Hi. It’s Jenny at AnxietyBoss.com. Our question today is from Manuel in Salt Lake City. Nobody around me believes me, but I have health anxiety issues. I have asked about getting help, but nobody is helping me.
You should see a physician. If you have concerns about your health, a physician can examine you and take a health history and also run some tests if needed. And they can either reassure you about your health or they can prescribe proper treatment. A professional must determine if your anxiety about your health is due to actual physical problems or it’s psychologically rooted. If it’s the latter, counseling may be indicated.
Anxious people may overreact to the normal signals your body gives off every day like little twinges and bouts of minor brief discomfort such as a few irregular heartbeats. These are often just the normal workings of your body and most people screen them out. They barely even notice them and forget about them as quickly as they can and move onto other matters. Some people focus on these signals and become more aware of them. And in some cases, this can set off a cycle of anxiety.
For example, our hearts do not beat steadily our entire life. Their rhythm may increase or decrease and some people get harmless but troublesome premature contractions in their heart. These can be experienced as your heart skipping a beat, although this is not what’s actually happening, or fluttering or pounding hard. The more attention that’s given to these sensations, the more the anxiety increases which can then increase your heart rate further or cause irregular rhythms. This in turn increases anxiety and so on.
This is called a positive feedback loop which may sound like a good thing, but in the human body, positive feedback loops are generally a bad thing. We can get very worked up over our body’s normal workings, but a visit to a doctor is indicated any time that you have concerns about your health.