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Health Anxiety

Since covid-19 hit Britain, at certain times I have had small health worries. However, other people obsessively worry about their health, known as hypochondriacs. Made worse by the coronavirus, it means a rise in a mental health condition known as Health Anxiety. Do you or a member of family sufferer from health anxiety?

Anxiety

You are not alone

Health anxiety affects around 2-5% of the population. Hypochondria has no specific cause, but it can affect people with previous experience with a serious illness, especially in childhood. It affects men and women at equal rates.

The unseen enemy

Health Anxiety is an anxiety condition within the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) spectrum of disorders. Those affected by health anxiety have an obsessional preoccupation with the idea that they are currently (or will be) experiencing a physical illness. The most common health anxieties tend to centre on conditions such as cancer, HIV etc. However, the person experiencing health anxiety may fixate on any type of illness.

Self-help for health anxiety

  1. Keep a diary over a week, noting the number of times doing body check or asking others for reassurance, or looking at health information.
  2. Challenge your thoughts, such as being worried about headaches may be a sign of stress.
  3. Keep busy with other things to distract the health issues, by going for a walk or calling a friend.
  4. Gradually get back to normal activities, particularly if avoiding because of health worries, such as sports or socialising.
  5. Try to relax with simple breathing exercises or mindfulness relaxation exercises.

If someone requires more than self-help, then it is time to use psychological therapies, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). This helps the sufferer to view symptoms in a different way and change their response. Certain cases may require drugs, such as antidepressants to help normalise brain chemistry and reduce anxiety. The coronavirus will never leave mankind, but let us reduce Health Anxiety.

ChildMax pays your take home salary while you’re on 12 months’ unpaid leave, caring for a sick child. It starts from £49.50 or for easy budgeting an initial payment of £8.25 followed by 11 monthly payments of £3.75.

Visit at www.insurewithmax.com  or call the UK call centre 0333 323 0098 for more information.

Important: if you or a member of your family is showing signs of health anxiety that is preventing  a normal life, then speak to your GP or a medical specialist.

Sources:

https://www.netdoctor.co.uk/healthy-living/mental-health/a27552/health-anxiety-information-help/

https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/conditions/health-anxiety/

https://www.anxietyuk.org.uk/anxiety-type/health-anxiety/

 

Date: 21 June 2021 by max robinson