Overcoming Health Anxiety/Hypochondriasis
Worrying Too Much About Health & Physical Symptoms
- reading articles or seeing programs about diseases
- knowing someone who has a disease
- things they observe about their own body, their physical symptoms, etc.
Hypochondriasis / health anxiety can lead to people
- visiting their doctor far more times a year than is warranted, seeking reassurance about their symptoms
- seeking multiple medical opinions for the same physical symptoms/conditions
- suffering insomnia, having difficulty falling asleep and/or staying asleep because of their excessive worrying
- seeking expensive diagnostic tests which are not warranted and even undergoing diagnostic procedures repeatedly
- developing unhelpful behaviours such as avoiding exercise, resting excessively, taking unnecessary drugs, avoiding medical information
- making their health a major topic of conversation
- annoying their friends and relatives by repeatedly seeking reassurance regarding their health
- spending hours on the internet researching their physical and /or mental symptoms, possible diagnoses and treatments
Health Anxiety / Hypochondria Symptoms
Sufferers worry that they have a serious disease as they misinterpret their physical and/or mental symptoms.
- Health anxiety sufferers continue to worry even after consulting their doctor and being given reassurance.
- Hypochondriacs suffer much distress or are impaired in their ability to function at work, or socially.
- The excessive worrying about health has persisted for at least 6 months
- The worrying about health cannot be attributed to another disorder such as: generalised anxiety, OCD, panic disorder, depression , separation anxiety etc.
Names have been changed
How to Stop Being a Hypochondriac
Cognitive behavioural treatment involves:
- Self monitoring
- Identifying and challenging negative thoughts
- Modifying abnormal illness related behaviours. e.g. checking, reassurance seeking
- Identifying and correcting core beliefs using disputation and behavioural experiments
Attention training and worry postponement may also be part of treatment for health anxiety.
You can consult a clinical psychologist for help with health anxiety.
If you have symptoms relating to Hypochondriasis consulting a clinical psychologist can help. Call a Melbourne clinical psychologist on 0429 88 3671 and start feeling better.
Face to face sessions are still available.
Medicare is also funding telehealth sessions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Online or telephone sessions are bulk billed for Commonwealth concession card holders.
All Australians can get a Medicare rebate for either face to face or telehealth sessions if they do a mental health care plan and get a separate referral letter stating 6 sessions from their doctor.
Find psychologists in:
Please note, it is important to consult a qualified mental health practitioner such as e.g. a psychologist or psychiatrist to confirm any diagnosis you think you might have. You must not rely on the information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. No assurance can be given that the information on this site will always include the most recent developments or research with respect to a particular topic.