Health Anxiety and Health Anxiety Counselling
Health anxiety can range from having fleeting and moderate concerns about your health, to having an all-consuming preoccupation affecting wellbeing. The affect on wellbeing can be to emotional, psychological and physical health. This can negatively impact a persons quality of life and in extreme cases their loved ones life’s too.
For some anxiety about health may be worrying about a medically diagnosed health condition. Hypochondria describes worrying about health when there is no medical reason to do so. At times physical symptoms experienced in the body and worried about are symptoms of anxiety itself. For example, heart palpitations, shortness of breathe, nausea and stomach complaints can all be anxiety related. An anxious state can affect our psychological health and cause us to misinterpret these symptoms and to catastrophise them. They may be read as a potentially serious health issue, rather than a primarily emotional health issue.
When there are physical health issues that can’t be explained by the medical profession, emotional ill health can cause this. The repression of feelings can impact physical health in many ways. For example, to have unresolved trauma feelings can cause headaches, fatigue, stomach complaints, and unexplained pain in various parts of the body. There are also many psychological and emotional health concerns that can be present. To learn more visit my somatisation and counselling blog.
Causes of Health Anxiety
- Being under stress
- Having had a previous serious illness
- A history of serious illness in the family or with others close to you
- Having a family member that excessively worried about your health growing up
- unresolved past trauma
Health anxiety can also be apparent for those who have a medically explained illness which becomes excessively worried about. If anxiety isn’t managed well it can cause people to worry disproportionately about the nature and severity of the illness. Ironically excessive fear about ill health could be a factor in a further deterioration of health.
When living with chronic illness it’s important to learn how to manage illness well, most often with medical profession guidance. When living with illness daily, emotional and psychological good health are a very important aspect of self-care and healing. To be less fearful of what’s happening in our body allows an increased sense of grounding. Greater emotional and psychological stability allows us to be more considered and have increased intuitive understanding of what our bodies need. This became most apparent to me when I began the process of learning to live with chronic Lyme disease.
For further information about anxiety in general visit my anxiety counselling page.
To learn about my approach and other specialist counselling interests visit my home page