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CBT more effective in treating anxiety regarding one’s health, finds study

Posted on 09-18-2017 Posted in Anxiety, Anxiety Treatment - 0 Comments

The internet has made the world much easier to live in. Nowadays many people seek necessary information on the web about various disorders affecting them or symptoms of potential health problems they may be afflicted with. However, worrying incessantly about one’s health problems or consulting the internet to get to know more about illnesses or their treatment as opposed to seeking expert advice can harm in the end.

Living in a constant state of panic about likely health issues can trigger anxiety problems. In addition, seeking unnecessary appointments and tests based on information availed on the web can aggravate symptoms of the disorder. While various options are available to treat anxiety, experts recommend psychotherapy to reduce the condition.

In a study titled “Cognitive-behavior therapy for health anxiety in medical patients (CHAMP): a randomized controlled trial with outcomes to 5 years,” a group of researchers has suggested that cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is more effective in ameliorating the effect of health anxiety as opposed to standard care treatments. The study published in the journal National Institute for Health Research in September 2017, also revealed how the benefits of CBT lasted for up to five years.

The researchers from Imperial College London and King’s College London observed 444 patients who had been suffering from severe health anxiety. Details of the respondents were obtained from five hospitals in England. Nurses were found equally good in performing CBT as trained psychologists and medical practitioners. The patients were then asked if they felt anxious about their health conditions.

‘Cyber-chondria’ causing health anxiety

The fact that health anxiety can cause an unnecessary scare fueling unforeseen problems makes it imperative for hospitals to include methods like psychotherapy to alleviate anxiety levels. The study suggests that the tendency of certain people to be overly concerned about every minor symptom is gradually gaining momentum owing to “cyber-chondria.” “We suspect that (health anxiety) is increasing in frequency because of what is now called ‘cyber-chondria.’ This is because people now go to their GPs with a whole list of things they’ve looked up on the internet, and the poor GP, five minutes into the consultation, has four pages of reading to do,” said Peter Tyrer, emeritus professor of community psychiatry at Imperial College London.

The study suggests how a psychological examination, as opposed to a physiological examination, could help relieve patients of their health anxiety fueled by information they get from browsing the internet. The suggestions stem from the fact as to how anxiety disorders, though deeply pervasive, are largely overlooked. This has resulted in many people creating an unnecessary outcry about minor symptoms being signs of possible malignant diseases, causing them to continually contemplate on the same and thus worsen their suffering.

Freedom from anxiety problems

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), more than 18 percent of Americans aged 18 years or older are suffering from anxiety disorders. It is important for mental health experts to identify if their patients are afflicted with an anxiety disorder.

Early diagnosis ensures complete recovery from any kind of mental illness. Sovereign Health of Florida is a leading provider of treatment for mental health problems, including anxiety disorder treatment. For more information on our anxiety disorder treatment centers or to locate our state-of-the-art facilities near you, call our 24/7 helpline number. For immediate assistance, you can even chat online with one of our representatives who would be happy to answer all your queries.

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Sovereign Health Group is a leading addiction, dual diagnosis and mental health treatment provider. Call our admissions team 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to get the help you deserve.

The dual diagnosis program was what attracted me to Sovereign Health. My therapist was always open for discussion and the group sessions were very informative and educational.

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