I know I have mentioned here at the board before that I am a hypochondriac but slowly and steadily since May it has become full forced and is driving me to insanity. I am in therapy for it and I just wondered if any of you are experiencing the same thing or have gone through it before. If you can give me ANY advice as to how you made it through or how your therapist is dealing with it I would greatly appreciate it.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Hypochondria (or hypochondriasis, sometimes referred to as health anxiety or health phobia) is a somatoform disorder in which one has the unfounded belief that he or she is suffering from a serious illness. Hypochondria is often characterized by irrational fears of being diseased/dying, obsessions over minor bodily symptoms or imperfections, doubt and disbelief in doctors' diagnosis,constant self-examination and self-diagnosis and preoccupation with one's body. Hypochondria is often associated with obsessive-compulsive disorder and anxiety and can also be brought on by stress.
Post Edited (Lyn (Howlyncat)) : 9/10/2006 12:07:09 PM (GMT-6)
I agree with you 100% and need to clarify a bit for the sake of others who might be reading this thread. You are correct-there are those who suffer general anxiety about their health and it is not uncommon in those who suffer an anxiety disorder. But, as the definition spells it out you can see that there is a VAST difference in health anxiety and hypochondria. I wish my case were that simple and my Xanax (and Calgon ) could just take it away.
I suffer chronic severe depression, severe situational anxiety, panic attacks, phobias, and OCDS. I have dealt with the death and grief of a child and a sister (both in traumatic ways within a year of each other) which left me with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I have been abandoned and betrayed by family and friends because of my mental health disorders. For 30 years I have been married to a career Army man and have lived 16 of those years hundreds, sometimes thousands of miles away from family and friends and had NO support. I was highly abused sexually, mentally and physically as a child. I have been in mental health hospitals 10 times in the last 5 years and even underwent electro-convulsive therapy. I have been through every type of therapy available, other than hypnosis. I have Borderline Personality Disorder and Multiple Personalities. I live with an alcoholic husband. I had a husband, a son, a son-in-law and a nephew all in Iraq at the same time, right at the beginning and heat of the war. The list goes on and on.....but to be very honest I have never experienced anything like the destruction hypochondria can do to the mind. Some days I honestly believe I am going to go insane because it is something you simply cannot control. There are days I seriously fear that I will end up in a state run hospital for the rest of my life. There is no specific medication that can take it away (although there are those which can help) and therapy takes a long time and is very painful because you have to face the root of the illness and deal with it.
As a wise medical professional once said, "Hypochondria is the butt of jokes and the bane of the medical community. But hypochondria is no joke. It is a real illness, and people with it suffer real pain. It's a serious disorder that can have debilitating effects."
I hope I haven't been too personal. I just wanted to explain the living nightmare that hypochondriacs live in and to let others out there who might also suffer this illness to know that I am here to learn and listen.
As Paul Harvey would say, "And now you know the rest of the story."