Health anxiety or hypochodriasis

A provocative rant for comment

Hypochondriasis and health anxiety is of course the same thing, but no one writes on here to say they are an hypochondriac. Health anxiety only became a term in common use in recent years and as a health professional I believe its use has coincided with a large increase in "sufferers". There seem more people than ever worrying about their health and yet never have we been healthier (apart from the overweight, over indulged and unfit ones) and lived longer. Perhaps because that word hypochondriac has a negative stigma attached to it we used to get over it more easily, whereas now we can consume numerous tests, frequent hospital and doctor visits and truly indulge ourselves as sufferers.

I realise it is very real and causes considerable grief, but doesn't writing and frequently complaining about it reinforce the suffering??

All of those with chest pains, dizziness or headaches, but numerous normal tests, odd feelings that are difficult to describe allow us to indulge our senses, rather than live our lives.

Most symptoms people write about on this forum don't have a physical cause, but the distress they cause is perhaps magnified by the attention they receive.

In the words of a book title " you need to get out of your head and into your life"

I'll watch out for the responses - I'll be ducking behind the parapet


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6 Replies

  • You are correct! But, I'll also add to that...Easier said than done!

  • Never heard that phrase before ha ha like it. You are right, it does make sense, it's the mental torture of trying to find an end to the non stop worry of these feelings, viscous cycle comes to mind and I guess going on here may give a sense of relief to know we are not alone, but it doesn't stop there. It does put it somewhat to the forefront if we talk about it, but where is the reassurance that some need if they can't accept doctors answers...difficult one huh??

  • In the days when doctors were revered and not questioned, their reassurance was helpful, but not so now !

  • goldie11, sad but true. Doctors were put on a pedestal until internet came along and we all got our degree from Google :(

  • And now we're more anxious than ever! Discovering all manner of new things to worry about

  • We have so much available to us online, it can get a bit overwhelming, but we should remember it is only information. Not taking it serious is advisable for anxiety sufferers.

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