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How Cognitive Biases can Intensify Health Anxiety

How Cognitive Biases can Intensify Health Anxiety
When we hold dysfunctional beliefs about disease, information processing biases strengthen our beliefs. One type of information bias is the memory bias, in which we selectively recall threatening data. One way to correct biased information processing is to collect data to assess the accuracy of memories.

How Information Processing Biases can Increase Health Anxiety

Memory bias with health anxiety
With health anxiety, we have unhelpful or inaccurate core beliefs about health and illness. These beliefs lead us to process information in a biased way. We tend to seek out "evidence" of our belief (e.g. that serious disease is everywhere) and we ignore or dismiss evidence to the contrary. It can be helpful to use a CBT technique and track your thoughts and assumptions in a thought record so that you can identify these patterns.