CBT for Health Anxiety
It’s completely normal to worry about your health from time to time. However, if you notice you are experiencing anxiety, worry and distress about your health or a possible health concern, to the extent that it is stopping you from doing the things in life that matter to you. Then, it might be time to consider seeing a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist for Health Anxiety.
What is Health Anxiety
If you are experiencing health anxiety you might notice you are preoccupied with worries about a health problem, or a potential health problem. These worries are often about potentially catastrophic health problems such having a heart attack, cancer or a stroke, or a debilitating, lifelong illness. This can be very distressing and generate a lot of uncertainty and fear for someone experiencing health anxiety.
People with health anxiety are often acutely aware of potential physical symptoms inside their body such as a tight chest, dizziness, headache, aches and pains or possible lumps. You might notice that a strong urge check and scan your body continuously for any physical sensations that might indicate a sign and symptom of illness. Your mind going to the ‘worst case scenarios’ or catastrophizing when you notice any potential sign or symptom that could be threatening to your health. This results in a lot of upsetting thoughts, emotions and uncertainty regarding your health. ,
How can CBT help?
CBT Therapy for health anxiety involves gaining an understanding of the causes and triggers of health anxiety in your life. We aim to identify what is keeping you stuck, going around in circles with your health anxiety. If we are able to interrupt certain aspects of this cycle then we can start to reduce your symptoms.
What usually keeps this vicious cycle going is perceptions or beliefs we hold about our health, the catastrophic interpretations of the physical sensations in our body, and what we do to cope or feel more safe in response. Often, the physical sensations we interpret as a potential health condition are in fact the symptoms or effects of adrenaline or anxiety inside body. Sometimes, we experience health anxiety related to a diagnosed illness. From a CBT for health anxiety perspective, the problem lies with your catastrophic reaction to the potential signs or symptoms of illness, that feeling that something awful is going to happen and you won’t be able to cope.
Feel free to contact us at Suaimhneas Cork CBT Therapy and Mindfulness if you have any questions or if you would like to to book an appointment. Don’t hesitate to get in touch on our contact form below, or phone us at 086 840 3722.