Now I’m being facetious a little bit here, since my blog admittedly has an agenda…to spread mental wellness (as I like to refer to it), but I did want to share two helpful articles about health anxiety treatment.
These two articles does provide some great proof as to how helpful psychotherapy is for treatment of health anxiety or hypochondria versus medical treatment.
Now it’s not uncommon for many of us, upon hearing that someone near us is sick or hearing about a new medical scare, that one might be on acute high alert about their bodily sensations; engaging in a bodily inventory noting any data that aligns with the symptoms of the illness they worry they’ve been exposed to. I would imagine that on some primitive level it’s part of our survival instinct to react that way. That, however, is not health anxiety or hypochondria, which is characterized by an obsessive worry about having a physical illness.
Below are two links to articles with research on Cognitive-Behavioral therapy being the most effective treatment for health anxiety.
To really boil CBT down, if you change the thinking style or thoughts> a change in the emotional state will occur> and therefore a change in the behavior/reaction will happen.
Links to the articles:
Curious to know more about other types of anxiety? Then read on!
A few facts from the ADAA (Anxiety & Depression Association of America) about anxiety:
- According to the ADAA, 18% of the population are officially diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. That does not include all of the people who are not diagnosed, nor does it account for the many individuals whose culture does not notice or even view anxiety in the same way that the dominant culture in America does.
- People with an anxiety disorder are three to five times more likely to go to the doctor and six times more likely to be hospitalized for psychiatric disorders than those who do not suffer from anxiety disorders.
- Anxiety disorders develop from a complex set of risk factors, including genetics, brain chemistry, personality, and life events.
From the ADAA website which can be found at http://www.adaa.org/understanding-anxiety
Everyday anxiety or an anxiety disorder?
|Worry about paying bills, landing a job, a romantic breakup, or other important life events||Constant and unsubstantiated worry that causes significant distress and interferes with daily life|
|Embarrassment or self-consciousness in an uncomfortable or awkward social situation||Avoiding social situations for fear of being judged, embarrassed, or humiliated|
|A case of nerves or sweating before a big test, business presentation, stage performance, or other significant event||Seemingly out-of-the-blue panic attacks and the preoccupation with the fear of having another one|
|Realistic fear of a dangerous object, place, or situation||Irrational fear or avoidance of an object, place, or situation that poses little or no threat of danger|
|Making sure that you are healthy and living in a safe hazard-free environment||Performing uncontrollable repetitive actions such as excessive cleaning or checking, or touching and arranging|
|Anxiety, sadness, or difficulty sleeping immediately after a traumatic event||Recurring nightmares, flashbacks, or emotional numbing related to a traumatic event that occurred several months or years before|