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DR HILARY JONES: What is Health Anxiety?

 

The pandemic has left us all living in a period of health anxiety. 

But did you know that health anxiety is something that affects quite a lot of people everyday of their lives?

Health anxiety (sometimes called hypochondria) is when you spend so much time worrying you're ill, or about getting ill, that it starts to take over your life.
You may have health anxiety if you:

  • constantly worry about your health
  • frequently check your body for signs of illness, such as lumps, tingling or pain
  • are always asking people for reassurance that you're not ill
  • worry that a doctor or medical tests may have missed something
  • obsessively look at health information on the internet or in the media
  • avoid anything to do with serious illness, such as medical TV programmes
  • act as if you were ill (for example, avoiding physical activities)

Anxiety itself can cause symptoms like headaches or a racing heartbeat, and you may mistake these for signs of illness.

For more information on health anxiety, visit the NHS website here. 
Dr Hilary Jones MBE, best known for his work on Good Morning Britain tells us more about the disorder here. 
Dr Hilary Jones is a GP, TV Presenter, Medical Broadcaster, Author and Public Speaker.

Dr Hilary qualified in 1976 at The Royal Free Hospital in London having studied art subjects at A Level then converting to a six year medical degree. In 1979 he worked for a year as the single handed medical officer on Tristan da Cunha, the most isolated inhabited island in the world. In 1981 he worked as a troubleshooting GP and Emergency Doctor for the oil industry at Sullom Voe in Shetland for Offshore Medical Support.

He became a Principal in General Practice and a GP Trainer in the early 1980’s. He also worked as a Senior House Officer in Opthalmology before entering General Practice assisting in Glaucoma and Cataract extraction procedures and learning the science of refraction.

He then began presenting educational medical TV programmes for British Medical TV in 1986. Sky TV then adopted these programmes for their news bulletins soon after. In 1989 Dr Hilary Jones joined the most successful TV breakfast station ever, TVAM. He and Lorraine Kelly were the first presenters to be signed up by GMTV when it won the breakfast franchise in 1993. He is now the Health Editor for ITV’s Breakfast television.


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