Health Anxiety (Hypochondria)

Anxiety about one’s health is a very common form of anxiety that often goes undetected. Often referred to as hypochondria, health anxiety is particularly difficult because it is sometimes hard to tell if the sufferer is simply being precautious about his or her health or if the sufferer is being irrational.

A good way to differentiate someone who suffers from health anxiety from simply being precautious is that a normal person will feel reassured if the doctor tells them nothing is in fact wrong with him, whereas a sufferer of health anxiety will continue to try to figure out all of the possible maladies and illnesses he or she could possibly have.

It is very important for someone who repeatedly suffers from health anxiety to not surf the Internet too much about diseases. While a site like webmd.com may be helpful for most people, someone with health anxiety will worry incessently about all of the possible diseases he or she could have. The person will worry to the point where he or she cannot become funcitonal in day to day life.

Health anxiety can be difficult to treat. Doctors often prescribe anti-depressants, which help with the situation. The patient may eventually become ‘convinced’ that nothing is in fact wrong with them.