How to Deal With Health-related Anxiety
When you experience a headache, you look up information on brain tumors right away. Or maybe you develop dizziness one day and worry about it all night. Even if a doctor says everything appears to be in order, you can't help but worry that you may already have or later develop a terrible condition. If this rings a bell, you are not alone. According to some experts, 12% to 24% of Americans struggle with health anxiety. People who suffer from health anxiety obsess over every bodily sensation and fear that it might be an indication of a major illness. Even certain symptoms, such a faster heartbeat and high blood pressure, might be brought on by this anxiety. Many people can occasionally worry about their health even if they don't have health anxiety.It's normal for people to feel anxious as they wait for blood test results or deal with a terrible illness. Learning a few coping mechanisms will help you get through any health-related stress or a health concern.
Leave the Search Bar Alone
It can be tempting to do an online search to find out more about what might be happening in your body if you're concerned about your health. But this is rarely, if ever, a worthwhile endeavor. Most people who do this, however, typically experience increased levels of fear. It's crucial to keep in mind that everything written online is meant to pique curiosity. It's not worth creating or reading a novel if everything works out perfectly and the main character never has any problems. Because of this, even though brain cancer is uncommon, you're likely to encounter many articles about how a simple headache turned out to be brain cancer and few about how a headache isn't important. It's crucial to keep your anxiety from being impacted by your anxieties about a changing world. It's crucial to keep your anxiety from being impacted by your anxieties about a changing world.
Talk About Your Anxiety With A Trusted Doctor
Nobody can make a diagnosis or exclude an illness for you online. A doctor, however, can. Finding a medical professional you can rely on to be honest with you and order the necessary tests is crucial for this reason. Additionally, you ought to be able to discuss your health anxiety with your doctor openly. Feel free to locate another doctor if your current one doesn't make you feel at ease. You are more inclined to believe your doctor when they assure you that everything is fine if you know you can trust them. Additionally, you can be confident that your doctor considered your worries carefully.
Examine Your Beliefs About Risk
If you suffer from health anxiety disorder, you can believe that any physical changes pose a risk to your health or even your life. For instance, you might vomit and quickly worry that you have an extremely dangerous infection like Ebola. While vomiting is a sign of Ebola, it can also mean a lot of other things. If you catch yourself supposing the worse, pause and consider whether that is indeed the most likely outcome. For instance, which is more likely: that you will be the first person in your area to catch Ebola, or that the restaurant where you just ate ruined your meal? Even while you should still consult your doctor, taking a moment to reevaluate the situation will help you remain composed as you wait for their response.
Exercise Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Anyone experiencing a health crisis or persistent health concerns may find therapy to be a useful tool. CBT is a sort of therapy that helps individuals develop better coping skills and alters their thought processes. We assist patients at LifeStance Health with all forms of worry, including concerns about their health. Our therapists can assist you in overcoming your fears if you are concerned about your physical well-being.