What is health anxiety (hypochondria)?

We all worry about our health from time to time, and some of us manage serious medical conditions. Some people, however, find that their health worries become overwhelming, causing distress and affecting their every day life.

Some people with health anxiety have a medical condition, which they worry about excessively. Others will visit their doctor relentlessly, looking for reassurance that their medically unexplained aches or pains are not a sign of a serious illness. Others will constantly be fretting and panicking in case they have cancer.

What causes health anxiety?

There are many reasons why people worry too much about their health. They may be going through a particularly stressful period in their lives. It's also possible that there may have been a death or illness in their family or close friends and because they have an obsessive/brooding thinking style they find themselves catastrophising about all sorts of symptoms.

They may also be very anxious by nature which can contribute enormously to the problem.  

Health anxiety can be a vicious circle

If you find that you are constantly checking your body for rashes or bumps you will eventually find something. It 's highly unlikely that it will be anything serious but is then misinterpreted as a sign of a serious condition. This then tends to cause great anxiety and make them self-check even more.

Hypochondriacs tend to need more reassurance from doctors, friends and family. The comfort they get from this reassurance is usually short-lived, or they may stop believing it, which only means they need more of it to feel better. Seeking reassurance just keeps the symptoms in their head, and usually just makes them feel worse.

Excessive worry can lead to depression or panic attacks.

All of us at some point in our lives have experienced the occasional obsessional thought, however, when it reaches the stage that these thoughts completely take over our lives and affect our everyday functioning it becomes a full blown obsessive disorder.

Overcoming health anxiety is possible and you don't have to talk through the past. 

I have successfully conducted many sessions via Skype so regardless of where you are in the world I can help you. All you need is an iPad, laptop or PC, a good internet connection, a Skype account (it’s free) and some privacy. Skype can be downloaded for a PC or Mac by clicking on the Skype logo immediately below or, if you have an iPad, going to iTunes and downloading the app. Sessions can also be conducted via FaceTime or Messenger.

If you would like to finally feel in control, calm and peaceful, please either email or call me on 0409 254 500 and we can arrange for you to come in for a free no obligation consultation or a chat via Skype. We can discuss your options and you will be able to get clear answers on any questions you may have. There is no obligation on either your part or mine!

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