The exact cause of illness anxiety disorder isn't clear, but these factors may play a role:

  • Beliefs. You don't understand the meaning of body sensations or you have a poor understanding of diseases, or both. This could lead you to think that all body sensations are serious, so you search for evidence to confirm that you have a serious disease.
  • Family. You may be more likely to have health anxiety if you had parents who worried too much about their own health or your health.
  • Past experience. You may have had experience with serious illness in childhood, so physical sensations are frightening to you.

Illness anxiety disorder usually begins in early or middle adulthood and may get worse with age. Often for older individuals, health-related anxiety may focus on the fear of losing their memory.

July 02, 2015