A 21-year-old female asked:
can health anxiety really affect the body that much? i read about a symptom then get it and end up terrified
2 doctor answers • 6 doctors weighed in
Clinical Psychology 14 years experience
Yes: Health anxiety is associated with hypersensitivity to subtle changes in the body as well as preoccupation of thoughts that can result in perception of symtoms, or in many cases rumination/fear about negative health outcomes. If not treated it can increase in intensity over time to the point that it severely impacts ability to function day to day. Effective treatment is available - see comments.
2583 viewsAnswered >2 years ago
Clinical Psychology 27 years experience
Yes, it can: Excessive anxiety related to physical symptoms or a medical condition, sometimes referred to as "health anxiety" or "hypochondriasis" is typically thought of as a type of obsessive compulsive disorder: People are tormented by repeated, unwanted thoughts of their health fear: http://psychcentral.com/lib/ocd-and-health-anxiety/ It responds to Exposure and Response Prevention treatment -a form of CBT
1119 viewsReviewed >2 years ago
Last updated Nov 28, 2017
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