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Health Anxiety

Health anxiety is sometimes known as ‘hypochondria’ and is an anxiety difficulty that is characterised by intense worry and preoccupation with your physical health. You may:

  • Believe that you have a serious physical illness
  • Be so preoccupied with this belief that it causes you significant distress and interferes with your day to day life
  • Cope with these worries by seeking medical advice. Yet you may struggle to find reassurance from medical practitioners or negative test results
  • Spend lots of time checking your body for signs of illness
  • Avoid people or places through fear of health risks
  • Search on the internet for symptoms and causes of illnesses
  • Constantly talk about your health
  • Frequently ask for reassurance about your health (or avoid seeing help through fear of what might be found)

In some people, health anxiety can occur following a personal experience of illness. For others, it might be less clear, or they may have always been worried about their health. However, whatever the reason, talking therapies can be very effective at helping overcoming the difficulties that come with this type of anxiety.