Symptoms of Hypochondria | Getting Illness Frequently ?

Hypochondria are excessive worry or feeling of being sick. The people who have anxiety that they are constantly ill are called Hypochondriacs. Lets know the symptoms and signs of hypochondria from the expert psychologist of My Fit Brain.

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Symptoms of Hypochondria | Getting Illness Frequently?

Hypochondria is an anxiety condition that refers to a health concern and people suffering from this have a fear of illness or injury. They strongly believe that they have a life-threatening or serious illness and they are usually not convinced and their obsessive anxiety continues.

They find it difficult to cope with their everyday lives and they have the fear of getting sick, even when they are in good health. They experience anxiety that is associated with a serious, specific illness that can disrupt their life. This disorder is a psychological response that is not about the absence or presence of the disease but it is the feeling that they are sicker than they really are.

The following are some facts about Hypochondria:

  1. The main symptom of hypochondria is excessive concern about health.
  2. The reasons may vary and may be related to other health conditions.
  3. This is a temporary experience for most people

What are the symptoms of Hypochondria 

a sick boy sitting on the bed covering himself in blanket

The symptoms of this disease are the following:

  1. To suffer or have a serious illness or health condition
  2. Worrying about the physical sensations or minor symptoms mean you have a serious illness.
  3. Easily concerned about your health status
  4. Little or no assurance was found from the results of the doctor's visit or negative test
  5. Worrying about your risk of developing a specific medical condition or medical condition as it runs in your family
  6. Getting so worried about potential illnesses that it is difficult for you to work
  7. Checking the body repeatedly for signs of illness or disease
  8. Making frequent medical appointments for reassurance - or avoiding medical care for fear of discovering a serious illness
  9. Avoiding people, or activities for fear of health risks
  10. Constantly talking about your health and potential illnesses.
  11. Often searching the internet for symptoms or potential illnesses

What are the risk factors of Hypochondria 

a women sleeping on couch

Hypochondriasis typically begins in young adults, sometimes in middle-aged people, and worsens as they get older. 

In an elderly person, fear of forgetting their past, or total memory loss is often their primary fear. The following are the risk factors for this:

  1. Huge burden and stress
  2. Time of major life stress
  3. History of abuse as a child
  4. A prominent personality feature of persistent worrying
  5. Browsing the topics associated with health and disease on the internet 
  6. Risk of a serious illness that turns out not to be serious
  7. Personality traits, such as being an inhibitor toward having a tendency

What are complications for Hypochondria 

Hypochondria is associated with the following:

  1. Problems in daily life, possibly also due to disability
  2. Relationship or family problems because extreme anxiety can disappoint others
  3. Financial issues due to excessive health care visits 
  4. Another mental health disorder, such as somatic symptom disorder, other anxiety disorder, depression, or a personality disorder 
  5. Work-related performance issues or extreme absences

What are the causes of Hypochondria

Hypochondria can be severe for many people but what is the reason is not completely known. The following are some  potential causes for hypochondria:

History of Physical and Sexual Abuse

Observing or experiencing physical and sexual abuse, especially as a child, can have an increased meaning of physical vulnerability. This can cause a person to suspect serious health problems when they are not present. A history of abuse can also cause a person to feel a sense of insecurity in their interpersonal engagement, which causes them to engage in compensatory caring behaviors. 

Difficulty in Expressing Emotions

Some people experience difficulties expressing their feelings due to painful past experiences that led them to emotionally distance themselves from others. They feel that creating concern about their potential health problems is the only way to emotionally connect with others. 

Serious Illnesses or Deaths of Family Members or Friends 

Critically ill friends or family members can create an environment mainly for a child, that attention and love are directly linked to the illness. In view of this, the child may believe that they need to become ill in order to love and pay attention and continue to hold this belief in adulthood even unknowingly. When in a person's life, a close family member or friend dies then the grief related to death triggers fear about his own health.

Google Syndrome

Search engines can contribute to hypochondria because in this way people find that they have strange feelings/experiences. Then they find that they are associated with a serious illness or begin to believe that they may have a bad disease.

What is the treatment for Hypochondria 

a man holding his head sitting on bed-  treatment for hypochondria

Treatment depends on how deeply the patient is affected by hypochondriasis and ultimately designs therapy to help them overcome anxiety so that they can lead more productive lives.

The following treatments can be used to treat Hypochondria:

1. Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy is the most common treatment for Hypochondria specifically cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). It teaches you skills to manage your disorder and thus it is very effective in the treatment of health anxiety.

2. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT is also known as psychotherapy or talk therapy, which aims to allow the patient to speak freely about their symptoms and gain insight into their irrational thinking so that they can reduce anxiety and easily overcome various conditions. The following are some benefits of CBT

  1. Identifying your health anxiety worries and beliefs
  2. Learning to stop avoiding situations and activities 
  3. Increases your functioning at home, work, or school

Sometimes other forms of psychotherapy such as exposure therapy and behavioral stress management are also used to treat this disease.

3. Medications

Although psychotherapy is the main treatment used to improve your condition, yet your doctor may recommend medications if you don't respond to psychotherapy.  

Prescription Medications: In addition to CBT, doctors also give antidepressants and anxiolytic drugs to the patient, which not only modulate neurotransmitter activity in the brain but also enhance mood and memory for their better functioning.

Lifestyle Modifications: Adhering to a balanced diet, engaging in daily physical exercise, as well as clarifying habits such as drinking and smoking, helps improve hypochondriac patient's overall health, thus guaranteeing complete healing. 


Finally, I can say that Hypochondria is a mental health disorder that usually begins in early adulthood and can show after the person or someone they know has passed through disease or lost someone in a serious medical condition. Many hypochondriacs suffer from co-existing psychiatric disorders such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), major depression, and panic disorder. 

Symptoms of hypochondria vary on many factors such as stress, age, and whether the person is already a cause of extreme anxiety

About Author
Tanishka Pathak

Tanishka Pathak

Counselor Noida, India
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Tanishka Pathak

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Counselor, Counseling Psychologist Noida, India

Area Of Expertise : Child Counseling, Couple Counseling, Marital Counselling, Adolescent Counselling, Mental Health, Family Counseling

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