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.