Hypochondriasis is when a person thinks they have a disease or illness based upon the fact they misinterpret their body symptoms. Health anxiety is when a person constantly worries on a daily basis about their health. A person that is suffering from this is called a Hypochondriac.
Hypochondriacs constantly worry to the point of obsession that they have an illness, despite evidence to the contrary. They may even worry about developing a life threatening serious illness in the future.
They tend to constantly use the internet to check for signs and symptoms, and consistently check their body for evidence of an illness. They tend to over exaggerate symptoms in their mind, so a simple headache to them could be the onset of a brain tumour.
If a doctor tells them they do not have a problem they would rather disbelieve the doctor, thinking that they have failed to make the correct diagnosis. They continuously talk about their signs and symptoms to friends and family.
Hypochondriasis can affect a person’s ongoing daily life due to the fact they are so consumed with the fact ‘they are ill’. Severe hypochondriacs can find it affects their life so much it is very debilitating. It can lead on to depression, severe anxiety, panic attacks and substance abuse.