Suffering from intense nosophobia

by Feng
(Hong Kong)

I didn't even know how this nosophobia first came to me.

It's just like suddenly I became fear of every disease and of my own health condition. I can't even listen to other people talking about their own diseases, especially when words like cancer come to me, I feel intense anxiety because even hearing this word make me feel sick and may mean a greater possibility for me to suffer from it!!!

My health was not very good from when I was young, but at that time I never thought about any dreadful illnesses(probably because I knew nothing about them at all), catching a cold was simply catching a cold, nothing to do with leukemia, cancer, or AIDS.

If there IS indeed a reason behind my phobia, it was probably 2 years ago when I was suffering from acute suppurative tonsillitis. My parents were not able to accompany me to hospital, I had to be there myself, sitting with other patients and waiting for my treatment. I heard them talking intensity about their illnesses. A woman about 50 years old was getting blind, and she said that was a result of a severe fever when she was only 37 years old. She didn't pay any attention to her eyes at first, but then she began to lose her sight after she discovered that she was actually suffering from uveitis, an eye disease triggered by her fever. And I was suffering from a fever at that time...and I just couldn't help thinking if I would eventually develop this kind of disease...From then in, i begin to be doubtful, sensitive, anxious, afraid of my health. To make things worse, my body would REACT to my thoughts and REALLY show symptoms that I was being afraid of!!! 

The problem is, I know this kind of obsession is irrational, I know I should stop it, I even know that nothing is wrong with my body. I keep telling myself the more you think about it, the more likely that you will be really suffering from it, that's psychosomatic effects!!! 
But this proved to be vain as every time I feel slightly uncomfortable, I will magnify these symptoms 10000000 times and search anxiously on the net to see if these are any possible signs of a dreadful and terminating disease!!! Yes, it has to be DREADFUL AND TERMINATING, otherwise I would not convince myself at all!!!

Because of this phobia of diseases, I gradually develop the phobia of death and hospitals. Because death is the result of diseases for most of the cases, and hospital is the repertoire if all diseases!!! So every time I feel sick...and that means almost always...I will not ever consider going to hospital to check it out. I always believe that the result is going to be extremely bad and that I have to face my impending death soon!!!

But over these 2 years, all my symptoms seem to fade away gradually, suggesting that none of my "disease" is dead. BUT, it doesn't help even a little bit to relief my phobia, and I continue to suffer from it...........

Now I believe that a human must sleep 8 hours a day and follow strictly the same meal schedule everyday because I have a close friend who just died from gastric cancer recently. She was so young that the doctors could only conclude that it was because  she always stayed up late and skipped her breakfast! That intensifies my nosophobia!

But anyway, it's good to realize the root of my problem. I've been learning psychology in university so I know some basic therapies towards phobias. I hope NLP
can really help. This problem is beginning to affect my everyday life!!!

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