All of our therapists are offering online counselling at this time!
Counselling for Health Anxiety
Do you worry too much about your health? We can help.
We all worry about our own health and well-being from time to time, but when those worries get excessive, it can be a sign of something more serious.
Health anxiety is a condition marked by experiencing excessive worry or preoccupation about your health. You may frequently interpret naturally occurring sensations as symptoms of a severe illness. Health anxiety can be very mentally exhausting and continues even when medical evaluation rules out the presence of disease.
You don’t need to let anxiety over your health rule your life. Book a consultation today with one of our mental health specialists who can help you learn tools to overcome this condition.
What Does a Health Anxiety Feel Like?
Health anxiety is marked by constant worry that you may have symptoms of a serious illness.
Common symptoms of healthy anxiety may include:
Preoccupation with having or getting a disease
Worrying that body sensations indicate illness
Repeatedly checking for signs of illness and disease
Hyper-focused on health status
Experiencing no reassurance from doctor visits or test results
Ruminating over specific medical conditions
Worry interferes with daily life
Frequent medical appointments for reassurance
Avoiding certain people or places due to perceived health risks
Continually talking about your health or possible illnesses
Consumed with researching symptoms and illnesses
Some people may experience a condition known as somatic symptom disorder. This disorder involves focusing on the disabling nature of symptoms without worrying about the diagnosis of a specific disease.
Health anxiety can be very disruptive to a person’s life and be a significant cause of distress. People with health anxiety often experience a gradual decline in their quality of life as symptoms escalate over time.
Will My Health Anxiety Go Away if I Don’t Seek help?
If health anxiety is not treated, it can get worse and severely disrupt a person’s life. It is common for people with health anxiety to eventually lose jobs or promotions due to absenteeism and experience financial issues due to extended medical testing. If you have been experiencing episodes of extreme distress over your health, you should seek consultation with a mental health professional.
What Causes Health Anxiety?
There isn’t one exact cause of health anxiety. People may develop anxiety over their health due to a combination of factors such as:
Family history: You are at a higher risk of developing health anxiety if you have a family member preoccupied with health symptoms and illness, or family with an anxiety or mood disorder.
Exposure to Trauma: Trauma experienced in childhood, such as physical or sexual abuse, can increase your likelihood of developing health anxiety. People who were sick in childhood may also be at increased risk of health anxiety. You may also become excessively anxious about health after experiencing major life changes, stress, or trauma later in life.
Biochemical Factors: Health anxiety is linked to an imbalance of chemicals in the brain involved with mood and fear responses. People may also be more susceptible to excessive worry due to differences in their brain architecture.
Environmental Factors: Characteristics of your environment may increase your risk of health anxiety or make symptoms worse. Some environmental risks include having overprotective parents, sickness in the family, previous illness, a poor support system, difficult relationships, instability, and major life stress.
Health anxiety can make you feel overwhelmed, frustrated, and exhausted. Seeking counselling is one of the best ways to learn how to manage your symptoms and get your life back.
How is Health Anxiety Treated?
Health anxiety can be treated with counselling. There are also lifestyle changes that can be made to support your recovery.
Counselling & Therapy for Health Anxiety
Therapy is the most effective treatment for building long-lasting strategies to help you cope with health anxiety symptoms. Therapy is not a temporary fix for the problems as you’ll learn effective coping mechanisms and techniques that you can use throughout your life.
Receiving early intervention for your health anxiety can help reduce symptoms, ease worry, and improve your daily functioning. Your therapist will help you ease the anxiety around your health by changing impractical thoughts.
Therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) are very effective for the treatment of health anxiety. Many of the ways we interpret events and deal with our problems can be unhelpful or even harmful to our well-being. In CBT, your therapist will work with you to identify any negative thinking or behavioural patterns and help you learn more helpful ways of viewing your world and tackling your problems. In therapy, you will learn other ways to look at your body sensations by challenging unhelpful thoughts and reframing your experiences.
If you have experienced trauma, our team of therapists specializes in helping clients identify the roots of their struggles and learn practical tools for overcoming them.
Reach out today to book a session with one of our therapists and let a trained professional help you navigate your symptoms and start living your life again.
Counselling for Phobias in Vaughan, Woodbridge & Greater Toronto Area
We are the largest counselling service provider in the Vaughan and Woodbridge area with over 15 years of experience. Our team of therapists specializes in helping clients identify the roots of their struggles and learn effective tools for overcoming them. We offer cutting edge counselling and coaching to individuals, families, and couples.