Hypochondria: how to overcome physical symptoms

The main symptom is apprehension related to common bodily sensations , such as a noise in the stomach after meals, or small injuries, such as scratches or purplish marks on the skin. From this initial concern, the hypochondriac person experiences a series of symptoms related to anxiety.

Hypochondria is a serious condition that makes you believe you have a disease. Do you know when we notice a different spot on our skin or we realize that that annoying cough is taking time to pass and we run to look on the internet for what it could be?

The common thing is to come across diseases that have symptoms much more serious than ours. It’s okay to be anxious for a moment right after reading some websites, considering whether any of those diseases is a possibility. If your health anxiety lingers, however, it is a sign that you may be a hypochondriac.

What is hypochondria?

The hypochondriac person believes that he is seriously ill, even without having consulted a doctor for a diagnosis. She worries too much about the symptoms she may have and her health, visiting doctors for routine check-ups.

This apprehension is associated with a deep fear of death . Any malaise is capable of arousing the anxiety associated with a premature end of life. While receiving a positive response from doctors about his health during an appointment, the hypochondriac remains concerned until the next reason to visit the hospital appears.

In summary, it is an irrational health concern that is associated with anxiety. The symptoms of hypochondria are very similar to those of anxiety and those of panic syndrome , a characteristic that makes this pathology difficult to diagnose.

What causes hypochondria?

There are many paths that can lead to a diagnosis of this condition, so it is not possible to pinpoint a specific cause for all hypochondriacs.

However, negative and traumatic childhood experiences , serious family illnesses , a history of anxiety disorder, death of a loved one, having suffered from a serious illness in the past are considered risk factors.

It is also believed that people neglected by the family unconsciously end up using the exaggerated preoccupation with illness to draw attention and achieve the desired affection, even if it is from doctors, nurses and unknown people.

What are the most notable symptoms and how to deal with them?

The main symptom is apprehension related to common bodily sensations , such as a noise in the stomach after meals, or small injuries, such as scratches or purplish marks on the skin. From this initial concern, the hypochondriac person experiences a series of symptoms related to anxiety.

Excessive health concerns

Hypochondria leads the individual to look for signs of possible illnesses in his body and to consider whether the symptoms of a cold can progress to an incurable illness.

The concern is so great that the person already begins to imagine how illness X will weaken their current health condition. If there is an outbreak of any disease, the hypochondriac runs to check the symptoms to check if he does not have it and is apprehensive about the possibility of being infected.

How to cope: establish rules for using your time online. Do not search for serious or rare symptoms or diseases, regardless of whether you are completely healthy or not. Think logically and look at your lifestyle. It is likely that you are far from being affected by an outbreak. If you are very suspicious, make an appointment with your doctor.

Social isolation for fear of contamination

The person gradually begins to distance himself from social groups and public places for fear of contracting a disease. After a while, this habit is consolidated and the hypochondriac stays most of the time at home, leaving only for work or study or other essential commitments. This symptom is an indication that hypochondria is dominating the individual’s life.

How to cope: understand that the outside world is not dangerous, but necessary for your survival and mental health . Force yourself to leave the house, even if it is to go to the bakery on the corner. Invite friends to encourage you and ask them to assure you that you will not be sick just by taking a walk around the neighborhood. If you are very afraid, seek help online .

Suspect doctors and health professionals

The doctor has already given the diagnosis. Still, you are afraid and distrust your words. Proceed to the emergency room the next day. There, nurses confirm the normality of your vital signs or, if necessary, give you a remedy to relieve the symptom you feel, confirming that it is nothing serious. But you still don’t believe. Finally, he seeks three more doctors to listen to him.

How to cope: this is anxiety speaking. Instead of listening to qualified and experienced professionals, you prefer to fantasize about possible disease scenarios. This way of thinking only contributes to making you even more concerned, do you agree? Tell yourself that the doctor is correct. If the exams show no abnormalities and you feel good, there is nothing to fear!

Constant focus on health

Contrary to what many people think, the hypochondriac does not take care of his health excessively on a daily basis. He just cares a lot about her. Some habits to prevent germ contamination, such as carrying alcohol gel in the bag and washing your hands constantly, can be created. However, the person takes care of health in the same way that a non-hypochondriac would.

Still, it is common to talk and think often about diseases and ways of taking care of health, although these are not applied in real life. There are no conversations about hobbies, what happened on TV yesterday, if it is going to rain tomorrow or any other more casual matter. The person’s life ends up revolving around avoiding pathologies.

How to deal: try to do something out of the ordinary. Enroll in a course or visit a local support group. It may even be a virtual support group, found on social networks . Pay more attention to activities and subjects you like and try to fill your head with information related to them. As soon as a health concern arises, focus on another topic to scare it off. Forget your existence altogether. Another tip is to stay away from TV programs and publications focused on the health area to avoid anxiety.

Stress

Staying in a constant state of alert raises the stress levels in our body. This ends up succumbing to our harmful way of thinking and real health problems start to appear. This is how the hypochondriac person really gets sick. The quality of your thoughts and emotions is so negative that it stresses your body and psychological.

How to cope: Although it is difficult to notice the existence of stress early on, time will reveal it through symptoms such as extreme irritability and muscle and mental fatigue. To combat stress, you need to learn how to relax. Not just the body, but the mind. Hypochondria anxiety is fueled by the quality of your thoughts. For this to be good, you need to have good thoughts! Start by practicing gratitude , especially for your health.

Frequent visits to the doctor’s office

It was quite clear that the hypochondriac seeks doctors even in perfect health, right? The need to make sure that there is really nothing wrong is so great that he hopes to find the answer always at the next doctor’s office.

How to deal: consult with only one specialist in each area. No more changing from cardiologist to cardiologist. Find trusted doctors and stay with them. Be honest about your concerns so that they can help you feel better whenever needed. Establish a good relationship with these professionals to be able to clear doubts through a quick contact and, thus, to calm your mind. But do not abuse the goodwill of others!

How is the treatment for hypochondria?

An excellent treatment for hypochondriacs is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) , as it focuses on stopping harmful behaviors, replacing them with healthier behavior patterns .

Sometimes, there may be exposure to the person’s irrational fears. The psychologist can ask the patient to exercise if he is afraid of having a heart attack. Obviously, this technique is applied based on the confidence and response of each individual throughout the treatment. In addition, people learn to look at reality in a more pragmatic way, preventing their anxieties from manifesting themselves.

For example, a patient can tell the psychologist that his health concern led him to see eight different doctors. In the end, they reached the same diagnosis. The reflection on the need to take this attitude is encouraged by the professional. An example of this type of questioning is: “if everyone said the same thing, why was visiting all of them really necessary?” The patient confronts his own beliefs in a safe way.

The Vittude can help you understand more about the experience of a hypochondriac and how to overcome the symptoms of the comfort of your home. Knowledge is power and, in this case, it is necessary for it to be possible to combat this harmful situation to mental health.

 

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