Thehypochondriac has an unfounded fear of having a serious and deadly disease, based on the misinterpretation of normal body functions, explains the CUF hospital on its website.
Nine signs of hypochondria
Seek help if you have these behaviors:
1. You often think that you have a new disease and that you are going to die.
2. You worry excessively about your health and anything can panic: a sneeze can be synonymous with a deadly bacterium, a slight cough is an obvious sign of tuberculosis, a headache can only be a tumor.
3. Make the self-diagnosis with the ‘help’ of the Internet and do not “let your guard down”, even though all doctors guarantee that everything is fine.
4. You even feel the symptoms of the disease that you think you have and that no objective examination proves.
5. You are a regular customer of pharmacies and have your own stock of medicines at home.
6. You are always monitoring your body and complaining about problems that no one else sees.
7. When you hear about a disease on television (such as dengue, flu or Alzheimer’s), you believe that you will be the next victim.
8. When you feel something, like a strange noise or a new pain, go to Google to investigate.
9. You think your family, friends and doctors don’t take your concerns seriously.
As CUF explains , self-medication is one of the greatest dangers , due to side effects and interactions between drugs. Another serious risk is that of exams ‘left and right’, some of which are invasive or involve radiation. Finally, for those who remember the story of Pedro and the Wolf, it can happen that when it is ‘seriously’ nobody believes it .
Diagnosis and treatment
Hypochondria is more than a temporary craze, stresses the CUF hospital , it is an anxiety disorder .
To be diagnosed, it has to cause constant worry, intense suffering and a deterioration in the quality of life for at least six months . It is distinct from depression, panic disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder ( OCD ). Treatment is possible. This may include psychotropic drugs ( antidepressants , neuroleptics , anxiolytics ) and / or psychotherapy.