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Frequently Asked Questions About Health Anxiety Forum

February 19, 2021 • Kelly Montgomery

Most people do not like to talk about anxiety. Perhaps that is because they do not want to experience judgment and discrimination from others. Many still believe in mental health stigma, which explains why some mental illness individuals do not feel confident to discuss their psychological struggles.

As you can see, there is always a thin line when dealing with mental health issues. People often criticize others’ ability to connect with themselves and often judge them for not coping. Unfortunately, those become why people with mental health keep their condition from everyone else and do not seek any help. But some people are brave enough to express their feelings and thoughts. These individuals are the ones who push themselves to get better. With that said, let us try and focus on understanding what anxiety is all about and how it affects their lives.

Here are some of the frequently asked questions we can use as a guideline.

Can health anxiety cause physical symptoms? 

Unfortunately, yes. Most people with health anxiety are often unable to function or enjoy life due to persistent and excessive fears and worries. They become preoccupied with minor physical abnormalities or physical sensations that somehow take away their mental focus.

Some of the physical symptoms of anxiety include rapid breathing, increased heart rate, nervousness, fatigue, sweating, restlessness, and troubled concentration.

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 Does anyone suffer from health anxiety? 

Yes. Some people worry excessively about health. Health anxiety is a common condition that affects many people, and it occurs in early or middle adulthood. Usually, it worsens with age as it produces real physical symptoms such as stomachaches, headaches, and rapid heartbeat. It also shows signs of nervousness, muscle tension, tingling in the hands and feet, chest pressure, etc.

 How is severe health anxiety treated? 

The most reliable treatment for health anxiety is psychotherapy. One particular method is CBT or cognitive behavioral therapy. CBT aims to help individuals deal with overwhelming emotional and mental problems in a positive way. It tends to break the issue down into smaller parts to easily get a hold of what they have to do and understand the situation.

Consulting with a therapist can also help you understand the possibility of getting medication to secure your mental health needs.

 How long can health anxiety last? 

Honestly, anxiety is helpful in some ways as it connects you more to a sensitive concern about the changes to your health. However, if that worry lasts at least six months or more, even though you are entirely healthy, the worry you might have can be a sign of something different. If your fears and worry get persistent, excessive, and extreme, it affects your daily life; then there is a huge possibility that it is already a mental health problem.

 Can your mind create physical symptoms? 

Carla Manley, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist and author, once stated that people with mental illnesses could experience a range of physical symptoms. These are a series of conditions such as insomnia, body pain, muscle tension, headaches, and restlessness feelings.

 Is Googling symptoms a bad idea? 

Self-diagnosing your health symptoms using information from the internet is never a good idea. Aside from incorrect diagnoses, your findings can mask a potentially dangerous disease. So, apart from getting an inaccurate diagnosis, the tendency of getting hooked into putting negative things altogether can become a worse habit. If you are suffering from a psychological health condition, seeking professional help to get a reliable diagnosis and treatment is entirely essential.

 Why can’t I stop Googling my symptoms? 

As much as possible, it would be best if you avoided over-Googling your symptoms. That is because of the two things that could happen. Either you overestimate your mental health symptoms and end up taking the wrong medication or engage in the wrong self-treatment. Yes, public information is helpful. However, not understanding your condition thoroughly can only worsen it.

 How can I stop worrying about my medical results? 

Worrying about your medical result is quite normal. However, it would help if you did not allow your mind to assume the worse scenarios. Be more in control of your thoughts and feelings. It will help if you focus on other things that can make you appreciate life to the fullest. Stick to your daily healthy routines and avoid overcrowding your mind with negative ideas. Keep yourself busy and limit the things you lookup online, especially if it’s about medical symptoms.

 How do you calm down from hypochondria? 

Calming down hypochondria requires self-awareness. You should not shame and blame yourself for everything that is not going your way. Things can happen for a lot of reasons, so you should not have to question your beliefs. If your worries are something you can no longer control, seek immediate help. Talk to a friend about what you feel. Try to learn the best coping strategies that suit your needs.

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 What do you say to someone with health anxiety? 

Health anxiety is a serious state of mind and can affect a person’s daily function. Thus, you must understand the right words to help someone get through with a mental health problem. Always start with the phrase “are you ok?” and “how can I help?” If those positive words warm the individual up, encourage him. Tell him, “I’m always here if you need to talk,” “let’s sort through this together,” and “your fears and worries are valid.”

Always be considerate of others’ feelings. It does not mean they are not suffering inside because they do not often show their emotions. Be careful with your actions and words, as these things cannot be taken back once said and done.

 What triggers hypochondria? 

The usual triggers of hypochondria include major life stress. It can also come from a history of childhood abuse such as physical, sexual, verbal, and emotional. It can also originate from other chronic health conditions or come from an unnecessary belief that something threatens one’s health.

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Is health anxiety a mental illness? 

Health anxiety was previously called Hypochondriasis or much better known as hypochondria. It was classified as a mental health disorder due to its effect on the person’s emotional and mental state. However, DSM or the American Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders no longer include the condition.

 What is severe health anxiety? 

Health anxiety, or most commonly called Hypochondriasis, is an excessive worry of possibly become seriously ill. That is despite not having or experiencing any physical symptoms.

 Is health anxiety part of OCD? 

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and Hypochondriasis or health anxiety have many similarities. With all areas of OCD, the underlying anxiety is considered the root of both conditions. However, the real problem is not the aspect of obsession but how individuals relate to the symptoms and respond to them.

 How do I stop worrying about everything? 

For you to be able to stop your mind from worrying too much, you should keep yourself busy. You can write your worries down and reflect on them. Be mindful of accepting that things don’t always go your way and that you need to move on. Make time for yourself and practice mindfulness and meditation.

 

Categories: Family Support