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KansasTherapist
KansasTherapist, LSCSW
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 566
Experience:  17 years experience with depression, abuse, and borderline.
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I'm afraid I am a hypochondriac or have some sort of

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I'm afraid I am a hypochondriac or have some sort of delusional parasitosis, i have itchy bumps and welts on my legs and arms and I am extremely frightened of all kinds of insects. Reading on the internet it seems that I have bed bugs, but I cannot find any signs of them. Just thinking about it makes it worse and it's getting to the point that I cannot sleep, please help me
Obsessive disorders, like hypochondriasis, are caused by anxiety. There are a few things you can do that help. Antidepressants are now approved for treating anxiety, so you may want to talk to your doctor about trying that route. Obsessive fears can also be treated in therapy, by a technique called desensitization. It begins by practicing relaxation skills and then exposing the client to a very low anxiety provoking example of their fear. They use the retaliation to keep themselves calm. As they are able to stay calm, the exposure becomes more intense until their fear is so minor it can be managed by the relaxation skills alone. A third technique is something you can start right away. It's called thought stopping. Begin my making a list of positive and calming thing you like to think about. As soon as you notice you're having thoughts about parasites, say to yourself, STOP, and switch to you list of calming things.
Something to keep in mind is that anxiety can easily cause physical symptoms. The bumps and welts you have, could go away as you calm down..
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