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06 Dec 2005

Obsessive worrying
Dear CyberShrink:

I constantly worry about cancer. It seems like every day something happens with my body that convinces me that I have cancer and I'm going to die. I have also had lots of friends and relatives who have had cancer. Some have survived, some have not. But whenever I hear that someone I know has cancer, it makes my worrying problem worse. Am I a hypochondriac? Why do I think about this constantly? It robs me of my joy and sometimes I worry so much I feel physically ill. Do other people worry this much about cancer, I mean every day? I alternate between feeling like a crazy person and a scared, insecure child. I currently take a low dosage of Zoloft everyday for depression. I was also treated with Prozac for post-partum depression 4 years ago.

Thanks for your time.
Answer 389 views

01 Jan 0001

Well, excessive worry about one's health tends to be called hypochondriasis. Sometimes it arises on its own, more often it's part of a Depresive illness, or an obsessive-compulsive illness. The SSRI's like Prozac and Zoloft can help --- but I don't understand what a "low dosage" would be --- for any such drug there is only one correct dosage --- enough ; taking less than the usual baseline dose can sacrifice the benefits
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