Bipolar Central
Devoted to Helping Those Living
with Bipolar Disorder

Click Here for Your Free Bipolar DVD
Home | About Bipolar Disorder | About David Oliver | Bipolar Articles/Stories | Bipolar Success Stories | Blogs and Podcast | Catalog | Contact | Current Bipolar News David Oliver In the News | Donate | Events | FAQ's | FREE Resources | Health Directory | Other Illnesses | Recommended Sites | Site Map | Speaking | Testimonials
FOLLOW US!
Simple yet effective strategies to cope with your loved one.

Hypochondria (Hypochondriasis)

Hypochondria, also called Hypochondriasis, is a somatic disorder that is characterized by the belief that the patient has one or more serious medical conditions. Patients will misinterpret physical symptoms as a sign of serious disease, and persist in this belief in spite of reassurance from doctors. They exhibit preoccupation with these symptoms, though they are not delusional. This preoccupation causes social and occupational impairment. A patient may find a mark on their skin and become convinced that it is cancerous, or hear normal digestive sounds and think he/she has a serious stomach disorder or illness. Patients with hypochondriasis are often concerned about a specific organs or illnesses, like heart disease or stomach cancer. Patients with this disorder may admit their fears are exaggerated, but they persist in the belief that they are ill. Hypochondriacs go from doctor to doctor, trying to find a doctor that will confirm their illness. The focus of the patient’s preoccupation with perceived illness is typically the benefit of the attention that illness brings to them. Family, friends, co-workers and doctors all give them attention and support, and the patient is relieved from day-to-day responsibilities, though the patient is rarely aware of this motivation.

The hypochondriac is not pretending. Rather, he/she truly believes the illness is real and actually feels ill. Somatic symptoms can become more intense after a specific event like the death of a family member or a divorce. The disorder often starts in young adulthood, and it can be chronic, lasting for many years. Patients may be predisposed to this order by a prior trauma or illness from childhood, and the disorder can run in families, though it is unclear whether it is hereditary or simply a learned behavior. Hypochondriacal symptoms are often associated with other mental disorders, including depression and schizophrenia. Hypochondriasis may occur in episodes lasting months or years with remission for equally long periods.

What are the symptoms?

Because hypochondriac patients feel and exhibit physical symptoms of disease or illness, many of the signs of this disorder are in physical complaints that cannot be attributed to a true or specific illness by thorough testing and medical examination.

Primary Symptoms of Hypochondria

  • Patient is preoccupied with illness or fear of illness
  • Patient has persistent, unqualified concerns about health (not appearance) but is not delusional
  • Appropriate, thorough medical exam and testing does not reassure the patient that they are well
  • Patient may have associated depression or suffer from schizophrenia, organic brain syndrome, or dysthymic disorder, panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder
  • Patient misses work or social events and exhibits impairment in these areas because of ‘perceived’ illnesses
  • Patient seeks advice of many doctors, going from one to another, to find one that will diagnose disease or illness
  • Symptoms seem to shift and change and are often non-specific or lack detail
  • Symptoms last for at least six months

How is it diagnosed and treated?

Because the patient presents with physical complaints, doctors must first perform a thorough physical examination with appropriate blood tests, x-rays and other tests to rule out or verify their physical complaints. Since accompanying depression and other mental disorders may be coincident, the patient may also undergo a mental evaluation.

Real disease and illness is often overlooked in diagnosed hypochondriacs, because their complaints were previously unfounded, so it is important that the doctor review all possible causes for symptoms before ruling out a true disease or disorder.

Treatment(s) can include:

  • Medication, if appropriate: Antidepressants, anti-anxiety medication or antipsychotic medication in severe cases
  • Psychotherapy if appropriate
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Index of Articles

Statistics

1% to 14% of patients examined for health problems, suffer from Hypochondria. 10-20% of people who are healthy and 45% of people without major psychiatric disorders have intermittent, unfounded worry about illness.

In the primary care setting the prevalence of Hypochondriac patients ranges from 0.8-4.5%. 88% of patients with hypochondriasis have one or more concurrent disorders; the most common is generalized anxiety disorder (71%), followed by dysthymic disorder (45.2%), and major depression (42.9%). Patients suffering with concurrent somatization disorders are estimated at 21.4% and 16.7% for those with concurrent panic disorder.

Men and women are equally likely to suffer from Hypochondriasis.

1/3 of Hypochondriac experience significant improvement in their condition with treatment.

Hypochondriasis can start at any age, but it is most commonly diagnosed in early adulthood.

In the U.S., Hypochondria causes over $20 billion a year in unnecessary medical procedures and examinations.

If you are in a crisis please call:
1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433) or
1-800-273-TALK (8255)


Search Bipolar Central


FREE Bipolar News,
Tips, Tricks and Secrets
Name:
Email:
Please Select:
  Please describe your situation:

Loved One With Bipolar Disorder?
Discover How to Help Your Loved One Live with Bipolar Disorder

Do You Have Bipolar Disorder?
Learn the Secrets to Living with Bipolar Disorder

Child With Bipolar Disorder?
Learn How to REALLY Help

Dating Someone With Bipolar?
Secrets to a Successful Relationship

Marrying Someone With Bipolar?
Learn How to Support Your Spouse

Need Money Because of Bipolar Disorder?
Learn How to Be Successful

Drug Addiction and Bipolar Disorder
Secrets to Beating Drug Addiction

Need Affordable Health Insurance?
Information You Can't Live Without If You Have Bipolar Disorder

In Debt Because of Bipolar Disorder?
Get out of debt fast!

Improve Your Emotional Health
Reduce Your Stress Levels and Increase Your Brain Power



This Week's Bipolar News

Woman Sentenced to Seven Years In Prison For Death of UF Student
wuft
... Corps, events that Sager said have led her to suffer from bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, alcohol abuse and an eating disorder.

Stronger Neural Connections May Trump Genetic Risk for Bipolar Disorder/a>
the-scientist.com
Bipolar disorder often runs in families, but genetics alone don't determine whether one develops the disease, says Sophia Frangou of the Icahn ...

Understanding bipolar
swinburne
ORBIT compares two, five-week, online interventions designed to improve quality of life for people who experience bipolar disorder. The interventions ...

Click here for all Bipolar News.

RSS Feed

Featured Article:

The Warning Signs Of An Impending Bipolar Disorder Manic Episode

Bipolar disorder - as the name implies - involves two distinct set of symptoms. One set throws the individual down into the depths of a massive depression. The other places the individual who suffers with bipolar disorder at the top of a peak manic episode.

Most everyone can eventually recognize the warning signs of an impending depressive episode related to bipolar disorder. More likely than not, individuals with bipolar disorder try very hard to avoid it.

However, for many individuals with bipolar disorder, it's more difficult to recognize the signs of an impending manic episode. After all, a manic episode of bipolar disorder can be mistaken in some cases - especially in the very early formation -- for the lifting of the corresponding mood swing of the depression.

Click here to read the entire article

Stop Panic Attacks

Fat Burning Secret

Home | About Bipolar Disorder | About David Oliver | Bipolar Articles/Stories | Bipolar Success Stories | Blogs and Podcast | Catalog | Contact | Current Bipolar News
David Oliver In the News | Donate | Events | FAQ's | FREE Resources | Health Directory | Other Illnesses | Recommended Sites | Site Map | Speaking | Testimonials
The information contained on this web page is not meant to provide medical advice.
Specific medical advice should be obtained from a qualified and licensed health-care practitioner.
There is no warranty that the information is free from all errors and omissions or that it meets any particular standard.

Terms of Service | Privacy Policy

Copyright 2004- 2017 , BipolarCentral.com