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Doctor insights on: Extreme Health Anxiety

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What to do about my extreme health anxiety?

What to do about my extreme health anxiety?

Need more specifics: I'd 1st want 2know more, like: when r u having these thoughts? Is a frightening thought related 2 ur health just popping into ur head & getting stuck? What r some examples of the what-if-this-bad -thing-happens thoughts? Is there anything u do that helps u calm down when u r having 1 of these thoughts? >to get help targeted 2ur specific experiences consider getting a formal diagnostic assessment. ...Read more

Dr. Heidi Fowler
3,281 doctors shared insights

Anxiety (Definition)

Anxiety is a general term for several disorders that cause nervousness, fear, apprehension, and worrying. These disorders affect how we feel and behave, and they can manifest real physical symptoms. Mild anxiety is vague and unsettling, while severe anxiety can be extremely debilitating, having a serious ...Read more


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I am having extreme health anxiety after a serious illness that has now been cured. My vigilance in checking for symptoms have taken over my life and made me unbearably anxious. On meds and in therapy?

I am having extreme health anxiety after a serious illness that has now been cured. My vigilance in checking for symptoms have taken over my life and made me unbearably anxious. On meds and in therapy?

Lingering anxiety: Cognitive behavior therapy, mindfulness, and exposure /response prevention may help for what could be OCD. Find a psychologist skilled in these areas and in anxiety management. ...Read more

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Which one should one seek for extreme health anxiety? Psychiatrists or psychologists? Seem the same to me but would like to know which better suited.

Which one should one seek for extreme health anxiety? Psychiatrists or psychologists? Seem the same to me but would like to know which better suited.

As a psychologist...: I'd start there — ideally you'll find a psychologist with a special interest in "health" concerns. Psychologists often can spend a longer time with a new patient and in their diagnostic process, if they believe a medication will help, they'll refer you for that. Learning strategies to self-manage anxiety can be useful in many ways + no negative side effects! Shop around for a good fit. Best! ...Read more

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I have extreme health anxiety. No money/insurance for counseling and live in a rural area. No "pro-bono". Any suggestions? Can't live like this anymore

I have extreme health anxiety. No money/insurance for counseling and live in a rural area. No "pro-bono". Any suggestions? Can't live like this anymore

Try to find a: Sliding-scale clinic using the blue pages of your phone book. Call houses of worship and ask if they know of one. Ask your doc. Local colleges may have a counseling center that can help. A book called feeling good by david burns may also be helpful, but you need to work w/the book, not just read it. Peace and good health. ...Read more

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Extreme health anxiety. Symptoms always make me feel like I have a terminal illness (dizziness, racing heart, headache ect) also have ear?

Consider : Psychotherapy. If you are basically a healthy person troubled by anxiety about your health, it's time to speak to a psychologist and figure out why you are so anxious. You are young and do not need to live your life in fear of medical problems. ...Read more

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I have been diagnosed with frozen shoulder and am having physio therapy. Today after therapy I began having throbbing pain in armpit. Is it related, I have extreme health anxiety and am terrified?

I have been diagnosed with frozen shoulder and am having physio therapy. Today after therapy I began having throbbing pain in armpit. Is it related, I have extreme health anxiety and am terrified?

Likely.: A frozen shoulder is caused by collapse of the shoulder joint capsule, and adhesion of the capsule onto itself. During pt, sometimes the capsule is stretched and the adhesion may come apart. It can be very painful. It should resolve with time, but if you are concerned, notify your physician. ...Read more

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I suffer from extreme level of health anxiety. I am always concerned of different areas of body. How can I settle down and get married?

I suffer from extreme level of health anxiety. I am always concerned of different areas of body. How can I settle down and get married?

Health Anxiety: Can be very unsettling but it is also very treatable. Please see a mental health professional after medical conditions are ruled out by your doc. Self-disclosure is a part of any relationship so share your concerns w/your potential partner. Cognitive therapy and clinical hypnosis can be very effective. See www.asch.net for some referrals or leads for clinical hypnosis. Peace and good health. ...Read more

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Have severe OCD of health concerns & extreme anxiety which meds have the highest rate of controlling and least side effects?

Have severe OCD of health concerns & extreme anxiety which meds have the highest rate of controlling and least side effects?

OCD is one type of: An anxiety disorder. IF you have that it is very treatable. There are mental health professionals who specialize in the treatment of OCD. Although anti-depressants can play a role in treatment, please don't use them w/out good psychotherapy. OCD can manifest in health fears. Peace and good health. ...Read more

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Apart from anti depressants and cbt any other advanced medication available for health anxiety. Doctor has written echo@lveh. Stress test negative.

Apart from anti depressants and cbt any other advanced medication available for health anxiety. Doctor has written echo@lveh.  Stress test negative.

Health Anxiety: I understand your concern about health Anxiety.
Believe in Blessings of Breath of Life (PRANA) and Healing power of your Body.
Experience Wonders of World Heritage Sites in your Country.
See a Psychiatrist for Medication benefits and side effects including Lorazepam, Alprazolam, and Buspar (buspirone) for Anxiety; and Therapy for stresses in your life.
Do Breathing and Music Relaxation, Yoga, and Meditation. ...Read more

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I hav health anxiety, I get giddy, wobbly, faint, tingly lips, shaky, tight head, panicy, extreme fear, are these symptoms my disorder my dr says yes? Pls help

I hav health anxiety, I get giddy, wobbly, faint, tingly lips, shaky, tight head, panicy, extreme fear, are these symptoms my disorder my dr says yes? Pls help

Could be anxiety: See a psychiatrist for a thorough work-up including labs ordered by your pmd. If your picture fits an anxiety disorder and it appears that appropriate labs have been done, then treatment recommendations including psychotherapy should be discussed. If your work-up was incomplete, the psychiatrist may order some more labs to rule out physical causes. If the psychiatrist still thinks that there may be something physical causing your symptoms, he or she may send you to another specialist in another area of medicine for further evaluation. Best wishes. ...Read more

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Severe panic in with Agoraphobia and GAD and health anxiety. I take high dose Xanax XR and Zoloft. Weaning from Zoloft to Prozac having extreme anxiet?

Severe panic in with Agoraphobia and GAD and health anxiety. I take high dose Xanax XR and Zoloft. Weaning from Zoloft to Prozac having extreme anxiet?

Add therapy: Certainly the medication may be adjusted as there are various choices in a situation and some people may respond better to one medication as compared to another. Therapy should probably be added to the treatment mix as there are various techniques that may be helpful in reducing your symptoms. ...Read more

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How to deal with health anxiety?

How to deal with health anxiety?

ERP - A Form of CBT: 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 ...Read more

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I was just wondering why does health anxiety make things worse?

Vicious cycle: When prone to worrying about health, one is vigilant for bodily changes and notices the slightest "sign" of illness. The more one "looks," the more likely something is to be noticed. The more what is noticed is attended, the larger it seems. This is in addition to the cascade of chemicals that wash over you as you obsess, which also heighten your sensitivity to changes. Self help guide below. ...Read more

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What to do if I have social and health anxiety how can I stop it?

What to do if I have social and health anxiety how can I stop it?

If you have: Significant anxiety about interacting with other people & regarding your health & what ever you have tried to date — hasn't worked then consider getting professional help. Cognitive behavioral therapy can be especially helpful. ...Read more

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Could health anxiety cause you to imagine symptoms that are not really there?

Yes: It certainly can. Most often it magnifies concern over minor problems or normal presentation of anatomy or physiology. See your md and rule out problems you are concerned about and ask for a referral to a mental health professional who I am sure can help with your anxiety. Good luck! ...Read more

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Could health anxiety make you feel symptoms of illnesses you don't actually have?

Yes: The mind is very powerful and can generate many emotional and physical feelings--including symptoms of illnesses you don't have. Anxiety is a prime trigger that can cause you to feel body symptoms that do not indicate a physical illness. ...Read more

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If u have health anxiety and are obsessed by an illness can u imagine the symptoms u have read about?

If u have health anxiety and are obsessed by an illness can u imagine the symptoms u have read about?

Exactly so: Yes, if you have an anxiety disorder it is easy to find that it expresses itself in fears of bodily iliness. These can be things you've read about or things your mind makes up. Cognitive behavioral therapy and stress management can be very helpful. Peace and good health. ...Read more

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Can health anxiety really affect the body that much? I read about a symptom then get it and end up terrified

Can health anxiety really affect the body that much? I read about a symptom then get it and end up terrified

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 ...Read more

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Is it normal for someone with health anxiety to notice symptoms of the diseases they believe they are suffering from?

Is it normal for someone with health anxiety to notice symptoms of the diseases they believe they are suffering from?

Yes: That is the curse of having health anxiety. Normal bodily sensations and abnormal bodily sensations all are perceived as signs of illness... making it very difficult for either the patient or the doctor to tell when the patient is actually sick (other than suffering the sickness of health anxiety). The patient must teach himself which of his pains, his cramps, his sniffles, etc., are normal. ...Read more

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How to end the health anxiety? I couldn't stop myself diagnosing new illnesses. Does NASSAs help to reduce my anxiety levels?

Not very much info: Here. Have you used SSRI's or tried cognitive behavioral therapy before a trial of Noradrenergic and specific serotonergic antidepressants (NaSSAs)? ...Read more

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If u suffer with health anxiety can u imagine pain that u don't really have I keep getting pain and when I forget about it goes?

If u suffer with health anxiety can u imagine pain that u don't really have I keep getting pain and when I forget about it goes?

Yes: My research definitely supports your experience and it is not just imaginary — it's self-hypnosis in a manner. Your 'expectation' of pain actually creates a change in your body. The good thing is that it works in reverse too. Expectations of relief are a major part of most treatments successes — they are the placebo effect. Some health psychologists can teach you how to get that benefit and relax. ...Read more

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Do you think that HealthTap is a good resource for reassuring people with health anxiety, or dangerous and encouraging their condition?

Do you think that HealthTap is a good resource for reassuring people with health anxiety, or dangerous and encouraging their condition?

HealthTap: This site provides information — how any one individual person responds to that information varies and is not the fault of the company or the information provided. I believe the site is a wonderful resource which is why I take my time to contribute. With accurate physician-provided information, individuals can take more control of their own health. Knowledge is power. ...Read more

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Health anxiety? Been scared and worried about my health for 2014 that it has affected my lifestyle negatively. How do I calm myself down?

Health anxiety? Been scared and worried about my health for 2014 that it has affected my lifestyle negatively. How do I calm myself down?

Anxiety focused on: Health issues suggests a POSSIBLE phobia or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Please see a mental health professional for diagnosis and treatment. Please don't use medication only. Therapy can be more long-lasting and empowering. Peace and good health. ...Read more

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Why does health anxiety make you think like something more is going on? It's like I can't trust what my dr says. I have see several Drs

Anxiety is real: Anxiety is a real condition and my hope is that you more you learn about your anxiety, the more you will be able to trust your doctors that you are healthy. Anxiety is treatable. You may find it helpful to speak with a psychologist to talk through your fears. ...Read more

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Hello. I was just wonderring. When you have health anxiety, how can you work your self out of it? My anxiety moves, from one place to another.

Hello. I was just wonderring. When you have health anxiety, how can you work your self out of it? My anxiety moves, from one place to another.

If ULearn the Skills: Living w/high levels of anxiety is like being in a leaky boat: just as u plug one leak (a what-if) the boat springs another! If u can learn 2recognize when u're in a what-if state u'll have taken a huge step! U'll b able 2tell urself "I'm feeling anxious" &ask "what bad thing am i expecting 2happen?" at this point ur thinking brain will regain control & can help u apply ur anxiety-lowering skills. ...Read more

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I have had some health anxiety, and I know I'm really healthy but what's a good way for me to stop noticing everything in my body? I want to move on.

Health anxiety: Or hypochondriasis is an anxiety disorder. You mention you know you are healthy, which is great! Staying healthy by keeping medical appts, maintaining healthful diet and exercise, and engaging with people you care abt are all important things we can all do to keep up our health. You may want to talk with your doc about effective anxiety treatments for u, which may include an SSRI or CBT. ...Read more

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How to overcome health anxiety?

You mean: Concerns regarding your health, I suppose. One little step at a time, direct your attention on what your health allows you to do well. Like breathing, talking, laughing, walking, etc. Take two or three deep breaths and enjoy feeling alive. If you find yourself too worried and anxious about your health, talk therapy can be very helpful to help u overcome your anxiety. Wishing you the best. ...Read more

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Is there a treatment for hypocondria or health anxiety?

Yes, there is: Cognitive behavioral psychotherapy is the mainstay of treatment for this problem. It helps you learn your triggers and manage certain thinking patterns that lead to health anxiety. Also, sometimes medications can help with the symptoms as needed. It's best overall if you have a trustworthy primary care physician as part of your team, to work with you on any physical health concerns as well. ...Read more

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I'm a 16 y/o male & i have alot of health anxiety about cancer.I am really healthy and fit. I was wondering what are some of the most common symptoms r?

I'm a 16 y/o male & i have alot of health anxiety about cancer.I am really healthy and fit. I was wondering what are some of the most common symptoms r?

Different types: So many cancers — they don't share symptoms except for very generally if at all. A basic full exam w/ blood work and other basic labs would raise flags for deeper work — if there's no flag — you can relax. This is especially true for young healthy folk. Unexpected weight loss and internal bleeding, lumps or moles that are unusual, sore throat, etc. that lasts long w/ dry coughing may alert you. ...Read more