Health anxiety

What is health anxiety?

People who experience health anxiety are excessively worried and preoccupied about having a serious illness when there is no medical evidence of them having the illness. They may spend a lot of time researching symptoms on the Internet, seek reassurance from others particularly medical professionals, or scan their body for possible signs of illness. This can lead them to feel more anxious and preoccupied.

What do we offer in our service to help with this?

What we offer really depends on how the person views their difficulties… if people are still keen to pursue a medical explanation for their difficulties and want to be referred for further tests then it is probably not the right time to be trying talking therapy; but if someone believes that their difficulties are a problem of worry and wants to try a psychological approach then that would be a good time to be seen in our service.

We normally suggest that people who are experiencing health anxiety attend our Fighting Fear group or have some sessions of guided self-help or individual CBT.

You can find links to self-help leaflets and books on health anxiety on our Resources page.