What is Hypochondriasis?
Many of us, in our environment, may carry the fear of getting sick in our community and family. A fear that in many cases has no basis in reality and causes us anxiety. In this article we are going to talk about one of the categories of psychology – the unrealistic fear of getting sick.
Fear against anxiety
Fear of illness, loss of health, or suffering always raises concerns for us. As human beings, we all care about our health and strive to maintain it. The natural fear of becoming ill is a useful feeling that prompts our rational response to the situation. Natural fears can arise for reasons such as a history of illness, underlying or predisposing illness, or scientific evidence. According to theories of human evolution, the existence of this fear helps us to identify possible problems or risks based on rational and calculated responses and behaviors and to take effective action.
Therefore, in a nutshell, fear is a proportionate response to the existence of a real stimulus abroad that helps us survive. On the contrary, sometimes this worry and fear is not based on evidence and is in fact an irrational and daunting fear. Unlike the natural fear response, there is no external stimulus here, but the mind has a disproportionate and intensified response to what is called “Hypochondriasis” which is common among many people.
This disorder is classified as anxiety disorder in psychology. A person with Hypochondriasis profoundly feels ill and sick with no medical signs or symptoms. This unrealistic fear is sometimes very annoying and must be treated.
The nature of hypochondriasis disease
Hypochondriasis is usually more common among women between the ages of 25 and 35 and may occur once, several times, or permanently in one’s life. This disease consists of several main components. One of the characteristics of these people is the high level of concern about their health which results in unnecessary referrals to a doctor or a hospital. While practically no examinations or even laboratory testing as well as body scanning show any signs of the disease in person or, if any, it is very mild.
What are the causes of the hypochondriasis?
In addition to people in the general population, hypochondriasis can also be seen in medical staff. So when one enters each ward he or she thinks that they got an infection from the diseases of that particular part of the hospital. Although the cause of this fear is unknown, several important causes may be in the background of hypochondriasis:
- Major stresses in life
- There is another psychological condition such as obsessive compulsive disorder or schizophrenia.
- The likelihood of sexual or emotional abuse in childhood
- Bad memories of falling ill during childhood resulting a fear of becoming ill in adulthood.
- Significant signs of illness in person.