Health Anxiety

What is health anxiety?

Health anxiety, also known as hypochondriasis, is the fear of having a serious illness either now or in the future.

Health anxiety causes a great deal of distress. The sufferer is either worrying about being ill now and not being correctly treated, or is obsessively concerned that they will have serious health problems at some time in the future.

If the sufferer is concerned that they are ill now, then then rather than being consoled by tests not showing anything wrong, they will think that the doctors don't know what is wrong (which is scary) but that because the doctors accede to the patient's request for more tests that they agree that something is wrong.

If the sufferer thinks that their problem is one of mental health, then excessive trawling of the web (including this site) looking for confirmation will make things worse and the person will probably think they have each and every condition. Being nervous about a presentation at work does mean you have social anxiety! It is very easy to convince yourself that you have every symptom.