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Hypochondria is a painful condition that is manifested by a person’s fear of getting sick with any dangerous disease. People suffering from hypochondria tend to “dig” into themselves, look for and find alarming symptoms in themselves, and do not trust the opinion of doctors who are trying to dissuade them.

A characteristic feature of a hypochondriac is that he believes that he is ill with one disease, then another.

Often, a hypochondriac has one or another background disease, but he always exaggerates its manifestations or tries to find additional diseases that are more severe.

A skeptical attitude towards the complaints of a hypochondriac is developed in society, rarely anyone takes him seriously. However, hypochondria is not as harmless as it seems. Hypochondria often accompanies depression.

Hypochondriacs most often complain about the heart, gastrointestinal tract, brain and reproductive system.

Why can hypochondriac fears materialize?

The activity of internal organs is influenced by two parts of the nervous system. One of them is the autonomic nervous system, it is sensitive to manifestations in the emotional sphere.

Under the influence of the vegetative systemwhich in a hypochondriac is constantly influenced by fear and anxiety, can really upset the work of internal organswhich is often manifested by gastrointestinal disorders, a feeling of pressure and pain in the heart, headaches, and sexual dysfunction.

Read more: Causes and treatment of hypochondria

Psychologists say:

That hypochondria occurs in people who are overly critical of themselves, have low self-esteem, often experience anger and anxiety, and seek addiction.

According to another opinion, hypochondria is a kind of defense mechanism, an attempt to arouse pity and support from others by taking on the role of a seriously ill person.

Other scientists believe that people with hypochondriacal disorders have an increased pain sensitivity. And ordinary sensations seem to them painful and pathological.


Symptomatic drug therapy may exacerbate somatic symptomsas it will strengthen the hypochondriac’s conviction in his illness.

Psychotherapy is most commonly used to treat hypochondriacal disorders. When comorbid depression is treated, hypochondria usually goes away on its own.

According to one of the methods, patients are invited to change roles daily, trying on various images: a tree, a child, a fireman, and so on. Getting used to the image, the hypochondriac learns to experience other emotions, is distracted from focusing on his own health.

Timely psychological treatment helps to avoid unnecessary therapeutic and surgical interventions.

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