Health Anxiety

Health anxiety is a type of anxiety in which a person constantly worries about getting seriously ill often without any somatic symptoms present or, if present, are only mild in intensity. If another medical condition is present or there is a high risk of developing a medical condition (e.g., strong family history is present), the preoccupation is excessive or disproportionate.

If you suffer from health anxiety you are likely to experience some or most of the following symptoms

  • Excessive preoccupation with having or acquiring a serious illness
  • Absence of physical symptoms or if present mild in intensity
  • You might engage in excessive health-related behaviours such as:

repeatedly checking your body for signs of illness

consulting health professionals

undertaking diagnostic tests and/or procedures

researching possible illnesses online

or you might exhibit avoidance behaviours such as:

avoiding doctor appointments and hospitals

avoiding anything related to serious illness such as medical TV programmes

  • Excessive reassurance seeking from others that you are not ill
  • Constant worry that doctors or medical tests have missed something