Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Hypochondria (sometimes hypochondriasis) is the unfounded belief that one is suffering from a serious illness. Hypochondria is often associated with obsessive-compulsive disorder and anxiety. Hypochondria can also be brought on by stress.
Hypochondriacs are a severe problem to the health system as they waste valuable medical resources and time. Some hypochondriacs will even be subjected to unnecessary exploratory surgery or treatments that can endanger their health.
It should be noted that in some cases hypochondria is misdiagnosed when the patient is indeed unwell, but the physician is unable to diagnose the real illness. For this reason, a patient's condition should be thoroughly investigated before diagnosing hypochondria.
Hypochondria was originally a term used for unidentifiable stomach pains that were a common concern in the ancient world. Eventually the term evolved to be the male counterpart to hysteria during the nineteenth century.
There has been some evidence that anti-depressants can alleviate severe hypochondria.
- Mental Health Matters: Hypochondria
- Psych Forums: Hypochondria Forum
- Hypochondria at HealthDiaries.com
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details