Once described as hypochondria, health anxiety is an engulfing sense of worry in which sufferers experience in relation to their physical health. Naturally, health concerns can result in worry, can result in anxiety and can result in a short-term fixation. However, once medical observations have been made, for the average person, relief can instead be experienced.
Yet, worryingly for those who suffer from health anxiety, feeling relieved will be far from the case, where professional recommendations in fact carry little credibility.
Such responses will not be down to the distrust of medical professionals, but down to the obsessive outlooks and feelings of ill health, overtaking the rational processing system of the brain.
While many onlookers will still brand such responses as hypochondriasis, health anxiety is a mental health diagnosis, is a real battle for many, and is a cognitive vulnerability, commonly caused by traumatic or distressing events, linked to health, illness and/or death.
Understanding health anxiety is very important, as it differs from generic anxiety disorders, from causations and symptoms, to treatment processes. Here’s some insight into such diagnosis, along with health anxiety treatment.
What is health anxiety?
Health anxiety is a debilitating feeling of worry over physical health concerns. It falls under obsessive-compulsive disorder diagnoses, down to the degree of obsession in which symptoms develop. It can be brought on down to experiencing a complex or serious illness, which may have amounted to some trauma.
Likewise, it can develop from distressing memories of such outcomes for others, from distrusting medical professionals, and from experiencing chronic stress.
While for the average person, digesting such experiences can be possible, considering such information as rational, for some individuals, transmitting such information can be challenging, where worry takes over.
Even if medical reassurance has been provided to someone with health anxiety, the obsessive and taught fixation of worry is known to cloud rational processes, where the mind begins to wander, persisting to unravel a diagnosis.
The smallest headache or physical symptom of illness can trigger the extensivity of health anxiety, once the development of such mental health illness has been formed. From mild experiences, health anxiety symptoms can amount to controlling, life-changing consequences, were leading a normal, responsible life can be tough.
It is very natural to worry about our health or the health of those around us. Yet, for those with cognitive vulnerabilities, ingrained trauma, and greater susceptibility to mental disparities, health anxiety can amount, even for an individual with optimal health.
Health anxiety symptoms
Symptoms of health anxiety can materialise in many different ways, down to the complexity and unpredictability of anxiety as an overarching condition. However, there are common themes running through such symptoms.
Health anxiety symptoms include:
- Excessively worrying over health
- Placing emphasis on minimal health concerns
- Allowing for such concerns to overtake life
- Completing self-diagnoses by using online search engines
- Disregarding the observations of medical staff
- Asking for constant reassurance
- OCD-like behaviours
- Physical and psychological health problems, amounting from such worry and neglect
- Symptoms of general depression and anxiety
If you’re experiencing psychological or/and physical symptoms of health anxiety, considering support is encouraged. Both causations and symptoms can be multifaceted, which indicates that professional intervention will be required, through health anxiety treatment services.
Why consider health anxiety treatment?
Without accepting health anxiety treatment, the consequences of untreated anxiety can amount to additional problems, which will in fact aggravate such outlooks on your health. For example, enabling your worries can result in the development of alternative mental health issues, adding additional symptoms into the mix.
A further risk lies in the processing of such outlooks, where drugs and alcohol may be used as a coping strategy to reduce physical and psychological worry/pain. Yet through such actions, a dual diagnosis can materialise, placing even greater pressure on your health and wellbeing.
Without health anxiety treatment, your health can in fact unravel. Yet with support, you can work through your symptoms, triggers and worries, to uplift your health.
Anxiety treatments at Rehab Clinics Group
Health anxiety may be an unfamiliar diagnosis for many. Yet for those who are impacted by obsessive concerns over one’s health, this degree of anxiety can be life-changing. For greatest support, consider health anxiety treatment here at Rehab Clinics Group, via our network of treatment centres, to understand and manage your symptoms.
Overcoming anxiety can take some time, yet we hope that insight into health anxiety treatment has provided some reassurance that your concerns can be worked through.