What Is Health Anxiety? –What is Hypochondriasis?

If you find yourself frequently experiencing extreme fear or worry about your health, obsession with possibly having an undiagnosed medical condition, a hyper-focus on physical symptoms or sensations, frequent visits to doctors, switching doctors often or avoidance of doctors, you may be struggling with health anxiety.

What You Might Be Experiencing – Symptoms of Hypochondria

    • Frequent and intense bouts of fear, worry, or rumination about your health
    • Frequent body checks for physical symptoms
    • Obsession with medical information that may take the form of Google searches, doctor hopping, or talking about health related topics
    • Trouble sleeping or eating
    • Urges to avoid things related to health (e.g. television shows or movies)
    • Irritability or low mood
    • Frequently asking others for reassurance regarding your health

What You Might Be Experiencing – Symptoms of Hypochondria

    • Frequent and intense bouts of fear, worry, or rumination about your health
    • Frequent body checks for physical symptoms
    • Obsession with medical information that may take the form of Google searches, doctor hopping, or talking about health related topics
    • Trouble sleeping or eating
    • Urges to avoid things related to health (e.g. television shows or movies)
    • Irritability or low mood
    • Frequently asking others for reassurance regarding your health

You Are Not Alone

Anxiety disorders are seen worldwide, and they are incredibly common. There are an estimated 40 million people in America living with anxiety disorders each year, roughly 19% of the population. Prevalence in other countries is similar. Anxiety around one’s health in particular are seen in an estimated 2-3% of the population.

People of all ages and demographic backgrounds can experience health anxiety. Both men and women struggle with health anxiety, with women experiencing anxiety slightly more than men. Health anxiety in teenagers is common, as well as in children and adults.

Everyone experiences feelings of fear, anxiety, and worry at times, but those who are struggling with habitual anxiety find it recurring, and impacting their everyday life. They may avoid places or situations that appear to make anxiety worse, resulting in a smaller, more limited life.

You are not alone
Health anxiety

What Can I Do About It?

Traditional treatment for health anxiety most often includes psychotherapy, especially cognitive-behavioral therapy or exposure therapy, and in some cases, medication. However, traditional treatment for anxiety is not as effective as we’d wish it to be.

Thankfully, there are newer, less traditional approaches that are incredibly effective. The No-Willpower Approach that I outline in my bestselling book, The Little Book of Big Change: The No-Willpower Approach to Breaking Any Habit has helped countless people find lasting freedom from health anxiety.

The No-Willpower Approach is an insight-based approach that helps you see yourself and your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in a radically new way. While a medical model views health anxiety as a disorder, the no-willpower approach does not. Anxiety is a normal feeling that we all experience. It only feels problematic when we innocently misunderstand it.

Health Anxiety Is a Changeable Habit – How to Stop Hypochondria

Although many people struggle with health anxiety, it is very changeable. You do not need to “cope” with, or “manage” health anxiety long-term. No matter how long or how often you’ve been experiencing health anxiety, and no matter what form it takes (e.g., obsession with medical information, avoidance of medical information, etc.), there is enormous hope for complete freedom from health anxiety.

Although periods of acute stress can pave the way for habitual anxiety, anxiety is not about the circumstances of your life; it’s about a few simple misunderstandings about how our thoughts, feelings, and habits truly work. Freedom comes from the inside-out, from seeing yourself and living with health anxiety in a brand new way.

Health Anxiety is a Changeable Habit

Hi, I’m Amy

I struggled with anxiety in many forms, from generalized anxiety to worry, to panic attacks, intrusive thoughts, and health anxiety for most of my life. I was told by many well-meaning professionals that I would likely struggle with health anxiety disorder and other anxiety disorders forever; that I could learn to cope, but that I would likely live with an anxiety disorder that would flare up when I was feeling stressed or overwhelmed.

Thankfully, nothing could be further from the truth today. I have been completely free of the physical and emotional effects of anxiety for many years with no effort or coping necessary. In that time, I’ve shared what helped me find freedom with people all over the world in my books, videos, online school, and my podcast, Changeable.

I’ve trained over 70 coaches to be experts in the no-willpower paradigm through my Change Coach Training Program. I’ve been a regularly featured expert on The Steve Harvey Show and Oprah.com, as well as in The Wall Street Journal and Self magazine.

Dr Amy Johnson

REAL PEOPLE, REAL CHANGE

What Can I Do to Have a Different Experience of Health Anxiety?

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About The Little School of Big Change

My bestselling book, The Little Book of Big Change, and my online school, and my online school, The Little School of Big Change, have helped tens of thousands of people in 52 countries find their own freedom from health anxiety, chronic pain, and other habits without therapy, revisiting the past, medication, or willpower.

The Little School of Big Change is a highly supportive 6-week course that shares a groundbreaking new paradigm in mental health that has helped hundreds of thousands of people around the world to tap into their natural health and resilience.

The school helps you see yourself and your psychology in a radically new way—a way that leads to freedom from what holds you back.

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