Test – Are you a hypochondriac??We provide social media plug-ins for the use of social media service offers of various companies. These are integrated in a two-click process on the online offers of the AOK.
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Hypochondriacs suffer from the constant fear of having a bad disease. They are usually laughed at by their fellow human beings. Wrongly so, because hypochondria is a serious psychological condition.
The expert on the subject
Dr. Julia Petmecky
Are the persistent headaches perhaps caused by a tumor? And could the pulling in the chest indicate an impending heart attack? Hypochondriacs suspect a serious illness behind everything. Click here to go directly to the self-test. To the tips for relatives.
It is estimated that between one and seven percent of Germans are affected by the fear of illness, disability or death – to varying degrees. Thus, the majority have only mild health-related fears.
Hypochondriacs are often ridiculed by their fellow human beings. The fear of illness is a mental disorder that must be taken seriously. Those affected perceive normal body signals, such as the heartbeat, to be exaggerated. Or they fixate on small (harmless) symptoms. Suspect a serious illness behind it. Often the attention is focused on one or two specific organs, such as the intestines or the heart. The constant anxiety is a great burden for those affected, and often depression is also a factor.
Hypochondria – these are the symptoms
– great fear of illness, pain, disability or death – the fear restricts everyday life – the fear usually stiffens specifically to certain diseases – extensive gathering of information related to the feared disease – in the process, constant research, especially on the Internet, can further increase the fear – over- or heightened perception of body signals, such as the heartbeat
Hypochondriacs try to get confirmation of their illness. Therefore, many have gone through a marathon of doctors. Even if the doctors find nothing wrong, this is no reason for hypochondriacs to be reared. The fear or the feared illness is also a recurring topic in personal conversations.
clinical picture of hypochondria
The World Health Organization considers hypochondria to be a disease in its own right. One speaks of it, if concerning
– suffer from constant complaints for at least six months – without organic findings – accept only temporarily or not at all that there are no physical reasons for their complaints – frequently change doctors ("doctor hopping") – are severely affected by their illness in everyday life
Most often hypochondriacs are afraid of diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, musculoskeletal disorders or cancer. Hypochondriacs often do develop symptoms – without a physical cause being found.
Medical help on the phone.
How is hypochondria treated?
The first point of contact is the family doctor – in the best case, he or she also has an overview of the history and various doctor's visits of the affected person. If other diseases can be ruled out as the cause, they can refer the patient to a psychiatrist or psychologist. However, a therapy only makes sense if the affected person understands the necessity and agrees to it.
With the help of therapy, patients try to find out the real cause of their fears. In addition, they should gradually realize that their symptoms are based only on their own fear and not on a disease.
Furthermore, affected persons learn to interpret their own body signals correctly again. The therapy also helps them to practice new behaviors to deal with the fears.
In addition, certain medications can be used. These include, for example, serotonin reuptake inhibitors, which are also used for many other mental illnesses.
Hypochondria often cannot be cured completely. Through therapy, however, affected people can reduce the burden of the disease in everyday life.