Hypochondria term is generally used as an umbrella term for two medical disorders named Somatic Symptom Disorder and Illness Anxiety Disorder. Though, DSM – V (Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders -5th edition published in 2013) has replaced the term Hypochondria (also called as Hypochondriasis) with Somatic Symptom Disorder and Illness Anxiety Disorder (to accurately diagnose the disorder), the term is still in use in layman’s world. So, let us learn some of the general hypochondria facts before knowing the two medical disorders in details.
General Hypochondria Facts: 1-5
1. Earlier, Hypochondria was considered as sadness without real cause and then it was considered as illness without any real cause.
2. The term hypochondria was derived from ancient Greek term “hypokhondrios” which means below the cartilage or the breastplate.
3. Ancient Greeks believed that melancholy spreads from thoracic viscera of our body.
4. Hypochondria is actually an intense fear of having a disease or illness. In most cases, the patient knows that he has no disease at all, but he can not get over the anxiety or tension.
5. It is not to be confused with OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). In OCD, the person is afraid of getting a disease or an infection but in hypochondria, the person is convinced that he has disease and is afraid of having that disease.
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General Hypochondria Facts: 6-10
6. It is likely that hypochondria is accompanied with some other disorder like bipolar disorder, depression or OCD. People suffering from such disorder are called hypochondriacs.
7. Hypochondriacs misinterpret the normal bodily functions and consider that they have some serious disease. They usually try to convince people that they have a particular disease(which may change as the “symptoms” change) and mostly the disease would be related to internal organs.
8. The classic characteristic of most of the hypochondriacs is that they never get assured with the reports or when doctors say that they have no physical illness. Yet another one is that some of the hypochondriacs get disappointed when they come to know that they don’t have any disease.
9. They frequently go to doctors for their physical ailments. They are extremely persistent that they have some serious disease and it becomes tough for the doctor to convince them.
10. They usually tend to change doctors frequently and some hypochondriacs become suspicious about the health care providers.