Many people become overly consumed with worry about their health or possible medical conditions even when a physician routinely cannot find anything physically wrong.
They constantly check themselves in the mirror, looking for lumps, sores, strange moles and rashes. Or they look for signs of pain or tingling. And they spend countless hours on the internet researching their symptoms.
Does this sound like you?
Of course, you should always address any medical concerns with your physician, but if you continuously fear that you have a serious health issue, despite medical findings to the contrary, it’s likely that you have health anxiety. Before you start stressing about this possibility, know that therapy can help you conquer these fears about your health and take back control of your life.
How Psychotherapy Can Help Alleviate the Anxiety You Are Feeling as a Result of the Pandemic
Psychotherapy educates people about the origins, causes and symptoms of anxiety. It also teaches cognitive concrete skills to manage anxiety. It offers support and strategies so that you can reduce fear. You can also learn to tolerate anxiety, allowing you to function through it. Therapy also teaches habits to improve general mental health.
What Is Health Anxiety
Health anxiety is a belief that you have a disease or medical condition based on your misinterpreting your body’s sensations or that you excessively worry about getting an illness – even though a doctor has reassured you that you are fine. The symptoms that are felt by those suffering from health anxiety are often real – but actually may be the result of stress or minor health issues and not from their imagined diseases or illnesses.
There are some general triggers for people suffering from health anxiety, both internal and external, such as:
• Stomach ache
• Increased heart rate
• Itchy skin
• Hearing of someone who is sick
• Seeing a news story
• Reading a magazine article
Signs You are Suffering from Health Anxiety
• Believing or worrying that you have a serious medical condition or illness, even in light of evidence that says otherwise
• Excessive doctor visits
• Frequently switching doctors because you don’t believe they are qualified
• Tirelessly searching the internet about your symptoms
• Seeking reassurance by repeatedly telling others about your symptoms
• Constantly monitoring your body’s sensations and functions
• Avoiding social activities because of your health concerns
• Staying away from medical buildings, hospitals, ill people, or even medical television shows
If you are experiencing these symptoms, you could benefit from therapy.
Therapy for Health Anxiety
Therapy, particularly cognitive behavioral techniques and insight therapy, can help you learn to more appropriately respond to your thoughts and body sensations so that you can control your anxiety.
I will help you address the causes of your health anxiety and teach you techniques for more effective ways of thinking. Over time, you will be able to face your fears and handle the anxiety that may start to come to the surface, reducing your urge to research your condition, make countless medical appointments, and seek reassurance.
What to expect during your first therapy / counseling session
During the first therapy session, you can expect to find an experienced, certified and well trained therapist who will provide a supportive and safe setting. All sessions are absolutely confidential.
Call or email me to learn more about health anxiety services or to schedule an appointment.