Hypochondria (Health Anxiety)
Hypochondria refers to a belief that physical symptoms are signs of a serious illness, even when there is no apparent medical evidence to support the presence of an illness. Recent research suggests that Hypochondria may be considered as an anxiety disorder. It is a form of abnormal health anxiety that may be mild or severe and disabling. The cause is unclear. But it is thought that personality, upbringing, life experiences and inherited traits may play a role.
The factors that may increase one's risk of developing Hypochondria include:
• Death of a loved one
• If a person has had a serious illness during childhood
• Knowing friends, family members and others with a serious illness
• Having an anxiety disorder
• Believing that good health means that one is free of all physical symptoms or unusual bodily sensations
• Parents who were abusive or neglectful
People with this condition do not purposely create these symptoms. They are unable to control the symptoms. The symptoms of Hypochondria include:
• Constantly doing health research
• Switching doctors frequently- if one doctor tells an individual he or she isn't sick, the individual may not believe it and seeks other opinions
• Thinking that on has a disease after reading or hearing about it
• Worrying that minor symptoms or bodily sensations can be a sign of a serious illness
• Constantly talking about symptoms or suspected diseases with family and friends
When to seek help?
Hypochondria tends to be a long-term condition that can last for years. If you have signs and symptoms of Hypochondria, please seek help from a mental health professional!