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What is meant by "Worried Well"?

Date: 09/01/21

Worried well is a term that describes people in good health but believes themselves to be ill or likely to get an illness. Believing or thinking you are ill based on a current circumstance or event, be it factual or fictional, can lead to a lot of unnecessary fear and anxiety. Some people who are "worried well" are fearful that they have a disease even after testing negative for said disease. Psychological problems commonly associated with "worried well" people include:



  • Clinical depression
  • Anxiety disorders (severe anxiety)
  • Severe guilt
  • Phobias (Having an irrational fear)
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Other psychological disorders

Some of the anxiety experienced is likely related to the information people are regularly exposed to and the uncertainties that may come with it. Having the right tools and skills to cope with fear and anxiety is essential. Anxiety and fear can lead to poor sleep and nutrition, lack of exercise, substance abuse, excessive internet usage, social media, or television. Moreover, the news of death due to a particular disease in your area may result in threatening stimuli, which give rise to unpleasant emotions of fear and anxiety. This same fear and anxiety may cause people to ask for unnecessary testing, such as requesting imaging of the brain without experiencing any signs or symptoms of illness because a friend was recently diagnosed with a brain tumor and had minimal or subtle symptoms. As a result, you fear you may have a brain tumor as well. It's essential to learn how to cope with anxiety and fear immediately to help you avoid any unnecessary stress.

Try to: 

  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Exercise 
  • Eat healthy 
  • Sleep early (at least 8-9 hours)
  • Limit news. Do a "news" round-up once a day
  • Talk to a friend or family member
  • Learn a new skill 
  • Watch uplifting television content and music 
  • Meditate/or try aromatherapy

Early detection is vital. It is essential to see a doctor if you do experience ongoing signs and symptoms of an illness. 

This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Please always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions. Programs and services are subject to change. Managed Health Network, LLC (MHN) is a subsidiary of Health Net, LLC. The MHN companies include Managed Health Network and MHN Services, LLC. Health Net and Managed Health Network are registered service marks of Health Net, LLC or its affiliates. All rights reserved.