There are a number of people who regularly visit doctors at a young age. They are examined, they are diagnosed, but they cannot be cured. Then they go to other doctors who are examined again, sometimes they don’t make diagnoses, conduct commissions, sometimes they even operate and find nothing again. And so many times sometimes dozens of doctors. The farther the doctors search and find, the stronger the fear in a person.
“Since no one can diagnose me, it means that I am terminally ill, I probably have some kind of terrible disease, such as cancer!” - and the person begins to read on the Internet about the symptoms of cancer, he always finds them, goes back to to doctors. But doctors, if they see a person not for the first time or are aware (if there is time) to study the entire thick volume of medical reports and analyzes, then they send him to a psychotherapist.
Doctors say: “You are making things up, look, check your nerves.” Typically, such words provoke a person’s resentment or anger towards the doctor: “Everything is fine with my head, I won’t go to treat my nerves, I’d better find a normal doctor who will diagnose!” Sometimes a doctor can persuade a person to consult a psychotherapist. But sometimes the search for a diagnosis continues, and a person comes to a psychotherapist much later than it should.
The psychotherapist is perceived as the last resort for a person with hypochondria. Hypochondria is the obsessive search for diseases due to the feeling of different "symptoms" in the body. A person is almost always unwell and not just unwell, but feels dying, cannot switch from frightening thoughts, lives in constant fear of near death.
Sometimes there is a concentration on one organ, for example, a lump in the throat is felt (pain in the heart, stomach, limbs and any other parts of the body). In other cases, a person experiences discomfort in different parts of the body alternately. A particularly common symptom is a “burning” in one or different parts of the body.
Fear can go as far as panic. Everywhere, a person begins to catch terrible information: on television they necessarily show about cancer, about death from other illnesses, the family talk about Aunt Shura, who recently died from an incomprehensible illness. In fact, this information was before, just a person’s ear was “tuned” to another wave. The Internet becomes a beloved friend with sites and forums about diseases, examinations, and medicines.
Relatives cease to be afraid for a person’s health, because they are all examined, sometimes they begin to get annoyed with regular complaints of illness, in other cases they start to be condescending. The most unpleasant thing is that people think that they are pretending. In fact, these symptoms do exist, they are not fictional, the paradox is that the organs are HEALTHY.
The task of the therapist is to talk about the role of emotions in the formation of bodily reactions. A person experiences different emotions throughout his life. Each emotion is displayed in the body. For example, when we are angry, then the pressure rises, the muscles in the body tighten, and the teeth clench. When we are offended, there is a feeling of a coma in the throat. When we blame, the neck may get sick. With joy, pressure rises, eyes widen, back straightens, breathing becomes deeper.
Physiology is involved in any emotion. When some situations are not resolved, a person begins to chronically experience one emotion. The organs and parts of the body involved in this emotion become constantly tense and a symptom is gradually formed, for example, pain in the stomach. A person begins to feel this pain, goes to the doctors. There is an unconscious switch from the situation and emotions to the symptom and the search for the disease.
Thus, the symptom has a secondary benefit, i.e. it distracts a person from a traumatic life situation by worrying about health. The therapist helps to realize this relationship, to understand the role of the symptom in a person’s life situation. When the meaning and benefit of the symptom become revealed, hypochondria disappears, and a more conscious and responsible life begins.
Just have the courage to visit a psychotherapist and patience to work on yourself.
I have "THIS"
According to the jocular expression of doctors, hypochondriac is a person who feels good only when he feels bad.
When doctors speak seriously, they acknowledge that tens of millions of patients suffer from diseases that cannot be identified by the most advanced diagnostic methods. Moreover, medical science was forced to make such statements throughout its history, and the number of people suffering from obscure diseases practically did not change with the invention of microscopes, X-rays and ultrasound.
In everyday life, we call hypochondriac anyone who thinks he is sick. In fact, the anxiety associated with the fear of the disease is a rather serious mental problem.
In psychiatry, there is even such a diagnosis - hypochondria, or somatomorphic disorder. It is given to people who are confident that they have a serious illness, despite the fact that doctors tell them that everything is in order with them. The fear of the disease is so strong that it interferes with the normal life and work not only of the hypochondriac himself, but also of his surroundings, into which you can easily get into. And to get this fear is simple - constant stress, physical inactivity, smoking, alcohol intoxication - and here you are, hypochondria.
If you occasionally prick or press somewhere, you are still not a hypochondriac, but you can become one. Be sure to read this article to the end and follow our recommendations.
Strong hypochondria is treated, as a rule, with psychotherapy - they gradually reduce the degree of anxiety by conversations, hypnosis and homework. For example, patients are less likely to feel and examine themselves - instead, they are told to feel and examine their own friends, as well as measure their temperature in different parts of the body.
During treatment, the patient should fix the thoughts that accompany any physical discomfort. Of all the possible options, hypochondriacs usually choose the most serious, but the least likely. If this is a headache - then a brain tumor, chest pain - a heart attack and so on. They are then invited to discuss these thoughts and choose an alternative explanation.
The old method, the so-called Moliere dialogue, is also widely used. Its essence is to knock out the fear of the disease from the patient with an even stronger, but real fear. The dialogue is approximately the following:
Doctor:What are you complaining about?
Hypochondriac:My head hurts, my eyes hurt, my body is weak, and my heart is tight.
Doctor:So. Clear. The point is in the hand. What the hell is this hand for you?
Doctor:I would have cut her off if I were you.
Doctor:Can't you see that she pulls all the food to herself and prevents the other side from getting food?
Hypochondriac:Yes, but I need this hand.
Doctor:Likewise, if I were you, I would gouge out my right eye.
Hypochondriac:Gouge out an eye?
Doctor:Can't you see that he is interfering with the other eye and is robbing him of food? Listen to me, get him out as soon as possible, and then your left eye will be much better to see.
Hypochondria - a disorder in which a person is convinced that he has a fatal ailment. The term comes from the Greek hypo- (“under”) and chondros (“chest”) and was first applied to pains, the cause of which could not be established. Ancient doctors believed that they were caused by displacement of the spleen.
Most often, hypochondriacs behave as follows:
1. They constantly feel pain in different parts of the body.
2. Think they have cancer or AIDS.
3. In response to the encouraging words of the doctors, they smile sadly.
4. Inspect and tap themselves all the time.
5. They experience fainting conditions.
6. Hold on to the heart.
7. Carefully study their own feces.
8. Read the medical assistant's guide.
9. Incredibly often measure temperature and pressure.
10. Ask others if they are familiar with these symptoms.
11. They sigh heavily, looking in the mirror.
12. Dreaming of having a relationship with doctors.
13. Requires a doctor re-examination or examination.
And are guided by the following false postulates:
1. A person should always feel good.
2. Any symptom is a sign of a serious illness.
3. Doctors often make the wrong diagnoses.
Therefore, the main thing for hypochondriac is to get a firm belief in the opposite. What we offer you. Memorize the following mantra and recite it aloud every morning:
“Different parts of the body can sometimes hurt. This does not mean that there is something serious with me. Perhaps my muscles are just growing or my teeth are being cut. Modern diagnostics can detect the disease in 99% of cases. "
Common symptoms of hypochondria are pain in the back, chest, upper abdomen, lower chest, kidney area, shortness of breath, and many others. All of them are concentrated in one area that the diaphragm crosses - the main muscle responsible for breathing. There is also located the solar plexus - a kind of nerve center of internal organs. Proponents of this theory believe that poor posture and all kinds of curvature of the spine are the cause of pain of unknown origin. This theory is supported by statistics, according to which people with poor posture suffer from hypochondria much more often.
This is the so-called Whitley index, it is most often used to determine whether hypochondriac has come to the doctor or not.
Rate each question from 1 to 5 points:
1 - absolutely not, 2 - Little, 3 - moderately 4 - pretty much 5 - definitely yes.
1. Are you worried about your health?
2. Do you think you have any serious illness?
3. Is it difficult for you to distract from your own health and think about something else?
4. If you feel bad, and someone says that you look better, are you upset?
5. Do you often feel like something is happening in your body?
6. Do you often have different pains?
7. Are you afraid of getting sick?
8. Are you more worried about your health than others?
9. Do you think people don’t take your illness seriously?
10. You can’t believe the doctor when he says that you have nothing to worry about?
11. Do you often experience fear when you think that a serious illness can strike you?
12. If you read or watch a program that talks about the disease, do you begin to fear that the same thing will happen to you?
13. Do you have a variety of symptoms?
The more you score, the more hypochondriac you are. Healthy people should usually have 14-28 points, hypochondriacs - from 32 to 55. In the latter case, rather run to a familiar psychoanalyst.
What should you do if you are a hypochondriac
1. Talk with a colleague, friend or mother who will say that you have nothing to worry about.
2. Do not read the paramedic's guide and do not watch “health” programs.
3. Western doctors recommend adhering to the so-called PEAS rule - (the abbreviation from the first letters of the words “pleasure”, “exercises”, “achievements” and “communication”). All these items must be activated every day. Exercise is especially important.
4. Good and long sleep every night.
What is hypochondria?
Hypochondriac disorder ICD 10 - The International Classification of Diseases of the 10th Revision is a mental illness in which a person is constantly afraid to detect a serious progressive disease.
Here is the real story of hypochondriac, in which almost all the main symptoms are present.
Every tingling, every muscle spasm causes fear, even panic. If you are pricked in your chest, you immediately think that it is a heart attack. If your head hurts terribly and does not go away after taking the pill, you think that some vessel has exploded, or the blood circulation is going wrong, or a tumor. This is a terrible state. If you call an ambulance, they will give some kind of pill, they won’t really say anything.
You climb onto the Internet, start self-medication, eat some pills. In polyclinics, boorish attitude, endless lines, swearing. Fear is unbearable, there is no strength to wait. I can’t believe that the tests were decrypted correctly. When you decipher yourself, you come across terrible possible consequences, from which you feel even worse.
Further depression. You don’t go anywhere, you’re sitting at home. You think that on the street you will feel bad, no one will be able to help and you will die. You limit the circle of friends, try not to go anywhere, but even in your own home you are not well. Your life is limited only to the room, you reduce communication with the outside world and even with your family.
Hypochondria harms a person on all fronts. Constant analyzes hit the budget. Stress depletes a person and greatly spoils life.
Why hypochondria occurs
Hypochondria is more common in people with an excitable nervous system and increased anxiety, and Signs You May be a Hypochondriac is often combined with other mental illnesses: obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression, panic attacks.
A trigger for the development of the disorder can be a traumatic event, for example, a serious illness or the death of a loved one, but this is not necessary.
Psychotherapist, author of the Telegram channel "Therapist's Diary".
Hypochondria is always a consequence, not a cause. The real cause of the disorder, as a rule, lies in the fact that it disturbs the person, about which he is constantly worried. It can be problems in relationships, in communication with society, trouble at work, fear of the future.
Fears and anxieties include a protective mechanism of the psyche. Instead of a real problem, a person switches to fear of death, looks for symptoms of diseases and devotes all his thoughts to it.
In addition, hypochondria may be an attempt to escape from something: responsibility, unpleasant things, or people. According to Alexei Karachinsky, the disease makes it possible to justify itself so as not to make some responsible adult decisions or not do something. How can I go to work if I get sick all the time? Often this happens unknowingly.
For example, the English poetess and novelist Charlotte Bronte suffered from depression, headaches, digestive disorders, and vision problems for many years. According to Hypochondria: medical condition, creative malady, Brian Dillon, author of a book about famous hypochondriacs, Bronte’s illnesses were her way to get away from family and social obligations, to find time for herself.
How to recognize hypochondria
Symptoms of Signs You May be a Hypochondriac Disorder can vary greatly from person to person. You most likely have hypochondria if you:
- You are looking for regular diseases in yourself.
- Be afraid that any bodily manifestation, such as a runny nose or gurgling in the abdomen, is a symptom of a serious illness.
- Often go to the doctor with minor symptoms or, conversely, avoid the doctor because of fear that he will find a fatal disease.
- Constantly talk about your health.
- Focus on one disease, such as cancer, or a specific part of the body, organ, or organ system.
- Constantly looking for symptoms of illness on the Internet.
- We are sure that good tests are a mistake. Experiencing that no one can diagnose the disease.
- Avoid places and people that can cause the disease.
- You feel pain, dizziness, heaviness, which pass as soon as you forget about them.
If you somehow searched the Internet, as a new birthmark may testify, you were horrified and forgotten - this is not hypochondria. But if you think about it constantly, constantly consider the mole and do not calm down even after the doctor said that everything is fine, it’s worth considering.
Is it worth going to the doctor and which one to choose
If you find signs of the disease, first contact your therapist and get tested. If you were told that everything is fine with you, but the fear did not pass, carefully monitor your condition.
Psychotherapist with experience of more than 17 years.
If hypochondriacal disorder is accompanied by sleep disturbances, decreased attention span, fatigue, social maladaptation and lasts more than six months, you need to consult a psychiatrist or psychotherapist.
Just do not choose psychologists for initial consultation, even those who have undergone psychotherapist courses. They do not have a medical education, and therefore they will most likely not be able to distinguish hypochondria from another mental illness and prescribe medication if necessary.
What will the doctor do with me
It all depends on the severity of the disorder.
Member of the Russian Society of Psychiatrists.
Mild forms of hypochondria are perfectly treated with psychotherapy. In severe illness and concomitant disorders, the psychiatrist may prescribe medications, usually antidepressants.
If medication is not needed, the treatment will consist of psychotherapy sessions. For example, this:
- Rational therapy - the psychotherapist refers to the patient’s logic, convincingly convinces of the absence of diseases, indicates errors in thinking.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy - a psychotherapist teaches the patient to think and act correctly, offers strategies to get rid of fear.
- Биологически-обратная связь — с помощью техники пациенту предоставляют информацию о его физиологических процессах в реальном времени. Ориентируясь на показатели, он учится справляться со своими симптомами. Например, научившись расслаблять мышцы, может преодолеть паническое состояние.
- Недирективный гипноз — введение пациента в особое состояние сознания. A person continues to perceive reality, but the focus shifts to inner experiences.
- Autotraining - independent removal of nervous and muscle tension due to self-hypnosis techniques.
According to Dmitry Ferapontov, this is not an exhaustive list. The therapist can use everything that will help the patient cope with negative thoughts and problems in different areas of life.
Psychotherapist, author of the Telegram channel "Therapist's Diary".
When we find a solution to these problems, hypochondria leaves. For many, this is an insight: “And I thought it was just my hand hurting or my heart was pounding!”
2. Add physical activity
Physical activity helps to get rid of unnecessary emotions and stress, improves mood. Add 30 minutes of physical activity per day: vigorous walking, climbing stairs.
If you want something more serious, buy a subscription to the gym or try home workouts with your body weight.
5. Look for the cause of hypochondria
Alexei Karachinsky advises to ask a simple question: “What has bothered me most recently?”
This will not necessarily be a bright traumatic event. Perhaps the problem has existed for a long time, but the protective reaction of the psyche does not allow you to recognize it.
For example, you hate your job or are stuck in a depressing relationship. Look at your life from different perspectives and try to find the cause of stress.
6. Stop looking for symptoms on the Internet
The constant search for symptoms on the Internet is so common that in English there is even a separate word for it - cyberchondria cyberchondriac.
The Internet Makes Hypochondria Worse publishes a lot of unverified information, but even the most reliable sources can be alarming. If you find a disease with vague symptoms: fatigue, dizziness or strange physical sensations, everyone can admit to being sick.
Overcome the urge to self-diagnose and forbid yourself to search for symptoms on the Internet. If you think the symptom is serious - sign up to the doctor, if not, forget about it.