Hypochondria or hypochondriasis is a condition where a person is preoccupied with the false idea of having a serious illness despite repeated assurances about his/her health being fine.
Causes are not known but possibilities include:
- Stressful past experiences
- Generalized anxiety
- Persistent fear of serious medical illness
- Presence of medically unexplained symptoms
- Misinterpreting normal symptoms
- Frequent visits to doctors
There is no specific treatment for hypochondriasis but it may be managed by:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy to change thinking and behavior to reduce the intensity of symptoms
- Counseling for reassurance and emotional support
- Medication like antidepressants, anti-anxiety drugs or SSRIs
There is no way to prevent hypochondriasis.