Admit it. You’re a symptom junkie. You scrutinize every pulse, twinge, ache or pain that you deem strange.
Unfortunately, you believe that your anxiety symptoms are more than what they seem.
You believe that every doctor, medical exam, article, and loving family member is wrong about your health.
You believe that your symptoms are a sign of serious disease.
Here’s the thing though, anxiety symptoms are not all in your head. The mind has a limited capacity to endure stress and at some point passes on that stress to the body.
The idea that anxiety symptoms are a sign of impending death, well maybe that is all in your head.
But why you? After all, not everyone is walking around thinking they have multiple sclerosis, right?
There are a lot of theories as to why some people are affected by the belief that they have a serious disease when they don’t.
Perhaps you were exposed to death or illness when you were young which planted a fear of something similar happening to you.
Another theory is that maybe your health phobia acts as a psychological defense mechanism, which is just a fancy way of saying that people sometimes distract themselves (i.e., with disease) in order to avoid unpleasant thoughts or feelings.
But that’s not all. Some people, like me, are neurotic. This is an outdated word that was used to describe people who are born with a negative emotional baseline.
I plan to devote an entire podcast next week to this miserable state of being, but for now let’s just say that if you’re neurotic you are prone to anxiety, depression, irritability, phobias, fantasizing and negativity.
This of course means that you have a lower threshold for stress which often ignites your nervous system in all the wrong ways.
And this produces the symptoms that cause you to think that you’re suffering from a catastrophic illness.
I decided to talk about health phobias not just because they’re common, but because I don’t want people to think that their experience is random.
There are specific reasons why people develop a fear of death and disease and the more you know about how this happens the less afraid you will be of your symptoms.
So in this week’s episode of The Anxiety Guru Show I explore health phobias and where they come from.