Hypochondria. When we see people with hypochondria on television we usually see them portrayed in a humorous light. Even on medical dramas hypochondriac is used to add some light relief to stories fraught with “real” medical emergencies.
However, hypochondria is really no laughing matter. Hypochondria, definition of this illness states that the sufferer of this psycho-somatic disorder has the persistent conviction that he is ill or likely to become ill with a serious or life threatening disease and this belief persists even when there is proof to the contrary.
Think about the hypochondria definition for a moment. Now imagine that you are sick, you have terrible pain shooting up your arm into your chest, you are dizzy, sweating and you are sure you are having a heart attack.
You rush to the doctor fearing that you are going to die only to be told that there is nothing wrong with you. How would you feel
Chances are you would feel anxious, worried and frightened because no one would help you. Well, that is just how a hypochondriac feels. That hypochondria definition means nothing to you because you know you are sick and possibly dying and there is no one to help you.
A hypochondriac can’t help how he feels and his fears cannot be reasoned away by tests results, medical evidence or plain hard facts. To him the symptoms he is experiencing are very real and he is afraid and there seems to be no one to help him.
He goes from doctor to doctor, has test after test and everyone is telling him the same thing he is not sick. But, he feels sick.
He is experiencing real pain and the more that doctors tell him he isn’t, the more they recite the hypochondria definition to him the more he mistrusts doctors and feels alone with his illness.
He becomes more worried and depressed and may even begin to have anxiety attacks that only makes him believe he is even sicker than before. He begins to do his own medical research to find out what is wrong with him since the doctors seem unable to.
He misses work, can’t sleep, can’t eat and is literally making himself sicker trying to deal with an illness that only exists in his mind. What he really needs is professional treatment by a qualified mental specialist in the area of hypochondria treatment.
However, he is unlikely to go for hypochondria treatment because he believes that his problem is physical and not mental.
When you consider that up to 5% of the population suffer from hypochondria to one degree or another, the chances are that you may know someone who suffers from this disorder and doesn’t know it.
Getting them hypochondria treatment with a qualified professional may not be an option, at least not at first. However, there is something you can do.
Today, there are a variety of self hypnosis CDs and downloads for MP3 players available including ones dealing with phobias and stopping anxiety. You can present these downloads not as mental health help, but, rather as help so that your hypochondriac friend can get better at dealing with the fears surrounding his illness and think clearer so that he can find an appropriate treatment.
If you can get him to do a little self hypnosis perhaps he will reach the point where he will seek the mental health hypochondriac treatment on his own.
Help him to help himself. You’ll both feel better.