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Thinking Man on Couch

HEALTH ANXIETY

Health anxiety is when you spend so much time worrying you're ill, or about getting ill, that it starts to take over your life. It's related to obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).

Check if you have health anxiety

You may have health anxiety if you:

  • constantly worry about your health

  • frequently check your body for signs of illness, such as lumps, tingling or pain

  • are always asking people for reassurance that you're not ill

  • worry that a doctor or medical tests may have missed something

  • obsessively look at health information on the internet or in the media

  • avoid anything to do with serious illness, such as medical TV programmes

  • act as if you were ill (for example, avoiding physical activities)

Anxiety itself can cause symptoms like headaches or a racing heartbeat, and you may mistake these for signs of illness.

The evidence for counselling for Health Anxiety is very limited. CBT however has been shown to be highly effective in the treatment of health anxiety, outperforming psychotropic medication and other types of therapy. CBT provides an approach for exploring and testing alternative beliefs about the nature of the health worry, as well as interrupting the unhelpful cycle of checking behaviours that are likely to be a contributing factor in maintaining the problem.

 

Please get in touch if you would like to access online therapy or if you wish to obtain therapy for Health Anxiety in Cheshire at my private office in Congleton.

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