A person with health anxiety often thinks and believes that he/she has a serious disease like tumor in brain or cancer. Thus, all through a day, the person will perceive any kind of normal or minor physical sensation to be a symptom of some severe underlying condition. Then the process about confirmation (via Google and other sources) of the severe disease begins and continues all day.
It may be noted that when we focus on any object, etc., we tend to notice the most minor details of that thing. The same is the case with the body. If we focus on one specific part of the body, then we start noticing all kinds of new stuff and varied sensations in that area of the body as well as elsewhere.
This is what happens to a person with health anxiety, with the difference being that the patient is beset by such unwarranted focus and subsequent thoughts of having something wrong, at every possible moment, all through a day. The more a person with health anxiety focuses on a specific body area, the more the unknown body sensations get perceived, and this triggers incessant worrying about their health and physical well-being.
One of the best ways to get health anxiety help is to seek additional and thorough information about the disorder and then seek relevant medical and psychological help for it.
Health Anxiety Help: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy/CBT
It is one of the best ways to control and ease the symptoms and effects of health anxiety. Doctors may suggest CBT to patients as health anxiety help along with medications, breathing techniques, and other therapies.
The aim of cognitive behavior therapy is to challenge the needless beliefs and thoughts and slowly change the behaviors of the patient. Some of these behaviors include constantly checking for signs, looking for reassurance of good health from friends, doctors, etc., and avoiding important places like hospitals, good TV shows, etc. that trigger health anxiety attacks.
The therapy enables and helps a health anxiety patient to discover that the worry and panic about their physical well-being is the cause of the sensations and not the incorrect belief of an underlying severe disease.
Health Anxiety Help: What can people do as self-help for health anxiety?
In addition to CBT and other treatments from medical experts, patients may follow the below listed steps to avoid spending their days wrought with worry and anxiety about their health:
Recognize and accept the fact that you tend to over react to the body sensations and jump to conclusions about serious underlying illnesses.
Think about other things when the worry begins. For example, you may focus and think about the color blue and this will trigger thoughts of all things blue, like the sky, oceans, etc. If distraction to other aspects of life does not work as health anxiety help, then rationalize the cause of any type of body sensation. For example, a mild twinge in chest area may just be acid reflux from the fast-food eaten last night and not severe cardiac disease.
Get educated about the different diseases that you are worried about. It will help rule out all symptoms as being irrelevant.
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