Do you worry that you have a serious, undiagnosed medical condition? The number of people in the UK suffering from health anxiety is rising. Many of us are guilty of Googling a symptom when we have a cold or worrying that a sore throat may be something worse; but health anxiety is more than that. People affected by health anxiety have repeated, obsessive thoughts that they have (or will have) a physical illness. The most common health anxieties tend to centre on conditions such as cancer, HIV, AIDs, etc. However, the person experiencing health anxiety may fixate on any type of illness.
According to the NHS, people with health anxiety have obsessively anxious thoughts about their health. They frequently check their body for signs of illness and are always asking people for reassurance that they’re not ill. Often the physical symptoms of anxiety become signs of an impending and life-threatening health problem.
The distress and negative impact upon lives that health anxiety can cause is real, with sufferer’s worrying that their GP may have misdiagnosed them. This preoccupation impacts negatively upon their lives, affecting work, study and relationships because of the constant need to seek reassurance about their health.
The National Council for Hypnotherapy notes that our society is one where great demands and responsibilities are placed on us and while some people manage, more and more people are showing signs of stress and anxiety which can make a significant impact on the quality of life and wellbeing. Last year a report was released which found that mental health issues were the most common reason for people to take time off work. Anxiety can also manifest itself in different worries, explains the NCH. “It may be fear of being around other people; it may be anxiety in specific social situations, anxiety in your relationships with particular people at home, at school or at work.
“Hypnotherapy unlocks the potential you have to break free of negative thought patterns, and to react more positively and more confidently to situations in your life that may have previously made you anxious.”
To contact your nearest NCH-registered therapist and start the process of shedding your anxieties, simply click here.