Whenever a headache bugs you, do you panic fearing that what you are experiencing is brain cancer brewing? Then you may be a hypochondriac. Continue reading to know more about it — what it is, it’s common causes, and some telltale signs that you may actually be suffering from it.
First things first: someone who is a hypochondriac has hypochondriasis or hypochondria, and it is a mental disorder which is characterized by excessive preoccupation with or fear of having a serious illness even though medical doctors and various diagnostic tests have disproved its presence.
Actually, hypochondriasis is now referred to by those in the medical community as “illness anxiety disorder”, but many still choose to call it by its old and more familiar name.
Thinking about your wellbeing is perfectly normal. After all, we only get one shot at life. However, it is a completely different story if you are constantly anxious about your health — it’s something that can certainly put a dent not only in your emotional health, but also relationships, career and most especially finances because of all the doctor consultations and medical tests that you pay for just to pin down that thing that ails you.
But there is nothing to pin down because nothing is there!
So how can a person end up being a hypochondriac? Well, according to professionals, some of the things that can trigger this problem to come into being include:
-Experiencing a very stressful life event
-Being threatened by a serious disease or condition that turns out to be non-serious
-Suffering from an illness back in the childhood days
-Seeing a parent or relative go through a life-threatening health problem
-Using the internet a lot for various health-related matters
Worried that you may be suffering from hypochondriasis? Before you add it on your long list of illness that you think you have due to the various signs and symptoms you encounter, read on. The following are some indicators that you may in fact be a hypochondriac and you need to consult a therapist about it:
You Make a Mountain Out of a Molehill
You have this ability to come up with something serious out of a benign sign or symptom such as a twitching eyelid, bruise or an itchy throat. For a hypochondriac, there is no such thing as a minor sign or symptom, but only something that points to an undiagnosed life-threatening disease.
You Log on the Net to Self-Diagnose
If the first thing that you do upon encountering a sign or symptom like a headache or cough is go online to look for health issues that can be associated with what you are experiencing, then you may be a hypochondriac. This habit of yours can actually worsen your hypochondriasis.
You Frequent Medical Facilities
A hospital is your favorite hangout because you tend to schedule for lots of doctor’s appointments and diagnostic exams. And if you fail to get diagnosed with a serious disease, you hunt for another doctor because you feel that the previous one was unsuccessful in identifying the problem.
You Own a Bunch of Medical Instruments
It’s very much likely that you are a hypochondriac if you own a number of instruments a doctor uses and you actually know how to employ them — plus you use them all the time. Something’s definitely wrong if you constantly check your blood pressure, blood oxygen levels, heart rate and many others.
You Avoid Consulting Doctors and Getting Tests
Earlier, it was mentioned that a hypochondriac tends to seek doctors and tests. There are some instances, too, in which a hypochondriac steers clear of medical facilities because he or she is convinced that a doctor or test will reveal the fact that he or she is suffering from a life-threatening illness.