Chronic health conditions, cancer, and health anxiety

Adjusting to chronic health conditions and anxiety about health

Health conditions can potentially operate like any other major life event or trauma in life. They may leave you feeling incredibly vulnerable or weak. They may bring on obsessive attention to changes in your health, or a struggle with indecision or a feeling of being overwhelmed by threats to your health in the environment. Perhaps they can trigger fears of death or loss of functioning. All of these issues are incredibly challenging to face on their own.

Psychological therapy sessions with a professional experienced in the psychology of health conditions may be useful. Sessions may help to make sense of the way attention-patterns, beliefs/thoughts and behaviours exacerbate the stress of a significant health condition. It may also help to address additional suffering through appropriate changes to attention-patterns, beliefs/thoughts or behaviour.

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Taylor, S. & Asmundson, G.J.G. (2004). Treating Health Anxiety: A Cognitive-Behavioral Approach. Guilford Press.