deepstash

Beta

Me, my brain and hypochondria: is fear of illness a problem or a curious blessing?

Hypochondria

Hypochondria

Hypochondria is a psychological disorder in which there is excessive worry about having a serious illness. Behavior patterns for Hypochondria include excessive washing of hands, disinfecting wounds, and frequent doctor visits. This can lead to a constant cycle of fear, worry and anxiety.

This condition is increasingly common and is intensified due to easy access to the internet for checking symptoms (WebMD, for instance).

122 SAVES


This is a professional note extracted from an online article.

Read more efficiently

Save what inspires you

Remember anything

IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

Me, my brain and hypochondria: is fear of illness a problem or a curious blessing?

Me, my brain and hypochondria: is fear of illness a problem or a curious blessing?

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/feb/27/hypochondria-brain-mental-health-causes

theguardian.com

5

Key Ideas

Hypochondria

Hypochondria is a psychological disorder in which there is excessive worry about having a serious illness. Behavior patterns for Hypochondria include excessive washing of hands, disinfecting wounds, and frequent doctor visits. This can lead to a constant cycle of fear, worry and anxiety.

This condition is increasingly common and is intensified due to easy access to the internet for checking symptoms (WebMD, for instance).

Causes of Hypochondria

Causes of illness-related anxiety can be psychological, or due to existing mental health issues like depression, which can even be hereditary.

Sensational news reporting of the media (like we see today) is also a cause of health-related anxiety. This can lead to symptoms of common ailments (like muscle ache due to working out) being identified by the mind as relating to some acute and deadly disease.

Hypochondria and Mental Disorders

  • In the 17th and 18th centuries, hypochondria was considered a form of madness that arose from an internal imbalance. People suffering from mental illnesses were mostly sent to asylums. 
  • In the Late 19th century, Sigmund Freud considered it a byproduct of instinctual drives coupled with repressed desires.
  • Nowadays, it is considered a condition from a combination of neurochemistry, genetics and external influence.

Treatment For Hypochondria

As the definition of what is a mental illness keeps changing, treatment of conditions like Hypochondria also keeps varying from time to time.

Some psychiatrists provide anti-depressants, while others suggest CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) which is essentially a ‘correction’ of unhealthy behavioral patterns.

False Dichotomy

The subjective nature of hypochondria and the many variables in today’s complex world makes this problem difficult to fix. 

Maybe mental illnesses are not to be cured in a traditional way, but something to be aware of, while enduring the uncertainty.

EXPLORE MORE AROUND THESE TOPICS:

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Symptoms of the new virus

Common symptoms: chest tightness and shortness of breath. But these are also common symptoms of anxiety.

People with anxiety may continue to worry that they are getting sick, even if they...

Anxiety chest tightness

If you are experiencing chest tightness or shortness of breath now, ask yourself first:

  • Are you someone with a history of anxiety, especially if it is tied to health concerns?
  • If yes, did your symptoms show up while reading news about the virus?
  • Do you find it hard to focus on other things?

Paying too much attention is called hypervigilance and body scanning. It is associated with anxiety.

Anxiety causes shortness of breath

The brain is very powerful. We can see a positive pregnancy test and immediately develop morning sickness. Anxious people can read about the shortness of breath and instantly develop it.

However, shortness of breath is also tied to the way anxious people breathe. Anxious people breathe fast and too shallow. They blow off too much CO2, which makes them feel dizzy and makes their chest feel tight.

To alleviate the symptoms, breathe in slowly through your nose, count to four seconds, and then breathe out slowly through pursed lips. It will normalize your CO2 levels.

2 more ideas

The Meditations
The Meditations

The Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus was the last famous Stoic philosopher of antiquity. He faced one of the worst plagues in European history.

During the Antonine Plague, he wrote a...

The dichotomy of control

Because Stoics believe that true good resides in a person's character and actions, they would focus on what they can control, not what they can't.

What happens to you is never directly under your control, but your thoughts and actions are. Hence, It's not events that upset you but instead your opinion about the events.

The cause of our distress

Our judgment that something is really bad or even catastrophic causes our distress.

It's not the new virus that makes us afraid but rather our opinions about it.

2 more ideas

From Openness to Closing Yourself Off

From a young age, we learn that not everyone is on our side, and not all situations are going to go our way. 

Over time, we build walls around our hearts to pro...

Protecting Yourself with Destructive Behavior

Building walls create a safe space into which you can quickly retreat, but it also leaves you trapped behind your own emotional defenses, unable to give or receive positive emotions as well as negative ones. 

This, in turn, leaves many people feeling isolated and alone.

From Protecting to Forgiving Yourself

The fear of vulnerability is ultimately a fear of rejection or abandonment. To combat it, you must first learn to love and accept yourself with all your flaws, embarrassing stories, past mistakes, insecurities and awkwardness.  

Realize that everyone feels like this, regardless of how successful they are.

2 more ideas