Health Anxiety Specialist

Child & Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
Women's & Reproductive Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
Sexual Health
In-Person care in Bethesda, MD
Telehealth appointments in Maryland, Virginia, DC,
Florida and Michigan

Excessive concern about one’s health, known as health anxiety or hypochondria, involves persistent and irrational worries about having a severe medical condition. If left unchecked, these concerns can significantly disrupt one’s life. At WCWCW in Maryland, we offer comprehensive evaluations and effective treatments for health anxiety. Our telehealth services ensure that patients in Maryland, DC, Virginia, Michigan, and Florida receive the same high-quality care. Reach out to us today by phone or through our online appointment request system.

Health Anxiety Q & A

Understanding Health Anxiety

Health anxiety, often referred to as hypochondria, manifests as an overwhelming preoccupation with one’s health, leading to a significant impact on daily life. This condition can prompt excessive body checking, seeking reassurance from others, and avoidance of health-related media content, among other behaviors. Although health anxiety can interfere with various aspects of life, it is highly treatable.

Identifying Health Anxiety Symptoms

You might recognize signs of health anxiety if you frequently engage in the following behaviors:

  • Persistent worries about your health
  • Regular body checks for signs of illness, such as lumps or pain
  • Constantly seeking reassurance from others about your health
  • Fear that medical professionals may have missed something during examinations or tests
  • Obsessive consumption of health-related information online or through media
  • Avoidance of any content related to severe illness, such as medical TV shows
  • Acting as if you are already ill, thereby avoiding physical activities

Our team at WCWCW can assist you in managing health anxiety. Reach out to us today for an appointment or consultation.

Self-Help Strategies for Health Anxiety

Consider implementing the following self-help techniques to manage health anxiety:

  • Maintain a diary to track the frequency of body checks, reassurance-seeking behaviors, and health-related information consumption, gradually reducing these activities over time.
  • Challenge your thoughts by creating a table with two columns. Write your health worries in the first column and more balanced thoughts in the second, aiming to establish a healthier perspective.
  • Stay engaged in other activities to divert your attention when the urge to check your body arises. Distractions such as going for a walk or contacting a friend can be effective.
  • Gradually reintegrate normal activities into your routine, including those you may have avoided due to health concerns, such as sports or socializing.

Seeking Psychiatric Assistance for Health Anxiety

If you find yourself constantly preoccupied with the belief that you have severe symptoms of an illness, despite medical reassurances and negative test results, it might be time to seek psychiatric help for health anxiety. This condition can significantly impact your daily functioning, professional or academic performance, and interpersonal relationships.

Effective Treatment for Health Anxiety

Treatment for health anxiety primarily involves psychotherapy, with medication occasionally included to alleviate symptoms and improve overall functioning. Our team at WCWCW is dedicated to providing you with the support and treatment you need to manage health anxiety and regain a sense of control in your life. Contact us today to take the first step towards your well-being.


The most common treatment for health anxiety is psychotherapy, particularly cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT can be very effective in treating health anxiety because it teaches you skills that can help you manage your disorder. You can participate in CBT individually or in a group. Some of the benefits of CBT include:

  • identifying your health anxiety worries and beliefs
  • learning other ways to look at your body sensations by changing unhelpful thoughts
  • raising your awareness of how your worries affect you and your behavior
  • responding to your body sensations and symptoms differently
  • learning to better cope with your anxiety and stress
  • learning to stop avoiding situations and activities because of physical sensations
  • avoiding examining your body for signs of illness and repeatedly looking for reassurance that you’re healthy
  • boosting your functioning at home, work, or school, in social settings, and in relationships with others
  • checking whether or not you’re suffering from other mental health disorders, like depression or bipolar disorder
    Other forms of psychotherapy are also sometimes used to treat health anxiety. This may include behavioral stress management and exposure therapy. If your symptoms are severe, your doctor may recommend medication in addition to your other treatments.


If your health anxiety is improving with psychotherapy alone, that is generally all that will be used to treat your condition. Some people don’t respond to psychotherapy, however. If this applies to you, your doctor may recommend medications.

Antidepressants, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), are frequently used for this condition. If you have a mood or anxiety disorder in addition to your anxiety, medications used to treat those conditions may also help.

Our specialists at WCWCW in Bethesda, Maryland, offer the supportive care you need to overcome the challenges of health anxiety. We provide the same high-quality service via telehealth for patients living in Maryland, DC, Virginia, Michigan, and Florida. Call our office or request an appointment online today.

Appointment Request

Are you requesting this appointment for someone other than yourself? If yes,

Welcome to WCWCW! Our staff will respond to your inquiry within one business day.