hypochondriac is a person with a condition known as hypochondriasis , which is a disorder characterized by concern for bodily functions and the interpretation of normal bodily sensations or minor abnormalities as major medical problems. The reassurance that doctors and other health officials try to give the patient only serves to increase the hypochondriac’s persistent anxiety about his health. The ancients believed that hypochondria was due to impaired function of the spleen and other organs that were located in the upper abdomen.


What is a hypochondriac?

They are people who suffer from a disorder in which the person interprets the symptoms of anxiety or depression as a disease , which causes a supposed intense pain and fear of death from the disease.


What is hypochondriac disorder

Basically the hypochondriac disorder is the fear that a patient has to become seriously ill , so the main axis of the disorder is not the disease itself, but the fear of developing it at a certain time. Our body generally generates physiological sensations that are normal or some discomforts that are not considered as indicators of serious diseases, however, in hypochondriacal people, when these symptoms appear, they consider them as signs of serious disease , which generates feelings of fear and distress altering its normal functioning.



According to studies the causes of hypochondria arising from problems of perception , the characteristics of people and the environment around them may also interfere. It is considered for this reason that the possible causes focus on genetic , psychological and environmental factors . Children around hypochondriacs are very likely to learn the tendency to feel ill as well. On some occasions, the death or illness of a family member can trigger the disorder. Some risk factors for developing the condition may include having suffered fromserious illness during childhood, having relatives who are going through critical situations due to a certain illness, the death of a relative, having relatives suffering from the condition and living under the shadow of an overprotective family .

Symptoms of hypochondriac disorder

Hypochondriacs may present the following symptoms:

  • They worry excessively about being healthy .
  • They spend much of the day thinking about symptoms, health issues, different illnesses, and possible consequences.
  • You imagine catastrophic endings regarding your symptoms.
  • When they have any illness, no matter how small, they become very anxious and worried .
  • They are easily alarmed at the news of diseases that they do not suffer from.
  • Their life and their daily activities revolve around the disease and its possible consequences.
  • They constantly check themselves and if they find something on their bodies they take it as a sign of danger and disease.
  • They conduct disease research primarily on the web , make constant visits to health centers, and are always dissatisfied with medical diagnoses.
  • They take on a sick role with the people around them.
  • Some possible complications range from depression, anxiety disorders, frustration, drug abuse, difficulty establishing personal relationships, and financial problems.


To start treatment, a diagnosis must first be created , which is based on the patient’s concern or fear of having a serious illness, a concern that persists despite positive results and explanations from the medical staff. Among the most important and effective treatments are cognitive-behavioral therapy from the field of psychology , and treatments with serotonin reuptake inhibitors such as fluoxetine and paroxetine .

How to stop being a hypochondriac

The first thing hypochondriacs should do is stop talking about illnesses and avoid giving symptoms so much priority, to raise awareness that nothing is wrong. The different searches for medical terms, symptoms and diseases on the internet must stop, and understand that this work corresponds to health personnel who are the only ones trained to make diagnoses. Taking therapies to learn to control stress and emotions is also important. Psychological help is essential in hypochondriacs, experts have the ability to detect the mental disorder and help apply corrective measures to improve it.

How to help a hypochondriac

Some activities that we can do to help a hypochondriac are:

  • Giving him moral support since he is diagnosed, accompanying him to medical visits to give them support is vital.
  • Help them face the anguish and fear if it were the case of having been diagnosed with a certain disease. Prevent the patient from attending different doctors or emergency rooms in hospitals.
  • Try to divert your mind when ideas of illness or negative thoughts arise. Find activities that bring them satisfaction and that keep their minds positively occupied.
  • Use different relaxation techniques to reduce anxiety and distress.

Leave a Comment