Phil18 said:

Sadly the testicle ache remains. I feel low had lots of advice online and from doctors but cant relax. This symptom won’t go away the moment you forget it will it? I notice it’s intensity more the more I actually worry about it. How can I get the ache away? Being honest I think about it 24/7 so I know that’s the issue. Watched a movie other night and it went away as it was a movie I had never seen before. I have good and bad days some I google other days like I say I can distract. Any advice? I feel hopeless about it

Have you been examined by a doctor for this issue?

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I was at shops today never noticed it for a few hours seems if I keep busy. At home I am bored I have tried watching movies and reading books but not as good a distraction as work or shopping?

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I struggle with distraction. When I am out sometimes I don’t notice the symptoms other days I feel Yuckly and have achy testicles. Nobody can say how long I will feel this way so it’s become a bit ocd. Maybe obsessing over health making symptoms last longer? Any tips? 

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Hi Phil18

It’s been a month since you started this thread. Somebody in the thread said that for them tinnitus was caused by anxiety. Not for me it was caused by a middle ear infection which caked and destroyed my hearing bones in one ear. I had to have surgery. It took time to convince the GP that I had a physical problem and refer me to an ENT consultant despite evil smelling stuff coming out of my ear. Nobody can reassure you that it is OCD on a forum. Some GP practices have well man clinics. Why not book? If it is OCD then it will last as long as you allow it. I think that you do by the title of the thread. But asking for reassurance tends not to work.

Edited by Angst
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1 hour ago, Angst said:

Nobody can reassure you that it is OCD on a forum.

This is a valid point and I am another one who has health anxiety issues (in my case they are real potential life-threatening issues).  If I were to dismiss my anxiety as 'just OCD' then I think I would be in serious trouble.

Phil18 is quite correct to ask the question 'what if it's not OCD'.  My solution to that would be to get the issue checked by a professional person.  If they say there is no issue - then the issue would be treated as OCD and not just 'dismissed as irrelevant' as suggested above.

I am able to post this today because I called 999 and spoke to professional people and received the help I needed.  My anxiety was because something was wrong and I was told by the ambulance staff that I had done the right thing.

It is not always easy to differentiate weather the anxiety is about a real issue or it is OCD.  However I do think some posters on here are rather unhelpful when they sometimes dismiss issues as 'just OCD'.

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Thanks I have explained these symptoms to the doctor on phone as I had no other symptoms I don’t think he was too worried. I’m not too keen to go either. Just can’t find a cause for the aches or churning stomach? I had a similar pain almost same pain in my bum that lasted months and eventually went away. Often when I get these aches they become chronic. Nobody really seems to know why same when I had sore bum in 2022.

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There is a webinar on health anxiety done by OCD UK on their website. I haven’t seen it but it might be useful. When you say the same pain do you mean the intensity of the pain?  My starting point on physical pains in the context of mental health is the experience of a former friend of mine who had very bad pains which were dismissed as psychosomatic by his GP. He was eventually died of liver cancer just over two weeks after the diagnosis. He died in a hospice at 38. He had suffered from depression which became psychotic depression and spent time in hospital for it. One’s experiences and those of friends and family colours one’s opinion and attitude towards things. The intensity of my friend’s  pain was 10 out of 10.

Edited by Angst
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Sorry to hear that. I will check out the webinar and I also signed up to do more CBT £50 a session. Well I have no other symptoms and no my pain is nothing like 10/10 otherwise I wouldn’t be going into work it’s a mild ache. 

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3 hours ago, Phil18 said:

It’s stlll alarming some say ocd and some say health issue 

I think it's not possible for us to know for sure one way or the other.

I would think that considering this issue has gone on for a while now that it might be worth getting a doctor to examine you in person. But I don't think it's anything serious at all, as like you said you would have a lot more pain and probably other symptoms too. It could be something as simple as a cyst which can be easily treated. If after being examined the doctor doesn't think it is anything to worry about then it is likely that it's an OCD/health anxiety issue. In which case CBT will help with that.

The health anxiety webinar that OCD-UK facilitated a while ago is really good too.

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6 hours ago, Angst said:

There is a webinar on health anxiety done by OCD UK on their website. I haven’t seen it but it might be useful. When you say the same pain do you mean the intensity of the pain?  My starting point on physical pains in the context of mental health is the experience of a former friend of mine who had very bad pains which were dismissed as psychosomatic by his GP. He was eventually died of liver cancer just over two weeks after the diagnosis. He died in a hospice at 38. He had suffered from depression which became psychotic depression and spent time in hospital for it. One’s experiences and those of friends and family colours one’s opinion and attitude towards things. The intensity of my friend’s  pain was 10 out of 10.

I think this is key here. I had a similar experience (thankfully nothing as awful as liver cancer and I'm sorry to hear about your friend ☹️) where I had horrendous pain and numerous doctors dismissed my symptoms as mental health related, but it turned out I had stage 4 endometriosis. My pain also was 10/10, I couldn't work, I had other symptoms too like gastric issues, period issues and weight loss too so it's obvious something else was going on. I had no doubt in my mind that I had something physical going on and I also suffer with health anxiety, but I just knew that this time was different. I think if you only have mild pain, no other symptoms and you're not sure whether it's physical or mental then it's less likely to be a physical issue.

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