- a long-term intense fear or anxiety about having a serious disease or health condition
- Worrying that minor symptoms or bodily sensations mean a serious illness
- Repeated visits to the doctor for the same symptoms, demanding tests such as MRI or CT scans, echocardiograms or even exploratory surgery in spite of the doctor denying any serious illness
- Doctor shopping or frequently switching doctors looking for one who says there is a serious illness
- Continuously talking about the symptoms or suspected diseases with family and friends
- Obsessive health research
- Frequently checking the pulse or blood pressure or exploring the body lumps or sores
- Thinking there is a disease after reading or hearing about it
Treatment for hypochondria includes psychotherapy, education and medications.
- Psychotherapy. Psychotherapy (counseling) is the primary treatment for hypochondria. A form of psychotherapy called Cognitive therapy helps to recognize and stop behavior associated with the anxiety of an illness
- Education. Psycho-education, is a form of of therapy that can promote understanding about hypochondria
- Medications. Medications often help to relieve the obsessive thoughts, anxiety and other symptoms of hypochondria.