What s health anxiety?
Health anxiety is an obsessive and irrational worry about having a serious medical condition. It’s also called illness anxiety, and was formerly called hypochondria. This condition is marked by a person’s imagination of physical symptoms of illness.
Or in other cases, it’s a person’s misinterpretation of minor or normal body sensations as serious disease symptoms despite reassurance by medical professionals that they don’t have an illness.
Health anxiety is an anxiety condition that is often housed within the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) spectrum of disorders. Those affected by health anxiety have an obsessional preoccupation with the idea that they are currently (or will be) experiencing a physical illness. The person experiencing health anxiety may fixate on any type of illness; a common example is fear they have/will get cancer.
Those who are affected by health anxiety are convinced that harmless physical symptoms are indicators of serious disease or severe medical conditions. For example, if a person experiencing health anxiety feels their chest is getting tight, they may believe that they are having a heart attack. Those with health anxiety frequently misinterpret physical symptoms of anxiety as a sign of an impending physical health problem.
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