Health anxiety

We all feel anxiety in feared or difficult situations and it usually goes away when the situation changes or we leave it. When the subject we worry about, fear or avoid is about our health, then this is known as health anxiety. Sometimes the fear or panicky feeling stays and we experience physical symptoms such as heart beating, sweating or butterflies in our tummy or, we may worry excessively and feel stressed or anxious. Health anxiety is diagnosed when someone develops a preoccupation with the thoughts that they have a serious illness or the fear of developing one despite medical reassurance.

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) is a psychological talking therapy that is short term, problem and goal focussed. It is based on the idea that it is not the events that make us depressed or anxious, but the way we think about them. CBT helps us become more aware of thinking patterns and behaviours which impact on our feelings and helps us to make changes.

In an assessment session, you will be encouraged to look at your problems and develop goals as well as developing a shared understanding of your problems .A plan will be developed collaboratively with an estimated number of sessions together with a review date, should this be appropriate. Further CBT sessions involve setting an agenda for the sessions, summaries to check understanding and homework tasks to help to facilitate changes. This is likely to involve keeping records of certain behaviours, graduated exposure to feared situations together with the dropping of maintaining factors which keep the problems going. It may also involve doing things differently to observe the outcomes. At the end of each session there is an opportunity for feedback and to raise any difficulties

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence have not yet been commissioned to develop NICE guidelines for Health anxiety, but as outlined above an assessment will help to develop an individually tailored treatment plan.

It is advisable to seek help from your GP or a mental health professional should you experience symptoms health anxiety to enable you to get the help that you need.

Contact Us Today! Back to Services
Back to Services