Jake Quickenden reveals his health anxiety began after losing his father and brother to cancer


His father Paul passed away from bone cancer in 2008. His brother Oliver was then diagnosed with osteosarcoma – the most common form of bone cancer – in 2010 when he was just 16 and died two years later. 

And on Friday, Jake Quickenden, 34, revealed that his health anxiety began after losing his father and brother to cancer and admitted that it stops him from wanting to go to the doctors.

The former X Factor star appeared on Lorraine alongside Dr Amir Khan, to discuss how he deals with the mental health condition – something which he has struggled with for 15 years. 

Candid: On Friday, Jake Quickenden, 34, revealed his health anxiety began after losing his father and brother to cancer and admitted that it stops him from wanting to go to the doctors

According to the NHS: ‘Health anxiety is when you spend so much time worrying you’re ill, or about getting ill, that it starts to take over your life.’ 

Jake admitted of health anxiety: ‘What I realised over the past year after talking about it more… When I go to the gym, the lads say: ”Mate I’m the same. I get a headache and I think something’s wrong with me.”

‘It’s been over 15 years since I’ve had it [health anxiety]. The first time I worried was when I was young and fell over and scraped my hand and got an infection. I thought I was always gonna get this.

‘It’s important to find out what the start point was. For me, it was the loss of them [his dad and brother to cancer]. Thinking how fragile life is ~ Thinking I’m gonna get it and pass away.’

Heartbreaking: His father Paul passed away from bone cancer in 2008. His brother Oliver was then diagnosed with osteosarcoma and died in 2012

Heartbreaking: His father Paul passed away from bone cancer in 2008. His brother Oliver was then diagnosed with osteosarcoma and died in 2012

Real talk: The X Factor star appeared on Lorraine alongside Dr Amir Khan, to discuss how he deals with the mental health condition - something which he has struggled with for 15 years

Real talk: The X Factor star appeared on Lorraine alongside Dr Amir Khan, to discuss how he deals with the mental health condition – something which he has struggled with for 15 years

Jake – who married wife Sophie Church last summer – also explained how he managed his health anxiety, telling Lorraine: ‘It’s tough but I feel a lot better about it now. I understand it. And when you understand anxiety you take the power away from it.

‘I always do things to take my thoughts away from my health. It’s when I’m on my own that I worry.

‘I asked Soph [his wife] ”How often do I mention my health?” and she said: ”At least 15 times a day,” and I don’t even realise I’m doing it any more.

‘My health anxiety stops me from wanting to go to the doctors, because I’m worried about what they’ll tell me,’ admitted Jake, before urging viewers to get checked should they be concerned about anything.

Fears: 'My health anxiety stops me from wanting to go to the doctors, because I'm worried about what they'll tell me,' admitted Jake, before urging viewers to get checked

Fears: ‘My health anxiety stops me from wanting to go to the doctors, because I’m worried about what they’ll tell me,’ admitted Jake, before urging viewers to get checked

Tragic: Jake's father Paul, who separated from Jake's mother Lisa before his diagnosis, passed away 15 years ago from bone cancer

Tragic: Jake’s father Paul, who separated from Jake’s mother Lisa before his diagnosis, passed away 15 years ago from bone cancer

In order to cope, the former X Factor star explained how he has to remind himself that he’s never been ‘seriously ill.’ 

Jake said: ‘I always think now, in 34 years how many times have I been seriously ill, and I haven’t. My body has gotten over anything I’ve had. You then train your mind to think in that way.

Lorraine finished the segment by praising Jake for having his testicles checked on Loose Women last year.

At the time, Jake said: ‘I lost my dad and brother to cancer, so for me not checking is a way of just putting it to the back of my mind.

‘Sometimes I think if I checked and I felt something I’d be so worried, so for me, it was out of sight, out of mind. 

Brave: Last year, Jake had his testicles examined on Loose Men to raise awareness for cancer

Brave: Last year, Jake had his testicles examined on Loose Men to raise awareness for cancer

He added: ‘But as I’ve got older, I’ve got kids now, it makes me think that is a stupid thing to do, we need to be talking more, we need to be checking more.’

‘I had my first check up six months ago, I’m 34, and that was a big step for me to even do, an MRI, everything checked and bloods checked, and I felt quite proud.’

The Dancing On Ice winner shares son Leo with wife Sophie. She is also mum to son Freddie from a previous relationship. 

Jake’s father Paul, who separated from Jake’s mother Lisa before his diagnosis, passed away 15 years ago from bone cancer.

Two years later, his youngest brother Oliver then injured his knee playing football and tests revealed he had a different type of bone cancer, an osteosarcoma.

Oliver then sadly passed away when he was just 19 years old, just years after his father Paul’s tragic death. 

WHAT IS HEALTH ANXIETY? 

Health anxiety is when you spend so much time worrying you’re ill, or about getting ill, that it starts to take over your life. It’s related to obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).

You may have health anxiety if you:

  • constantly worry about your health
  • frequently check your body for signs of illness, such as lumps, tingling or pain
  • are always asking people for reassurance that you’re not ill
  • worry that a doctor or medical tests may have missed something
  • obsessively look at health information on the internet or in the media
  • avoid anything to do with serious illness, such as medical TV programmes
  • act as if you were ill (for example, avoiding physical activities)

Anxiety itself can cause symptoms like headaches or a racing heartbeat, and you may mistake these for signs of illness.

 Source: NHS

 

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