Hypochondriasis disorder is a term used to describe excessive concern about one’s health and the unrealistic worry about having developed a serious illness.
What is Hypochondriasis Disorder?
The real danger Hypochondriasis disorder face is the risk of blighting their lives with unnecessary and obsessive worry over non-existent complaints.
Some are preoccupied with a particular organ, as in cardiac neurosis, wherein the heart becomes the focus of extreme concern.
Hypochondriacal patients sometimes become quite offended when they are told their fears or beliefs are unwarranted and may persist in seeking professional care.
Sufferers consume numerous over-the-counter drugs and willingly undergo endless tests and examinations to check for their mostly imaginary complaints.
What Are The Symptoms of Hypochondriasis disorder?[table id=13 /]
What Causes Hypochondria Disorder?
The cause of neurosis is unknown. Some doctors feel the hypochondriac merely shows excessive self-concern.
Others place low self-esteem at the root of the problem, with attitudes towards bodily functions rooted in childhood; in particular, if a person suffered from an inordinate amount of ill-fires as a child, or if there was invalid in the family. Stress also seems to play a role in hypochondria.
Anxiety, depression, and compulsive personality traits are commonly associated with the illness.
How is Hypochondriasis Disorder diagnosed and treated?
When examining a hypochondriacal patient, the doctor’s primary task is to decide what must be addressed.
Every attempt will be made to rule out organic disease. If the hypochondria is part of another emotional disorder, such as depression, the patient may be referred to a psychiatrist.
Unfortunately, however, most hypochondriacs refuse psychiatric help. The doctor may suspect hypochondria when complaints do not correspond to any recognized disease.
Past medical history can also be revealing, particularly if other doctors have repeatedly failed to find any evidence of illness.
That said, hypochondria is easier to diagnose than to treat. Patients gain some relief from a loving relationship with a doctor.
The family too may contribute to the treatment by providing a supportive home environment. Psychotherapy, which may help reveal the possible cause of complaints, is useful only for highly motivated patients who do not resist the idea of psychiatric treatment.
What Is The Course Of Hypochondria?
Hypochondriasis disorder tends to be chronic. Symptoms may appear in connection with the illness of a friend or family member, but their origins are hard, if not impossible, to trace. Usually, the patient’s social and professional life is disrupted.
Personal relationships often become strained because the person is preoccupied with the disease. Work may suffer due to constant absences to see a doctor. Symptoms may be alleviated, but in many cases, they persist for life.
What Can I Do Myself?
The best you can do is acknowledge you have an emotional problem. Think back and see if your life has been following a particular pattern.
Have you been going from doctor to doctor? Have they all told you there is no basis for your complaints?
Have you undergone numerous tests that revealed nothing wrong with your health? Talk openly with your doctor about your worries.
When Should I See A Doctor?
If you suffer from hypochondriasis disorder, the question is probably not when you should see a doctor, but when you should stop seeing one.
Do not become offended if the doctor says your fears are groundless. The risk lies not so much in ignoring symptoms as in making too much of them.
A person is more at risk of making their life a misery by being in a constant state of worry.
What Will The Doctor Do?
The doctor will give you a careful examination. If numerous doctors have already failed to find any grounds for your symptoms, the doctor may try to convince you that your fears are unrealistic, refer you for psychiatric treatment, or only listen and try to dissuade you from undergoing any unnecessary tests.
Is Hypochondriasis Disorder Dangerous?
However, for most hypochondriacs, the real peril lies in ruining their lives through worry and preoccupation.
How Can I Best Cope With Hypochondriasis Disorder?
Acknowledge that you have an emotional problem, and seek professional help from a psychiatrist or psychologist. Practice good health habits and learn to relax.