People with health anxiety tend to see all bodily sensations and symptoms as dangerous. When symptoms or sensations emerge, people with health anxiety use "safety behaviors" to reduce their anxiety. In exposure therapy, one faces the feared stimuli (e.g., bodily sensations) without using safety behaviors.
Improve Health Anxiety with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
How Information Processing Biases can Increase Health Anxiety
With health anxiety, we have unhelpful or inaccurate core beliefs about health and illness. These beliefs lead us to process information ...
Fear of Death: How CBT Can Decrease Fears of the Dying Process
When it comes to the dying process, people often fear being in intense pain, feeling humiliated, and burdening or hurting others. Many pe...
When we have health anxiety, we tend to inflate the probability of serious disease, statistically speaking. CBT techniques can help you to see the likelihood of disease more accurately. The Pie Chart Method is one technique to help you consider the many non-catastrophic causes of symptoms.
- People with severe health anxiety hold dysfunctional or maladaptive beliefs about health and illness.
- Dysfunctional beliefs develop early in life and are strengthened through reinforcement.
- Dysfunctional beliefs enter one into a cycle of unhelpful thoughts and behaviors that worsens health anxiety.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy aims to interrupt this cycle by modifying maladaptive beliefs, thinking errors, and safety behaviors.
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