Monday, August 22, 2016
Hypochondria is a preoccupation with a serious illness or is in fear of having a serious disease. It is an anxiety disorder that is expressed as a sign of a severe physical illness, even when there is no medical evidence to support the presence of symptoms. The patient believes the condition is caused by a physical health issue, not emotional. The name for the individual suffering from hypochondria is hypochondriac. Hypochondriacs become alarmed about any psychological or physical symptoms they detect and are convinced that they have, or about to have, or about to be diagnosed with a serious illness. It is characterized by fears that minor mental or bodily symptoms may indicate a serious illness and these fears bring constant self-examination and self-diagnosis. Hypochondriacs is a chronic condition that tends to begin in early adulthood and often persists for awhile even after the stressors are resolved. The patient honestly and innocently believe that they are suffering from a deadly disease. Cancer tops the list. The symptoms have to be experienced for at least 6 months to qualify for the diagnosis of hypochondria. A diagnosed hypochondriac does not willingly or knowingly create these symptoms. It is not a way of seeking attention from family members and friends by pretending to be ill. Their symptoms are uncontrollable. Many require constant reassurance from doctors, family or friends. This disorder can become a disabling torment for the individual, as well as, the family. Some individuals completely avoid any reminder of the illness, while others frequently visit medical facilities, sometimes obsessively, and others will never speak out. Many hypochondriacs express doubt and disbelief in the diagnosis, and report that the doctor's reassurance about an absence of a serious medical condition is unconvincing or short-lasting. No physical symptoms are felt in some cases or the symptoms are mild. Instead the person experiences, paranoia, anxiety and fear of developing a life threatening disease. Hypochondriacs can also have other psychological disorders. For example, bipolar, clinical depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, phobias and generalized anxiety disorder are all common accompanying conditions. Most likely, they have been diagnosed with one or more of these at some point in their lives. There is no cure for hypochondria. Treatment includes psychological therapy(cognitive behavioral therapy), antidepressants, which sometimes get better results than CBT, self-help and neurolinguistic programming. Some experts believe that patients can actually heal themselves since this type of mental disorder has a lot to do with anxiety. The experts feel hypochondriacs would benefit from following self-help guides and steps specifically designed with instructions to reduce anxieties and stress. Since drugs can only help in dealing with the situation, not overcoming it, some professionals suggest seeking neurolinguistic programming. This is a method that therapists use to talk you out of your obsessive thoughts and help you focus on positive things. This helps the patient not reach the advanced stages of this disorder, feeling of going insane and wanting or actually hurting themselves or those around them. The thinking here is the best way to redirect the hypochondriac's mind away from those thoughts is by the help of a therapist because this condition happens because of an attachment to the idea of becoming sick. This therapy will help the individual to gain confidence, become happier with life and overcome the anxiety, fear, guilt and anger. According to these experts, the real help begins in the hypochondriac's mind.