• Hypochondria (sometimes hypochondriasis) is the unfounded belief that one is suffering from a serious illness. Hypochondria is often associated with obsessive-compulsive disorder. Hypochondria can also be brought on by stress. Hypochondriacs are a severe problem to the health system as they use up much of doctors' time and in taking unneeded blood tests, MRIs and such waste valuable resouces and time. Some hypochondriacs will even be subjected to unnecessary exploratory surgery or treatments that can endanger their health. It should be noted that in some cases hypochondria is misdiagnosed when the patient is indeed unwell, but the physician is unable to diagnose the real illness. Hypochondria was originally a term used for unidentifiable stomach pains that were a common concern in the ancient world. Eventually the term evolved to be the male counterpart to hysteria during the nineteenth century. There has been some evidence that anti-depressants can alleviate severe hypochondria. Some famous folks who suffered from hypochondriasis: Hans Christian Andersen Adolf Hitler Howard Hughes Dr Samuel Johnson Harald Schmidt Kenneth Williams Charles Darwin Interestingly enough, I happen to have a book from the Office of Strategic Services circa 1941 that is an Analysis of Adolf Hitler per U.S. Intelligence and he was thought to suffer from many things (a given), but most were thought to be the related to obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), which is often linked to hypochondriasis. Howard Hughes also suffered from OCD. As time passed, Hughes developed debilitating symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), he became a reclusive, living a drug-addled life locked in darkened rooms and terrified of germs. He became addicted to codeine and other painkillers, was extremely frail, wore Kleenex boxes as shoes, and stored his urine in jars. Much of his strange behavior at the end of his life has been attributed to tertiary stage syphilis by modern biographers.
  • High anxiety, oftentimes due to something that occurred in childhood that the person may have unwittingly been exposed: dying person, sick person, other people in the family complaining about their diseases, etc. We all have fears but these take precedence and oftentimes replace having to cope with other areas of life. +4
  • I think that people who are lonely or need more attention from others find that when they are sick, suddenly everyone feels sorry for them and takes care of them and gives them attention and is concerned for them. So then whenever they think of an illness they might have, they blow it out of proportion and then hope they will get that attention again. But unfortunately for them, people soon see the trend, and stop caring, and that is the very opposite of what they originally wanted. So they have to keep on inventing more and more illnesses to try to get people to care again, and they get really depressed that people aren't caring.

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