Information about health anxiety

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By Marilyn Royce

A person may suffer from health anxiety if they frequently worry or fear developing medical concerns. Though it can drastically lower a person’s quality of life, there are effective therapies for health anxiety.

A person who experiences persistent anxieties and fears about having or developing undetected medical issues is said to have health anxiety. The level of anxiety might rise to the point that it begins to negatively impact the person’s quality of life.

The origins, symptoms, and treatments of health anxiety are covered in this article. Additionally, it provides useful information and addresses commonly asked topics.

What is worry about health?

An anxiety disorder of the mind is health anxiety. A person with health anxiety frequently experiences anxiety even after hearing from doctors that they are in good health. Their anxiousness could have a detrimental impact on how they live.

Chronic health anxiety is a condition. It usually affects teenagers, and as it progresses, the symptoms grow worse. Every 1000 people, on average, suffer from health anxiety. The two primary categories areCare-seeking and care-avoiding are reliable sources.

For their health fears and concerns, people with care-seeking health anxiety seek medical attention and testing. People who have health anxiety avoid going to the doctor because of dread of procedures and examinations.

Health anxiety is sometimes referred to as illness anxiety condition and hypochondria. However, because to its negative connotations, medical experts no longer use the word hypochondria.


If a person exhibits any of the following symptoms:

They are perpetually concerned about their health routinely examine for lumps or other physical symptoms of disease, such as discomfort frequently fear that a wellness exam was overlooked by a medical professional often seek affirmation from others that they are healthy

regularly read about health issues in the news or steer clear of anything connected to serious sickness, such medical TV shows, and act sick, like skipping physical activity

Possibile difficulties

The quality of life and relationships of a person might suffer from health anxiety.

For instance, those who have health anxiety may need to often take time off from work because they worry about getting sick. Financial difficulties brought on by frequent hospital visits and medical expenditures are another potential problem.

There is a strong link between health anxiety and the following various mental health conditions:

  • a severe kind of depression
  • personality dysfunction
  • other anxiety conditions


majority of the timeAccording to a Reliable Source, medical experts use both psychotherapy and medicine to manage health anxiety.


One typical remedyCognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a reliable resource for tackling health anxiety.

CBT is a technique used by therapists to assist clients in identifying potentially harmful thinking and behavior patterns.

In a research conducted in 2017 with 195 patients with the disease, it was discovered that CBT reduced symptoms to varied degrees. Furthermore, a 2020 study with 204 persons with health anxiety discovered that almost 2 in 3 of them reacted well to CBT.

Other treatments for health anxiety include mindfulness-based CBT, which combines CBT techniques with mindfulness meditation techniques, and exposure therapy, which includes gradually exposing a person to the things they dread in a secure setting.


Medical providers may use medicines to manage health anxiety. Antidepressants such selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) are used to treat health anxiety.

Medical providers could advise someone to use a drug for 6–12 months if it relieves their symptoms of health anxiety.

How to obtain medical care ?

There are several ways that people with health anxiety can get aid and therapy.

To contact a mental health professional or other resources to deal with anxiety, visit the National Institute of Mental Health (Reliable Source).

People looking for treatment for mental and drug use problems can access safe and anonymous information at People may look up resources such as treatment centers using its search tool.

For basic information on mental health and nearby treatment options, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration maintains a free nationwide hotline. It is discreet, open around-the-clock, and offered in both English and Spanish. It may be accessed by dialing 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Avoidance and self-help

Some persons with symptoms of health anxiety may find relief using the self-help techniques listed below:

Keeping a diary: Individuals might record how frequently they examine their bodies, seek affirmation from others, or consult health information. Over the course of a week, they could try to progressively cut back on how frequently they do these behaviors.

Drawing a table with two columns—one for health concerns and one for more neutral thoughts—can help challenge someone’s mental process. The worries in the first column could be offset and balanced by the second.

Keeping busy: If someone feels the want to examine their physique, they can try phoning a friend or taking a stroll.

How can someone overcome their fear of being sick?

Some people may be helped by self-help techniques to control or lessen mild health anxiety. Patients with mild to severe health anxiety could find help from CBT and medicines.

What causes fear about your health?

Psychotherapists are still learning the precise causes of health anxiety. However, it appears that those who already have anxiety problems are more likely to do so again. Some traumatic events in childhood or in the family are additional risk factors.