Health Anxiety is the fear that a symptom can be of a serious disease when it is not. Most often this occurs with the symptoms of a current anxiety condition. Commonly this will be a fear of a drastic but related illness such as heart problem for heath palpitations, cancer of various places, memory related illnesses and many many more.
Often the suffers next step is to seek reassurance. This can come in two forms, verbal reassurance and medical reassurance. Verbal reassurance spans from another person telling you its okay to seeking guidance from a medical professional or expert in the field. Medical reassurance comes in the form of tests, ECGs, blood tests, body scans, x-rays and other tests a doctor can order. Unfortunately that feeling of reassurance does not last a long time and whenever a variation of the symptom occurs they need more reassurance. For example reassurance that a headache is just that when it is above the eye, and then again when the headache moves to the back of the head.
The road to recovery is paved by obsessive thoughts on the subject and reassurance wants; fighting those and ultimately beating them is the goal. To do this you can set up a list of resources on the subject of symptoms and use that as your reassurance, this needs to be written or online resources that are not Google. This trains you that you have to physically look up the resource to get the answer you seek. Each time you do this you need to give yourself extra waiting time, so you know it is okay to not be reassured. If you practice that eventually you will not need the reassurance.
For the thoughts you need to pick a method that works for you. The main methods of thought control are chat back and distraction. Distraction is where you distract yourself from your thoughts,; you could use the breathing exercise or the muscle relaxation technique or you could use something else that works for you. The chat back method is just like having a child in your head; every time you have an obsessive thought say a predetermined response back to it. Something that is the total opposite of the thought.
If you need more help with health anxiety you can contact No Panic and look at our one to one telephone mentoring scheme. More information on that can be found at: https://www.nopanic.org.uk/one-one-telephone-mentor-scheme-members/