If your child suffers from health anxiety then Resolved! Counselling for Children could provide the solution

Hello there. If you’re here because your son or daughter is suffering from health anxiety then  I’m sorry to hear it. I’ve worked with health anxiety a great deal, in Reading, Oxford, London and online and understand how terrifying a problem it can be. The good news is that you and I could work together in helping them to be free of it.

I also offer counselling and psychotherapy for health anxiety online, using vsee, whatsapp, zoom. Please get in touch for details.

How does health anxiety begin?

fear of illness in teenagersHealth anxiety doesn’t just arrive out of nowhere and it doesn’t tend to affect people who aren’t already prone to worry or anxiety. Learning to deal with whatever it is which lies beneath the health anxiety will prove crucial to helping them remain free of health anxiety for good.

Children can be like sponges. If you recently lost someone, even if your child wasn’t personally close to them, then it’s possible for them to pick up on your grief and to fear the consequences of illness.

Perhaps they were truly close to the person and felt their passing very keenly. Their imagination will cause them to fear the same happening to others and to themselves. Perhaps you or another carer have been ill yourself. I’ve had clients whose parents have come through breast cancers and other illnesses. Health anxiety and other problems such as contamination OCD and the fear of blood can be an unhappy remnant or an all-too-early brush with the concept of mortality.

It may be that they themselves have known serious illness, or a medical emergency such as a choking incident or appendicitis, and now their amygdalas are on a permanent alert for a return of that or another medical problem.

Sometimes a very sensitive child may be so affected by something they saw on TV that their imaginations run wild. If others can become seriously ill then perhaps they could too.

And once it begins…

health anxiety childrenHealth anxiety has also been termed ‘health OCD’ and the compulsions, obsessions and rituals can be as persistent as any other form of that particular disorder. 

They can become overly-sensitised to their own bodies, noticing every twinge and ascribing them to the early signs of a dreadful illness. Thoughts become obsessive and searching for a parent’s reassurance develops into a persistent habit.

No amount of reassurance, however, will prove comforting for long. In fact, the sense of relief which is felt when a well-meaning parent reassures an anxious child serves as a reward for the anxiety. We all know what happens when you reward a behaviour – you encourage more of the same behaviour! Reassurance isn’t just futile, it makes things worse!

The more thoughts are entertained the more persistent they become. The more google becomes seen as a medical authority the more easily symptoms will be matched some some fatal disease.

Health becomes an obsession and this begins to severely interfere with their sufferer’s quality of life. The more this happens, of course, the more anxious they become and the more anxious they become the more this symptom of a condition asserts control.

It’s a vicious circle and there’s no escape unless something changes. 

This is where Resolved! Counselling for Children could help you

Learning to process emotions more effectively, learning to deal with anxiety without causing it to spiral out of control and learning to manage the thoughts which come with health anxiety will all prove crucial to beginning to master its symptoms and then to eradicate it completely. I use a variety of traditional child and adolescent psychotherapeutic approaches, combining this with mindfulness and sometimes hypnotherapy. 

Whilst there are no guarantees as to the efficacy of any therapy it would appear that these are effective approaches. Give me a call or send me an email and we can discuss how my approaches might be able to help you, your son or daughter and your entire family.

I could help you, take the first step below…

If you live in or near Reading, Oxford, Wallingford or Thame and would like me to help you with this problem please don’t wait any longer to get in contact. I could help your child or teenager to lay this anxiety to rest and leave you and your family able to enjoy life once more. Your poor son or daughter  needn’t continue to suffer from health anxiety any longer. Call me on 01183 280284 / 07786 123736 / 01865 600970 or email me at paul@resolvedhypnotherapy.co.uk. You could also simply use the contact form at the foot of this page.


Best wishes

Paul's signature for hypnotherapy Reading