Hypochondria 2397
Photo by: Koriolis

Hypochondria (hy-po-KON-dre-a) is a mental disorder in which people believe that they are sick, but their symptoms are not related to any physical illness.


for searching the Internet and other reference sources

Factitious disorder


Munchausen syndrome


Somatoform disorders

What Is Hypochondria?

Researchers say that between 4 and 9 percent of visits to physicians involve people with hypochondria. These people say that they feel sick and often have detailed explanations for their beliefs. They might complain about chest pains or headaches. However, when the physician examines them for a specific disease or condition, nothing physical is found that explains the symptoms or their concern. Hypochondria is more than the occasional fear of illness that healthy people may have. It is an ongoing belief that something is medically wrong and is causing problems in everyday life.

What Causes Hypochondria?

Hypochondria often is related to other mental disorders, such as depression * or anxiety * . Sometimes children who see their parents exhibit hypo-chondria show similar signs when they become adults. Some people who have survived a serious illness go on to battle hypochondria, because they fear the return of their disease.

How Is Hypochondria Diagnosed and Treated?

Hypochondria leads to physical complaints that are not found to be caused by a medical disease or condition during a physician's exam. At the time of the exam, people with hypochondria may say that they understand that nothing is physically wrong. Later, however, their symptoms may return. Then they may visit a different physician, seeking one who will treat them for the illness they believe that they have. People with hypochondria often become passionate about their health. They may worry excessively about exercising and watching their diet. Treatment involves convincing the person that nothing is physically wrong or treating the related disorder, such as depression or anxiety.

* depression (de-PRESH-un) is a mental disorder that causes long periods of excessive sadness and impairs a person's feelings, thoughts, and behavior.

* anxiety (ang-ZY-e-tee) is a mental disorder characterized by extreme, unpleasant, and unwanted feelings of apprehension or fear, sometimes accompanied by physical symptoms.

Munchausen Syndrome

Munchausen (MOON-chou-zenz) syndrome is another mental disorderthatissimilarto hypochondria. It involves pretending to be sick in order to get attention.

One form, called Munchausen syndrome by proxy, involves a parent who makes false claims of illness in a child. In its extreme form, the parent might harm the child to cause a physical condition that requires medical care.

Both Munchausen syndrome and hypochondria result in physical complaints that are not caused by a true medical condition. In hypochondria, however, the symptoms are not intentionally faked.

See also
Anxiety Disorders
Depressive Disorders
Mental Disorders


Cantor, Carla, and Brian A. Fallon. Phantom Illness: Shattering the Myths of Hypochondria. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1996. An adult book that offers hope to those suffering from hypochondria.

User Contributions:

don stella
Report this comment as inappropriate
Oct 25, 2016 @ 7:07 am
My life has changed for good with the help of the most powerful spell caster called Dr Yaya. My testimony today is in regards to Dr Yaya who returned my lost husband home. My name is Don Stella from usa. My husband whom i have been married to for 30 years left me for another woman and i tried every means to bring him back but to no avail everything that i did was in vain. On a certain good day i was browsing through the internet when i came across Dr Yaya and saw testimonies on how he has helped so many people with different problems. I saw how he helped a woman called Antonia James to bring back her lover and how he cured hiv virus and cancer diseases for people. I never use to believe in spells but i had no choice order than to give him a try and so i contacted him on his email: yayaperfecthome@yahoo.com when i contacted him, i explained to him and he told me that everything will be okay and he assured me never to worry. I didn't believe at first. Dr Yaya told me that he has consulted his gods and told me the items required to get back my man but i couldn't get the items to buy and so i sent him the money and he did his work and in 2 days time my husband came speedily to me begging me to forgive him and i actually forgave him and today we are even more happier than we use to be. Contact Dr Yaya today on his email: yayaperfecthome@yahoo.com and get your solution. Thank you Dr yaya and i will keep on telling people about your good deeds.

Comment about this article, ask questions, or add new information about this topic: