Do you constantly worry about potentially developing a serious illness?
Do you experience feelings of anxiety that there’s something wrong with your health?
Approximately 5.7% of Australians experience health anxiety during their lifetime, however many people don’t really understand what health anxiety is (Sunderland, Newby, & Andrews). Those with health anxiety have a belief that there is perceived threat to their health, that may not even eventuate. Not everyone thinks about specific problems though, your fears could be more general in that you simply think that something is “not quite right”.
CHECKLIST TO DETERMINE IF YOU ARE EXPERIENCING HEALTH ANXIETY
IF YOU CHECKED MORE THAN HALF OF THE ABOVE, WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?
- Log when you engage in your body-checking and reassurance-seeking behaviour. Include information such as the situation and thoughts that lead to these behaviours, how anxious you were before and after these actions, and how you went about these behaviours. Monitor if your anxiety increases or decreases following engaging in these behaviours and how intrusive they have become in your life.
- Consider the fact that the symptoms you are experiencing may be normal bodily sensations that have come into your awareness through paying attention to a certain part of your body. Try focusing on your foot for one minute. What sensations do you notice? Were you aware of them prior to focusing on your foot? Did the sensations become more noticeable and intense over time? Did this increase your concern for these sensations?
- Approach someone for support. E.g., a family member, friend or GP.
Once you have tried these tips, engaging with a Psychologist allows you to develop a complete understanding of what’s happening, and we will work together with you to better manage your health anxiety. We will also help you regain lost time spent Googling symptoms and diseases, and checking your body for signs and symptoms of illness, enabling you to refocus on what is most important to you.
We believe wise minds make wise decisions, so let us help you. Contact us today.