“All of us at anxietycentre.com have experienced debilitating anxiety. But we’ve also overcome it and returned to normal and lasting health. Because we know the hardship anxiety unwellness can cause, we are committed to helping others, with over 30 years of service.” - Jim Folk, President, anxietycentre.com

What is the best way to overcome health and medical fears?

Marilyn Folk BScN medical reviewer
Written by: Jim Folk.
Medically reviewed by: Marilyn Folk, BScN.
Updated: May 11, 2019

We received this question recently: I've always worried about my health and going to the doctor. I panic over every ache and pain thinking that it is a sign of a terminal illness or disease. Just the idea of going to the hospital freaks me out. I'm tired of being afraid all the time. What is the best way to overcome my health and medical fears?


A great many anxious people experience health and medical fears. These are some of the most common core fears at the root of problematic anxiety.

Health and medical fears are a reflection of our core fears: those fears at the root of our anxieties. For example, core fears commonly associated with health fears include, the fear of death and dying, the fear of pain and suffering, the fear of loss, the fear of uncertainty, the fear of being out of control, the fear of the unknown, the fear of leaving loved ones behind, and the fear of what happens after death, to name a few.

Core fears are central to our psyche, which is why they are often stubborn and difficult to overcome on our own. For more information about the many core fears at the root of anxiety disorder, Recovery Support members can read Chapter 5 in the Recovery Support area.

Moreover, each person can have unique reasons why they have established their core fears. These reasons are often complex and multifaceted – deeply rooted in our system of beliefs. Recovery Support members can read more about our System Of Beliefs and how it is formed in Chapter 5, as well.

Furthermore, since we learn our fears, we often have, what we believe, are good reasons to be afraid. Most of us aren’t able to convince ourselves of a less fearful view of our core fears because we believe they are pertinent, true, and actually threatening. So identifying and overcoming them can be difficult using a self-help approach alone.

Essentially, if a person knew how to overcome her health and medical fears, she wouldn’t be afraid of them in the first place. People struggle with health and medical fears because they ARE afraid of health and medical matters and don’t know how to overcome them. Unless specifically trained in how to identify and successfully address the many factors at the root of anxiety disorder, it’s unrealistic to think an untrained person can overcome these types of fears without professional help.

Since the success rate of using a self-help approach alone to resolve core fears is low, the most effective way to overcome health and medical fears is with the help of an experienced anxiety disorder therapist. A professional therapist can help you identify and successfully address the many factors at the root of health and medical fears, as well as provide you with healthy skillsets required to overcome them.[1]

We also recommend working with a therapist who has had anxiety and has had to resolve health and medical fears in his or her own life. It’s our opinion that therapists who were merely trained in resolving core fears aren’t as effective as those who have had to successfully do this work in their own lives. There’s something to be said for walking the walk rather than just talking the talk.

The good news is that we can be successful when we do the right work with the right help.[2] But we have to do the right work, since core fears seldom resolve on their own.

Working with an experienced anxiety disorder therapist is the most effective way to overcome health and medical fears.[3] And, choosing a therapist who has had to do this work in his or her own life is the best type of help you can get.

We have many recommended therapists that have personally overcome health and medical fears. You can read each bio for more information.

Choosing the right therapist can make the difference between success and continued struggle.

Don’t suffer needlessly. You can overcome health and medical fears. We’re here to help!

Click the link for more information about why therapy is the most effective way to overcome anxiety disorder.

[1]"Facts & Statistics." Anxiety and Depression Association of America, n.d. Web. 16 Sept. 2016.

[2]DISCLAIMER: Because each body is somewhat chemically unique, and because each person will have a unique mix of symptoms and underlying factors, recovery results may vary. Variances can occur for many reasons, including due to the severity of the condition, the ability of the person to apply the recovery concepts, and the commitment to making behavioral change.

[3]"CBT can be recommended as a gold standard in the psychotherapeutic treatment of patients with anxiety disorders." - Otte, Christian. "Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in Anxiety Disorders: Current State of the Evidence." Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience. Les Laboratoires Servier, Dec. 2011. Web. 14 Sept. 2016.

The combination of good self-help information and working with an experienced anxiety disorder therapist is the most effective way to address anxiety disorder and its many symptoms. Until the core causes of anxiety are addressed - the underlying factors that motivate apprehensive behavior - a struggle with anxiety disorder can return again and again. Identifying and successfully addressing anxiety's underlying factors is the best way to overcome problematic anxiety.

Additional Resources:

Return to our Anxiety Frequent Questions page.

anxietycentre.com: Information, support, and coaching/counseling/therapy for problematic anxiety and its sensations and symptoms, including the best way to overcome health and medical fears.