Living life as a hypochondriac is indeed a difficult one. There is very little information which is available about hypochondria, because some do not consider it a real illness. Some researchers believe it is a form of obsessive compulsive behavior. Hypochondriacs is the fear of being sick; it is a preoccupation with bodily aches, discomfort and pain in the absence of a real illness. The mere mention of an illness or disease, and these individuals will have the exact illness as well. Hypochondriacs are known for diagnosing their own illnesses.
Even after several medical tests have been done and the results are negative, a hypochondriac will still believe they have a serious illness.
Hypochondria is a disorder where the patient’s mental conflicts are expressed as physical symptoms. This mental condition has been classified as psychosomatic, a psychological disorder. It affects millions of people each year. It affects both men and women, and does not affect one gender over the other.
These individuals do not fake their symptoms of a serious illness; they really believe they are sick. Individuals with these diseases will research their symptoms, and come up with all kinds of diagnosis for their illness. People, who are hypochondriacs, will often let their symptoms interfere with their daily body functioning properly. These individuals have no control over what makes them feel the way they do. Some hypochondriac experience symptoms and signs such as;
• Emotional distress
• Constantly doing medical research
• Frequently changing doctors
• Constant making hospital visits
• Unbelief of doctors diagnosis
• Worrying that minor twinges mean major illnesses
• Constant examining body for abnormalities
Life as a hypochondriac is almost debilitating, individuals never seem to be able to enjoy life, because they are always worried about what disease they may have. Even after hypochondriacs have been fully examined, ruling out any physical abnormalities the patient is not satisfied.
For hypochondriacs a headache could mean a brain tumor, a stomach ache could be a symptom of stomach cancer. The illnesses for these individuals are always the most serious scenario. There are no diagnosable medical conditions like depression which can account for the physical symptoms. Some hypochondriacs become so worried they have a serious illness they may avoid going to a doctor, because they fear of the diagnosis. There are no known causes for the disease. Some of the risk factors may have been acquired during childhood such as a childhood illness, knowing other relatives with the disease, the death of a loved one, or having another mental illness.