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Hypochondriasis is an ongoing fear that you have a serious illness, even though healthcare providers have told you that you do not. Because you are very anxious about your health, you may go to many different healthcare providers. When healthcare providers tell you that you do not have a serious health problem, you may not believe them. Hypochondriasis can make you feel very frustrated and depressed.


Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.

Psychiatric assessment:

Caregivers will ask if you have a history of psychological trauma, such as physical, sexual, or mental abuse. They will ask if you were given the care that you needed. Caregivers will ask you if you have been a victim of a crime or natural disaster, or if you have a serious injury or disease. They will ask you if you have seen other people being harmed, such as in combat. You will be asked if you drink alcohol or use drugs at present or in the past. Caregivers will ask you if you want to hurt or kill yourself or others. How you answer these questions can help caregivers decide on treatment. To help during treatment, caregivers will ask you about such things as how you feel about it and your hobbies and goals. Caregivers will also ask you about the people in your life who support you.


  • Antianxiety medicine: This medicine may be given to decrease anxiety and help you feel calm and relaxed.
  • Antidepressants: This medicine is given to decrease or prevent symptoms of depression. Antidepressants can also be used to treat other behavior problems. It may take 3 weeks or more for some antidepressant medicines to start working.

Healthcare providers:

  • Psychiatrist: A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who works in the area of mental health. A psychiatrist may be in charge of your medicine. You may work closely with this doctor and other healthcare providers.
  • Therapist: This is a healthcare provider who works closely with you during treatment. This person may be a doctor, psychologist, nurse, mental health counselor, or social worker.


  • Cognitive behavioral therapy: This therapy helps to make you aware of how you see things. You may have trouble seeing the good in things around you. Then you are more likely to feel depressed, sad, or angry. Cognitive therapy teaches you to recognize how you see things and helps you to see them in a more positive way.
  • Distraction: This is a way of focusing your attention on something other than your problem or feelings. Playing cards or games, watching TV, or taking a walk are some ways to do this. Other ways are visiting with friends, painting, or writing down your feelings. These planned activities may help you manage your feelings.


Hypochondriasis can cause you much stress and worry. You may also have tests or receive treatment that you do not need.


You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

© 2016 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.