- Family history of hypochondria
- Having a serious childhood illness
- Psychiatric disorders such as depression , anxiety, or personality disorder
- Physical, sexual, or emotional abuse in childhood
- Observing violence in childhood
- Stressful experience with your own or a loved one's illness
|Chemical imbalances and traumatic life experiences may contribute to the development of hypochondria.|
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- Chronic fear of serious illness
- Chronic fear that minor symptoms are signs of a serious illness
- Many physical complaints that often change over time
- Lasts at least six months
- Causes major distress
- Interferes with social life or work
- Make many doctor visits, sometimes in the same day
- Seek repeated tests for the same symptoms
- Repeatedly research information about specific illnesses and their symptoms
- Your fear of illness lasts for at least six months
- No other psychological disorder is causing your fear
Physician Relationship and Monitoring
- Validate your distress
- Be supportive
- Direct your attention away from symptoms and focus it on functioning in daily life
- Discourage a sense of dependency and disability
- Recommend psychiatric counseling
American Counseling Association http://www.counseling.org/
American Psychiatric Association http://www.psych.org/
Canadian Mental Health Association http://www.ontario.cmha.ca/index.asp/
Canadian Psychological Association http://www.cpa.ca/
Abramowitz JS, Schwartz SA, Whiteside SP. A contemporary conceptual model of hypochondriasis. Mayo Clin Proc . 2002;77(12):1323-1330.
Antidepressant use in children, adolescents, and adults. US Food and Drug Administration website. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/InformationbyDrugClass/UCM096273 . Published May 2, 2007. Accessed December 31, 2012.
Greeven A, van Balkom AJ, Visser S, et al. Cognitive behavior therapy and paroxetine in the treatment of hypochondriasis: a randomized controlled trial (Netherlands). Am J Psychiatry . 2007;164:91-99.
Hypochondriasis. Cleveland Clinic website. Available at: http://my.clevelandclinic.org/disorders/Hypochondriasis/hic%5FHypochondriasis.aspx . Updated July 25, 2011. Accessed December 31, 2012.
Hypochondriasis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php . Updated June 1, 2011. Accessed December 31, 2012.
Psychotherapies for hypochondriasis. The Cochrane Collaboration website. Available at: http://www.cochrane.org/reviews/en/ab006520.html . Published July 8, 2009. Accessed December 31, 2012.
- Reviewer: Brian Randall, MD
- Review Date: 11/2012 -
- Update Date: 11/26/2012 -