There are 3 common safety behaviors that people with health anxiety engage in. It is important to identify these unhelpful behaviors in order to learn how to refrain from them. One can learn to not refrain from these behaviors through CBT, including exposure and response prevention.
Improve Health Anxiety with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
How to Improve Death Anxiety with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Behind health anxiety often lies a fear of death or death anxiety. It is important to tackle this in order to improve health anxiety. The...
Questions to Ask Yourself When Anxious about a Symptom
With health anxiety we often engage in thinking errors when interpreting symptoms and bodily sensations. It can be helpful to use socrati...
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.
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.
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