Hypochondria is referred to as Illness anxiety disorder or health anxiety. Hypochondria is the mental state of an individual that worries excessively that s/he either is or may become severely sick. Such a person may not show any physical symptoms to trigger this condition.

Hypochondria: The individual may perceive as signs of serious disease sensations that are perfectly normal. It may also be an exaggerated representation of the existence of just minor symptoms. Usually, a physician’s complete medical exam demonstrates no serious medical condition remotely corresponding to the patient’s perception of illness.

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It is important to emphasize that it is an excessive anxiety about an illness and not the physical signs and symptoms indicative of a particular disease that causes severe distress in these patients. Initially, there may be a logical basis for being concerned. For instance, if you are at risk of developing some type of disease, it is not illogical to think of the prospect of developing the disease. However, it is not normal to become so excessively consumed by the idea of having an illness that you perceive any sensation possibly or remotely associated with the disease as a severe state of the disease. For instance, a sporadic case migraine may be seen as an advanced state of brain tumor. In this situation, a hypochondriac could rush to the emergency department of a nearby hospital and demand a CT scan of the head. This is not to be confused with the state of a medical student who reasons they may have a disease because of some symptoms or signs related to a disease they have just studied, a mild condition sometimes referred to as “medical schoolitis”.

A Hypochondriac condition may vary in severity with stress and may be alleviated by psychological counseling and medication.

Resources to learn more about hypochondria

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