Free Self Help for Health Anxiety Booklet

FREE PDF DOWNLOAD OF SELF HELP FOR HEALTH ANXIETY GUIDEThe “Self Help for Health Anxiety” booklet, authored by Carol Vivyan (2009), adapted from Wells (1997), is a self-guided resource for individuals experiencing health anxiety. It provides a comprehensive approach to understanding and managing the obsessive preoccupation with having a serious illness, which can lead to excessive body checking, information seeking, avoidance, and reassurance seeking behaviours.

The booklet is structured into several sections, each addressing a different aspect of health anxiety:

  1. Understanding Health Anxiety: It explains how health anxiety can cause individuals to misinterpret normal bodily sensations as symptoms of serious illness, reinforcing their belief that they must be ill.
  2. Breaking the Vicious Cycle: The guide suggests practical steps to break the cycle of health anxiety by changing thought patterns and behaviours. It includes mindfulness exercises and encourages focusing attention away from the body to reduce worry.
  3. Challenging Worrying Thoughts: It emphasises that thoughts are not facts and provides strategies to challenge and change distorted thinking patterns.
  4. Changing Behaviours: The booklet advises on reducing checking behaviours, information seeking, and avoidance, as well as reassurance seeking, which perpetuates anxiety.
  5. Using the STOPP Skill: A technique to help incorporate all the strategies by stopping, taking a breath, observing the worry, pulling back to challenge the thoughts, and practising or proceeding with a more rational response.

The booklet spans 8 pages and includes a Health Anxiety Thought Record Sheet to help track and challenge anxious thoughts.