Hypochondria (health phobia or health anxiety) an excessive anticipation or worry about having a serious illness. Suffering individuals are called as hypochondriac. Often, it persists even after a physician has evaluated a person and reassured them that they have no underlying medical illness. Or, if there is a medical illness, it is not too serious. Main focus is on some particular symptoms like gastro-intestinal problems, palpitations, or muscle fatigue. Prevalent: Usually between the ages of 20 and 30 years, Occurring marginally more in males in contrast to other somatoform disorders which are more common in women
The following are some of the symptoms of Hypochondriasis: • fears of minor bodily symptoms may indicate a serious illness • constant self-examination • self-diagnosis • Preoccupation with one's body. • express doubt and disbelief in the doctors' diagnosis, • require constant reassurance, either from doctors, family, or friends It can be often accompanied by other psychological disorders. • Clinical depression • obsessive-compulsive disorder (also known as OCD) • phobias • somatization disorder • Generalized anxiety disorder Other Factors contributing to hypochondria • Cyberchondria is a colloquial term for hypochondria in individuals who have researched medical conditions on the Internet. The media and the Internet often contribute to hypochondria • Major disease outbreaks or predicted pandemics • Statistics regarding certain illnesses, such as cancer, • A simple suggestion of mental illness • illnesses or deaths of family members or friends • approaching the age of a parent's premature death from disease • Family studies do not show a genetic transmission of the disorder • somatization disorder and generalized anxiety disorder show the genetic pattern • Brain chemicals: serotonin and norepinephrine.
• Current research makes clear that this excessive worry can be helped by either appropriate medicine or targeted psychotherapy. • cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) • selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors • a psycho-educational “talk” therapy