I feel that something is with my health and I remain anxious!
25 Oct 2015
Do you have persistent headaches, feelings of falling, heart palpitations, sweatiness that makes you feel worn out. But all your tests & reports come normal?
Does it happen to you that won’t calm down until you see a doctor when you get such anxious thoughts about your health and sometimes visit to a single doctor doesn’t even calm you down?
Are you concerned of a particular organ or a part of body such as your heart or digestive system despite results shows that they are working fine?
Is that headache you had last night making you think it could be Migraine or worse a tumour in head?
Is your concern about your health interfering with you personal and professional engagement?
If most of the above happens with you, you might be suffering from ‘health anxiety’.
Health Anxiety involves anxious thoughts of having diseases or some people even experience the physical symptoms in spite of having no medical conditions upon pathological testing.
What makes you more susceptible to health anxiety disorder?
Pre- existing stress and tendency towards anxiety
After a traumatic event
A history of having a serious illness as a child
Having someone in the family who is very ill.
A poor ability to express emotions
A parent or close relative with the disorder; children might learn this behavior if a parent is overly concerned about disease and/or overreacts to even minor illnesses
An inherited susceptibility for the disorder
A history of physical, verbal or sexual abuse
What are the most common problems one usually have when he or she is having psychosomatic issues?
The symptoms involve several different organs and body systems. Report of or a combination of symtoms related to the following occurs:
Palpitations & Sweaty Palms
Why should you treat your health related anxiety problems immediately?
Apart from the fact that this disorder is costing your mental peace, it is also affecting you physically even if you don’t have any physical manifestations of the disease you may think you have. The excessive worry and stress can cause you immense distress and may make your routine life a complete mess.
If you are seriously thinking that you have a physical disease which you actually don’t, you may start takings pills or make alterations to your diet which might not be good for your physical health.
If this disorder goes unmanaged this can lead to more serious psychological disorders like depression, body dysmorphic disorders, and obsessive compulsive disorder.
How to manage these anxiety related symptoms?
De stress: The top cause of health anxiety illness is stress. So you need to de stress first.by engaging in different distressing activities like regular physical activities( gym, yoga, meditation, zumba classes, martial arts etc.), healthy lifestyle (eating healthy food and taking regular sleep, cutting on caffeine, smoking, alcohol) regular social engagement ( joining a hobby class, meeting a group supporting a cause of your choice, meeting up a relative or friend and so on), have some time for ‘fun and relaxation’(pursuing a hobby, watching television or reading a book, take a warm bath or shower with scented candles, sip on hot chamomile tea, book a spa or massage appointment, play soothing music before you sleep and so on).
Rule out the physical symptoms: When you don’t get evidence of the physical symptoms you are having, stop right there. You can put up the results of your investigation on your walls to remind you everytime that you don’t have the disease. You can write it up somewhere, maybe in a journal or on a board that your test results are negative. Also, maintain a record of all the anxious thoughts you have about your physical health.
Avoid google surfing to look up symptoms or talking to unauthorized persons: Avoid looking up your symptoms on google and self diagnosing yourself. This will only add to your stress and complicate your situation. Also, don’t talk to any person about your symptoms, talk to only a qualified doctor and discuss issues that you are facing.
Seek professional help: Seek help before it is too late. Anxious thoughts conditions can be strong and you may need professional help to alleviate them.
a. Pharmaceutical therapy: Often medical intervention is required to lift the anxious thoughts about the physical symptoms and your primary health care provider may provide you a referral to a psychiatrist.
b. Therapy and counseling: This is a very effective way to cope with these symptoms. Several psychotherapies are available to help with this condition like cognitive behavior therapy, cognitive restructuring etc. Counselling is an effective option to vent out your anxious thoughts and learn to manage your stress and thoughts effectively.
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