Many people constantly live in fear of having or contracting a terrible condition or disease. While some fears may be founded, others are purely psychological.
Someone with this constant psychological fear is known as a hypochondriac
Hypochondriacs focus on their symptoms, often magnifying them in their own minds. The actual severity of these symptoms is often slightly different from the norm.
For example, a headache may be interpreted as a brain tumour when, in fact, it may be nothing more than stress or a sign that the person needs to eat. Fatigue becomes a sure sign that something extreme is wrong. The list goes on.
People who are true hypochondriacs often overuse doctors, going for a visit at the first sign of a possible problem. Their physicians get to know them well, frequently explaining that the small symptoms they are experiencing really arenâ??t anything to worry about.
Hypochondriacs are also frequent users of Google, Web MD, and other medical resources
They depend on the information they find and often latch onto the worst-case scenarios. They use the Internet to search for articles on their assumed diseases, check their skin under a magnifying glass, and live in constant worry of diseases that do not afflict them.
Before long, symptoms become imagined. Hypochondriacs begin to create them, often believing they really are occurring.
Over time, these imagined symptoms grow worse until hypochondriacs begin worrying everyone around them. Eventually, friends and family members grow wise to what is going on and may try to talk to the hypochondriac about the situation. This, of course, is usually met with denial and perhaps even anger.
So how do you know if you are a hypochondriac?
If you are, what can you do about it? If you find yourself constantly experiencing different symptoms, seeking medical attention, and imagining the worst, there is a chance you could be a hypochondriac. This may be verified if your doctor visits net you no diagnoses, yet you still insist something is wrong. This may be especially true if you have undergone several medical tests, all of which come out negative.
If you feel you are a hypochondriac, one solution is to consult your GP
He or she will be able to help assess your symptoms and can explain what they really mean. You may even consider talking to a psychologist who will work to help you understand why you magnify your symptoms and jump to unfounded conclusions.
Hypochondria is a condition in itself and definitely requires medical and psychological attention.