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Norman M.
Norman M., Principal psychotherapist in private practice. Newspaper contributor, over 2000 satisfied clients on JA
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2568
Experience:  ADHP(NC), DEHP(NC), ECP, UKCP Registered.
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I have a question. Usually in the evening, I have an average

Resolved Question:

I have a question. Usually in the evening, I have an average body temperature of 97.9. (In the morning it's even lower, but this has always been normal for me).

For the last few months I've had a ton of anxiety and EVERY night, I feel really fevery. Sometimes my face kind of feels like it's burning up. It almost has that sensation of having wind-burn, but it's even warm to the touch. My temp goes up to 98.8. Sometimes, though rarely, even as high as 99.0. This has been happening for the last few months and it's making panic that I have some underlying disease. I keep taking my temperature multiple times a day. It's usually low during the day, then around 6:00 pm jumps to 98.8-99, which I know can be normal. But in my case, my temperature has always been lower. 97-98 in the evening.

If someone's average body temperature is 97.9, does it mean they have a low grade fever if their temp is 98.8, or do you think this is my anxiety causing this?

Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Norman M. replied 5 years ago.

97 to 99 IS normal, so I do not think you have any great reason to fear some underlying disease. However, it is worthwhile getting your Doc to re-assure you.

Secondly, you clearly have high levels of anxiety and are beginning to behave in an obsessive-compulsive way, and probably you need some help to get over this before it becomes too deeply ingrained.

I’m going to suggest that you would benefit from some Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

CBT is based on the fact that what we think in any given situation generates beliefs about, and reactions to that situation, and also causes the behaviour and feelings which flow from those beliefs and reactions.

These ‘automatic thoughts’ are so fast that generally, we are unaware that we have even had them. We call them ANTS (automatic negative thoughts) for short.

If the pattern of thinking we use, or our beliefs about our situation are even slightly distorted,

the resulting emotions and actions that flow from them can be extremely negative and unhelpful. The object of CBT is to identify these ‘automatic thoughts’ then to re-adjust our thoughts and beliefs so that they are entirely realistic and correspond to the realities of our lives, and that therefore, the resulting emotions, feelings and actions we have will be more useful and helpful.

Cognitive therapists do not usually interpret or seek for unconscious motivations but bring cognitions and beliefs into the current focus of attention and through guided discovery encourage clients to gently re-evaluate their thinking.

Therapy is not seen as something “done to” the client. CBT is not about trying to prove a client wrong and the therapist right, or getting into unhelpful debates. Through collaboration, questioning and re-evaluating their views, clients come to see for themselves that there are alternatives and that they can change.

Clients try things out in between therapy sessions, putting what has been learned into practice, learning how therapy translates into real life improvement.

Please visit this website for much more detailed information on CBT:

If you cannot afford to see a therapist, there are good free CBT based self-help resources here:

Also, there is a book called ”Feeling good - the new mood therapy” by Dr. David Burns. It has a hand book which gives you practical exercises to work through and further instructions on how to better use CBT. I really do recommend it.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Workbook for Dummies By Rhena Branch, Rob Willson is also pretty good.

Best wishes, NormanM

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Oh thank you soooo much Norman. That's great advice. I am going to look into it right now.

Can anxiety cause the feeling that you have a fever? Like the feeling that my face is hot and it feels hot.It feels like severe flushing (but my face isn't red, it just feels hot and flushed)

Second, you mentioned ANTS. This is so interesting. It's in my brains rythem now, to assume everyday that I have a fever. I am literally obssesed with it.

All of this started when I was diagnosed with Prostatitis. It made me get in a constant fight or flight state, 24-7 and this has been going on for months. My doctor says I am fine and my bloodwork was fine and that I don't have a fever. But I just panic non-stop that he's missing something. So I feel like, until all of my prostatitis symptoms go away, I keep fearing that I have cancer. Which makes me take my temp all the time, because I feel fevery.

The more I take my temperate, the more fevery I feel and the higher my temperature rises. Until it eventually, maxes out at 99.

I am not imagining the sensation. My face really feels like it's on fire! But I would be open to the idea, that my compulsive behavior, of focusing on the belief that I have a fever, is causing the symptoms!

Is that really possible? Can anxiety really make you feel like you have a fever? It seems so far fetched but would explain a lot! Thanks for everything!
Expert:  Norman M. replied 5 years ago.
Anxiety certainly can make you feel flushed and feverish.

Please have a look here.

You get into a cycle of anxiety - physical symptoms - more anxiety - more physical symptoms.

Simple, really, and very common. If you follow the suggestions I have given you, I'm sure you will be fine. I really do NOT think you need be too worried at all.
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