Health Anxiety (or Hypochondria) means you are in regular or constant fear of being ill or developing an illness.
Even with health anxiety, you can function day-to-day without it having a negative impact on your life. Many, however, can find that their thoughts are focused on whether they are unwell or will become unwell.
Whilst living with health anxiety, you can find yourself turning to several habits and routines:
- Being paranoid of aches, pains, bumps and bodily marks
- Thinking you are ill regularly
- Trying new health trends or diets
- Doing many tests and checks for illnesses
- Taking regular preventative measures such as daily ibuprofen and paracetamol
Some of these can be harmless, but it is important to recognise and reassess habits. This is because they can potentially complicate and impact your physical health and lifestyle. You can for example:
- Cause real health issues from diets or preventive medication
- Lose faith in doctors and other professionals’ advice due to your own paranoia
- Become distant from friends and family due to them not believing you
- Impact your work life balance from taking too many sick days or doctors appointments
What causes Health Anxiety?
Any anxiety develops from a lack of control in your life.
Health anxiety specifically, forms habits around your health in the hopes of feeling ‘safe’. As things in your life -like everyone – either fail or change, it can feel all-consuming and as if you have lost your way.
This is when hypochondria becomes a way of dealing with the one thing you believe you can consistently control – your body.
How therapy can help.
Once you establish what hypochondria is attempting to fill in your life, you can then work on how to rework your health anxiety habits.
Therapy is a way for you to relive what you feel and think when you are living through these anxieties and what those triggers are.
This process during therapy means being able to understand what hypochondria is trying to protect you from and what you can do instead to create a happier life, away from that anxiety.
How Therapy in London can help.
As your focus has been on fears that others aren’t experiencing, that can feel quite lonely. Our practitioners want to fully understand what you are experiencing. Therapy creates an environment with someone who can wholly listen to and understand everything you are feeling and thinking.
Within that safe space, you can use the time to explore who can be away from your anxieties. Not just by forgetting them, but by using them to your advantage. We want you to be able to see a life away from those fears yet where they have made you stronger than ever.
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