Hypochondria is a condition that leads people to imagine they have all kinds of diseases. We tell you about some of the telling signs. 

All of us know what it’s like to be around a disease obsessed person. There’s the aunt who moans constantly, since she believes that every symptom means something serious. And the cousin, who imagines cancer and heart disease lurk in his every cell. Both are probably “hypochondriacs,” prone to worry about imaginary illnesses.

Endless doctor visits and medical tests

The first sign of hypochondria is a constant obsession with illness. In particular, hypochondriacs typically keep visiting doctors. Also, they get random medical tests, on the basis that the doctors have missed their diagnosis.

Take action to stop it in its tracks

Unless friends and family intervene, the condition persists. So if you think you may have a similar problem, don’t ignore it.

Hypochondria typically starts between the ages of 20 and 30, say experts. One factor that may fuel risk, is an anxious temperament. This may cause you to obsess over your body, and create imaginary illnesses.

#1 You have the doctor’s number memorized

Your phone has a list of doctors numbers on redial. Also, you spend many hours on Google reading about health conditions and medications, and indulge in endless speculation and self-diagnosis. Additionally, you insist on consulting doctors, even after they have pronounced you disease-free.

#2 You obsess over your body

You are alert to every ache, pain, and bout of indigestion and record your temperature and pulse many times. Consequently, you report these as serious conditions, to family members and friends.

What to do

Family and friends can’t help hypochondriacs, so professional counselling is essential. Most often, cognitive behavior therapy(CBT) works well, because it helps separate fact from fiction.

In addition, CBT enables you to gain control over irrational thoughts, and your preoccupation with illnesses. Ultimately, therapy must stop you from using illness as a means of gaining attention.

Learn more about this condition, here.