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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.
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Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

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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