Treatments and drugs

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Treatment for hypochondria can include psychological counseling, education and medications.

  • Psychological counseling. Psychological counseling (psychotherapy) is the primary treatment for hypochondria. A form of psychotherapy called cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) may be the most effective treatment. Cognitive behavioral therapy helps you recognize and stop behavior associated with your anxiety, such as constantly monitoring your body for problems. Sometimes counseling may include exposure therapy, in which you directly confront your health fears in a safe environment and learn skills to cope with these uncomfortable sensations.
  • Education about hypochondria. Known as psychoeducation, this type of counseling can help you and your family better understand what hypochondria is, why you have it and how to cope with your health fears.
  • Medications. Certain antidepressant medications may be helpful in treating hypochondria. Examples include serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such fluoxetine (Prozac), fluvoxamine (Luvox) and paroxetine (Paxil); and tricyclic antidepressants such as clomipramine (Anafranil) and imipramine (Tofranil). Your doctor may prescribe other medications, particularly if you also have another psychological or physical condition.
Nov. 23, 2010