Do you often worry about your health? Do you feel like you are always sick, even when you aren’t? If so, you may be experiencing health anxiety. Health anxiety is a type of anxiety disorder that causes people to worry excessively about their health. If left untreated, health anxiety can lead to other mental health disorders such as depression or panic disorder. In this blog post, we will discuss the symptoms of health anxiety and how to overcome it!
- 1 What Is Health Anxiety?
- 2 Signs And Symptoms Of Health Anxiety
- 3 What Causes Health Anxiety?
- 4 How Does Health Anxiety Impacts Life?
- 5 How To Overcome Health Anxiety?
- 6 What Are The Professional Treatment Options?
- 7 Conclusion
- 8 A Word From Mantra Care
What Is Health Anxiety?
Health anxiety is described as a feeling of excessive worry or fear about one’s health. This can manifest itself in many ways, such as constantly checking for symptoms, Googling health concerns, or avoiding activities that may trigger anxiety. People with health anxiety may also have a difficult time trusting their doctors and may second-guess diagnoses.
Moreover, this type of anxiety can be extremely debilitating and can negatively impact every aspect of a person’s life. If you’re struggling with health anxiety, know that you’re not alone and there are ways to overcome it.
However, before we get into that, let’s take a look at some of the signs and symptoms of health anxiety. Because when you are able to identify the signs, it can help you understand your anxiety and start to work on overcoming it.
Signs And Symptoms Of Health Anxiety
There are a variety of signs and symptoms that may indicate that you have health anxiety. Some of the most common ones include:
- A feeling of constantly being on edge or worried about your health
- Obsessively checking your body for signs of illness
- The feeling of dread or panic about contracting a serious illness
- Avoiding activities or situations that you believe may put your health at risk
- Constantly researching health information and seeking reassurance from others about your health fixating on physical symptoms
- Believing that they are signs of a serious underlying condition
- Making significant changes to your lifestyle in an attempt to improve your health
Health anxiety can be extremely distressing and have a negative impact on your quality of life. If you think you may be experiencing health anxiety, it is important to seek professional help. A mental health professional can provide you with the tools and support you need to overcome this condition.
Furthermore, this condition is often accompanied by other mental health disorders, such as depression and anxiety. So, you should not hesitate to seek help if you think you may be suffering from health anxiety.
What Causes Health Anxiety?
There are many factors that can contribute to developing health anxiety. Some of these can include:
Family history of anxiety or other mental health disorders
It is believed that people who have a family member with an anxiety disorder are more likely to develop one themselves. This may be due to genetics or learned behavior. In fact, research has shown that anxiety can run in families.
Stressful life events
In life, this is often unavoidable. Some stressful life events that can trigger health anxiety or make it worse include:
- Losing a job
- Death of a loved one
- Having a baby
- Moving to a new place
Being diagnosed with a medical condition
It’s not surprising that learning you have a serious medical condition would cause anxiety. But even being diagnosed with a minor condition can trigger health anxiety. This is because you may start to worry about the possibility of developing more serious health problems.
Traumatic experiences are really any event that causes psychological trauma. This can include things like:
- Being in a car accident
- Witnessing a crime
- Surviving a natural disaster
For some people, these events can trigger health anxiety or make it worse. This is because they may start to worry about their own health and safety, or the health and safety of their loved ones
Exposure to media coverage of illness or disease
This is often unavoidable in our modern world. With 24-hour news cycles and social media, it’s hard to avoid hearing about diseases and illnesses. This constant exposure can cause anxiety in some people. They may start to worry that they or someone they love will get sick.
So, these causes are some of the main reasons people may start to experience health anxiety. It is important to remember that everyone experiences anxiety in different ways and to different degrees. If you think you may be experiencing health anxiety, it’s important to talk to a mental health professional.
How Does Health Anxiety Impacts Life?
It is often hard to pinpoint when health anxiety started impacting life. However, here are some common effects:
Preoccupation With Health
This is the main symptom of health anxiety. Individuals with this condition are constantly worried about their health and well-being. They may fixate on a certain body part or symptom and believe that it is a sign of a serious illness. Health anxiety can also result in:
- Excessive Googling of symptoms
- Avoidance of doctors or medical care
- Frequent check-ups and tests
- Intrusive thoughts about death or illness
People with health anxiety often avoid activities or situations that they think might trigger their anxiety. For example, someone with health anxiety might avoid going to the doctor or getting a flu shot because they are afraid of learning about a new health condition. Other avoidance behaviors may include:
- avoiding people who are sick,
- staying home from work or school, and
- avoiding public places.
These behaviors can be distressing and can make it difficult to live a normal life.
This is a common trait among those who suffer from health anxiety. They feel that their worthiness is based on their physical appearance and health. If they believe that they are not healthy, they think that this means they are not good enough. This can lead to a cycle of negative thinking and anxiety about their health.
In fact, health anxiety is one of the most common types of anxiety. It is estimated that around 20% of people suffer from it at some point in their lives. It is more common in women than men and usually begins in early adulthood.
So, these are some common negative impacts that health anxiety can have on your life. But it is important to remember that you can overcome it.
How To Overcome Health Anxiety?
There are many ways that you can manage and cope with health anxiety. Some people may need medication to help them control their anxiety, while others may find relief through therapy or relaxation techniques. Here are some tips to manage it:
When you are well-informed about your health, it can help to ease your anxiety. Learn as much as you can about your condition and treatment options. This will help you feel more in control and less afraid. There are many resources available, such as books, websites, and support groups.
Challenge your beliefs
Once you have learned more about your health, you may be able to challenge some of the negative beliefs that are causing your anxiety. For example, if you believe that every little symptom is a sign of a serious illness, try to remind yourself that many symptoms are normal and not necessarily indicative of a problem. It can also help to keep things in perspective and remember that most people with your condition do not develop serious complications.
Manage your stress
Stress can make health anxiety worse, so it’s important to find ways to relax and reduce your stress levels. Try some relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, yoga, or meditation. You may also want to consider talking to a therapist, who can help you manage your stress and anxiety.
It can be helpful to talk to others who are dealing with similar issues. You may find support from family and friends, or you can join a support group for people with health anxiety. This can provide you with some relief and help you feel less alone. Talk to someone who understands your condition and can offer helpful advice.
Meditation is a helpful tool for managing anxiety. It can help you focus on the present moment and let go of worries about your health. There are many different types of meditation, so it’s important to find a method that works for you. You can try a guided meditation app or class, or you can meditate on your own. There are some examples of meditation, such as:
- Focusing on your breath
- Visualizing a peaceful place
- Body scan meditation
- Mindfulness meditation
Get enough sleep
Sleep plays a vital role in overall health and well-being. It can help to improve your mood and reduce stress levels. Make sure to get enough sleep each night, and avoid using alcohol or drugs to help you sleep. Researchers found that people who slept less than six hours a night were more likely to experience anxiety and depression.
Physical activity can help to reduce stress and improve your mood. It can also be a great way to get some relief from health anxiety. Exercise releases endorphins, which have mood-boosting effects. Try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week. Also, you should understand that some days will be better than others. Don’t get discouraged if you have a bad day, just try to focus on the positive and keep moving forward.
Eat healthy diet
Diet is always an important factor in our health. Eating a healthy diet can help to improve your mood and reduce stress levels. Make sure to eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein. Also, limit your intake of caffeine and alcohol. These substances can aggravate anxiety and make it harder to get a good night’s sleep.
Make yourself calm
While dealing with health anxiety, you should make some changes in your lifestyle. Try to avoid any kind of stressful situation. Also, take some time for yourself and do things that make you happy. This can help to reduce your anxiety and improve your mood. You can try different activities such as reading, listening to music, or spending time with friends and family. Calming yourself is a prominent factor to reduce your health anxiety.
So, these are some ways that can help you to deal with health anxiety. If you are struggling with anxiety, don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor or mental health professional.
What Are The Professional Treatment Options?
If you are struggling with health anxiety, you are not alone. Many people suffer from this condition. And there are professional treatment options available to help you manage it. Here are some options:
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
This type of therapy can help you change the way you think about your health anxiety. CBT can also help you develop healthy coping mechanisms to deal with your anxiety. It helps in the short term and can have long-lasting effects. Several studies have found that CBT is an effective treatment for health anxiety. Moreover, it can help prevent anxiety from coming back.
This type of therapy involves gradually exposing yourself to the things that trigger your anxiety. Exposure therapy can help you learn to manage your anxiety and eventually overcome it. A study found that exposure therapy is an effective treatment for health anxiety. In this, a therapist will help you slowly expose yourself to your triggers. This can be done in a safe and controlled environment.
There are several types of medication that can help with anxiety. These include:
- anti-anxiety medications,
Beta-blockers can help reduce the physical symptoms of anxiety, such as a rapid heart rate. Medication can be a short-term or long-term solution, depending on your needs. Moreover, it is believed that medications are most effective when used in combination with therapy.
So, these are some professional treatment options for health anxiety. If you are struggling with this condition, please seek help from a mental health professional. With the right treatment, you can overcome health anxiety and live a healthy and happy life.
To conclude, health anxiety is a very real and debilitating condition that can have a serious impact on your life. However, there are treatments available that can help you to overcome them. Moreover, understanding more about the condition can also be helpful in managing it. So, if you think that you may be suffering from health anxiety, don’t hesitate to seek professional help.
You can contact Mantra Care for help with mental health conditions like anxiety. Our team of highly qualified and experienced professionals can provide you with the support and treatment you need to overcome your condition. Book your free consultation today!
A Word From Mantra Care
Your mental health — your psychological, emotional, and social well-being — has an impact on every aspect of your life. Positive mental health essentially allows you to effectively deal with life’s everyday challenges.
At Mantra Care, we have a team of therapists who provide affordable online therapy to assist you with issues such as depression, anxiety, stress, relationship, OCD, LGBTQ, and PTSD. You can take our mental health test. You can also book a free therapy or download our free Android or iOS app.