Hypochondria has many names like illness anxiety disorder or health anxiety or hypochondriasis. It’s a type of disorder where the patient feels like they are seriously ill even if they don’t have an underlying medical condition.
This illness is a condition that has long-term implications for the patients as it fluctuates in severity too. Anxiety can also increase with increasing stress or age, hence it becomes necessary to get help at some point. In this blog, let’s explore this disorder.
Hypochondria: What it is?
As per the studies conducted by various medical organizations. Hypochondria is defined as a tireless feeling of conviction that one has a genuine, undiscovered clinical sickness. This condition develops as a person begins to imagine physical symptoms of any serious underlying illness that can affect the health very adversely.
This is a real disorder that might take time to cure, but it is completely treatable
In some other cases, it is often misinterpreted as maybe the person has some minor or common illness but it has been blown out of proportions. As the symptoms are chronic and the severity of this disorder is directly dependent upon stress and age.
Symptoms of Hypochondria
- Being distracted with having or getting a genuine infection or ailment
- Stressing that minor side effects or body sensations mean you have a genuine sickness
- Being effortlessly frightened about your wellbeing
- Discovering practically no consolation from specialist visits or negative test outcomes
- Stressing unnecessarily over a particular ailment or your danger of building up an ailment since it runs in your family
- Having such a great amount of pain about potential diseases that it’s difficult for you to work
- Repeatedly checking your body for indications of ailment
- Habitually making clinical arrangements for consolation — or keeping away from clinical consideration for fear of being diagnosed with something
Health Anxiety Diagnosis
There are a lot of factors that lead to a person being diagnosed with hypochondria, but exact causes are still unknown. Let’s take a look at a few of these factors.
- Mental condition – Some people misinterpret any physical stimuli or pain as being related to some serious illness. Not knowing how the body works leads to a lot of diagnoses.
- Family history – A person living in a family that has a history of people being diagnosed with some illness are more likely to develop hypochondria themselves.
- Medical history of the person – People who have been through a lot of illnesses are convinced that they are developing some other illness.
Treatment for hypochondria
There’s no sure shot medication for hypochondria to resolve this anxiety, but still, there are a few methods that can be used as a hypochondriac cure. Typically, treatment for hypochondria starts with a therapy session, and sometimes medication is also used.
Therapy for hypochondria:
CBT or cognitive behavioral therapy is one of the most common methods used for treating patients. It is one of the most effective methods as it incorporates skills in the person that can be used to keep a check on their anxiety. Few other types of psychotherapy that are also used in such cases are exposure therapy and behavioral stress management.
Medication for hypochondria:
If the symptoms don’t stop, and the issue remains unresolved even after therapy, medication is advised at this point. The most frequently used medicine for treating health anxiety is antidepressants. These medicines carry serious side effects, hence they are used in extreme situations.
Hypochondria is a mental health issue that is always joked about and used lightly in conversations, but this is a serious condition that is not to be taken lightly. It’s important to remember that even joking about hypochondria in front of a hypochondriac person can lead to increased levels of anxiety and stress.
This is a real disorder that might take time to cure, but it is completely treatable. If you have any of the symptoms mentioned above and are in a constant state of anxiety, it’s best to talk with a professional. Learn to recognize your stress levels and how it affects your body and stick with your treatment plan to improve yourself.