Health anxiety is also often referred to as hypochondria or hypochondriasis. Individuals who experience difficulties with health anxiety often become preoccupied with having a severe illness. This is also accompanied by a persistent fear that they may be ill or get sick. Many individuals often seek persistent reassurance from their family physicians or will often seek relief from internet sources of forums.
The same treatment techniques used in treating OCD are used with health-related anxieties. The treatment for hypochondria is exposure and response prevention (ERP). This means that you must learn to challenge your need for certainty. This also means that you must work on stopping the compulsive checking, challenge your avoidance ritual, and work on tolerating the unknown.
If you were concerned about having a tumor, a negative magnetic resonance image and assurance from an oncologist would likely be enough to put your mind at ease. But, if you are a sufferer of health anxiety you may need more relief after receiving this news. Suffers will often questions the judgement of the physician and keeping looking for reassurance.
We work with suffers to challenge their thoughts, bring on acceptance, stop wasting time with rituals, and ultimately learn to live with the uncertainty.