What is The Rebound Effect?
You are the one suffering from health anxiety. and you are also the one who suffers from what I like to call the ‘rebound effect.’ What is the rebound effect? The best way to explain the rebound effect is through a scenario that you might have already gone through:
You’re on your couch watching TV, half of your attention is focused on what you’re watching and the other half is focused on what you’re feeling inside. You carefully notice any sensations of anxiety in your body that pop up as you turn the channels on the TV. All of a sudden you run into the DR OZ Show, and his topic of the day could be related to a particular physical illness. He mentions the symptoms that might connect a person to that particular illness, and BOOM.
You begin to think those two dreaded words that every health anxiety sufferer constantly goes through… What If!
What if my symptoms of anxiety aren’t what I think they are, but are connected to the illness that DR OZ is talking about in his show! What if I’ve waited too long to get these symptoms checked, could I be doomed? Finally, what if it gets worse and these symptoms I thought were related to anxiety manifest to other parts of my body!?
You are now experiencing the rebound effect…
Someone who suffers from health anxiety is always ‘checking in’ to see how strong their symptoms of anxiety are at any moment, they also constantly check to see if new symptoms of anxiety have appeared out of the blue. The cycle of panic begins, and the 6 step process that their imagination leads them to begins to take shape:
1) Either through what someone says, or though their own memory the questions of what this symptom of anxitey could be begin.
2) The ‘what if’ questioning begins to run wild in the health anxiety sufferers mind.
3) Their bodies begin to feel the effects of this kind of thinking, and the symptoms of anxiety heighten. A full blown panic attack could be on the horizon.
4) They quickly look online for answers either through anxiety forums, groups or search engines
5) They are comforted by people in those anxiety forums and groups that they are fine, and they are reassured that they are not in a cycle of impending doom but rather a victim of their catastrophic thoughts
6) Anxiety lessens, or heightens and more research is done
At this point the rebound effect is firmly strapped into their unconscious, the next episode of this happening could be on the same day or very close by, but a deep feeling of sensitization has begun. This is the type of incredible imagination someone with an anxiety disorder can have, because of how alarming and real the symptoms of anxiety can be!
The other danger comes in the form of turning to your ‘comfort group’ for help
I’m a firm believer that anxiety forums and groups online do more harm then good. Why? Because it’s a cycle that becomes the norm for the person with health anxiety. They turn power over to others, yes they are temprarily comforted and helped out, but at the end of the day they are always left with unanswered questions.
A person with an anxiety disorder can do very little for another person, other then re-assure them that they are safe
As I mention through my Me Vs Myself On And Off The Court eBook I’ve went through years of the rebound effect in my own 6 year battle with an anxiety disorder. I made many mistakes, and I’ve also found true and lasting natural solutions for my health anxiety. Some of these answers I will reveal in the second part of this two part series on the rebound affect, and it’s affects on people with health anxiety.
So follow along and stay tuned!