MY EXPERIENCE WITH HEALTH ANXIETY & How I Overcame It (feat. Counselor Douglas Bloch)



what's going on guys my name is Noah I'm a depression survivor anxiety survivor mental health survivor and I'm here with Douglas block he's been featured on the channel a number of times this guy is one of the main reasons I was able to overcome a really aggressive suicidal agitated depression back in 2011 2012 he remains a close friend of mine and today we are going to talk about health anxiety it's something that I can't believe I've never talked about before but I've certainly experienced it I've certainly learned to overcome it and thrive in spite of having a natural propensity to worry and we're just gonna kind of free ball it dive into the topic and I think will be really useful interesting amusing educational all those things don't you think I hope so about every two weeks I seem to get a request when were you talking about how the anxiety I am imagining that I'm dead even though I'm alive so in all seriousness it's a very very it's a very severe and crippling experiment you know through so I looked up before I came over to know his lovely studio I went to my favorite place the Mayo Clinic and I still want to read you briefly what it says by the way when I was growing up they used to call health anxiety hypochondria name is immune mean old enough to remember that or hypochondriasis and basically it's very simple is when you worry excessively that you're ill or going to become ill even though there's nothing physically wrong with you and even though all the tests and all the diagnoses come up negative and in the medical terms negative means good and positive means bad so negative means they can't find anything wrong with you and those symptoms and yet you're convinced you're you have the conviction that there is something wrong with you and like nobody can really talk you out of it is that right no it was I've been there right hell I've absolutely been there and it's it's horribly upsetting it could lead to panic and lead to tremendous despair unthinkable rumination crippling right right when it's out of control and when you're not managing it well it's bad it's really bad and as we know the mind is powerful what you believe whether it's true or not you can manifest symptoms for it even when you're okay so this is something that people I know I needed to take serious helpful in profit it really does so it's crazy that way I'm gonna read one more thing in a little completely free will it but I want it again from the Mayo Clinic um website like four or five symptoms that you know now again oh yeah this talk is not meant to diagnose any conditions or treat anything this is just informational any of you think you might have health anxiety the best thing to do is to go to a good psychiatrist or a good mental health professional and but we're just giving you an idea of what things people have gone through so of course being preoccupied with having a serious you know disease their health condition worrying that minor sensations in your body might be an indication then being easily alarmed about your health status um finding no reassurance from doctors or negative tests worrying excessively about a suspicious specific medical condition or having a risk of developing it having so much to stress about the physical condition you may or may not have that you can't even function you can't go to work you can't concentrate you can't interact socially repeating lis checking your body for signs of illness and/or repeat worse repeatedly going on the internet oh my god that's a yeah that is that that is a double-edged sword yeah but talk before you keep going when we talked a little bit about tips or strategies always I'm gonna share openly about things that I had to do try to wrangle this in not going to dr. Google two months all that right on there that was on Hugh I'm gonna I'm gonna just let the last three here you know we recently continued to going to medical appointments for reassurance avoiding people or places because you think you might get sick there and avoiding health risks constantly talking about your health and the possible LLL nough sand finally here's the biggie we talked about earlier frequently searching the internet for the causes of symptoms or possible illnesses Wow yeah I mean it's it's it's overwhelming it's overwhelming you know what's interesting about this though I have spoken to people whom I had no idea dealt with any mental health issues I mean we all do on a spectrum so I'm not trying to act like anyway we all do in a spectrum but I was speaking to some people who I won't name who I never would have guessed and health anxiety whoo absolutely do they get a little pain in their chest and they wonder if do I have a heart problem is there something wrong with my heart or they get a pain their low back and they wonder if they have a kidney is she I mean where their brain goes straight to something is wrong with me they call it the white coat syndrome my dad talked about this he happens to be an MD he talked about the phenomenon of doctors who go into training bright-eyed bushy-tailed excited to learn right right and then they grab they graduate from medical school like a thousand rare conditions because once you learn about it you start micro psychoanalyze myself see how it's a real thing yeah I know people year-round that too long and it starts to rub off on you it really does it really does and yes that you've never experienced this physically no but I want to say that that high penetrance is healthy video what you say I'm just being silly yeah is an anxiety disorder right like generalized anxiety disorder panic – it comes under the rubric or heading of anxiety disorders but it is really hard I went to a really really good psychiatrist once a friend of mine was with me and after the person left he came up to me I said you know Doug this is this is one of the few anxiety disorders I can't really treat I said why not he said I said he said because no matter what medication you put them on no matter all the proof you give these people you they have their conviction of being sick or maybe getting sick is so strong that cognitive behavioral therapy you know CBT sir you reject the irrational beliefs I'm not a loser I'm a really good person any subsidy did good police are bad please right you cannot get these people to reject these beliefs unlike CBT or other mild anxiety disorders sir you know or so even even OCD well obviously there is a component of OCD isn't there of course because of the checking and the checking I guess that's right I guess how things that he must have OCD components there's an obsessive-compulsive to certain components but so yeah so a lot of you looked up like how many millions of people were suffering there's got to be something absurd I think yeah I think everyone in one way shape or form has come across something like this except for Doug but it's all separately it's all it's all about a mental illness concerns us all their story but I think it's just a matter of degree of course right yeah no matter how is severe the symptoms how long did it last and how you know how frequent are they do you worry about your you know you're getting cancer once a month once a week or ten times a day right ten times a day it is then you've got a problem absolutely so so one of the things you have done since you've had more direct experience than I and I'm also going to then read something that a friend of mine is shared with me that has also struggled with this personal tips from this person but what about yourself well what's it what's an example the kind of illness you thought you had or might have so an example would be pancreatitis pancreatitis I I have a history of alcohol abuse and I was drinking too much and I was getting this burning sensation at the bottom of my basically my sternum right at my sternum and I had it pretty bad for a few days and when I tend to run anxious anyway okay I tend to ruminate I tend to obsess I tend to catastrophize or whatever and when I'm doing something inherently dangerous right or behavior lifestyle or whatever that I know it can have deleterious effects on my health and then I feel some a sensation my brain automatically goes to the worse so I ended up going online and I searched up burning sensations in the stomach and I found pancreatitis and then I read endlessly about pancreatitis and I watched videos about pancreatitis and I was convinced that at any moment stomach acid was gonna burst out of my pancreas or however that works and if I remember don't quote me on that and caused me irreparable damage and endless pain like never recovered from that is that what happens it's really really bad the answer the way you got I mean and there's a lot of that but but for me it was just it was always in conjunction with living a little bit outside of my truth and my purpose right it's not like I was living let's say a clean well-rounded life and then wandering about let's say cancer it was no i'm benjy ting i'm not sleeping enough I am NOT doing any self-care I'm binge drinking I'm clearly I'm clearly behaving in a way that might elicit something negative like like smoker worrying about lung cancer or a binge drinker worrying about their liver or whatever you get what I'm saying so as I behaved in a way that was not conducive for stability and I immediately started jumping to worst-case scenarios as my mental health was not as stable and as I became more and more fearful I don't know if that makes sense but that's sort of like one of the examples of the things that happen to me was was that yeah you know it could start very early mm-hmm I have a friend who when she was very young you know a relative had cancer and she was you know five six or something sure and she said oh my god maybe that's gonna happen to me that that fear came right at a very young age and it's how I was stuck around and so sometimes you can pick up beliefs when you're young that's morally maybe you're young and you see people around you getting sick and youth it just starts to rub off on you absolutely so you know it can start at an early age one of the things my friend tell me about serve as a tip for any of you out there dealing with us is to avoid going to doctors like you know let it like be once every two weeks they're not three or four times a week sure and and avoid getting too many tests yeah cuz you can try the test for everything there especially if you go to like a nature path or people outside the allopathic repression oh my god they've got like you know Candida yeah of course you know Candida is a new-age disease my friend and I used to say have you ever heard of a truck driver with Candida I think it's kind of a joke right you know overgrowth of yeast and the intestines and all these protocols now I know you thought he Stover growth can be a big problem but a lot of times you know it's people imagine it when it's probably really not there sure so but alternative doctors got blessed and we need them but sometimes you're willing to go down the rabbit hole they really are try to find things you know that a regular doctor would never even think of friend and sometimes these things are just bogus remember but anybody out there is a nature path chiropractor integrative medicine I am not criticizing you believe me we need it in this culture you know more people teaching people how to live and develop healthy lifestyles and not just you know rely on drugs and surgery all the time but there is you know if you go to an alternative doctor they can really go with you on these esoteric tests you know that looking for something which really there's nothing there I agree yeah I agree and you know what the the health anxiety play right into the mental health anxiety fear of what may be fear of what could be and and what ended up being profoundly powerful to me were a couple of things one having a mourning structure and routine that that was based around setting my mind into a calm right space you brought this up to me a long time ago I remember this and take this serious guys as a protip when you first wake up you're on what's known as a HEC necrotic state hypnagogic hypnagogic state excuse me and same thing with Freeman or maybe hypnagogic I don't the remembers a G or a gun either way but Newman's you're an impressionable gel you present when your bed and yeah yeah your subconscious is really open to anything that you put into your brain you're expose yourself to when you get up in the morning and when you go to sleep you are really vulnerable to absorbing that yeah and I took that really really seriously brought that up to me because I found that when I woke up and my first thing was writing out my daily gratitude my daily affirmations saying things like I am discipline I am loving I am peaceful I I'm a good person I'm capable of being calm things like that my goals for the day the five things great for like I just said what would make today great or whatever when I did that I did my meditation reading when I did some stretching and some deep breathing a little bit of grounding I found over time of course most things are compounding right but I found over time that my propensity to worry just went down in spite of myself action based stuff that help the other thing by the way that's ritualistic that's every single day and I can prove it to you here's my five minute journal app this is from today and there it is I wrote that to day June 21st yeah I wrote I'm grateful for access alright bro help from women so grateful for Douglas blog I appreciate that now are they getting right there but not today not before every before so that was a big one and the other one was and these need to be rules guys it's like to me that's a non-negotiable because I believe in the potential benefit the other non-negotiables terms Erin can in the context of health anxiety is that I do not search on Google more than once if I really need to I get one look one that's it that's my hard fast rule so let's say I'm having just a pain in my stomach or an ache somewhere or whatever I get one glance one I can learn about it for a few minutes and then I move on I move on because is theirs it's an unsatisfying road because we don't have what's known as differential diagnosis no what do doctors do they have to do basically doctors have a large group of symptoms right and it's their job to shorten that down into something meaningful it's not something you or I can can do in any productive way and it can only stand to make things worse and manifest as my symptoms and stuff like that so yeah yeah differential diagnosis people with that training can do that but they really can't but some of these it is so important then there's the ritual that nobody uses the structure both in terms of mind and body this can be used to deal with any kind of society not just any kind of rumination any kind of obsessive thinking any kind of fears I had a video I did on my channel called the best way to avoid anxiety you know what is it and then the answer was ghetto cue pied mm-hmm and so when you get up in the morning you have something to do somewhere to go somebody to think about you know like like two thoughts cannot occupy the same place at the same time they really can't like two bodies right yeah so you know it's called in the old metaphysical days it's called a substitution so if you're too busy thinking about what you're grateful for getting up and doing your stretches walking around the block watching the birds if your mind is focused on things like that there is no room for the devil's of the negative thinking yeah I'm in there and harass you Faline got to go ahead and take control of your own thinking your own control of your own acting and this is just general mental health because there's not just worries about you know cancer or AIDS there's worries about you know I'm gonna be I'll never get out of this depression sure I'll be out on the streets I'm like you know my partner will leave me or you know we got this guy god bless him on my video channel he's always on the live chat he's always worried about that nuclear war is gonna erupt between South and North Korea and the United States now I agree there's a risk but this guy that's Pawnee until he that's why I can think about yeah it becomes his whole reality so there's a good example of obsessive thinking gone awry and it can be about anything that health just happens to be one thing but boy they say I don't know why in this culture maybe it's because we're all trying to be perfect and well and look good I'm sure in a third-world country people are not doing that they have real concerns like getting like a shelter survival right I think how things that is probably a first world problem right but it is still a real problem and listen something that is important to take here and there's something I've had to take to heart and I continue to be mindful of is that there are actionable steps that you can take and there needs to be guidelines that you just understand about yourself I don't think it's a sign of weakness that when you watch Grey's Anatomy or I can't think of a modern you're showing other doctors or er whatever you watch a medical show and you see house you see all these strange things that can be it triggers you like for I had to stop watching those shows I just did I realize I don't currently have you're fine I realized I didn't currently have the the capacity of the capability to modulate those sort of entertainment shows I'm hanging up my watch everybody good you're right yeah I just I just found like those are triggers for me and until I can prove to myself beyond the shadow of a doubt that I can handle that trigger I just avoid that because I know it tends to stir me up that's the sort of thing that you can just put in place with yourself and accept a little bit about yourself until perhaps you get into a better space the other thing is control the things you can I always know and there's a correlation when I'm controlling the things I can to the best of my ability my diet my lifestyle my social circle my sleep my self-care all of these things I'm really assuming an incredibly responsible adult role in those activities my anxieties my stresses my worries my health things I use they just proportionately go down when I am NOT assuming adult responsibility for my life for whatever reason we all f off sometimes we all Benji we all stay up too late we all do things that that over time when when done too much can lead to bad stuff my anxieties my health anxieties it all gets worse so when I'm behaving in a way that that is like conducive for feeling well staying healthy managing whatever it just gets better and I think that's important to remember is that you'll you'll build that credibility within yourself over time like so for me I try to eat 80 90 percent of the time Whole Foods mostly plant-based lean meats blah blah blah I'm really really good about my diet and exercise four or five times a week there very religiously I drink lots of water and I do all these things because people oftentimes don't believe this because mentally speaking it helps me go about my day to day business physically it's a the secondary thing is I get to be lean and feel good or whatever but mostly it's because when I do those things consistently I just don't worry as much because I know I'm taking care of myself he gets my number one self-care award haha the man well you should have seen him when I met it was a mess he was sitting in this thing where else getting a hard time anyway but one final thing you know I want to say because you know they usually turn us off after four minutes anyway right yeah I know we're just talking to ourselves if you're still here type in the comments section below Peggy PE GGY if you are still here watching Peggy that means you made it 20 minutes into the video with Doug and I yeah and Peggy is my nickname for my god there it stands for peg leg because I've had cellulitis to my lower ankle 20 different times I didn't even know was that yeah I know in August of last year I was absolutely sure I was gonna get it again but after a month of wellness I just forgot about it but yeah I've had it 20 times boys and girls this is what happens you lived to be 70 anyway so the last thing is that is it really been 20 minutes my goodness yeah like I'm just like too smooth but anyways running my mouth so um yeah so there's a book bite called brain lock by Jeffery Schwartz about people who have OCD really yeah it's an amazing book and what anything lock brain lock leave your brain is locked onto a thought and can't get out so one of the things he mentions the affirmation you tells people to say over and over again when they start to upset it's not me it's my OCD mm-hmm in other words it's my brain that's a mess not me and you just identify with what's happening and just blame it on your brain yeah because that's what it is a brain disorder of course there's a medication called luvox le vo X which I can't recommend I'm not but I've seen many people take it it stops obsessive thoughts it probably used for the health anxiety but um yeah yeah I do believe like with any mental health disorder time intention tenshun intention and it's set the intention he'll reach out for support can support and there's all these different tools and you'll eventually progress you will eventually found us off cough do it old man twenty minutes is too much it is too much listen that's not I don't care we're going long I don't care people Peggy's still here but but you don't have to believe you can get better by the way to get better and thank God for that right would you me has zero calories right you don't have to believe that no no you know yes don't you just have to take the action and let the results happen I have improved or overcome things in spite of what I thought I knew or believed about myself many many times and thank God for that because when you're in a hopeless state it's hard to see out of it when you're worrying all the time you wonder if you'll always be that way it's not it's not the truth you just have to trust the process as long as you have a process there there's something do oh yeah last thing um affirmation even smoking pot before we do I have I have a cough due to a side effect given by several because I'm I take one pressure medication to I'm uptight alright but anyway um it's do some deep breathing you know anyway um so soft affirmations affirmations just what Larry explained look at my man rocking the turtleneck guys he's got these guys look it's my own little swag anyway anyways yeah I went to five prep schools don't worry about it don't worry about yeah I'm just super smart really messin right but that's exactly that's the great diagnosis um yeah affirmations God in me is my health right now affirmations are great every day you know the spirit every spirit of truth runs through me revitalizing every cell of my body there is so many good health matter of fact if you email me and you can put this on the screen Douglas luggage email calm in my book words that he I wish I wrote thirty years ago I have a whole list of affirmations for a health and healing and I tell you ladies and gentlemen I believe in the power of the spoken word I believe in the power of thought and if you read some of these affirmations I'm going to send you for free it will really help you with your health anxiety thought and there of course is infinite amount of affirmations you can create but these are good so Douglas bugs gmail.com and when I get my 19 thousand emails I'll probably answer them sometime in 2015 but don't worry about it don't worry about it listen last thing I want to say guys is please thank you for one being here with us talking about mental health topics supporting our channels and supporting yourselves but listen also in the comment section below talk about what are some mental health or some some health anxieties you've dealt with what are some of the ways that you have overcome them where are some tips and strategies if you just need to vent and you were hoping for some support do that in the comment section below this is very much conversation this is not a we're not talking at you I believe how this works is we're talking with you just the medium for you to respond is down below so join the conversation if you heard something here you like something here and you felt something good please consider coming back and seeing us again Doug's youtube channel for those either watching on my channel link in the description go check it out his support group his book was a big reason why I didn't commit suicide Mel is dangerously depressed and if you're on you're gonna be demonetized you mention that word again we would've been demonize anyway and if you're watching this adducts channel please do so checking out my channel there might be something there for you no no no is the man look at that gift of Gavin oh the New York comedian anyway so um oh yeah one more thing I'm gonna put a plug in I was just a guest on a podcast for the first time okay great added Detroit so really cool it's called Liz life guru it was on June 7th anyway we'll have a link to that podcast I talked for an hour about depression recovery and the people who interviewed me are absolutely awesome one is a therapist and the other is a gal from my youtube live chats who overcame a suicidal depression and is now on the road to recovery god bless her bless her and Julie did a great job and you know I'm so proud of you so well you know what I think we're gonna do these once a day now I'm having such a good time that he was Freeman he lives in Beaverton assignment it's like five hours from where I live in the Northeast Portland so we're gonna have to somehow find a way to teleporter so maybe get a helicopter maybe we just are doing Skype interviews together oh that's very good then enough it well you know it's gonna take me two hours to get back we're signing out right now I have a second tier of if you've made it this far you're gonna put Peggy – and all the Peggy people are me really confused but if he made it 25-minute in this video we should give them a prize we should give them if you type Peggy – and I'm gonna send you the thing that no we uses remember the five what do you call it the five the five I'll get my chance for self-care the last character okay stay on my chart Peggy – we're gonna send you a color chart for five principles of self-care with a little break down the details of what those five yeah but you have there typing Peggy – pendant and your email address number – yeah all right I'll see you next video thanks for being here with us god bless we'll talk soon

40 Comments

  1. What an incredibly timely upload for me, I'm dealing with a bout of this right now! Avoiding Google has been key to regulating my thoughts. Thanks for the vid!

  2. Peggy

  3. Peggy2. Really good vlog. Your so funny together. I learned at lot. I do have health anxiety. Not only for myself, but for my brother who I take care of. He's a throat cancer survivor, permanent trachea tube, active alcoholic that's been through end stage cirrhosis and back. I've been going to therapy for decade's. It's not helping anymore. I go because I have to for insurance and medications. I go because it's the right thing to do. But deep down I hate myself and feel so depressed. It's never been like this before. I'm a solutions person. If there's a problem do everything you can to fix it. Right now my tool box is empty.
    Thanks for the awesome topic of discussion.

  4. Hey noah, my name is Nate and for the past 3 weeks or so I have been having really disturbing intrusive thoughts my main one is when I'm driving the urge to drive my car in oncoming traffic, believe me I know that sounds horrendous, and I am a good person I would never want to do anything like that to kill someone like that seriously hurt them due to my actions that's the main intrusive thought that I get when I'm driving oh, I used to love to drive and used to give me a sense of freedom now I'm scared shittless because of the thoughts that come into my head because of that urge I've never had this urge before so this is a new experience for me terrifying because I have to drive as part of daily life as do most, so this has been really difficult for me. I've researched this and a lot of people have had similar experiences…. they call it the void or the pull. The medication they've given is not working, I have taken many different ones to no avail, I try not to think about it, but then again when I know I have to drive here or their they are and the thoughts are so hard to tune out. I realized that fighting the thoughts actually makes it worse but it's so hard to do when you're a good person and you don't like those thoughts an you just want them to go away. Ya know….. I start counseling next week so I hope something becomes of it because these intrusive driving suicidal thoughts are driving me nuts. If you could give me any advice…. I would really appreciate it, who ever reads this and would like to reciprocate please do I can use gidance.

  5. Peggy 2

  6. Peggy. I didn't realize how I was feeling about my health was actually a thing. Mind blown.

  7. PEGGY2!!!

  8. PEGGY!

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  10. Peggy 2. Great collab👍

  11. Thanx for the good video. I suffer from OCD big time. Been there Done that. I had some medication but stopped completely. I try to live with a lot of anxiety,. I try to have a better lifestyle like you mentioned but IT is a battle each day. Hardest thing of All is to KNOW that you are your OWN GREATEST enemy. But IT doesn,t feel that way. And it costs a shit load of energy and time to compress IT. I wish for some relief sometime. Simple things like 8 hout sleep. Can,t remember when that happens. Most of the time all the rituals been completed not before 4 AM. .But than again the more you fight IT the worst IT Will BECOME… Hugzz Hans

  12. Peggy

  13. PEGGY!! Just wanted to mention that how impactful your vulnerability and willingness to share your experiences in your videos has inspired me to keep pushing forward and pursue my recovery. I have so much respect for you and I cannot thank you enough, love your videos keep doing you man!!

  14. I have the opposite im a full blown alcoholic and im sure i have a fatty liver bad kidneys etc. But I just pretend i dont.

  15. peggy! very useful video

  16. Peggy2

  17. Peggy 2

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  19. Peggy

  20. PEGGY 2

  21. Thanks. U guys r awesome

  22. Doug looks so healthy and happy here, hope he's doing better. Same for you, Noah!

  23. Peggy 2

  24. I used to be so bad bordering on full blown agoraphobic and nowadays I feel amazing. What you have to do is expose yourself to your fears and be completely willing to feel your anxiety. It takes years but the more you consciously and openly practice doing what makes you anxious, and willingly feeling your anxiety, the less and less it has power over you.

  25. Peggy

  26. At the minute I'm have insomnia and my nights are so long and worry about getting no sleep constantly

  27. Just me or you lost a bit of muscle

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  29. PEGGY

  30. Doug!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  31. I like the idea of letting yourself have one Google. It's more in line with normal behaviour and then you're not allowing yourself to ruminate and constantly seek reassurance. I'll be trying this one.

  32. This was great and much needed thank you!

  33. decrease your anxiety by smokin weeeed

  34. So nice to see the both of you in a video again! 👍👍

  35. What a timely video for me- I've always struggled with health anxiety but it's recently been pretty bad for me, thank you for this!

  36. PEGGY 2

    Really enjoying the content and perspective. Thank you.

  37. Peggy! Thanks for the excellent video.

  38. Awesome vid! 👊🏻

  39. Thank you for sharing this information. I have been struggling with my entire life. I get to doing better then the depression gets worse again.
    PEGGY2

  40. omg, this IS my son. He thinks he is physically ill and all tests are negative. Thanks for this video.

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