Pessimists and optimists suffer from specific diseases in their obsession with health

A hypochondriac is hard to get along with because he focuses on his ailments all the time regardless the subject of a conversation

Every practicing doctor in an out-patients' clinic runs into a special patient one day or another. The patient seems to be a seasoned, unyielding character who likes stirring up debate over medical issues. The patient can describe the symptoms of his disease in great detail, he always enjoys discussing his health problems. The patient is ready to take any test, swallow any medication and take any therapy as required. The patient is even ready to commit himself to doing much more than required. The patient demands another examination if a diagnosis is not confirmed.

Please meet a hypochondriac. It is useless to convince such a patient that he is well. He will go and see another doctor. Then he will seek medical help by visiting yet another doctor and so on. He will spend more of his time and money thinking that “those doctors can not be trusted.” Finally, he will be diagnosed with something. Then an hypochondriac will be “nursing” his disease.

Another story features a person who does not see any doctors. Instead, he closely watches his blood pressure, breathing, heartbeat and digestion. He keeps asking his loved ones about the color of his skin, belly pain, fatigue etc.

A hypochondriac is hard to get along with because he focuses on his ailments all the time regardless the subject of a conversation. Meanwhile, he chafes at the lack of understanding. He smells deceit when people around him have nothing to say. The patient with hypochondria has a haunting feeling that some “terrible truth” is being hidden from him by his family and doctors.

Psychotherapist Vladimir Zaitsev:

“People are different and therefore they look at things and situations differently. There are pessimists and optimists. Looking for a disease is as dangerous as neglecting it. Here is a simple situation involving headache. Everybody has a headache once in a while. However, one person will start thinking about a serious disease, another will down a painkiller and forget it. In any case, a message from the body should taken into consideration, the headache problem should be resolved by determining its cause. It is important to proceed with utmost caution since you can bring down evil by your own prophecies. A person can not be physically fit if his mental condition is unsound.

“Unsound” is not the right term for describing an hypochondriac's mental condition. His mental condition is labile and weak. Hypochondria is not considered a major health risk. Psychotherapists can help a person get to rid of hypochondria. There are a number of relatively easy-to-use treatments to combat hypochondria without using prescribed medication.

The main recommendation is: you should make life simple. Do not delve into the problems, do not do things you hate to do, listen to you body, listen to intuition. Do not search for things that do not exist. And one more piece of advice: avoid discussing health issues, do not take another person's problems upon yourself, keep your own problems to yourself.”

Hypochondria is excessive health anxiety. The diagnosis is used when a person for a lengthy period of time believes, fears or is convinced that he has a serious disease despite medical reassurance.

Mistrustfulness is one of the symptoms of hypochondriac syndrome. Other symptoms include anxiety, depression, mood swings.

Below are four misconceptions regarding hypochondriacs:

1. Hypochondriacs normally have a of diseases.    
Contrary to the popular belief, an hypochondriac can be right as rain. Hypochondriacs tend to choose the most serious, but often less probable, explanation. Headache is not migraine or stress but brain tumor, chest pain is not caused by tense muscles but is a serous heart attack and so on.

2. Often hypochondriacs are not aware of their problems.
They are can be unaware of their problems only in the most neglected cases, in a state of depression. They can usually appreciate that they pay too much attention to their health.

3. Reports in the media on the risks of cancer and other terminal diseases can only make things worse for hypochondriacs.
On the face of  it, the less you know, the better you sleep. But an hypochondriac will always find a reason to worry about even if he has no access to TV or newspapers. The problem lies inside his mental structure. It is true that hypochondriacs love reading some medicine manuals. Therefore, steps should be taken by next of kin in order to distract hypochondriacs from such activities.

4. Anybody can be fearful about diseases after going through a distressing experience.
Hypochondria often begins with a major life event e.g. a grave disease or a loss of somebody close to you. However, specialists believe that personality type plays a crucial role. An optimist is unlikely to become an hypochondriac.

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Author`s name Olga Savka