To worry about our health is very normal. There’s a high chance that throughout our lives, we will experience illness or injury which will spike our anxiety levels. However, constant worry, the vocalisation of extensive research around such vulnerability, commonly known as hypochondria, in fact, reflects health anxiety.

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Standing as an obsessive-compulsive disorder, health anxiety, while to onlookers is disregarded, is a mental health issue with clear symptoms of the diagnosis. It’s usually triggered by ill-health, for the sufferer or for those around them, resulting in trauma, medical complications, misdiagnoses and death.

For some who experience health anxiety, no degree of reassurance, medical support or results will offer relief from chronic worry, which can be overbearing and very hard to live with, while symptoms of anxiety take control.

Such actions aren’t down to the discreditation of medical professionals, but down to the effects of trauma and distress, causing the brain to respond obsessively and uncharacteristically, making it difficult to logically see the realism of health.

As anxiety disorders can be life-limiting, it is important that those who suffer, look for anxiety help through credible sources, to suppress and manage symptoms.

Here’s our offering of health anxiety treatment here at Nova Recovery Scotland, a specialist private hospital, promoting mental health recovery programmes.

Understanding health anxiety

Health anxiety can be difficult for onlookers to digest, as medical assurance or direction can usually provide the average person with relief. However, for someone with a health anxiety diagnosis, very little confidence is placed in such a direction, not down to discreditation, but down to their compulsive outlooks.

The causation of health anxiety is usually linked to trauma. Whether someone has personally experienced a significant illness, has been misdiagnosed or mistreated, has witnessed a loved one suffer, or has encountered a close unexpected death, psychological trauma is usually the catalyst.

Through those experiences, the brain is tuned to overthink, to worry, to question, to obsessively look for second, third or even fourth opinions. Through such actions, symptoms of health anxiety can be draining, frantic and unhealthy, in fact placing even further concern on the initial trigger.

It is very important to understand health anxiety, as a vicious circle can materialise. Worrying about health concerns in fact places greater pressure on the body and mind, which is enabled for the long-term, will result in even greater health issues.

It’s easy to see how minimal anxiety over health can develop into a chronic issue, which is why health anxiety treatment should be completed as soon as possible.

While concentrating on our health and wellbeing is important, those who suffer from health anxiety, unfortunately, cannot direct their focus elsewhere, making it difficult to maintain routine, responsibilities and quality life.

With the presence of symptoms, this can aggravate further, causing chronic vulnerabilities. Looking beyond the hypochondriac branding is therefore encouraged, to promote the normalisation of health anxiety treatment.

Symptoms of health anxiety

Many symptoms of health anxiety, especially those of a physical nature do reflect the signs of common anxiety. However, there are some focused health anxiety symptoms that do direct a clear diagnosis.

  • OCD behaviours around life in general
  • Constant worry about physical and mental health
  • Spending time researching and reading up about illness
  • Disregarding all medical recommendations and direction
  • Needing reassurance from others
  • The feeling of depression and anxiety throughout everyday life

Healthy levels of worry are understandable, as we look to protect ourselves and those around us. Yet, displaying the above symptoms are signs of health anxiety and its compulsive characteristics. In this instance, specialist health anxiety treatment will be a recommendation.

Health anxiety treatment as an essential step

Seeing treatment as an essential step should be the case. While personal self-help tips can ease moments of panic, for someone with constant symptoms, unravelling the initial trigger will be necessary to move forward.

Psychotherapy is one of the most effective treatments for health anxiety, to work on unravelling thought processes, along with the memory region of the mind. To revisit old memories of trauma can be tough yet is necessary to rationalise such outcomes.

Through cognitive behavioural therapy, exposure therapy, stress management and family therapy, rationalisation can be aimed for, by also aiming for management.

In tandem with talking therapies, antidepressants and mood stabilisers may be prescribed to manage the symptoms of anxiety. For those with erratic psychological symptoms, stabilisation will be beneficial.

However, this will be considered on a per-client basis, as medication can result in side effects, which can aggravate the health anxiety itself.

Health anxiety treatment focuses significantly on the cause of such feelings, along with steps on how to deal with feelings of anxiety. Alongside medically structured treatments, wellbeing management and coping strategy input may also be encouraged for you, all depending on your needs.

Health anxieties help here at Nova Recovery Scotland

Mental health anxiety is a complex, downplayed disorder down to the branding of hypochondriac. However, it is a real condition, which consumes the lives of many.

It’s dangerous to enable the symptoms of health anxiety as, as we’ve shared above, a vicious circle can materialise, making it harder to rehabilitate.

It’s understandable that you will not be voluntarily enabling such a response. Yet if you are extremely worried about your health, and have experienced some previous trauma, reaching out for anxiety help will be recommended.

At Nova Recovery, we are a private, specialist recovery hospital, focusing on mental health rehabilitation. We offer personalised programmes of health anxiety treatment to help our clients understand, manage and move forward from their symptoms.

As every client is different, we vouch for personalisation through our treatment recommendations.

Worry can consume us, especially around our health and the wellbeing of those around us. Do not feel ashamed for fixating on such worry. It is however important that if you’re experiencing symptoms to reach out for support, as help is available.

For more information on how we can help you or a loved one through health anxiety treatment, contact our team here at Nova Recovery