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Welcome, medical contents search April 25, 2013
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  • Hypochondriasis is a mental disorder in which an individual believes that the physical symptoms he/she feels or imagines are due to an underlying serious medical illness, despite medical evidence to the contrary.  Further, the patient may make up illnesses that do not even exist.

  • The disorder lasts at least six months
  • Tremendous fear of illness
  • Symptoms may be vague or very specific
  • Misinterpretation of symptoms (e.g., a simple rash may be perceived as cancer)
  • Interferes with everyday life (occupational, social, and daily functioning)
  • The preoccupation with illness in the Hypochondriac is not accounted for by other psychiatric illnesses (Anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Depression, psychosis, Panic Disorder, etc.).
  • Presents itself in young adulthood or adolescence, and is as common in males as it is in females.
  • The person may go from doctor to doctor trying to validate his/her belief that there is, in reality, an underlying illness.
  • The persistence of Hypochondriacs will often lead to frequent and unnecessary medical diagnostic tests and procedures.
  • No specific medical therapy is used -- if there is a predominance of certain symptoms such as Depression, Anxiety, obsessive-compulsive symptoms, anger, or  Insomnia, then medication for the particular symptom is often prescribed.  Narcotics and other addictive medications should be given judiciously and only when needed.
  • Supportive psychotherapy and behavioral modification should be part of the treatment plan for severe cases.

more about Hypochondriasis

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