We all know that health needs to be monitored and it is not only the popularity of healthy lifestyles but also the fact that a timely detected problem is easier to treat. But sometimes trying to protect ourselves, we get carried away and no longer see the difference between a real disease and its projection that occurs in the head.
Hypochondria or anxiety about a possible disease occurs in 9% of the population and is considered a mental disorder. Our checklist will help to understand in which cases extreme care about health is harmful and indicates a disorder:
1. Any Discomfort Seems Like a Serious Illness
In the situation with hypochondria, even a small deviation from the norm is perceived as a harbinger of the apocalypse. A cough that lasts after a common cold look like pneumonia, frequent headaches appear to be the first symptoms of a brain tumor, and a clear heartbeat is an indispensable sign of a heart attack.
If at the same time you forget that overwork, stress, allergies, and a host of other conditions can manifest themselves in a similar way. It’s time to think about how objectively you perceive your health.
2. You Trying to Diagnose Disease Using the Internet
The fact that you regularly Google potential diseases can be a sign of hypochondria that has begun. It’s normal to be interested in information about health and body but don’t overdo it. A loss of control can be indicated in a situation where you visit medical portals and certain Wikipedia pages more often than accounts on social networks and adjust your own feelings to the list of symptoms for a certain diagnosis.
At the beginning of the 21st-century, search for symptoms of the disease on the Internet received a separate name, cyberchondria. According to a Google report, in 2018 about 3% of all user requests were related to signs of various diseases.
3. You Go to the Doctor More Often Than Necessary
If you constantly think that doctors are inattentive and do not prescribe the necessary examinations, ask the wrong questions or ignore relations of facts that are obvious to you, these are signs of hypochondria.
Sometimes the desire to hear a second opinion is quite reasonable, but often the search for more and more specialists is the inability to believe that the body is really healthy. Hypochondria is also supported by the desire to find a “magic pill” when the patient is confident that the doctor’s recommendation to change lifestyle and nutrition is wrong.
4. You Are Too Worried About Hygiene
It is normal to wash your hands before eating and after going to the toilet, unlike the constant thoughts that the handrails in the transport are non-sterile and the hand dryer spreads bacteria. The constant treatment of hands with antiseptics is one of the signs of hypochondria. A craving for sterility is often associated with obsessive-compulsive disorder but a new study shows that those conditions are not identical.
Regular hygiene procedures are important but after a certain point, they do not bring additional benefits and can be even harmful.
5. You Think You’re Dying
Hypochondria is distinguished by almost continuous thoughts that everything is very bad and will be even worse. There may be obsessive confidence in the presence of an undiagnosed serious disease such as cancer or HIV infection.
Hypochondriacs often go to the doctor with a number of symptoms such as sleep and breathing disorders or nerve pain, which is mistaken for the development of a serious disease. But in most cases, the opposite principle applies and constant anxiety about nonexistent diseases provokes a malfunction in the body.