Health Anxiety, previously referred to as 'Hypochondria', is a type of anxiety disorder where the individual experiences excessive worry about their health. For example, that they may have cancer. The individual may subsequently fear that they are going to die or be significantly debilitated as a result.
For someone with Health Anxiety, you might experience the following symptoms:
- constant worry about your health
- frequent checking of your body for signs of illness such as lumps, tingling or pain
- frequently seeking reassurance from others that you're not unwell such as your GP
- worry that your GP may be wrong or have missed something
- obsessive research into health information such as on the internet or in the media
- avoidance of anything related to serious illness such as on TV or in the paper
- acting as if you were ill even though not confirmed, such as by avoiding physical activity
- anxiety-related physical symptoms such as headaches, and a racing heart which you might mistake as evidence of illness
Treatment for Health Anxiety
Evidence shows that Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is highly effective in treating Health Anxiety. If you would like to know more about treatment for Health Anxiety at The Fitzrovia Psychology Clinic, please do not hesitate to get in touch to arrange an assessment.