The top 10 signs for recognising health anxiety
-May 3, Anna Williamson, Health -
With Mental Health Awareness week approaching television presenter, counsellor and best-selling author, Anna Williamson has written her top 10 signs for recognising health anxiety before it’s too late.
Health anxiety is an increasingly talked about form of anxiety, in fact 1 in 6 people will have been experiencing a common mental health issue in the past week including health anxiety.
The key is to try and limit the amount of worry, gradually easing off the fear and anxiety of ill-health. One of the problems is that not only does this dent your day-to-day happiness levels, there’s the mind-body connection.
Worrying about a certain illness can actually cause your body to show symptoms of it. And, this can lead to all kinds of problems – including using medication that you don’t necessarily need that could lead to long-term damage.
Find some healthy perspective and ask the question ‘do I want to keep worrying about the possibility of becoming ill, or do I want to get on and live my life?‘
The 10 signs to look out for which could mean you’re suffering from health anxiety
- Being preoccupied or perhaps obsessional about being physically ill, or that you might become ill.
- When worrying about your health is negatively affecting various aspects of your life; work, social interactions, family life and relationships.
- Using Dr Google a little too much trying to self-diagnose or physically examine yourself.
- Not believing the Doctor’s reassurance that you are actually fine, healthy and well.
- Constantly talking about your health and seeking reassurance from family friends that you are ok.
- Sometimes the anxiety can cause physical symptoms such as chest pains/flutters, feeling dizzy, dry mouth, swerving, trembling, feeling of numbness – panic attacks can be a very real feeling physical outlet for your worry.
- Interpreting body sensations as a serious illness – even the smallest flutters or tiniest ache can create a very real fear.
- Avoidance anything associated with the illness. Switching off the TV if a programme mentions something to do with illness/avoiding a magazine article that mentions it.
- Feeling isolated and becoming withdrawn and preoccupied.
- Avoiding activities or going to places for fear of becoming ill – perhaps no longer doing things you used to enjoy.
Always see your personal doctor or a therapist for help and support if you are experiencing signs of anxiety. It can come in many forms and some of them aren’t always instantly recognisable. As well as worrying about health, anxiety could also take the shape of constant fears about the future.
There is help available out there and there’s absolutely no shame in seeking support for any mental health issues which you may be experiencing.
Anna Williamson is the author of the hugely successful #1 selling book on Amazon ‘Breaking Mad’, with follow up book ‘Breaking Mum and Dad’ launched in March. Anna found fame on big hitting children’s television shows on networks including CITV and Disney Channel, but after secretly battling an anxiety disorder, realised there was a huge stigma attached to mental health issues and became an official ambassador of the charity Mind. She is now a qualified counsellor, life coach and Master NLP Practitioner. Anna currently runs her own private coaching practice alongside being the resident agony aunt and psychology expert on TV shows including ITV’s Good Morning Britain and BBC’s Inside Out.