Monkeypox, Cough, or COVID-19?

Monkeypox, Cough, or COVID-19?
Photo by Vladimir Fedotov / Unsplash

In the age of COVID-19 and now monkeypox, many people are experiencing heightened anxiety about their health. Symptoms such as fever, chills, bumps, rashes, sore throat, sniffles, and headache can trigger anxious feelings, especially in those with a history of anxiety. This can lead to excessive fear and preoccupation with illness, known as somatic symptom disorder or illness anxiety disorder, formerly known as hypochondria.

Experts warn against catastrophizing symptoms and building improbable scenarios around health. While it's normal to worry about your health, it's important to research facts about illnesses and refer to medical professionals for official diagnoses. Consulting with medical professionals can ease concerns about health and provide reassurance.

People with illness anxiety disorder may continue to have irrational and cognitive distortions around something minor being something major, even when medical professionals say otherwise. This differentiates them from those who are understandably cautious and concerned about illnesses such as COVID-19 and monkeypox.

Health anxiety has worsened in recent years due to the availability of information on social media and the internet. As soon as people experience symptoms, they may turn to Google and look for the worst possible scenario. Health anxiety can also be triggered by external factors such as news reports or social media posts about illnesses.

Experts recommend waiting a reasonable period of time to see if symptoms go away on their own before consulting a doctor. They advise against self-diagnosis and suggest taking control of factors you can control, such as getting tested for COVID-19 if you experience symptoms. It's important to remember that monkeypox is not as contagious as COVID-19, and the risk of transmission is much lower.

To cope with anxious feelings about health, experts suggest maintaining a system that regulates how you approach your worries in a rational manner. It's essential to take care of your emotional health by rethinking how you approach health concerns and attributing what you're experiencing to factors other than disastrous scenarios. Life is usually in the gray, and it's important to recognize this.

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