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Word Count: 558
A person with hypochondria is preoccupied with physical health and body The diagnosis is used when a person during at least 6 months believes fears or is convinced that he has a serious disease despite medical reassurance This fear of disease or preoccupation with symptoms is unpleasant interferes with the patients daily life in a negative way and leads to medical examinations andor treatment The patient can only temporarily accept assurance that there is no physical explanation to his symptoms In common language hypochondriac indicates a person who thinks he is ill or imagines that he has symptoms However hypochondria or excessive health anxiety is as serious as any other medical diagnosis It has always been a part of the official medical diagnostic systems and still is Hypochondria must be positively diagnosed For example it is not enough to exclude physical disease the exaggerated health anxiety must also be found Hypochondria is as common in men as in women and can be found in all age groups and social classes The physical symptoms are always real but might be normal physical signs like headache belly pain dizziness fatigue etc which are misinterpreted as more dangerous than they really are The physical symptoms may change or can be stable over time and they can be vague or quite specific Hypochondria can be treated However it might take time and the tendency to have exaggerated health anxiety might not completely vanish it is normal to fear cancer However the patient with hypochondria can realize that he has anxiety and not a serious physical disease and gradually reduce his anxiety The patient is not healed when he realizes that he has health anxiety just as a person can still be afraid of flying even though he knows it but it is an important first step When hypochondria begins in conjunction with a major life event ex your are 40 years old and somebody close to
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