HEALTH ANXIETY DISORDER
Do you suffer from health anxiety disorder?
We are here to help!
Cognitive Hypnotherapy for Health Anxiety Disorder in Milton Keynes
From time to time we all worry about things like relationships, work, finances and also, of course, our health. Everyone at some point or another will notice sensations or changes in their bodies, and will wonder if they could have a serious medical problem. However, there is a difference between general concern about health, which we all have from time to time, and more problematic health anxiety.
Have you noticed that in your effort to find answers to your symptoms it is impacting on you in a negative way and you realise you may be suffering from health anxiety ?
What is health anxiety?
Health anxiety refers to the experience of thinking that there may be a threat to your health, which consequently triggers your health anxiety response.
While we may think and worry about any number of health related issues, some of the more common health anxiety related fears include having or developing cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, a mental illness such as schizophrenia, a thyroid disorder, or that you may have a heart attack or stroke. Not everyone thinks about specific problems though. Your fears could be more general, in that you simply think that something is “not quite right” and that may lead to health anxiety disorder.
When is health anxiety a problem?
To a certain extent, milder forms of health anxiety can affect us all from time to time. Who hasn’t been concerned when waiting for some test results to come back, or had some worrisome thoughts about a new lump or bump that we have noticed? So, at what point does mild health anxiety become a problem and lead to full blown health anxiety? While having concerns about your health and seeking advice and appropriate health checks are something that all human beings experience, as with anything, too much of something can be bad for you. This is where Cognitive Hypnotherapy may help you think about your health anxiety in a more balanced way.
Health anxiety can become a problem when:
- Health anxiety is excessive
- Health anxiety is out of proportion to the realistic likelihood of having an actual and serious medical problem
- Health anxiety is persistent despite negative test results and/or reassurance from your health practitioner.
- Health anxiety leads to unhelpful behaviours such as excessive checking, reassurance seeking (e.g. from doctors, family or friends), or avoidance (e.g. of check-ups, doctors, health related information).
- Health anxiety causes you significant distress or impairs your ability to go about your day-to-day life.
Negative health experiences.
Where does healthy anxiety come from? People who experience health anxiety often report one or more of the following prior experiences:
- Having family members or others around you experience a serious illness especially during your childhood and adolescence.
- Death of a family member or someone known to you. While death is an eventual certainty for all of us, on a day-to-day basis most of us can tolerate the uncertainty of not knowing when and how it will happen. However if you are put in a situation where you are are made to think about what your own death will be like and the impact your death will have on others, most people will feel somewhat uncomfortable.
- Having experienced a medical problem yourself. Experiencing a medical problem can lead you to being more “tuned in” to your bodily sensations and changes. Experiencing a medical problem can lead you to being more “tuned in” to your bodily sensations and changes, and alert you to your chances of further medical issues or even death.
- Having a family member with health anxiety. We tend to learn a lot about the world from those around us. So, if you have grown up observing or listening to others worry about health or frequently checking for signs of illness or injury, you are more likely to use these same coping strategies when you are confronted with health issues or sensations.
- Negative information from the media or internet. The internet and media today allow us immediate access to a range of interesting health related stories and information. However, in an effort to “sell” their stories, media outlets must ensure that their shows or stories grab the attention of the public.
If you would like more information about health anxiety or would like to arrange a free initial consultation then call 01908 265410
*results may vary from person to person
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