Everyone has a friend who values ​​their health more than anything else, or maybe you are that friend. In most cases, these individuals go to the gym often, eat nutritious food, and talk about listening to their bodies. But for a hypochondriac, these signs are exaggerated, they panic over every minor pain thinking it could be the beginning of some horrendous illness.

“Hypochondria” is not a term that the medical community uses anymore because it combines two similar but different conditions. One is called illness anxiety disorder, which is when a person obsessively worries that they are or will become ill, usually without any symptoms and the other is a related condition called somatic symptom disorder. People who fall into this category actually have persistent symptoms, but medical tests offer no explanation.

Signs that you may be a hypochondriac

Most common signs and symptoms that can be experienced:

  • Preoccupation with a serious illness for at least 6 months or more.
  • Misinterpreting the body’s normal symptoms and tending to aggravate them.
  • Persistence of fear of illness despite the assurance of health status by health care providers.
  • Difficulty keeping a job, maintaining relationships, and performing daily activities due to concerns arising from illnesses in pregnancy.

Their lives revolve around the doctor

Some people worry in a normal way, but it turns into hypochondria when they start planning their entire lives around doctor’s appointments. Their belief that something is truly wrong often encourages them to return, even when their doctor insists that everything is fine.

Diseases “magnify”

They assume that each disease is more serious than it really is. Generally, a hypochondriac does not have any symptoms, his suspicion of illness is something that is only in his mind, but when he comes to feel some normal condition, such as a small cough, headache, he is scared to such an extent that he may believe that his cough It is due to a bronchial disease or that his head hurts due to a brain tumor, at this point his ailments are exaggerated.

They are reported incorrectly

They spend hours researching diseases and ailments on the internet and associating each symptom with something they do not have but imagine, thus claiming many diseases that they do not suffer from.

Who is most at risk for it?

The following factors increase the risk of developing hypochondriasis:

  • Family history of hypochondriasis.
  • Recent stressful event (for example, the death of a close friend or family member).
  • Serious childhood illness.
  • Mental disorders, such as anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, personality disorders, and depression.

If you present some of these symptoms or signs and you feel that you are not free due to fear or anxiety caused by possible illnesses that you may suffer or that the symptoms worsen, the most advisable thing would be to receive a professional treatment that can help you lower the anxiety and find a balance. Taking back control of your life will allow you to better analyze the possible situations that really make up your life.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses.He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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