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Hello and thank you for using JustAnswer. Have you considered undergoing therapy to help treat your overall anxiety disorder?
Well the best type of therapy for Health Anxiety is a combination of CBT and Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP). There are no self-help books for ERP as it must be done with a psychologist for it to be truly effective. Health anxiety is a combination of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Somatization Disorder (physical symptoms caused by a mental health disorder), so it is quite common for health anxiety to focused on one specific area. I would recommend trying therapy again, but doing this combination approach and also you may want to consider natural supplements of Valerian Root, Passion Flower, Kava, or Picamilon to help lessen your anxiety
This is definitely health anxiety from what you are describing. Unfortunately there is no quick fix to this as you will most likely need to undergo therapy for a few months for you to overcome these irrational fears. You know all the CBT techniques and they are not working for you, so this is why you are going to need to undergo systematic treatment to overcome this. I would recommend a combination of individual and group therapy for you given what you described. Reducing your irrational fears will only come with the systematic treatment, so you have to be patient.
Therapy only goes so far in treatment unfortunately and this is why a combination of medication is usually recommended for Health Anxiety, but I know you do not want to undergo medications. You can try a non-medication approach with Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) which has virtually no side effects (the most common are headaches and scalp irritation for a few days). TMS is very useful in lessening anxiety, but its effectiveness for treating OCD type disorders is still being studied.
Everyone who has an anxiety disorder or OCD type disorder do not feel the symptoms when they are busy because they are distracted. Most likely this is going to be a life-long issue for you that will wax and wane.
Health anxiety is typically a life long disorder and it usually takes over a year of systematic treatment to lessen the symptoms of the disorder.
You can try a different type of therapy called Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) which focuses on accepting that the thoughts are irrational and just letting them pass by. This can lessen the anxiety and overwhelming feeling that comes with the thoughts
Its hard to say without examining you face to face. Health Anxiety can be caused by numerous issues so it is very difficult to narrow down.
You should not focus on the cause for your Health Anxiety because at the end of the day it does not matter as you still have the anxiety. Instead focus on treating it and lessening it as that will be more beneficial to you overall.
Try the ACT therapy and see if it helps you. You have to try different modalities to find the right one that works for you.
You can try this book:
"ACT Made Simple: An Easy-To-Read Primer on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (The New Harbinger Made Simple Series)" by Harriss
But overall you need to commit to long-term therapy as books alone will not be helpful.
Well this is good for your physical health, but going to the doctor all the time for tests will only exacerbate your health anxiety
Hopefully you will be able to overcome this with the right treatment plan. I wish you all the best :)
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