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C4 documentary on health anxiety and CBT Mon 19th (Read 6230 times)
saab
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C4 documentary on health anxiety and CBT Mon 19th
Feb 12th, 2007, 9:47am
 
On Monday 19th Feb at 9pm Channel 4 are showing a documentary in which 4 people with health anxiety are given intensive cognitive behavioural therapy to help their condition.

It's part of the 'Only Human' series and is called "I told you I was ill". Laura, one of those taking part, has posted about it on the No More Panic forum (health anxiety) and says it has "worked completely" for her. This is more info about the show (copied from Laura's post):

"Recent studies suggest that as many as one-in-four GP consultations are now taken up by the "worried well", or "hypochondriacs" as these people are often labelled. But Hypochondria, in its extreme form, is an illness in itself. Doctors call it Health Anxiety Disorder. Can it be cured? This compelling film, kicking off a new run of Channel 4's Bafta-award winning documentary strand, Only Human , follows four sufferers as they live together at a remote country retreat, miles away from their GPs and support network of friends and family. They will undertake a unique course of treatment administered by the Maudsley Hospital's Consultant Psychiatrist Dr Florian Ruths.

Every time single-mum Laura, 26, gets a tummy ache or swollen glands, she spends hours on the internet convinced she has terminal cancer. Her problems began when her father died of cancer aged only 44. Now she's sure she's got it too and it is driving her friends mad.

Kevin is 36, and is in constant fear of contracting HIV. A blood transfusion has triggered an obsessive fear of the AIDS virus, HIV. He has already had three negative AIDS tests but he still worries that he could infect his wife and child. A drop of blood can send him into a state of extreme panic

Sarah, aged 40, is convinced that the smallest ache or pain means that she could die at any moment. She constantly fears she is seriously ill and is a regular attendee at her local GP's surgery. Like the others, Sarah seeks constant reassurance from all around her and their patience is clearly beginning to wear thin

Jane is 37 and has a slightly more complex case for the therapists. Five years ago she collapsed and ended up in a wheelchair. She has not walked since, despite the fact that doctors cannot find anything wrong with her legs. On the face of it, husband Ian, who is now her full time carer, admits that it must look a bit strange that his wife is confined to a chair with no medical explanation..."It's like you see on Little Britain, when the character in the wheelchair jumps out and runs off..." But both he and Jane are unhappy with the doctors' diagnosis and both remain firmly convinced that there must be something wrong. As he concludes, with reference to the fictional TV character, "I know she couldn't do anything like that, there's just no way."

Dr Ruths will try to challenge all their behaviour, their obsessions and their personal oddities. For Laura, this means allaying her fears about collapsing in public like her father did. But will Dr Ruth's attempt at passing out at the nearby supermarket's deli counter have much effect? For Sarah, it means addressing her breathlessness and showing her that exercise won't result in heart failure; for Kevin it means entering into the world of the gay man to confront his paranoia of contracting the AIDS Virus. And for Jane, with the help of her own personal Psychiatrist Dr Lars Hansen, it means bursting balloons and wheeling herself through the local town dressed as a clown... all in the name of therapy.

Will this course of behavioural therapy make them better, or will they remain uncured, destined to spend the rest of their lives in and out of their doctors' surgeries?"

I am very interested in cognitive behavioural therapy so I will definitely be watching.
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angiebaby
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Re: C4 documentary on health anxiety and CBT Mon 1
Reply #1 - Feb 17th, 2007, 11:25am
 
Thankyou for that, i will be watching too.
Angiebaby
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It take a minute to get anxiety and a lifetime to get rid of it!!
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saab
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Re: C4 documentary on health anxiety and CBT Mon 1
Reply #2 - Feb 20th, 2007, 3:07am
 
Well, I watched this but due to a power cut I missed the first 20 mins where it explained how the patients had come to be so anxious. It was interesting - usual cognitive therapy about trying to rationalise your thoughts and some 'exposure' therapy where they had to face their fears eg. guy with fear of Aids/Hiv had to touch public toilets and sinks, one lady had to run on a treadmill and get her heart rate up. I was hoping, I guess, that there would be more detail and hints for people like me. It was nice to see however, that 3 out of 4 seem to have had quite a lot of success after the therapy.
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Kathryn
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Re: C4 documentary on health anxiety and CBT Mon 1
Reply #3 - Feb 20th, 2007, 6:11am
 
I wanted to watch that, but my hubby worked and we went with him, so missed it.  Was it good?  and is it a long running programme following there success, or was it just a one off?

Hope you are well

Kath x
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angiebaby
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Re: C4 documentary on health anxiety and CBT Mon 1
Reply #4 - Feb 20th, 2007, 11:05am
 
Unfortunatly it was a one off programme about those people.  We don't follow there progress although it did state at the end of the programme that they were continuing with their therapy.  The blonde lady had got her fear after being with her dad while he was dying of cancer and saw him having all of his tests done etc until the end of his life.  She had health anxiety.  The curly haired lady had health anxiety also and thought she had numerous illness's and was scared of most things that she thought she would die of.  She ended up doing very well and stopped going to the doctors every week and was on a trampoline at the end, brilliant!  The gentleman that was obsessed with hiv/aids did really well too and shook an infected man's hand at the end.  Then there was a lady who had lost the use of her legs, don't really know why, she didn't do so well and was still the same when she left but as i say i think they are carrying on with their therapy.  It was interesting to see others go through some of the things that i go through but i was expecting more and i felt disappointed for them that they did not have more of a positive response.  But they made a good start i think.  I was thinking that there would have more detail and results.  Very good to watch though.
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It take a minute to get anxiety and a lifetime to get rid of it!!
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Kathryn
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Re: C4 documentary on health anxiety and CBT Mon 1
Reply #5 - Feb 23rd, 2007, 4:36am
 
My sister watched it and said the lady with the palpitations who called her husband all the time for reassurance reminded her of me, Hopefully it'll be something they repeat in a few months.

Kath x
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