Fear is a normal human emotion, it helps to protect ourselves and to be alert of any eventuality. However, when it comes to fear of getting sick, it often paralyzes and gravely distresses us. Creating a strong discomfort that prevents us from continuing with our lives normally.
Fear of disease, also known as “hypochondria” or “anxiety disorder syndrome”. This disorder is characterized by excessive and constant concern about suffering or contracting a certain serious illness. Excessive worry causes our anxiety levels to rise disproportionately. Making all our time, conversations and life in general negatively revolve around it.
How to deal with the fear of getting sick
To face the fear of getting sick, we will recommend several basic steps, these are:
The first thing is to recognize that fear is a normal response in all human beings, since it is an emotion that allows us to survive by urging us to distance ourselves or fight with everything that represents a threat (for example, if there is an obvious catastrophe such as a possible fire or flood, it is time to be alert and look for the means to save ourselves).
Being aware of our emotions and responses to some subjective degree subjective will help us identify the stimuli of each of them, how we each live fear, either move away or try to be in control of every situational detail. Although when we are afraid we try to exercise control, we are not aware that this ends up making things worse.
- Identify what triggers fear
Be aware of what is the stimulus of our fear (in this case, the disease) and then explore where our information about the stimulus comes from (information on the disease “causes, probability of suffering or contracting it, possible treatments and symptoms”).
Verify the veracity of that information or thought. Question and search for evidence of reality to determine whether the thought or information may be true or not.
Talking about what is feared, explaining and sharing with loved ones helps to accept and cope. Expressing yourself verbally while also rationally expressing your emotions, will allow others to empathize with and support you.
Feel the emotions
Allowing yourself to be absorbed by the cognitive, affective and physical experience, will give way to confrontation. For this process it is appropriate to consult and be accompanied by professionals who can be of support. Feeling the fear of getting ill is not the same as succumbing to it, but rather pre-experiencing it from the beginning to the end.
In short, you may wonder:
Can you live without fear of getting sick? The truth is that you cannot live without fear, because it is a basic and primary emotion of every human being. However, you can learn to manage fear and you can live without “excessive” fear of disease.
We recommend that if you feel that your fear of getting sick is difficult to control, go to a psychologist you trust, who will surely be able to guide you so that together you can find the solution and thus cope with these emotions. So that you can live a more serene life with your loved ones.