Skip to content

Shelia tells us about her experience of health anxiety and how CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) helped her to overcome it.

Video Transcription

Sheila: My father died of a brain tumour when I was a teenager, and I suppose I was always bit anxious about my health since then. He had loads of tests done and they missed it for ages, and when they did find it, it was too late for anything to be done. It was horrible to watch him deteriorate.

So, when I started to have frequent headaches in my fifties, I convinced myself that I was going to die the same way. My anxiety spiralled out of control, it took over actually and it was all I thought about. I even convinced myself that I may have a tumour and that the same thing would happen to me. My anxiety was crippling. My husband was getting more and more worried about me. I kept going to the doctors and hospitals for lots of tests, and the opticians, and all the results did come back normal. But I still had this nagging thought in the back of mind that they had missed something, like they had done to my father all those years ago. My anxieties were constant.

So, my husband came with me to see the GP, so we could talk about how it was affecting us, and he suggested that counselling would help and some support for me, for me to help me manage my anxiety. I wasn’t convinced, and to be honest, I just couldn’t see how it could help me when I had been feeling like this for so long. But I did pick up the details and when I got home, I filled in the forms.

My assessment was few days later and my therapist, he was really kind, he asked me questions, but in a way that I knew he understood my point of view, and I also learnt that there are other people like me out there, and that there is support available for us. He recommended CBT and, hands down, I can honestly say it is the best thing I’ve ever done. I feel like me again.