A hypochondriac by definition is someone who is abnormally anxious about their health. If you’ve been suffering from adrenal fatigue chances are you’ve felt this way at some point. Or, maybe your friends and family members have suggested you’re a hypochondriac. You’re not crazy! Here's why adrenal fatigue makes you a hypochondriac:
4 Ways Adrenal Fatigue Makes You a Hypochondriac
1. Mystery Symptoms
Because adrenal fatigue is often overlooked or misunderstood by mainstream medicine often people experience many symptoms, have chronic pain or irritability, and are constantly exhausted without an explanation. The “unknown” can make anyone abnormally anxious as the future seems uncertain and somewhat scary.
That was me before I was diagnosed with adrenal fatigue. My symptoms all across the board, something was physically wrong with me, and I knew that, but doctors couldn’t find anything. I was beginning to feel as though they thought I was making it all up, but I knew my symptoms were NOT in my head. I felt frustrated and hopeless.
2. Basic Needs Aren’t Being Met
It’s hard to think of anything else when your basic needs aren’t being met. Remember Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, based on the idea that people are motivated to achieve certain needs. When one need is fulfilled a person seeks to fulfill the next one, and so on. The most basic needs being food, water, shelter, sleep, etc. Next in order is protection, security. After that are the “higher” needs like love, friendship, intimacy, personal growth and so on.
When you have chronic health issues often times you’re basic needs like getting enough sleep and having good health aren’t being met making it hard to focus on other “higher” needs. This means you’re missing out on so much. Your life is consumed with your illness and your ability to be happy and focus on “higher” needs is seriously compromised.
Maybe your friends notice that you are preoccupied or anxious about lots of things and that is why they're calling you a hypochondriac.
3. Have to Watch What You Eat
Every time after I ate, I felt horrible. I would feel itchy and tingly. At first, I thought I was just allergic to everything: gluten, dairy, sugar…
Little did I know, I had low blood sugar. Adrenal fatigue often contributes to blood sugar imbalance because the hormones produced by the adrenal glands play an important role in the way we metabolize and regulate blood sugar.
When you have low blood sugar it can cause many symptoms like blurry vision, rapid heartbeat, sudden nervousness, unexplained fatigue, shaking, skin tingles and trouble concentrating.
It’s easy to think these symptoms are a reaction to what you just ate, that you must be allergic to it. This might not be “it” at all. The symptoms you are experiencing could be a result of a blood sugar imbalance.
Again, how could you ignore symptoms like this, especially when they are happening every day? Anxiety seems like a normal response to a prolonged struggle with the basic practice of eating!
4. Seems Like Your Sensitive to Everything
At the height of my untreated adrenal fatigue, my allergies became so severe that I couldn’t breathe through my nose or taste, or smell for months at a time. I became hyper aware of the environment around me because I was afraid of what I would react to; trees, plants, pets, dust, chemicals, intense smells…I was never sure what would set off a mild or a severe reaction.
I had to avoid people’s houses with pets. During allergy season, I would choose to miss out on outdoor activities rather than deal with the aftermath. I had to avoid certain beauty products and clothing that caused allergic reactions. People noticed, and I’m sure their feelings were hurt when I stopped coming over or participating in events, but I had to take care of myself.
Nevertheless, I am sure that without a full appreciation of the ongoing discomfort and pain I was experiencing every day, it was easier for them to think my behavior was “excessive” or “crazy”.
In fact, it was simply a matter of doing what I needed to do to keep myself safe and functional.
These four examples are all excellent reasons why you might feel anxious about your health even if you are not usually an anxious person. Any anxiety you feel given these challenges is completely justified and it’s important to remember that.
But how can you cope with the daily anxiety or the pressure that comes from judgment, even if it is rooted in loving concern?
I am about to give you 5 Simple ways to deal with this.
5 Things to Do About It
1. Stop Caring What Others Think
If your family and friends don’t understand what you’re going through, it is natural for them to feel confused, which can often resolve itself in judgmental behaviors. Try to explain what you're experiencing in an effort to help everyone. You will get more support from people who don’t think you’re crazy, exaggerating or just like to complain.
If they don’t get it, don’t waste your precious time and energy worrying about them. Save that energy for your healing. If you believe in yourself they will come around.
2. Get Support
If you find yourself without enough (or any) supportive friends, find some. It may help everyone if you explained to them the basic challenges you’re facing in your life: perhaps they will be willing and able to help provide for some of those more basic unmet needs, freeing you up to enjoy those “higher levels” again!
Make an effort to reach out to a friend or family member you think will listen while you talk about what you’re going through from your own perspective. You can also work with health coach like me or another health professional who recognizes adrenal fatigue and is dedicated to your healing journey. There are also support groups on Facebook such as Holistic Healing from Adrenal Fatigue.
3. Give Yourself Some Credit
I applaud you for seeing the warning signs and listening to your body. Symptoms are your body’s way of telling you something isn’t right. Ignoring them is only going to make it worse.
But, don’t get me wrong, I am not suggesting you focus all your energy on what is wrong. That’s only going to make matters worse. Instead…
4. Start Asking Questions
Get ready because I am going to be real HONEST with you. You might not like it, but it’s necessary. At this stage, complaining won’t help. Each time you notice you’re feeling sick or sorry for yourself, don’t beat yourself up—break that habit! Instead, document your symptoms and ask yourself a few constructive questions in order to shift your focus from your pain to your healing:
- What could this symptom be telling me?
- What can I be grateful for in this moment?
- What is the next best step for me?
5. Stay committed To Your Healing and Trust
Whether you’re suffering from adrenal fatigue or another illness that results in chronic fatigue, don’t give up hope. You’re not alone and you’re not crazy.
You deserve great health, we all do. Stay committed by envisioning great health and trust you will find the answers in the right time
Now I would love to hear from you. Do you feel like a hypochondriac? Or have others suggested you are? How do you deal with it? Please share in the comments below.
Lots of Love,
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