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Health Anxiety is a condition that affects millions of people around the world. It is a condition where a person becomes preoccupied with the thought of having a serious or life-threatening illness. This can lead to significant distress and impairment in daily life, as well as unnecessary medical consultations and tests. If you are experiencing health anxiety, it is essential to seek help and support, as it can worsen your mental health and overall well-being. 
 
In this blog post, we will look at some of the key aspects of health anxiety, its symptoms, and the potential treatments available. 
 
 
 
 
 
What is Health Anxiety? 
 
Health Anxiety is a form of anxiety that is characterized by persistent and excessive worry about one's physical health. People with health anxiety show excessive fear and distress about having a serious medical condition, such as cancer, heart disease or HIV, despite medical reassurance and test results confirming they are in good health. 
Symptoms of Health Anxiety 
 
Some of the common symptoms of health anxiety include: 
 
• frequent checking of websites or medical books for symptoms of various illnesses 
 
• obsessively googling for symptoms of a specific ailment 
 
• experiencing physical symptoms such as palpitations, sweating, and trembling 
 
• avoiding medical check-ups or doctor visits due to fear of getting a serious diagnosis 
 
• constantly seeking reassurance from family, friends and or medical professionals. 
 
Treatment for Health Anxiety 
 
Health anxiety can be effectively treated with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), a therapeutic technique that challenges the negative thought patterns that underlie anxiety. CBT helps individuals manage their anxiety by developing coping skills to address their thought patterns and reduce their distress. These coping skills aim to teach people how to stop the cycle of anxiety and gradually confront their fears through exposures, replacing the negative thoughts with positive ones. 
 
Additionally, relaxation and mindfulness techniques, such as yoga and breathing exercises, may help relieve some of the physical symptoms of health anxiety. Exercise and other healthy lifestyle habits such as eating well and getting enough sleep can also reduce anxiety symptoms and promote recovery. 
A few other techniques are to challenge your thoughts, by writing down your health concern and then writing a balanced reason for the concern alongside it, such as “I’m worried about these headaches” and counter balancing that with “Headaches are a sign of stress” or “I’ve not drank much today”. Or you could try to keep yourself busy, each time you have the urge to check your body or search google about a health concern, distract yourself with an activity that you enjoy. 
 
In case of severe health anxiety symptoms, your doctor may recommend medications, including antidepressants or anti-anxiety medication. 
 
Conclusion 
 
Health Anxiety is a treatable condition. It is important to seek professional help if you are struggling with health anxiety, as this can have a significant impact on your quality of life. CBT, medication adjustments, and lifestyle changes can all be effective at managing the symptoms of health anxiety. So, if you encounter any symptoms or are currently experiencing health anxiety, don't hesitate to reach out to your therapist or doctor for help. 
 
 
And if you work for Academy Care, part of your employee benefits system Perkbox, has a wellness section, offering sessions which focus on your mental and physical wellbeing, looking after the mind and body at the end of a working day is extremely important, and there is everything from workouts to meditation and music. You can log into Perkbox through the staff suite. 
 
How can we help? 
 
Academy Care are a passionate domiciliary care company who support individuals, whom for reasons of ill health or disability, could benefit from long or short-term domiciliary care services in the comfort and familiar surroundings of their own home. At Academy Care, we are committed to ensuring that all our clients receive the very best care, promoting your independence and supporting you to maximise your quality of life and wellbeing. We pledge to deliver quality, bespoke and affordable care, in a dignified, responsive and personal manner. At Academy Care, your care is our passion. 
 
 
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