The hypochondria is a curious disorder psychological nature , which is characterized by an obsession, worry or intense fear to suffer any serious illness or death may be at risk . Generally, a hypochondriac person has the conviction that they are suffering from a disease, based on their own criteria and taking into account the somatic symptoms that they present.
There are many people who worry about their health and do not have to have hypochondria, to be diagnosed they have to present the following signs, which affect both their personal life, as well as social, work, etc., and present the symptoms for what less for a minimum of six months.
- The worry and the idea of suffering from a disease continues despite the denials of the doctor or health professional.
- The situation and the obsession negatively affect the daily life of the person, in any of its areas.
- It depends on the person, visits to the doctor increase due to concern or decrease due to fear of being diagnosed with something serious
- They continuously talk about health issues and seek help or opinion in internet forums, google, wikipedia, etc.
Curiosities about hypochondria
To go deeper into this topic, from Bekia we leave you a series of five curiosities that may be interesting about hypochondria, since it is a topic that is not known in depth in today’s society.
- The origin of hypochondria : A curious fact about this disease is its possible origin, since despite not being very clear, it is believed that this may be genetic, being transmitted from parents to children within the same family environment. Therefore, it is very common to see mothers and children with this condition.However, there are many specialists who give another answer to this question, and affirm that this disorder is learned, since the way of interpreting the sensations of illness is due to learning, generally family or social.
- Depression and hypochondria : After several studies, it has been concluded that depression is often associated with this disorder, one of them, the best known, was carried out in Japan, resulting in that of 86 depression patients, 57 % of them suffered hypochondriacal symptoms.
- Visits to the doctor do not reassure them : As we have said before, a person who suffers from hypochondria, generally normal, at the slightest sign of being suffering from any symptoms of illness, goes to a health professional. But the doctor’s refusals about his imaginary illness do not reassure him, it does not take away the worry that the doctor tells them that everything is fine.
- You stop visiting the doctor : In relation to the curious fact that we have said above, it does not always happen that way, on other occasions the person stops going to the doctor and health specialists for extreme fear that it is really a disease serious what they suffer. The danger of this fact lies in the fact that when serious symptoms are really suffered, they are not treated correctly or on time.
- They somatize the symptoms : Another curious fact is that on many occasions the disease begins in your head, as an idea of being able to suffer it, fear, obsession, etc., based on a general symptom, such as a headache, a stomachache , cough, tiredness, etc. After feeling this symptom, the person begins to think that it is something more serious, gets an idea of the disease and begins to suffer the symptoms psychologically. In addition, worry, anxiety, stress, fear, etc., are somatized and become physical symptoms, such as fatigue, general malaise, headaches, muscle pain, etc.
How do I act if I think I have hypochondria?
In the first place, it is important that you take into account the symptoms to know whether or not you may be suffering from this disorder, however you must bear in mind that these are very relative and on many occasions people experience it differently. Some of them can be:
- Being afraid or overly concerned about suffering from illness.
- Being constantly afraid of dying from an illness or being diagnosed with it.
- You get scared and feel very anxious when you see that something has changed in your body, such as a mole, a spot, cough, etc. and you think it is something serious.
- You check yourself very often for signs that indicate that you have a disease
- You obsessively look for information, whether in books, google, etc., to find out about a disease and if you could suffer from it.
- You ask for opinion or advice from your friends, family, doctors, etc; about whether you might be suffering from a serious illness. In turn, you often talk about the subject with those around you.
- You go to the doctor repeatedly to assess your state of health and even though he tells you that everything is correct, you still feel sick and uneasy.
What do you do if a family member is a hypochondriac?
If you consider that someone in your environment may be suffering from this disorder, it is advisable to talk to him calmly, explain your concern and the reasons that have led you to think that, make him see that he should go to a specialist or a psychologist so that analyze your case. When older, it is advisable that you behave with him in the following ways:
- Avoid talking about the subject and if he brings it up, try to change or divert it as quickly as possible, but without hurting his feelings.
- Avoid answering the questions that cause insecurity, such as: Could this be something serious? Could this disease be happening to me? Is it dangerous?
- Give you information that reassures you and prevents the thought of illness from getting worse.
Is there a treatment for this disorder?
To date, the only known treatment for hypochondria is brief strategic therapy , with which everything the person does and feels is analyzed to find an adequate solution and progressively decrease the intensity of the symptoms. On some occasions this type of therapy is accompanied by medication , with which the anxiety caused by the fear of the disease will be calmed and obsessive behaviors will be reduced.