Health Anxiety Disorder, also known as hypochondria, is the exaggerated fear of physical illness. People who suffer from this condition have the tendency to attribute ordinary physical symptoms to an obscure but serious sickness. The more a person worries about these symptoms the worse they get. Physical sensations like tenderness, dizziness, swelling, and pain are very real to victims of Health Anxiety Disorder despite the fact that typical medical exams will not reveal that anything is medically wrong with them.
Help With Health Anxiety Disorders
Because of this, sufferers may face stressful and frustrating situations. They frequently visit several doctors for the same concerns and achieve no relief. They are generally told that they are imagining the symptoms and should stop worrying. Because of this and the negative stigma attached to health anxiety, many victims refuse to seek help.
Signs And Symptoms Of Hypochondria
- Worry that minor symptoms indicate a serious illness.
- Seeking repeated medical consultations or avoiding doctors altogether
- Frequent switching of doctors because “they’re all inept”
- Strained social relationships
- Obsessive health research
- Frequent checking of your body for problems, such as lumps or sores
- Frequent checking of vital signs, such as pulse or blood pressure
Most sufferers are reluctant to acknowledge the role of psychosocial factors in causing their symptoms, which makes them even less likely to seek proper help. Many times patients with this disorder are so resistant to the idea that they have anxiety that it takes the intervention of their loved ones to help them understand that they are in need of assistance.
What Makes You Vulnerable to Hypochondria?
- Experiencing a serious illness in childhood
- Knowing loved ones with a serious disease
- The death of a loved one
- A firmly held belief that being in good health means that you are free of physical symptoms or sensations
Approximately 1-5% of the population suffers from Health Anxiety Disorders. These individuals consume health resources at 10-13 times the cost of the average person. • Those at risk of developing this problem are those who tend to be worriers. They also, at times, have difficulty expressing emotions and recognizing conflicts or interpersonal problems. Many experts theorize that these individuals have this problem because they find themselves able to express these closed off emotions through the physical sensations they experience as a part of their condition.
We can help you if you feel you have health anxiety. Fortunately, treatments are available for people with Hypochondria and other forms of health anxiety. Psychotherapists will help sufferers of health anxiety by introducing them to Cognitive Behavior Therapy, which helps them recognize and understand the false beliefs that trigger their anxiety. Through treatment, they can learn to stop the behavior that helps reinforce the disorder.
Why It Is Important To Seek Help
Many complications can arise from health anxiety and delaying treatment only makes these situations worse. Complications for the affected individual can include:
- Health risks associated with unnecessary medical procedures
- Work or school problems
- Substance abuse
- Excessive anger and frustration
- Financial problems related to medical costs
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Serving the whole person, not just the symptoms. In all of our programs your comfort, privacy and long-term success are paramount.
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The Center offers cutting edge therapy designed to get you on the road to a speedy recovery. We will help you to learn how to live your daily life free from the fears or compulsions that inhibit you or your child’s ability to complete each day’s tasks.
More Ways to Get Help Now
The Center offers cutting edge therapy designed to get you on the road to a speedy recovery. We know that you can’t always make it into our office for your session. Which is why we now provide teletherapy. You can get support from the comfort of your own home. We offer cognitive behavior therapy, psychodynamic psychotherapy, mindfulness meditation, group therapy, and medication. Depending on your needs, here’s how you can get help now:
When it comes to anxiety or mood disorders we specialize in treating the whole person, not just your symptoms. In all of our programs your comfort, privacy and long-term success are paramount.