Overcome Health Anxiety with Hypnotherapy
Most of us worry about our health from time to time, but for some people, health worries become overwhelming and a problem in itself. Health anxiety is excessive worrying about ones health, to the point where it causes great distress and affects the quality of everyday life.
Some people with health anxiety have a medical condition which they worry about excessively. Others have medically unexplained symptoms, such as headaches or chest pain, which they are concerned may be a sign of a serious illness, despite the doctor's reassurance. Others may be permanently anxious about their future health, worrying about things like: "What if I get cancer or dementia?"
Sometimes, health anxiety can be a symptom of a mental health condition, such as depression or anxiety disorder, which needs recognising and treating in its own right.
People with health anxiety can find themselves behaving in the following ways:
- Constantly seeking information and reassurance – for example, obsessively researching illnesses from the internet, booking frequent GP appointments or seeking numerous second opinions.
- Avoidant behaviour – avoiding medical TV programmes, GP appointments and anything else that might trigger the anxiety.
The Vicious Cycle of Health Anxiety
If you constantly check your body for signs of illness, such as a rash or bump, you will eventually find something. It often won't be anything serious – it could be a natural body change, or you could be misinterpreting signs of anxiety (such as increased heart rate and sweating) as signs of a serious condition. However, the discovery tends to cause great anxiety and make you self-check even more.
You may find yourself needing more reassurance from doctors, friends and family. The comfort you get from this reassurance may be short-lived, or you may stop believing it, which only means you need more of it to feel better.
When physical symptoms are triggered or made worse by worrying, it causes even more anxiety, which just worsens the symptoms. Excessive worrying can also lead to fatigue, depression or even panic attacks.
Have you got health anxiety? Answer these questions below
During the past six months:
- Have you been preoccupied with having a serious illness because of body symptoms, which has lasted several months?
- Have you felt the need to carry out repeated self-examination and self-diagnosis?
- Have you experienced disbelief over a diagnosis from a doctor, or felt you are unconvinced by your doctor's reassurances that you are fine?
- Do you constantly seek reassurance from doctors, family and friends that you are fine, even though you don't really believe what you are being told?
- Have you felt distressed due to this preoccupation?
- Have you found that this preoccupation impacts negatively on all areas of life, including family life, social life and work?
If you answered "yes" to most of the following questions, it's likely that you are affected by health anxiety.
If you are struggling with Health Anxiety, contact me in confidence to discuss how my specialist Health Anxiety services can help you.
Dr Emma Rae Rhead Hypnotherapy
Safe, Effective Specialist Hypnotherapy with a UK Medical Doctor
Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine (Hypnosis and Psychosomatic Medicine)
Hypnotherapy Chester, Hypnotherapy Liverpool, Hypnotherapy Harley Street London
Helping clients throughout Hypnotherapy Chester, Cheshire, Wirral, North Wales, Tarporley, Northwich, Whitchurch, Malpas, Warrington, Runcorn, Knutsford, Manchester, Alderley Edge, Hale, Bowdon, Didsbury, Nantwich, Shropshire, Crewe, Liverpool, Manchester, Derbyshire, Buxton, Stoke-on-Trent, Hypnotherapy Harley Street London