Health worriers have a tendency to focus on the stakes of developing a serious illness, rather than the odds against it. They make judgments about medical matters based on what happened, or what they think happened, to friends or to friends of their friends. Like any other gossip, these accounts tend to be dramatic and exaggerated. Putting the details of exposure therapy to one side, it’s obvious that an irrational fear will be dissipated by knowing the truth about the imagined danger, even if learning the truth is uncomfortable. Exposure to the facts reduces discomfort over time, and the patient worries less.
Read the entire article here: The Discomfort of Reading about a Feared Illness