So many of us get a touch of hypochondria occasionally, but health anxiety is worse than that. It can appear on its own or attached to other types of anxiety disorder. It is when someone obsesses about possibly having an illness that they don’t actually have and quite often that illness is life threatening e.g. cancer. Like most obsessive behaviour it gets in the way of the person living their life, as it often involves constant checking. Fortunately GPs are becoming more aware of this now and if they suspect someone has it will refuse to collude, by limiting that patient’s appointments and they may suggest they have some CBT. Dr Google does not help though! So checking behaviours have to be extinguished, the patient/client will need to learn relaxation techniques and both exercise and mindfulness can help. These techniques can help with hypochondria too. And as with other types of anxiety – working on your mental health to improve it should be no more stigmatising than working on your physical health!