AbstractHealth anxiety is, among other things, a response to a universal epistemological problem about whether changes in one’s body indicate serious illness, a problem that grows more challenging to the individual with age and with every advance in medical science, detection, and treatment. There is growing evidence that dysfunctional metacognitive beliefs – beliefs about thinking – are the driving factor, with dysfunctional substantive beliefs about the probability of illness a side‐effect, and that Metacognitive Therapy (MCT) is more effective than Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). However, hypochondria is distinct from other forms of anxiety, I argue, in ways that make some reality‐checking techniques of CBT and MCT of limited usefulness. I propose a Re‐Calibration Technique (RCT) that complements these therapies by focusing on a metacognitive belief that has not been studied: the patient’s presumption of his own personal reliability in judging symptoms, an assumption exposed every time he disagrees with a doctor. I propose a technique whereby a patient keeps a long‐term register of every episode of alarm about symptoms and its resolution, possibly years later. When healthcare‐seeking impulses arise the patient then uses his own track record to re‐calibrate his confidence that medical attention is needed. The new technique allows one to improve self‐judgment about whether one has an illness or not by improving self‐knowledge of one’s own reliability.
Added to PP
Historical graph of downloads
References found in this work
No references found.
Citations of this work
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
General Threat and Health-Related Attention Biases in Illness Anxiety Disorder. A Brief Research Report.Simona Stefan, Alexandru Zorila & Elena Brie - 2019 - Cognition and Emotion 34 (3):604-613.
Poetry or Pathology? Jesuit Hypochondria in Early Modern Naples.Yasmin Haskell - 2007 - Early Science and Medicine 12 (2):187-213.
Odd Complaints and Doubtful Conditions: Norms of Hypochondria in Jane Austen and Catherine Belling.James Lindemann Nelson - 2014 - Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 11 (2):193-200.
Reliability in Cognitive Neuroscience: A Meta-Meta Analysis.Colin Klein - 2015 - Philosophical Psychology 28 (4):606-609.
Managing Social Anxiety: A Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Approach Therapist Guide.Debra A. Hope, Richard G. Heimberg & Cynthia L. Turk - 2010 - Oxford University Press USA.
The Age of Hypochondria: Interpreting Romantic Health and Illness.Elizabeth Danto - 2013 - The European Legacy 18 (6):758-759.
The Interactive Effect of Emotional Reactivity and Maladaptive Metacognitive Beliefs on Anxiety.Kate Clauss, Joseph R. Bardeen, Kelsey Thomas & Natasha Benfer - 2019 - Cognition and Emotion 34 (2):393-401.
Chinese Taoist Cognitive Therapy for Symptoms of Depression and Anxiety in Adults in China: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.Yudan Ding, Li Wang, Jindong Chen, Jingping Zhao & Wenbin Guo - 2020 - Frontiers in Psychology 11.
Holy Hypochondria. Narrative and Self-Awareness in The Concept of Anxiety.Jeffrey Hanson - 2011 - Kierkegaard Studies Yearbook 2011 (2011):239-262.
The Philosophical Foundations of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Stoicism, Buddhism, Taoism, and Existentialism.Kim Diaz & Edward Murguia - 2015 - Journal of Evidence-Based Psychotherapies 15 (1):39-52.
Qualitative Analysis of Emotional Distress in Cardiac Patients From the Perspectives of Cognitive Behavioral and Metacognitive Theories: Why Might Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Have Limited Benefit, and Might Metacognitive Therapy Be More Effective?Rebecca McPhillips, Peter Salmon, Adrian Wells & Peter Fisher - 2019 - Frontiers in Psychology 9.
Art Therapy as a Healing Tool for Sub-Fertile Women.Edward G. Hughes - 2010 - Journal of Medical Humanities 31 (1):27-36.
Epistemic Anxiety, Adaptive Cognition, and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.Juliette Vazard - 2018 - Discipline Filosofiche 2 (Philosophical Perspectives on Af):137-158.
Know Thyself? Questioning the Theoretical Foundations of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.Garson Leder - 2017 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 8 (2):391-410.