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What is Hypochondriasis?

Hypochondriasis is described as a type of somatoform disorder or mental illness where a person has symptoms of medical illness. The symptoms cannot be fully explained by actual physical disorder. Researchers consider this as an anxiety disorder.

People with hypochondriasis are worried about getting a disease or are certain they have a disease even after medical tests show they do not.  Hypochondriasis can occur at any time in life. It affects men and women equally.

Symptoms of hypochondriasis:

  • Pain
  • Tiredness
  • Concerns about normal functions

Warning signs:

  •  Doctor shopping
  •  Recent loss
  •  Overly concerned about an organ system
  •  Area of concern might shift
  •  Doctors reassurance does not calm patient fears
  •  Serious illness is a child
  •  Concerns about illness interfering with activities of daily living
  •  Suffering from anxiety, nervousness or depression

Causes of hypochondriasis:

  •  History of physical or sexual abuse
  •  Difficulty expressing one’s emotions
  •  Family history

Treatment of hypochondriasis:

  •  Psychotherapy
  •  Medications
  •  Supportive care

To learn more about Dr. Cotler or to schedule an appointment, please call us on (713) 523-8884.

Howard B. Cotler, MD, FACS, FAAOS is board certified and recertified in Orthopedic Surgery. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgery and the American College of Surgeons.

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