Select Page

Health Anxiety and Q&A Live Presentation REPLAY
📢SUBSCRIBE and click the BELL to get notified when new videos are uploaded.
💲 Unlimited CEUs $59 based on these videos at for social work, counseling, marriage and family therapy, addiction counseling, case management, pastoral counseling and more.
Join this channel to get access to perks:
#healthanxiety #covid #ncmhce

NOTE: ALL VIDEOS are for educational purposes only and are NOT a replacement for medical advice or counseling from a licensed professional.
Health Anxiety
Dr. Dawn-Elise Snipes PhD, LPC-MHSP, LMHC, CIBHS
AllCEUs, Counselor Education and Training
What is It
 Health anxiety is a persistent fear that
 You will get sick
 You are sick
 Your illness is getting worse
Where Does It Come From
 Physical
 History of illness
 Current chronic illness
 Reinforcement of physical hyperviglance
 Cognitive
 Lack of understanding of the risks, protective factors and probabilities of illness (FCP)
 Cognitive biases due to exposure (school, media, click bait (cyberchondriasis))
Where Does It Come From
 Environmental
 Being in environments that are higher risk, especially if social distancing is not possible (doctors offices, jails, subways)
 Relational
 Having a family member/friend with a chronic illness
 Having a family member/friend who experienced medical trauma
 Not having faith/trust in medical providers
 Medical providers that fail to provide information or informed consent

Consequences (Chicken – Egg)
 Physical
 HPA-Axis hyperactivation
 Reduced immunity
 Impaired sleep
 Increased pain
 Increased risk for what you are fearing
 Increased likelihood of “overdoing” a good thing
 Affective
 Depression
 Anxiety
 Anger
 Guilt
 Cognitive
 Difficulty with concentration and problem solving
Consequences (Chicken – Egg)
 Environmental
 Reduced productivity
 Constantly cleaning
 Relational
 Withdrawal from others
 Isolation/rejection due to being a “hypochondriac”
 Reduced self esteem “Am I crazy?”
 Impaired support due to lack of CRAVES
 Avoid routinely reassuring the patient that all is well. (invalidating)
 Provide safety, empowerment, voice and choice

Treatment: CRAVES
 Consistently listen
 Respond to concerns
 Attend to prevention behaviors, strengths and desire to stay healthy
 Validate feelings
 Empathize with how exhausting/terrifying it is
 Support development of
 Distress tolerance skills (TAGS)
 Information gathering* and fact-based reasoning
 Addressing catastrophizing, all or none thinking and the availability heuristic
 Social support (support groups for condition or HA)

 Differentiate possible from probable causes of symptoms
 X pain or symptom
 Play out the tape based on your individual factors
 Increase health literacy about regarding prevention and protective factors
 Resources (Horses Mouth with Redundancies)
 Personal health care provider (concierge physicians)
 American ___ Society (Cancer, Diabetes, Heart Association)
 Harvard Health
 Cleveland Clinic
 Dealing with Doctors
 Bring a checklist if you are concerned about X diagnosis. If they disagree, ask them to explain why and provide an alternate explanation. (In MH remember it is also a matter of degree (i.e. dementia vs. aging))
 Research after the visit to verify and increase knowledge
 Be clear about all of your symptoms
 Frequency, intensity, duration
 Mitigating and exacerbating factors
 When it started and what changed
 Don’t trivialize your symptoms or the doc likely will too
 Health anxiety impacted over 20% of the population (in 2010 (prior to the pandemic))
 Healthy caution is important, but when fear of death keeps you from living a rich and meaningful life, it becomes a problem.
 Many websites and news stories actually worsen fear. (click bait)
 Cognitive behavioral strategies can help people get into their wise mind, use fact-based reasoning, tolerate distress and take proactive steps addressing the things they can control

Video by Dr. Dawn Elise Snipes on integrative behavioral health approaches including counseling techniques and skills for improving mental health and reducing mental illness.

AllCEUs provides multimedia counselor education and CEUs for LPCs, LMHCs, LMFTs and LCSWs as well as addiction counselor precertification training and continuing education.

AllCEUs courses for counselor continuing education are accepted in most states because we are an approved education provider for NAADAC, the States of Florida and Texas Boards of Social Work and Mental Health/Professional Counseling, CCAPP

Dr Dawn Elise Snipes provides training through that are helpful for ACA OPD, Counsellor OPD, OPD Points, LPC CEUs LMHC CEUs LCPC CEUs LSW CEUs LCSW CEUs LMFT CEUs CRC CEUs HPCSA ACA