What Is Health Anxiety?
Despite the name, health anxiety isn’t caused by one specific event or trigger. People who suffer from the disorder pay attention to their body and illnesses in general, but their thoughts on the cause of illness are also a factor in the onset of health anxiety. Researchers have found that ruminating about a perceived or imagined threat can trigger the release of anxiety hormones, which are responsible for the fight-or-flight response. This response can cause many symptoms, including disturbances in sleep, mood, and appetite.
Before deciding on the course of treatment, individuals should visit a health care professional and discuss the symptoms. The doctor can provide comprehensive advice about the symptoms and suggest ways to improve health. A psychotherapist can help individuals overcome their fear, tailor-made to each individual’s needs. Some types of psychotherapy are effective for treating health anxiety, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy and exposure therapy. Psychotherapy can also help people to learn to separate their fears from their bodies and emotions.
Different Ways To Identify Health Anxiety
You may be concerned about your child’s health. But there are different ways to identify health anxiety.
One of the easiest ways to determine whether a child is suffering from health anxiety is to ask him if he fears death. In this example, a child might ask if he is at risk of contracting a disease or if there is a chance of getting infected by a coronavirus. Likewise, children with anxious parents are more likely to experience health anxiety.
A medical professional will first perform a physical examination and may order tests to rule out serious illnesses. After ruling out a physical illness, a person with health anxiety will typically be referred to a mental health professional. In this case, they will focus on treating the psychological symptoms of health anxiety and working toward improving their daily functioning. The treatment can include cognitive behavioral therapy and medications to reduce symptoms. During this time, the person should consider what they’re losing by being afraid of something bad happening to them.
Monitoring The Heart Rate
Another way to identify health anxiety is by monitoring the person’s heart rate. People who experience health anxiety are often over-worried about the possibility of a severe illness despite no physical symptoms. They may spend hours researching possible symptoms or the side effects of medications. They may also obsessively read about the side effects of various medications. These symptoms can be related to rumination, which means thinking about the future of an illness over again.
Tips To Deal With Health Anxiety
There are many tips to deal with health anxiety, but if your condition is severe, it’s time to consult a professional.
Identify The Cause
Experts suggest that you first identify what’s causing your health anxiety and then work your way up to a more manageable level. Try slowing your breathing through your nose rather than your mouth. Avoid vices like alcohol or caffeine, as these can increase your level of anxiety. It’s also important to keep stress levels down.
Talk To An Expert
Talking to someone about your health anxiety can help you process your feelings, thoughts, and impulses. Talking about it with a loved one can also be helpful. You can explain your fears and encourage someone to get help. The more patience you have, the better. But remember that it may take time before your loved one gets better. Try not to nag or criticize them. Try to remember that they are likely to feel frustrated as well.
Check For The Symptoms
Some people may suffer from health anxiety because they misinterpret common physical symptoms. A headache, for example, could be the symptoms of a brain tumor, or a loss of memory could be a sign of dementia. Worrying about your health can be an alarm system for your mind, creating an unnecessary amount of stress. Although these symptoms are often false, they can cause you to be very anxious. However, it’s always a good idea to seek professional medical advice whenever you start feeling unwell.
Understand The Subject
Another tip to deal with health anxiety is to understand the subject you’re anxious about. By understanding what’s going on, you’ll feel less panicked. Then, try to let anxiety run its course. Stopping these anxiety-soothing behaviors can be tough, but remember that they are habits and not facts. Reassurance-seeking behaviors are one of the most common causes. You’ll be surprised by how many of them you can get rid of.
Make Sure You Have Supportive People Around You
Another great tip to deal with this disease is to make sure you have a supportive network of people around you. This is especially important if you’re not in a good mood or hurry to see someone. Also, it may be helpful to have some privacy and not discuss your health condition with anyone else, even if it’s your colleagues or children. You should also try to limit conversations with other people during this time, especially if they occur more often than once a week. Avoid excessive worrying or researching.
The symptoms of health anxiety include constant, excessive worry about becoming unwell. Even a seemingly insignificant physical ailment can trigger intense anxiety. People with such issues may believe they have a major illness or even die. If they are overly worried about their health, they may seek medical help frequently. They may also undergo diagnostic tests and receive reassurance from friends and family. This type of health anxiety is a serious problem, which can affect all aspects of a person’s life.
It is important to know that the symptoms can be caused by a range of different factors, from a simple physical symptom to a potentially deadly disease. As a result, many people experience a state of chronic health anxiety. Regardless of the reason, this issue is a real and treatable condition. It is very important to seek medical treatment to overcome this condition. If the symptoms are persistent and uncontrollable, a health anxiety disorder may be the cause.