Do you remain anxious about your health? Do you worry excessively and have preoccupation or acquiring a serious illness? Even when you have no physical symptoms of any ailment or if you have some minor symptoms do you consider them to be a severe illness? 

If it so, then you are on the right platform, this is referred to as Illness anxiety disorder in psychological terms or you can call it Hypochondriasis Health anxiety. 

Let’s begin!

This anxiety has multiple signs and symptoms; you may have repeated checks on your health, maybe you google your symptoms, you may be alarmed easily about your health status, constantly talking about your health, avoid social interaction due to fear of risk, frequently avoid medical appointments of not getting diagnosed, and having so much distress, etc.   

It can be due to your family, your beliefs, and past experiences like your parents are too much concerned about health, they may perceive a simple red pimple as a threatening sign like oh it is dangerous. 

How can you cope with this anxiety?

  • Practice stress management and relaxation exercises
  • Avoid searching your symptoms from the internet 
  • Take help from professionals 
  • Get physically active and do participate in activities
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy can help in this too; 
    • Firstly, pay attention to your thoughts and identify your fears and core beliefs about having a serious medical disease or any disorder that you think you preoccupy. 
    • Second, when you found the core belief behind your fear, you need to learn alternate ways to view your body sensations by working to change unhelpful thoughts and become more aware of how your worries affect you and your behavior
    • Third, observe everything of yourself and change the way you respond to your body sensations and symptoms like you can take things positively, you can change your perspective by dealing with different things. 
    • Fourth, when you think differently or might be possible it can be due to your alternate way to cope with things and tolerate anxiety and stress
    • Fifth, try to reduce avoidance of situations and activities due to physical sensations and reduce behaviors of frequently checking your body for signs of illness and repeatedly seeking reassurance and improve daily functioning at home, at work, in relationships, and social situations and stay happy by coping up with your anxiety. 

Written by: Hafiza Kanza Ashfaq Malik

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