The pandemic has caused an uptick in cases of health anxiety also known as hypochondria. Hypochondria is typically caused by a childhood illness, childhood trauma, witnessing a parent with a serious illness, depression, or elevated levels of stress. Because of the stress created by COVID-19 it is no wonder more and more people are anxious about their health. Fortunately, it is possible to overcome hypochondria with hypnosis.
Symptoms of Health Anxiety
People who suffer with hypochondria often research symptoms online, avoid locations that are perceived as dangerous, seek medical attention often, look for reassurance from family members, or avoid doctors entirely as they feel they are not being heard or taken seriously. They also tend to perceive simple symptoms, like sneezing, as signs of a serious illness. Unfortunately, this constant state of worrying creates stress and anxiety, and in some cases, will trigger medical issues.
People who have health anxiety typically try traditional medical solutions. These can include antidepressants and/or cognitive behavioral therapy. Unfortunately, antidepressants do not always work and can have side effects. Cognitive behavioral therapy often requires months of ongoing sessions and is also not always successful. Patients often spend months suffering with hypochondria, hoping these options will help.
What is Hypnosis?
More and more doctors and psychiatrists are referring their patients to skilled hypnotists to address health anxiety. Hypnosis is a relaxing state where the clients unconscious mind can be programmed to release anxiety. Patients remain aware of their surroundings but are focused on the directions given by the hypnotherapist. They are gently guided into this focused state of awareness and relaxation by following the verbal instructions given. A combination of relaxation and breathing techniques as well as guided imagery and confusion guides patients into hypnosis.
Scientific Data Supporting Hypnosis
Scientific studies demonstrate the efficacy of hypnosis in treating anxiety, stress, and Post traumatic stress disorder. Whether used on its own, or in conjunction with cognitive behavioral therapy, hypnosis has been proven to be effective. Post-traumatic stress disorder as well as phobias can be overcome with the help of hypnotherapy. Hypnosis helps to eliminate the fight or flight response often seen in patients who have health anxiety.
How Does Hypnosis help to Overcome Hypochondria
Hypnotic directions given to the unconscious mind can help shift a client’s perspective about their overall health. Additionally, the event that triggered the health anxiety can be uncovered in hypnosis. Once identified, hypnotic techniques used by a hypnotherapist, can help change the way the patient perceives that experience. As an example, a childhood hospital stay can be reframed. Once the patient let’s that negative experience go, anxiety related to health often disappears.
Hypnotherapy for hypochondria is a faster solution than traditional medical options. While every patient is different, as little as six sessions can provide relief. Compared to months of cognitive behavioral therapy and antidepressants, hypnotherapy is a fast-acting treatment.
If you or someone you know has health anxiety, you should consider a quicker alternative to CBT. You can overcome hypochondria with hypnosis quickly and effectively.