People with hypochondria are unable to control their fears and worries. They often believe any symptom or sensation is a sign of a serious illness.
They seek out reassurance from family, friends, or health care providers on a regular basis. They feel better for a short time at most, and then begin to worry about the same symptoms, or about new symptoms.
Symptoms may shift and change, and are often vague. People with hypochondria often examine their own body.
Those who are affected may recognize that their fear of having a serious disease is unreasonable or unfounded.
Greenberg DB, Braun IM, Cassem NH. Functional somatic symptoms and somatoform disorders. In: Stern TA, Rosenbaum JF, Fava M, Biederman J, Rauch SL, eds. Massachusetts General Hospital Comprehensive Clinical Psychiatry. 1st ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier;2008: chap 24.
WitthÃ¶ft M, Hiller W. Psychological approaches to origins and treatments of somatoform disorders. Annu Rev Clin Psychol. 2010;6:257-283.
deGruy FV. The somatic patient. In: Rakel RE, ed. Textbook of Family Medicine. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier;2007:chap 61.
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