Health Anxiety – What is it and why does it form?
The medical and psychological fraternities have named and categorised ‘anxiety disorders’ over time in order to define them within healthcare and in order to place them amongst the myriad of treatment options available.
Whilst it is always good to have options, chosing a treatment is like chosing a bus to board… unless it’s the right one, you won’t end up in the right place.
So many treatments are attemptos to squeeze a square peg into a round hole.
What is Health Anxiety?
Health anxiety is a ‘feature’ of an anxiety disorder, like agoraphobia or OCD for example, health anxiety is a response to an anxiety catalyst and in this case, instead of that being contamination (OCD) or distance from a person or place of safety (agoraphobia), it’s a person’s health.
So what do people with health anxiety think and feel?
I had this for 27 years by the way, so truly understand it from within!
Here are some examples…
- Constant sense that they may be, or are, ill
- Belief that medics may have ‘missed’ something
- The need to research or gain diagnoses
- Checking themselves for symptoms or signs of illness
- Momentary relief post diagnosis, followed by doubt
- Thoughts focusing on illness and trying to make links between it and how they feel
- Need for reassurance, doctor/hospital visits
- Limiting life in order to minimise anxiety
- Inability to concentrate
- Reluctance to take medication
- Avoidance of alcohol and other ‘substances’
- Avoidance of foods or substances that they may ‘react’ to
- Concerns about allergens and poisons
These could give rise to panic attacks, agoraphobia and other fear responses.
The list could go on and despite every person being unique, their anxiety manifests in pretty much the same way in every sufferer… the mind and body works to very specific blueprints and emotional responses are predetermined by genetics.
Like I said, I suffered with the above list of symptoms for over 26 years and eventually ended up housebound, massively overweight and scared to walk because of the overwhelming belief that I would die from some midiagnosed condition if I did!
Why do Health Anxiety sufferers think these things?
Anxiety causes risk assessments – sufferers refer to these as ‘what if’ thoughts.
‘What if’ thoughts are the mind’s way of identifying what, in the outside world, might cause us harm during the fight or flight response… health anxiety is a manifestation of an anxiety disorder caused by these risk assessments focusing on personal health and wellbeing… the difference between Health Anxiety and other forms of anxiety disorder is only in the subject matter. The cause and recovery solution is the same in every case.
When I did what my brain needed in order to recover, within a week I was anxiety free and my health anxiety very quickly became a distant memory.
That was 17 years ago and since then, I have helped over 170,000 people to achieve the same and now my Method is used and recommended by NHS doctors, psychologists and organisations world over.
The Method I developed to cure myself is now a therapy with accreditation through the NCFE and our practice is a NICE CG113 compliant anxiety disorder recovery programme that produces results of 100% success at curing people who comply to the programme… why?
— Linda Robson (@LindaRobson58) February 19, 2015
Why does it cure people?
The Method cures every complying client because it addresses the cause of anxiety disorders directly… no other therapy does this. No other treatment produces anywhere near the level of curative success that we do.
Health anxiety feels overwhelming, it reduces or even negates the sufferer’s enjoyment of life, it fractures relationships, causes conflict and destroys a person’s sense of health, wellbing and joy… but it’s so curable.
Call the centre now to discuss your Health Anxiety with one of our registered, qualified Anxiety Recovery Specialists – you will soon see that what I have said and the recovery you deserve are all true and that anxiety freedom truly is just a couple of small steps away.
Charles Linden – Director Linden Recovery
FREE Health Anxiety Recovery Consultation – 0800 069 9898 or +44(0)1562 742004
All our Specialists are MBACP and LAR accredited professionals and Anxiety Recovery Specialists.