Doctors know better than us and just by knowing the symptoms, they can tell what is wrong with us even before a test. But, for people with health anxiety disorder believing the doctor’s word is hard. It’s even tough when the world is trapped by COVID-19. And even a normal cough or sneeze can make them think they’ve corona.
This fear or anxiety is known as hypochondriasis. It’s a serious disorder similar to OCD. Luckily, it can be prevented easily so read further to know more about it and ways to prevent health anxiety symptoms.
What Is Health Anxiety?
Hypochondriasis or illness anxiety makes them anxious about their health. They always keep checking their body and seek validation from others about their health.
However, nothing not even a positive medical report can reduce their anxiety as they believe reports are faulty or doctor are not taking them seriously.
On the other hand, some people with health anxiety repeatedly visit doctors for check-ups. In either case, a person always fears that even the slightest change in their routine or diet can make them ill or they are already having a disease.
Hypochondriasis shows only these symptoms so it looks more like OCD. Because the fear is persistent and to get rid of those thoughts, a person is engaged in certain behaviours.
And so the health anxiety treatments are also the same as that of OCD. Some of them are:
- Cognitive behavioural therapy is used to correct their negative thoughts.
- Acceptance and commitment therapy to help them deal with anxiety
- Exposure with response prevention or ERP
How To Get Rid Of Fear Of Getting Sick?
- Make a list– Prepare a list of all the areas where health anxiety has affected you. This will take a lot of time but don’t avoid this step. Once you are done, keep reviewing the list so as to be aware of how it is affecting your life especially your budget. This will help you understand that fearing is actually making things worse.
- Reduce your dependence– People with hypochondriasis keeps asking to others or involve in habits that make them believe they are healthy. Stop asking for reassurance or practising those habits. If you succeed in controlling those rituals for reassurance, your anxiety will also reduce.
- Accept the uncertainty- Life is uncertain, nobody and nothing can assure you about the future. Accepting this thought will help you curb the compulsive thoughts.
- Meditate- Meditation will work on your negative thoughts or fear about your health. So, practice it more and more.
- Follow a right routine– The best way to get rid of health anxiety is to ensure that your lifestyle is right. Avoiding bad foods and alcohol, focusing on physical activities, getting enough sleep, and practising yoga or meditation will keep you in good health.
- Don’t overdo– If you already have diabetes, high blood pressure, or any other disease, then avoid getting too much knowledge about it. Getting in-depth knowledge will make you more anxious.
Try these preventive ways to control your health anxiety before fear takes a toll on your body.