We all worry about our health from time to time. However if you are constantly worried about your health or frequently have periods of anxiety that are focused on your health then you may have health anxiety. Health anxiety can become a problem if the worry about health is excessive or interferes with someone’s ability to function in their daily life.
Some anxiety about health is normal and can be helpful as it prompts us to seek medical attention when needed or engage in healthy behaviours such as exercise, eating well or taking medication. However health anxiety can become a problem if it is out of proportion and persistent. People with health anxiety might do some of the following:
If you are experiencing excessive and persistent worry about your health, are very vigilant or alert for signs of illness, check you body frequently for signs of illness, seek frequent reassurance about your health or avoid talking or thinking about your health because it is too distressing, then health anxiety might be a problem for you.
There is no single cause for health anxiety and it can affect anyone at any time. Research indicates that the following factors might be important in developing health anxiety:
The best treatment for health anxiety is a talking therapy called Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). CBT can help you put your worries about your health in perspective so that you feel less anxious and the anxiety doesn’t interfere with your daily life.
We offer help to deal with a range of issues including:
If you need urgent help and are worried that you can’t keep yourself safe, City and Hackney has a 24-hour Crisis helpline on 0800 073 0006 or you can get help at your local Accident and Emergency department.