Undeniably, most people worry about their health condition from time to time; in fact some live their life with serious medical conditions. In some cases, these health conditions bring excessive worries in our lives, which become overwhelmingly unbearable causing great distress as well as affecting everyday life. Such a condition is referred to as Hypercondriac. Essentially, it is an anxiety disorder that becomes expressed as a sign of a serious illness, even when there is no clinical evidence to support the presence of the illness. Notably, people with Hypochondria do not willingly create these symptoms; rather, they are unable to control the symptoms. Clinical prevalence of this condition has shown that an estimate of up to 4% or 5% of patients may be having the Hypochondria. Now let’s dive in the causes of hypochondria.
Causes of Hypochondria
Primarily, people with this health anxiety condition often have a medical condition, which causes intense worry. Such people are always focused and thinking about their physical health.
Secondly, others have medically unexplained symptoms that keep on recurring; thus, they experience an unrealistic fear of developing a serious disease despite the reassurance from a medical practitioner. For instance, a person may be sure and convinced that a brain tumor is the primary cause of his/her headache.
Next, people who have experienced a painful and stressful history such as physical or sexual abuse are more likely to have Hypochondria. Cases of past illness or death in a family or a close family member may contribute significantly.
Moreover, personality can cause Hypochondria; it is a condition where one is a worrier generally. The person is a pessimist or has a poor ability to express emotions, thus become greatly affected when faced with problems and stressful situation.
Symptoms and Causes Hypochondria include
Frequent doctor visits following a mild physical illness.
Excessive worry and anxiety of having or getting a serious illness despite medical reassurances.
Intensive self-diagnosis and habitual internet research for symptoms of an alleged medical condition.
Failure to attend to work or school and repeatedly avoiding physical contact with specific objects or situations for fear of exposure to possible illnesses.
Constant conversations about health issues.
Excessive hypochondria may result in a severe health condition and signs such as increased heart rate and sweating, a burning sensation throughout the entire body, chronic fatigue, weakening of muscles and joints, and hyperactive sensation. Moreover, one may develop a loose bladder and increased tendency to urinate. Body temperature may fluctuate or become heightened for no apparent reason. Also, one experiences respiratory discomforts such as difficulties while breathing.
Treatment for the condition
Notably, the hypochondira condition can be very difficult to treat. This is because, people with this disorder refuse or fail to believe and admit that their symptoms are as a result of a mental or emotional condition rather than physical conditions. Therefore, before any support and diagnosis, one should seek medical examination and tests such as a Hypochondria Test from a professionally trained doctor or therapist. Once it has been established that you indeed suffer from hypochondria, then you can receive a diagnosis or treatment. Some of the diagnosis methods for causes of hypochondria include the following:
Supportive Medical care
Medical consultation and advice from a trusted health care provider can efficiently help to manage a health anxiety. A doctor-patient relationship helps one to detect and closely monitor the symptoms. An individual can stay alert to any signs that might signal a real medical illness. Also, one gets a reassurance from the doctor, which prevents unnecessary tests and treatments.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
CBT is an effective treatment therapy for individuals with health anxiety. Essentially, it involves learning to change unhealthy thoughts and behaviors, and to non-judgmentally accept uncomfortable psychological and physiological experiences without trying to control and eliminate the discomfort of these unwanted thoughts, feelings and sensations by using avoidance behaviors and reassurance seeking. Trauma-focused therapy or psychotherapy may help prevent a specific psychological condition.
This involves joining a group of other people diagnosed with hypochondriasis to discuss experiences and strategies to manage the disorder and the anxiety.
Antidepressants such as selective serotonin uptake inhibitors and anti-anxiety medication can help minimize the mental anxiety condition such as depression and irrational concerns.
This involves accessing self-help guides available on the internet such as NHS Health Anxiety leaflet. The guides provide advice and exercises one can engage in; for instance, been active all day makes one get occupied and forget other stressful thought. Also, engaging in realistic and rational thinking can greatly help to prevent a hypercondriac condition.
Cause of hypochondria is still under research but some statement has been given by the researchers that cause for hypochondria may be due to some reasons. Before explaining those reasons, let us first have a look at what it is. It is a mental disorder; where the person feels that he/she is sick even for minor abnormalities in their health condition. It mainly affects the adulthood as they tend to worry a lot about health.
Doctors have been scratching their heads wondering why some people develop this disorder. The number of these patients are increasing at an alarming rate causing concerns in medical centers, clinics and hospitals, with unnecessary screenings and diagnosis performed at the expense of other people with real health issues.
The only problem is that hypochondriacs can’t help it themselves because they too are suffering from what they thought are “real” symptoms, not realizing the fact that it is simply their mind playing stricks and inflicting those signs on their body, causing them panic.
The following are some of the possible reasons that cause hypochondria.
Spending hours over internet and searching health related issues may be one of a reason for hypochondria. After knowing the symptoms of those diseases they may start to believe that they possess the symptoms of those life threatening diseases
When a family member suffers from deadly disease for a long span, it may have great impact to affect them mentally.
Death of family member/friend due to certain disease can also be a major reason for hypochondria. Being in such an environment make them to feel that they will die even though they are healthy.
Stress mainly arises due to heavy work load it result in headache, lack of concentration in work. Probably negative thoughts will be arisen in mind and it tends them to feel they have some health issues.
Anxiety can also be a major cause for hypochondria. In day today life the people don’t have the reason why they are anxious, and too stressed. Without knowingly signs of anxiety has become part of their life and greatly affects the social life of people and work.
Watching television programs related to health issues may also trigger the health anxiety.
Developing unreasonable thoughts and fears related to health may increases the level of depression. This is known as obsessive compulsive disorder.
There is no other ways to prevent hypochondria, because mental ability of a person and the surrounding environment are the major reason for the cause of hypochondria. The fears of hypochondriacs are endless even if they had a simple cough causing slight pain in their lungs, they’ll think that the pain is due to lung cancer. So it is better to develop an understanding and healthy environment where they can make them to feel completely relax. Actually it’s too hard to recover from hypochondria because they have to overcome several years of fear and discomfort. By actively engaging them in some activities we can however reduce the severity of such symptoms.
The following are some of the symptoms of hypochondria. Noticing hypochondria at early stage is better because treatment at later stage is too worse and difficult. But person who effectively engaged in treatment can overcome these symptoms at ease.
Persons with hypochondria usually have self check at home. They used to periodically monitor their pulse rate, blood pressure rate, and temperature using their own home medical devices. While self check they may find both positive and negative signs about their health condition. But they will think only about their negatives and keep worrying. And they may try for their own home/herbal remedies at home.
Frequent Consultation with Doctors
Hypochondriacs have frequent visit to doctors to consult about their health condition eventhough they are healthy. They usually seek assurance about their health condition from someone; it may be family members or friends. But reassuring about their health condition is only a temporary solution because they won’t get satisfied with our suggestions. Just to get reassurance they switch to various doctors and request them for unwanted test and surgery such as ECG, Biopsy, and EEG and so on. They will be just addicted to medical test and continue to worry even after consulting the doctor.
Research on Health Issues
Searching about health issues over internet is not a major concern but when it crosses a limit is a problem. Hypochondriacs used to search about the symptoms of certain diseases over internet and think they have such problems. They spend most of their time in searching about the recent diseases, their symptoms and to confirm about their fears.
A person who worries a lot is not hypochondriacs. Hypochondriacs continuously talk about their health issues and fear even for some minor symptoms. They feel so depressed and stressed about their health condition. These problems must be noticed at the earlier stage or it may affect their social life. They couldn’t concentrate in their work, can’t eat properly thus it may result in weight loss and other health disorders. The worse case among this is, if they refuse to visit a doctor for a checkup. Because they don’t even have such will power to hear about their health condition.
If you find any of your friends or relatives with such symptoms you can have an open discussion with them about the concerns you have noticed in them. And you can support them by fixing an appointment with a well known mental health provider.
There are many signs shown when a person is a hypochondriac because they will usual want to make their case known. These people are so anxious about their wellbeing that they will not hesitate to ask others in order to seek confirmation. The only problem is though no matter what other people say, they won’t listen and will insist that they have a certain health issue.
The person who suffers from hypochondria may address any of these following signs or symptoms. If you do spot any of them and are quite certain, then it’s better to consult a doctor at an early stage before the condition gets worse. So if any of your friends/ family members with shows certain signs, please help them to seek help or consult with a mental health expert.
Frequent visit to health related websites.
Goggling own symptoms regularly
Frequent consultation with doctor
Constant worry about health
Lack of Concentration in work
Stay away from enjoying with friends/family
Mostly Conversation topic is about health.
Suffers from anxiety /Depression
Reassurance can’t calm them from their fears.
Even feel for headache, runny nose, abdominal pain, and cough.
Loss of appetite
Visit multiple doctors for assurance about their health condition.
Less capability to tolerate pain.
Fear of impending doom/ Fear of death.
Loss of sensation in certain part of the body.
Request for test and surgery.
Self test at home.
Unlike many other mental related illnesses, identifying hypochondria really isn’t that hard because there are usually many signs. Support is very important, so when you see someone who may be a victim of health anxiety, but in reality are perfectly healthy, especially after numerous affirmation by doctors. Don’t make fun of them and instead show your love, support, and most importantly patience because it’s not easy for them to accept they may have mental problems.
Hyperchondria can be said to be an actual state of mind. It’s a mere ignorance which you show to your own health conditions. An individual undergoing this state of mind can be said as hypercondriac. Often hypercondriac people think that they are all well even after a physician has evaluated about symptoms of an underlying diseases or illness. Many hypercondriac do not focus on particular symptoms and do not worry of the symptoms. They want to get away from stress.
Hypercondria is a stubborn belief that one is healthy even when there is medical evidence to support the presence of an illness or symptoms indicating one has such an illness. The persistence convictions that one is never or is likely to never become ill, often involving medical evidence to the contrary.
A hypercondriac is one who thinks there is nothing wrong with them despite medical evidence that they got symptoms of a disease. They don’t believe they are ill, they are.
Hypercondriac can be considered as a positive state of mind as they do not undergo any kind of mental distress of getting ill. The mental state of a person can keep himself or herself safe from harmful condition if they are really suffering from a deadfall disease. Unlike a hypochondriac person is always worried about diseases, which may lead to unwanted mental anxiety and distress; these condition rather will make a person ill finally.
Hypercondriac is a positive sense that they are healthy, these may never cause any worries to them. But these can become adverse if proper treatment for the illness is not taken at the right time. As hypercondriac individual considers himself or herself to be healthy so they ignore the symptoms and causes of the illness and try to lead a peaceful life. A person may have some kind of problems in cardiac or digestive organs which may be medically proved but he or she reassures themselves of being fit.
Hypercondriac is a stubborn belief that one is healthy even when there is medical evidence to support the presence of an illness or symptoms indicating one has such an illness. A hypercondriac person may not take their illness as a serious one they need all is to live a peaceful and better life. In spite of having dreadful disease they ignore each and everything related to their health. One who thinks there is nothing wrong with them despite of medical evidence that they have got symptoms of diseases. They don’t worry or cry over any reasons of illness rather they ignore the presence of any kind of diseases they have, they even don’t find time to take proper medication for the symptoms. For them they are always healthy.
Hypercondriac symptoms need to be considered serious, a person should always find time to have a look at their own health condition, even if the expenditure is more for treatment of disorders, it doesn’t matter as wealth can be easily regained but not the health.