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Anxiety and Stress Disorders

fear

03/16/2010

Question:

hi. im 21. about two months im going to undertake a surgery on my goiter. About 3 weeks im already scared to have the surgery because of my thoughts that i would develope some complications, i felt cold and having cold feet and palms and sweating and a shaking. Last night i have slept only a little because of thinking a lot more about the upcoming surgery. i cant take it of out my head, and thinking more and more about it.

my question is, about what im feeling now, would this dissapear on its own?

everytime i talk about my surgery with my family, they assures me that everything would be alright and i would feel relieve.

what should i do.?

thank you and God Bless.

Answer:

Sounds like your family, instead of acknowledging your fears, are just blowing them off. 

A little anxiety before a medical procedure is actually a good thing- the increase in stress hormones can help with healing. 

However, too MUCH fear and anxiety before a procedure is NOT a good thing.  I encourage you to do three things: 

1) Make sure you have all the right facts about your procedure and the real risks and benefits.  Sometimes, when a person doesn't know something, they imagine the worst possible situation.  List your questions and unknowns, and then talk to your surgeon or your surgeon's nurse to get your questions answered. 

2) Find someone to talk to who will really listen to you and let you express your fears and anxieties.  This may not be a friend or family member -- it may be a professional counselor, a spiritual advisor or a medical person. 

3) Take care of yourself physically and emotionally- good sleep, regular exercise, healthy nutrition and avoiding unhealthy chemicals like tobacco, excess alcohol or drugs is very important and should not be neglected.

Good Luck.

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Response by:

Nancy   Elder, MD Nancy Elder, MD
Associate Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati