Definition of hypochondria

Hypochondria in the usual, colloquial sense of the word is depressed and dreary attitude to life. But in the medical sense, the term "hypochondria" refers to diagnoses. It is exposed to patients who are not obsessed with the idea of ​​having an incurable or very serious illness. This term is not referred to a disease as such, but to a symptom of mental disorders or personality traits.


In connection with the fact that hypochondria is very diverse in its manifestations and is not a separate mental illness in the full sense of the word, the exact cause of its formation is not revealed. Physiologists consider hypochondriacal thoughts as manifestations of such processes as:

  • Violation in the well-coordinated work of the cerebral cortex,
  • Distorted perception of the cortex of impulses from internal organs,
  • The first manifestation of delusional disorders,
  • Violation between the work of the vegetative department of the nervous system (which is responsible for autonomous work of organs) and bark.

In hypochondria, patients brightly and emotionally describe the signs of various diseases (oncology, severe kidney disease, liver or incurable infections), but in fact they are not detected.

Who is more likely to

Hypochondria is characteristic of emotional persons, easily inspired and influenced by the media. Basically, hypochondriacs are found among the elderly, although there may be teenagers, their psychological state is still unstable and they easily absorb negative and superfluous information. With the hypochondriacs are familiar to all doctors of polyclinics and hospitals, they for years undergo various examinations.

Both women and men suffer equally. Separately, hypochondria is allocated to young people associated with medicine. Usually a certain number of trained medical students "experience" almost all diseases from textbooks.

Many of the patients' complaints, of course, are overstated and excessive, but they can not control the manifestations of hypochondria in such people themselves (and this is the key difference between hypochondria from suspiciousness and usual anxiety about health).

The disease is more likely to affect patients:

  • With psychoses of different forms,
  • In the presence of different neuroses,
  • In the presence of delusional ideas,
  • In the elderly, not taking their age,

People with problems in communication or sexual life (they are looking for problems in health). Promotes the development of hypochondria, the general availability of medical information, the appearance of sensational transmissions on the screens of new diseases, obsessive advertising of medicines.

Symptoms of Hypochondria

A hidden hypochondriac in different periods of life can appear in any person, all have periods when it seems that the body is failing. But, in true hypochondriacs, this translates into a painful mania. There are three conditional forms of the disease:

  • Obtrusive,
  • Overvalued,
  • Delusional.

People with an obsessive type can be described in approximately the following way:

  • Are inclined to anxiety and suspiciousness.
  • Often experience anxiety and fear for their health.
  • Constantly analyze all the processes in the body (but did I go to the toilet normally, and what was it that poked it, oh, my head hurts - probably there is cancer!).
  • If any symptoms can not be detected, they begin to listen to themselves, feel themselves and panic (oh, even ceased to hurt, probably - this is the end!).

An attack of hypochondria can arise from viewing advertisements of a medical nature, from an ambiguous doctor phrase.

With the overvalued form, manifestations are similar, but there are also very characteristic behavioral and psychic reactions:

Patients acutely and emotionally react to the slightest manifestations of physical discomfort or defect. Even such minor health problems as a runny nose are regarded as very serious.

Man makes incredible efforts to achieve ideal health, applies a variety of diets, tempers, takes many medications, vitamins or supplements. Such people often believe that they are misdiagnosed or do not want to be treated for the "existing disease", they often start litigation with clinics and doctors.

This kind of hypochondria can be a signal of impending psychopathy or schizophrenia.

The most severe form of hypochondria is delusional, with it can be:

  • Confidence in the existence of incurable diseases.
  • Attempts to dissuade are interpreted as "even doctors put a cross on me".
  • Attempts of suicide are frequent.
  • There may be delusions and all sorts of hallucinations, depression.
  • This kind of hypochondria usually requires urgent treatment.

Treatment of hypochondria

Hypochondriacs are engaged in psychotherapists and doctors-psychiatrists. Treatment of hypochondria is determined by its appearance.

In addition, correction of abnormalities in the cerebral cortex and the establishment of physiologically correct connections between the cortex and the vegetative department of the nervous system are necessary. The basis of treatment is working with a psychotherapist and helping families and friends.

With neurotic disorders, the basis of treatment is tranquilizers or neuroleptics for the removal of neurotic manifestations.

With hypochondria of a depressive nature, antidepressants should be used (sertraline 50-100 mg / day, trazodone 150-300 mg / day or amitriptyline 150-300 mg / day, diazepam 5-15 mg / day).

For obsessive conditions - clomipramine 50-100 mg / day or fluoxetine 20-80 mg / day.

If it is a manifestation of schizophrenia, treatment with powerful neuroleptics is necessary. Do not exclude placement in the hospital. The whole process is controlled by a psychiatrist.

The use of traditional medicine works on the effect of "placebo", if the broths and infusions of herbs help the patient, they will be useful.

But, the main personality traits can not be fixed - exacerbations are possible. It is necessary to avoid viewing ads, programs about medicine and reading medical websites.