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Marian, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 116
Experience:  M.Sc. Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy, UK National Health Service
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I've suffered badly with poor health for the last couple of

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I've suffered badly with poor health for the last couple of years now, i've been to the doctor and he seems to think i suffer with an acid reflux problem and tension headaches i think it may be more than just this as it only ever seems to get worse and more frequent, i suffer with agonising headaches that will last all day and carry on for weeks, feel sick, dizzy have a poor appetite, always feel ill during and after eating and generally feel very low, i cant remember the last time i felt well always having a cold, bug or virus of some sort, this to me does not seem normal and there must be a solution, i'm writing to you because i was just wondering how my mental health could affect my every day health like this and what part it might be playing on my poor health as the fact is i do worry so much in life now on a scale i never thought possible, mostly i have this recurring fear that the world will end and i cant seem to do anything to shake the thought, every time it rains,snows,hails etc i will go into a very deep fear almost like an internal panic attack, i feel terribly anxious on edge, very sick with worry, i always used to worry a lot but not to the point it effected my health or life in this way,, it has become an every day problem where i just cant seem to enjoy anything because of the negative and worrying thoughts i carry, can you help find a solution for me please.

Hello and welcome,

The physical symptoms you describe may well be related to your mental health. Acid reflux is commonly associated with anxiety and panic however the nature of the relationship between the two is still being explored. There is research evidence both that anxiety predisposes people to developing the condition and that some psychiatric medication may worsen the symptoms. Here is an article which mentions anxiety and depression as pre-disposing factors:

Similarly headaches, dizziness and nausea are all symptoms of anxiety. As immunity is related to general well being, t may be that a combination of the physical symptoms and mental stress is lowering your immunity to colds and viruses. If left untreated, anxiety may worsen and lead to other problems such as feeling low and this may lead to depression.

For all of these reasons, I would recommend you consulting your doctor and asking for a recommendation for psychotherapy. An effective treatment for anxiety related problems is cognitive behavioural therapy.

I hope this answer is helpful, please do reply if you have any questions of comments.

All the best,


Customer: replied 6 years ago.
because I have been suffering with it for quite some time do you think the GERD could have lead to a more serious condition such as a stomach ulcer? I have been taken Ranitidine for many months but it does not seem to help much if it all. do you think psychotherapy would be the best place to start or would you recommend any blood tests, endoscopy etc? many people have also mentioned hypnotherapy would this be of any help in my situation?

It's important that you see the doctor if you don't feel the medication is working, my understanding is that the condition can be managed effectively over a long time without serious complications. Such complications usually only develop if the condition is not treated and so worsens. I am not a medical expect so you may wish to post a question about this in the medical forum.

If anxiety is a trigger, as it often is, then treating the panic disorder may help a lot. It would also improve your quality of life as you are currently worried and anxious much of the time. The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (who make recommendations to doctors on what type of treatments to offer, based on clinical trials of medicines and treatments) recommend Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) for panic disorder. this is why I feel you may benefit from this treatment.

Hypnotherapy may help a little, especially with relaxation, however I would not recommend it as it does not get to the root cause and so often the effect wears off over time. The root causes of the panic disorder are both the negative thinking that you mention and the body sensations you experience when you get the panic. CBT has specific interventions designed to alter these. I see you are in the UK. Within the last few years CBT has become more widely available via GPs. There is usually a waiting list but it may be that you can access it free of charge via the NHS.

I'll attach a link to a leaflet on panic disorder, I hope you find it helpful.

Please do let me know if I can be of any further help.

All the best,


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