Hypochondriasis: Living in Fear of One’s Body


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Hypochondriasis, also known as hypochondria or health anxiety, is not a new ailment. Folks have been worrying over fleeting pains and aches for centuries. The term hypochondria was coined by the ancient Greeks and literally means, “beneath the ribs.” The Greeks believed the majority of the phantom symptoms comes from that section of the body.

When met with a patient experiencing hypochondria, doctors are put in a hard position. They need to decide if the person is imagining his ailments or whether he could be really ill. Hypochondriacs go to the doctor frequently, becoming in the doctor’s eyes something comparable to the boy who cried wolf. The thing is that folks with hypochondria do get sick occasionally, just like everybody else, so doctors must take every complaint seriously. This puts a tax on medical care system as unnecessary tests and exams are performed.

However, placing blame on the shoulder of hypochondriacs isn’t the solution. They have problems with an extremely real condition they can’t control. Doctors who brush them off often make matters worse, because the patient feels he isn’t being heard. It is necessary for primary care physicians to possess patience and recognize that often just hearing a patient’s concerns can alleviate a great deal of the anxiety she or he feels.

While some individuals may joke about hypochondria, this is a serious disorder. For all those with health anxiety, every headache is really a brain tumor, every cough is lung cancer, every sore throat is throat cancer, every skin mark is skin cancer, every twitch is multiple sclerosis. Plenty of hypochondriacs be worried about having the most unfortunate diseases such as for example AIDS, even though they don’t really have the risk factors.

While this is a good thing to understand any changes to the body, being too aware can detract from one’s standard of living. The strain of always fretting about sickness and death could make life miserable. People who have this disorder never reach appreciate their a healthy body since they never believe they’re healthy.

For people that have family who have problems with this condition, it is necessary never to downplay or belittle their complaints. Often people will tell a hypochondriac that he / she is “exaggerating” or “being melodramatic.” What friends and family don’t understand is that the individual does indeed have a sickness: hypochondria.

There is help you there for sufferers and themselves. With medicine, such as for example cognitive therapy or anti-anxiety medication, people who have hypochondria need not live the others of these lives in concern with illness. With help, they’ll once again have the ability to enjoy the a healthy body they are so afraid of losing.