Health anxiety is an obsessive and irrational worry about having a serious medical condition. It’s also called illness anxiety, and was formerly called hypochondria. This condition is marked by a person’s imagination of physical symptoms of illness.
Or in other cases, it’s a person’s misinterpretation of minor or normal body sensations as serious disease symptoms despite reassurance by medical professionals that they don’t have an illness.
Illness anxiety disorder, sometimes called hypochondriasis or health anxiety, is worrying excessively that you are or may become seriously ill. You may have no physical symptoms. Or you may believe that normal body sensations or minor symptoms are signs of severe illness, even though a thorough medical exam doesn't reveal a serious medical condition.
You may experience extreme anxiety that body sensations, such as muscle twitching or fatigue, are associated with a specific, serious illness. This excessive anxiety — rather than the physical symptom itself — results in severe distress that can disrupt your life.
Illness anxiety disorder is a long-term condition that can fluctuate in severity. It may increase with age or during times of stress. But psychological counseling (psychotherapy) and sometimes medication can help ease your worries.
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