How to cure hypochondria?
Do you listen to or read the weather forecast before choosing what to wear each morning? Are you terrified of getting sick and suffering? Do you feel more secure when you are in the vicinity of a hospital or outpatient clinic? Perhaps you are one of the many people who live obsessively preoccupied with their health. As a result, they think they are ill when they are not. If so, don't get upset or demoralised. In this article, we talk about what it is, the typical warning signs, and how to cure hypochondria.
Hypochondria - what is it?
Hypochondria is an irrational fear associated with an excessive preoccupation with serious illnesses. In this sense, simple neck pain can be perceived as a spinal deviation; a headache can be mistaken for a brain tumour. If you suffer from hypochondria, you may focus on the inner workings of your body and end up believing that everything that happens to you is atypical and pathological. However, these bodily sensations are usually within the normal range.
So what's wrong with you? If you are a hypochondriac, you are misinterpreting your body's signals. This can impoverish your quality of life in general and your relationship with other people.
What are the common symptoms of hypochondriasis?
Most hypochondriacs have one or more of the following symptoms.
Exaggerated preoccupation with health.
There is continuous monitoring of the body with the conviction that one is suffering from a severe pathology. If we suffer from hypochondria in a chronic illness, such as diabetes, we tend to think that we are prone to other serious diseases that we do not suffer from.
Perhaps it has happened to you that you feel a stomach ache and arrive at the doctor's office with the certainty that you have a digestive problem. And then nothing happens; it's just indigestion. But you are left with the idea that something else is behind it: an illness. So why does it happen to you? This excessive attention to the body amplifies bodily sensations. If someone else were you, they would wait for the symptom to develop and then take a painkiller or make a doctor's appointment.
Unnecessary visits to doctors' surgeries or emergency rooms
Any minor pain or a simple mosquito bite is reasoning enough for you to rush to the nearest health centre. You are convinced that what you are suffering from requires immediate attention.
As a result, you may visit the doctor more than you should and even demand diagnostic tests (CT scans, MRI scans, swabs or colonoscopies) and exploratory studies (many of them even unpleasant) that you don't need.
The incessant search for information on various pathologies
Digital hypochondria is a fact. If you stop to think about it, you may have done so at some point. It is also common for hypochondriacs to read about health issues by reading specialised magazines and even medical encyclopaedias. As a result, they know which medicines are used to treat various illnesses. And that is precisely why they ask their doctors to prescribe them so that they can go home with greater peace of mind. Fortunately, this is not the case because there is no cure if there is no illness.
Anxiety and a pessimistic state of mind about their health
Hypochondriacs spend the whole day talking about physical symptoms, anticipating that they are "incubating" an illness that is sure to cause unbearable pain. However, these are misconceptions that stem from an occasional headache or cold.
Behaviours assimilated in childhood that are difficult to "unlearn".
No one becomes a hypochondriac from one second to the next. In childhood, health alertness and excessive worry behind some fever line or aches and pains are learned. The family of origin assimilates specific ways of doing, thinking, and feeling linked to health conditions. A future hypochondriac is likely to grow up in those groups where the slightest symptom is considered a severe health problem.
It is not passed on from generation to generation expressly but through actions. For example, a mother who continually takes her child to the emergency room lets her child know that the body needs to be paid close attention to, not by words but by gestures. Over the years, this is interpreted as a silent legacy that has significant consequences.
If you consider yourself a hypochondriac, you have probably experienced something similar in your environment. However, there is nothing to worry about; you just need to take care of it.
How to cure hypochondria
As a first step, don't lose heart. Here are some tips on how to cure hypochondria:
1. Take it easy
This is the key to successfully curing hypochondria. Serenity is the key to abandoning the fixed ideas that anchor you to imaginary illnesses and ailments that will not happen.
2. Reflect on the origin of your excessive preoccupation with your health.
Where do this terror of getting sick and suffering come from? If you pay attention, you will notice that some people close to you instilled it in you, but this has no logical basis. Many people live in fear of dying; focus on the fear of not living fully. It is a radical change of attitude and perspective that will allow you, in time, to recover your quality of life and your bonds.
3. Identify what bodily sensations light the fuse of your worry.
Do you think you are suffering from hypochondria in pregnancy because you think something terrible will happen to your baby? Is it your head? Maybe you relate it to what you saw on the news a while ago. Is it the kidneys? Perhaps you saw your father suffer, and you panic at the thought. Is it your bones? You may have read that bone cancer is extremely painful. But does it make sense for you to think you have it? No, you need to be aware of this to face your problem and know how to cure your hypochondria.
4. Meditate and focus on your breathing.
Nothing is wrong with your body. The functioning of the organs generates occasional movements and discomfort that generally do not imply the presence of an organic disease. Find a state of calm that allows you to keep thinking about the origin of these fanciful ideas about possible pathologies that you do not suffer from. Learning to listen to your breathing when you feel nervous will help you calm down.
5. Manage stress
If you want to know how to cure hypochondria, the first thing you should do is learn to manage your emotions to keep your stress levels in check. Try not to pay so much attention to your body. Instead, focus on other things: your family, your relationship, your job or the things you like to do and don't do. Try to find the serenity you lack to cope with your hypochondriac state.
6. Face your fear, don't deny it.
There is no point in rejecting fear. It is not wrong to be afraid; what is terrible is that it paralyses you. Therefore, become aware of those bodily sensations that worry you too much. Face the fear and move on. Don't stop.
7. Value progress, no matter how small
You must have the courage to recognise the difference between a previous state and a current one. Hypochondria did not set in overnight, and it will not leave the corridors of your mind overnight. It will take time, but you can do it.
8. Ask for help
Sometimes reading self-help or watching inspirational videos is not enough. If you cannot overcome your problem, if these tips are not enough to get better, a specialised psychologist might help you. Don't hesitate for a second. A professional, better than anyone else, knows how to cure hypochondria.
Professional help to cure hypochondria
Especially from cognitive psychology, there are many specific techniques to eliminate misconceptions about your body and your health and replace them with more positive and healthy thoughts. In addition, cognitive therapy has an outstanding reputation in resolving mental disorders, such as hypochondria.
An expert therapist has various tools to help you resolve your conflict, from relaxation techniques to cognitive techniques that teach you how to interpret the bodily signs that worry you objectively. In addition, a specialist in these areas will show you different distraction and emotion management techniques with which you can gradually manage your fear of getting sick and suffering.
Therefore, consulting a professional can help you find a way out of your emotional labyrinth. If for some reason, you are embarrassed to express your problems or symptoms to a professional in person, the option of online psychology can give you a hand. More and more people seek counselling from mental health professionals online and from the comfort of their own home, managing their own time and space.
At therapyside, you will find professionals who can advise, support and help you achieve your best version.