This post contains excerpts from http://www.clevelandclinic.org/health/health-info/docs/3700/3783.asp?index=9886.
"People with hypochondriasis are very worried about getting a disease or are certain they have a disease, even after medical tests show they do not. Further, these people often misinterpret minor health problems or normal body functions as symptoms of a serious disease. An example is a person who is sure that his or her headaches are caused by a brain tumor. The symptoms associated with hypochondriasis are not under the person’s voluntary control, and can cause great distress and/or can interfere with a person’s normal functioning."
Sound familiar? This is a big problem here, and the reality is if you are suffering from it, it will continue to tear you up until you step up and acknowledge that you may just be experiencing it. Here are some warning signs (from the site listed above).
* The person has a history of going to many doctors. He or she might even "shop around" for a doctor who will agree that he or she has a serious illness.
* The person recently experienced a loss or stressful event.
* The person is overly concerned about a specific organ or body system, such as the heart or the digestive system.
* The person’s symptoms or area of concern might shift or change.
* A doctor’s reassurance does not calm the person’s fears. They believe the doctor is wrong or made a mistake.
* The person might have had a serious illness as a child.
* The person’s concern about illness interferes with his or her work, family, and social life.
* The person might suffer from anxiety, nervousness, and/or depression.
Risk factors for developing vary, but may include:
* A history of physical or sexual abuse
* A poor ability to express emotions
* A parent or close relative with the disorder — Children might learn this behavior if a parent is overly concerned about disease and/or overreacts to even minor illnesses.
* An inherited susceptibility for the disorder
If you are convinced you are sick with HIV, but all medical testing proves otherwise, talk to your doctor, a psychologist, or a psychiatrist about hypochondriasis, or hypochondria as it is more commonly known.
HealingWell.com HIV/AIDS Forum Moderator
HIV Hotline Counselor