We all worry about our own health at times and this is normal. In many cases, the body is genuinely showing signs and symptoms of an illness and of course it is necessary to see a medical professional.
But when this worry starts to take over and you are constantly worrying about your health or about getting a serious illness when there is no medical reason behind it, this could be known as health anxiety.
Health anxiety can manifest itself in many ways. It could be the way we think, feel or how our bodies work. If you think you may be suffering with health anxiety, ask yourselves these questions: Are you constantly worrying about your health? Do you constantly check for signs of illness? Are you always searching for health information or trying to diagnose yourself online? After visiting the doctor do you still worry something was missed and seek further reassurance?
All of these anxieties can lead to an overreaction or misinterpretation of symptoms and even to creating an imaginary illness. The root cause of the anxiety can develop for many reasons. However, people more likely to suffer with health anxiety are those who already suffer with anxiety or negative thoughts, those who may have previously encountered a health scare, or people less likely to visit the doctor and instead, dwell on the symptoms.
The cycle of these triggers and anxieties can lead to negative effects on your behaviour. Which can then impact on areas of your life such as work, relationships may suffer due to a constant need for reassurance and other illnesses may manifest such as depression or OCD.
Once you have identified that your worries are due to health anxiety there are ways to combat these negative and obsessive beliefs. When you notice yourself worrying about a symptom, challenge this belief and try explaining this with alternative, more common explanations. The more you focus on a feeling, the more that feeling will amplify, try distracting yourself from this intense focus with activities. Avoiding the things that cause these concerns or symptoms that bring on worry can also help but beware that avoidance doesn’t always resolve an issue. Understanding the root cause and developing tools to combat the thought process can help you change this negative behaviour.
Rapid Transformational Therapy (RTT) can deliver rapid and effective results when dealing with health anxiety. RTT is based on neuroscience and can deliver extraordinary, lasting changes by reframing the beliefs, values, habits and emotions that are held deep in your unconscious. If you would like to know more about how a session with us could help you, then please contact us.