Health Anxiety is probably one of the most misunderstood difficulties. The layers of anxiety can be very complex and build over a period of time, the illustration above gives a sense of this and how it amplifies itself.
One additional problem is that often a health anxiety can be concretised by a 'real' health issue memory - that's a real live memory of a time when you your were sick, went in to hospital, had an accident or such like. These 'real' memories often block the capacity to look rationaly at evidence of imagined anxieties.
I have usually at least one or two cases in either my Wandsworth or Southfields clinic, the treatment for this can usually only be fully successful with a thoughrough programme that address the 'real' memory of difficulty, as this scaffolds the anxiety spins and keep the symptom maintained. I usually use either clinical hypnosis (as recommended by Anxiety UK) or EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing). Under the right circumstances these two techniques can 'drain away' the emotional memory of the 'real' event and then this begins to allow the 'false' memories of health problems or fear of health problems to shift.
In my experience standard counselling may lower the anxiety - but seldom completely shifts it.
If you are suffering from this you may find difficulty in GP visits, dentist appointments and anything to do with hospital quite terrifying. you do not have to live with this, it can be completely resolved.