Many people who experience persistent health anxiety may have spent a lot of time and effort seeking a medical explanation to no avail. Health anxiety is arguably better understood by the cognitive model. This model suggests that health anxiety is primarily a problem of erroneous beliefs about health.

Symptoms

The core symptoms of health anxiety are a preoccupation with either having a serious physical illness, or the belief that one already has a serious illness. And, the fears about their health persist despite medical examination and reassurance. The following lists some common tendencies for people experiencing health anxiety:

  • Spend a lot of time worrying about your health
  • Being aware of aches and pain in your body all the time
  • Being constantly aware of bodily sensations and changes
  • Strong thoughts of having a serious illness
  • Frequent thoughts of illness, which cannot be controlled
  • Always being afraid of having an illness
  • Not being reassured by medical health professionals
  • Hearing news about illness makes you doubt your own health

Best Evidence-Based Treatments

The National Institute of Health Care and Excellence have not distinguished health anxiety from the umbrella of anxiety disorders, however clinical trials specifically researching effective treatments for health anxiety suggest CBT is the most successful treatment.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT):
Cognitive behavioural therapy focuses on the relationship between thoughts, feelings, behaviours and physiological sensations. The cognitive facet assumes that the meaning one gives to an event is important and if you can change the interpretation or perception you can change the feeling (affect) associated with it. The behavioural facet assumes changing what you do is often a powerful way of changing other things in your life, which can improve affect and reduce health anxiety symptoms.

Elite Psychology comprises of an expert team, specialising in the best private evidence-based therapy for health anxiety. Our highly qualified associates are accredited in all of the most successful therapies, complimented by Psychiatrists who can prescribe medication on private prescriptions. We can assess you and provide the most efficacious therapy tailored to your difficulties. We know the importance of being understood, and endeavour to deliver the highest standard of psychological interventions to meet your needs.

Call us on 020 3815 7935 for further information or to book an assessment. Alternatively you can complete the online contact form.