Health anxiety causes no end of worry and turmoil for sufferers and the medical professionals and family members who care for them. Affecting up to 15 million Americans, these fears cost the United States health care system 20 to 30 billion dollars per year in unnecessary treatments, appointments, and tests. What’s more, health anxiety places a serious psychological and financial burden on the sufferers themselves, who exhibit symptoms such as bodily checking, anxiety about bacteria, selective attention to physical sensations, preoccupation with wellness, excessive use of vitamins, and over-exercising—symptoms that actually put these individuals at increased risk of illness.
Most individuals with health anxiety feel misunderstood and have been repeatedly told by impatient friends, family members, and medical professionals to simply “get over it,” with no guidance on how to do so. Some have legitimate concerns about their health, but have become overwhelmed by their diagnoses and are unable to enjoy life without dwelling on the health challenges they face. Overcoming Health Anxiety presents a compassionate cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) approach to identifying and challenging the illness-related thoughts that dominate the lives of those with health anxiety. CBT is proven effective for the treatment of anxiety and can drastically reduce health anxiety symptoms in a matter of weeks. The book starts by increasing readers’ motivation for change and gradually helps them come to terms with feelings of uncertainty and fear, rebuild relationships with their medical professionals, and fearlessly enjoy happy, healthy lifestyles.
If you experience troubling symptoms, it’s only natural to worry about your health. But if your anxiety persists even after doctors tell you they can find nothing wrong, it may be hurting you more than it helps. You might research medical conditions on the internet, exercise constantly, or check your body for signs of disease, all the while growing more and more consumed by worry. And that worry has consequences of its own—the never-ending cycle of anxiety can all but destroy your quality of life.
If you’re ready to stop being overly preoccupied with fears about your health, Overcoming Health Anxiety offers an evidence-based approach called cognitive behavioral therapy to help you get started. You’ll learn the difference between people with health anxiety and hypochondriacs, find the root of your health anxiety, and challenge illness-related thoughts. In time, you’ll drastically reduce your fears and enjoy a life free from recurring health-related worries.
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