Every day, many people face numerous health worries. It is normal to be concerned about your physical health. However, when this fear begins to rule your life, you may be suffering from an illness anxiety disorder, which used to be called hypochondria. People with health anxiety are worried excessively about having a severe medical condition that most of the time does not exist.
Even when medical tests come back negative, the person is still worried that they are ill. Living with such a severe form of anxiety is debilitating; however, it is treatable with the guidance of a professional counselor.
What Is the Be Online Counseling for Health Anxiety
The best online counseling sessions for anxiety is dependent on the individual. Each person has different comfort levels and communication styles, which contributes to their therapy preference.
One type of online therapy you may like is done through video chat. Much like in-person appointments, you and your counselor meet at a specified time to discuss your mental health. This style allows for a back and forth discussion and real-time reactions to the problems at hand.
Another popular option is remote chat discussions. Here, you and your counselor type conversations back and forth to talk about your mental health illnesses. You and your counselor may not speak in real-time, but the benefit is that you can talk more often. You write to your counselor when you need it, and they respond at their soonest ability. This creates an ongoing dialogue.
Who Is It For
Online counseling for health anxiety is best suited for anyone who is looking to address their issues. You may be uncertain as to whether or not you have illness anxiety, also sometimes referred to as somatic symptom disorder. The following physical symptoms and behaviors are common amongst those who suffer from health anxiety.
- Continually assessing your body for signs of sickness like hives, rashes, lumps, pain, or tingling
- Frequently worrying about the health of your body
- Checking the internet for health information constantly
- Seeking reassurance that you are healthy
- Worrying that medical test results are wrong or that the doctor missed signs of illness
- Skipping activities as though you are ill (such as going to a social event)
- Difficulty being exposed to severe diseases, like through talking to friends or watching a medical TV show
- Experiencing headaches or rapid heartbeat (symptoms of your anxiety) but thinking these are physical sensations associated with a physical illness
When Is the Right Time to Start?
The best time to start your online counseling is as soon as possible. Your mental health condition can take over your life when it is left untreated. The longer you go succumbing to your anxious behaviors, the harder it is going to be to treat. It is crucial to understand that overcoming your anxiety is not straightforward. There are going to be days where it is easy and other days where it is hard. The road to recovery takes hard work and dedication, but the relief you feel is worth it.
Online counseling can help with many mental health issues. Online therapy is a convenient way to participate in counseling sessions. Dealing with your health anxiety can have numerous benefits. Though it can be tough to seek treatment, your overall well-being and quality of life can be improved dramatically.
Some benefits of seeking treatment include:
- Understanding the sensations within the body that people regularly experience. This helps you differentiate between problematic feelings and normal ones.
- Learning to face the costs of your anxiety and the benefits you can receive with changing.
- Stop avoiding your triggers and behaviors of safety so you can learn to enjoy your life.
- Learn to reassure yourself instead of always seeking reassurance from medical professionals, friends, family, and strangers.
- Being exposed to your fears and worries to learn that you are okay.
- Work to control the negative images and thoughts in your mind that make you feel anxious.
Online Vs. In-Person
It can be challenging to choose between online versus in-person counseling. The traditional version is tried and true, which may make you think that this is the best and only way to receive treatment. However, with advances in technology, online counseling has become just as effective. The best way to choose your method of counseling delivery is by assessing what makes you feel most confident. Being comfortable with the technique is essential to your success.
For people struggling with anxiety, including health anxiety, online counseling may be extraordinarily beneficial. The ability to participate in sessions from your own home can allow you to feel at ease and more willing to open up. Being your authentic self during your sessions is the quickest and best way to see results.
How Does It Work?
Counseling for health anxiety is often completed using one of two methods. The first is psychotherapy, and the second is medication. Often, psychotherapy is preferred and met with positive results. Psychotherapy helps the patients address and overcome their anxiety through the identification and understanding of their worries.
Most often, a therapy technique called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is effective for anxiety disorders. CBT is a short-term program, usually less than a year in length. Each session focuses on specific issues, where both you and your counselor work together to create a manageable plan to overcome your anxiety. It is a practical approach that requires active participation from the patient. While it can seem overwhelming at times, CBT is a proven method for treating anxiety.
How to Choose the Best Online Counselor?
Working with the best possible counselor is critical for overcoming your health anxiety. While it may seem easy to find the right therapist, it is not that simple. This is because the connection foraged with a therapist is personal. A counselor that fits with one person may not fit with another.
Factors to consider when searching for a counselor include:
- What areas the counselor specializes in and their level of experience.
- How their availability works with your schedule.
- Your overall perception of the counselor.
- Your comfort level with the counselor.
A great and meaningful way to vet your counselor is through online reviews. Most online counseling websites and their therapists are subject to some reviewing system. Reviews can help you understand a counselor’s approach to see if they are a good fit for you. The reviews can also help you know how your therapy sessions are going to go. Being prepared and carefully choosing your therapist goes a long way in your success. It can also help you to weed out counselors that do not align with your preferred working style.
There are so many types of mental health illnesses. Your anxiety may focus on your physical health and the fear it is in constant danger. For example, perhaps you fear you are going to get brain cancer. No matter how many times you visit the doctor with negative results, the fear does not go away. It is so consuming that you can’t bear to watch medical dramas because even a fake storyline scares you. If this sounds like you, participating in online therapy may be an effective way to overcome your anxiety and begin the journey to living a better life.