In most cases, hypochondria won't get better if you try to treat it on your own. But you can do some things for yourself that will build on professional treatment:
Nov. 23, 2010
- Stick to your treatment plan. Go to all of your therapy sessions, even if you don't feel like going. Even if you're feeling well, resist any temptation to skip your medications. If you stop, your symptoms may come back. You could also experience withdrawal-like symptoms from stopping a medication too suddenly.
- Learn about your condition. Education about hypochondria can empower you and motivate you to stick to your treatment plan. Just learning about hypochondria may help ease your worries.
- Pay attention to warning signs. Work with your doctor or therapist to learn what might trigger your health anxiety. Make a plan so that you know what to do if symptoms return. Contact your doctor or therapist if you notice any changes in symptoms or how you feel.
- Get active. Physical activity and exercise can help manage many symptoms, such as depression, stress and anxiety. Consider walking, jogging, swimming, gardening or taking up another form of exercise you enjoy.
- Avoid drugs and alcohol. Alcohol and illegal drugs can worsen symptoms or increase anxiety and depression. They may also interact with medications you're taking.
- Create a good relationship with your doctors. Your relationship with your doctors can become strained if both you and your doctors feel frustrated about your situation. Be open and honest with your doctors about your concerns. Learn ways to cope with urges to have unnecessary tests and procedures. At the same time, don't neglect checkups or skip visits to your family doctor, especially if you aren't feeling well.
- Hypochondriasis. In: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-IV-TR. 4th ed. Arlington, Va.: American Psychiatric Association; 2000. http://www.psychiatryonline.com. Accessed Aug. 27, 2010.
- Asmundson GJ. Health anxiety: Current perspectives and future directions. Current Psychiatry Reports. 2010;12:306.
- Greenberg DB, et al. Somatization. In: Stern TA, et al. Massachusetts General Hospital Comprehensive Clinical Psychiatry. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/217852368-5/0/1657/229.html?tocnode=57542807&fromURL=229.html#4-u1.0-B978-0-323-04743-2..50026-3_582. Accessed Aug. 27, 2010.
- Ferri FF. Hypochondriasis. In: Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2011: Instant Diagnosis and Treatment. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2011. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/page.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05610-6..00017-2--sc29050&isbn=978-0-323-05610-6&type=bookPage§ionEid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05610-6..00017-2--sc29050&uniqId=217852368-6#4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05610-6..00017-2--sc29050. Accessed Aug 27, 2011.
- Smith RC. Primary care management of medically unexplained symptoms. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Aug. 27, 2010.
- Greenberg DB. Primary care management of medically unexplained symptoms. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Aug. 27, 2010.
You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.