Health Anxiety can distress individuals because they start misinterpreting the health-related issues they face in their life e.g. a minor headache must be a brain tumor, forgetting a name must be Alzheimer. Such individuals tend to over evaluate the symptoms and take them as some serious medical condition.
Health anxiety sufferers may become distressed by:
*Reading articles or seeing programs about diseases or medical health related shows
*Knowing someone who has an illness
*Things they observe about their own body, and the associated physical symptoms, etc.
The symptoms of people suffering from health anxiety are:
1. Visiting the doctor many times a year than it is necessary
2. Seeking reassurance about their symptoms from professionals
3. Suffering from insomnia, having difficulty falling asleep and/or staying asleep because of their excessive worrying
4. Seeking many and expensive diagnostic tests which are not needed and even undergoing diagnostic procedures on a regular basis
5.Developing healthy behaviors such as avoiding exercise, resting excessively, taking unnecessary drugs, avoiding medical information
6. Spending a lot of time on the internet researching the physical and /or mental symptoms, finding diagnoses and treatments.
7. Worry even after visiting doctors.
8. Hypochondriacs suffer much distress or are impaired in their ability to function at work, or socially.
9. Worrying about health cannot be attributed to another disorder such as generalized anxiety, OCD, panic disorder, depression, separation anxiety etc.
1.Cognitive Behavioral Therapy :
*Identifying and challenging those negative thoughts
*Modifying normal illness-related behaviors. e.g. checking, reassurance seeking
*Identifying and then correcting core beliefs using disputation and behavioral experiments
When an anxious person interprets a situation as threatening the fight or flight response is triggered, hormones are released and the involuntary nervous system gets the muscles tense and gets ready to help the individual to respond to danger. Relaxation is the voluntary release of muscle tension or psychological tension.
The benefits of relaxation include:
*Reduced muscle tension
*Lowered blood pressure
*Lowered heart rate
*Decreased output of hormones that increase the flight or fight response
3. Exercise Physical:
Exercise is a great outlet for the body when it’s in the fight or flight state. Exercise releases those natural chemicals — such as Adrenalin — that accumulate during stress. Exercise relieves chronic muscle tension reduces insomnia and decreases depression and anxiety.Exercise also:
*Increases alertness and concentration
*Reduces muscle tension
*Allows people to diffuse their frustrations (which can aggravate phobias or panic reactions)
*Helps you to feel good by stimulating the production of endorphins
*Increases your energy level