Individuals with health anxiety have an excessive fear of illness and/or death. Frequently, these individuals engage in excessive health “safety behaviors” such as scanning their body for “symptoms” or seeking excessive reassurance from loved ones and health professionals regarding their health status. Despite these efforts, they rarely find relief.
CBT has been shown to diminish the symptoms of health anxiety. Specifically, an approach using both Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) may be most effective.