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Understanding Health Anxiety

It’s normal to feel anxious about your health from time to time. However, if you’re constantly worried about your health, and you can’t seem to shake the feeling, you may be dealing with health anxiety. For some people, this anxiety can become overwhelming and start interfering with their daily lives.

Moving on, let us learn and understand the help needed for bouts of health anxiety. Continue reading to learn more. 

The Definition of Health Anxiety

Health anxiety is defined as a constant fear of having a serious medical condition, even when there’s no evidence to support that fear. It might be low and controllable for some people. Others, though, may find it crippling, and it may even trigger depression. This can be a very debilitating condition.

The Symptoms of Health Anxiety

There are many symptoms that indicate a person is suffering from health anxiety. Health anxiety is typically triggered by a physical symptom or a health concern. It eventually piles up into an overwhelming fear that you are or will become ill. It can be accompanied by panic attacks, depression, and anxiety. It can be so bad that it interferes with your life. 

The Types of Health Anxieties

There are many different types of health anxieties that people can suffer from. Some of the more common ones include:

1. Somatic Symptom Disorder 

Somatic symptom disorder is when a person fixates on a physical symptom, such as a headache or pain in their chest. They become convinced that this symptom is a sign of a serious illness, even though there is no evidence to support this. Somatic symptom disorder is more common in women than men, developing in young adulthood.

2. Illness Anxiety Disorder

Illness anxiety disorder, sometimes called hypochondria, is when a person excessively worries about their health. It differs from somatic symptom disorder in that the person with an illness anxiety disorder does not necessarily have any physical symptoms. They focus more on the fear of being ill than the actual symptoms themselves.

The Persistence of Health Anxiety

If you’re wondering about the persistence of healthy anxiety, it is considered a chronic decision. Some people with health anxiety may only have occasional episodes, while others may have it constantly. If you are one of those who suffer from health anxiety, you may visit numerous doctors and have several tests done, yet the fear still exists.

The Solution Behind Health Anxiety

There is no one-size-fits-all solution to health anxiety, as different people will respond to other treatments, but there are treatments that can help lessen it the best they can. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is one treatment that is effective in treating health anxiety. However, some common treatments for health anxiety include medication and relaxation techniques.


From what you have read, health anxiety is a real and debilitating condition that can be hard to live with. Once you understand these facts regarding the disorder, you will be more aware if you or someone you know suffers from health anxiety.

Hoping to get anxiety therapy in Calgary? Virtuous Circle Counselling provides counselling services along with online therapy and cognitive assessments. Get in touch with us today!

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We at Virtuous Circle Counselling acknowledge Moh’kinstsis, the lands where the Bow and Elbow rivers meet, in what we currently call Calgary. We acknowledge that we are visitors on Moh’kinsstis and acknowledge the Blackfoot are those who named this area as Moh’kinsstis. In the spirit of Truth and Reconciliation, we recognize the ancestral territories, cultures, and oral practices of the Blackfoot people, the Îyarhe Nakoda Nations, the Dene people of the Tsuut’ina Nation, and the Métis Nation of Alberta, Region 3.