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Hypochondriasis

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Feb 4, 2024.

What is hypochondriasis?

Hypochondriasis is a condition that makes you fear you have a serious illness. One type of hypochondriasis is called illness anxiety disorder. The fear that you have an illness continues even after healthcare providers tell you that you do not. Because you are anxious about your health, you may go to many different providers. When providers tell you that you do not have a serious health problem, you may not believe them. The other type of hypochondriasis is called somatic symptom disorder. This type means you have signs or symptoms of an illness and fear it is a serious illness. The fear continues even after providers tell you it is not a serious illness. Hypochondriasis can make you feel frustrated and depressed.

What causes hypochondriasis?

No one knows exactly what causes hypochondriasis. The following may increase your risk:

How is hypochondriasis diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will do a physical exam. He or she will ask about your physical and emotional health. He or she will ask if you have a history of trauma or abuse. If you do, tell him or her if you were able to get the care you needed. Your provider may ask if you drink alcohol or use drugs, or if you did in the past. He or she will also ask you about the people in your life who support you.

How is hypochondriasis treated or managed?

You may need to see your healthcare provider several times a month.

Treatment options

The following list of medications are in some way related to or used in the treatment of this condition.

Where can I find support and more information?

Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:

When should I call my doctor?

Care Agreement

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 healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. 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.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.