hypochondriasis
hypochondriasis [hī΄pōkän drī′ə sis, hī΄pəkän drī′ə sis; ] also [hip΄ōkän drī′ə sis, hip΄əkän drī′ə sis, hī΄pōkəndrī′ə sis, hī΄pəkəndrī′ə sis; ] also [hip΄ōkəndrī′ə sis, hip΄əkəndrī′ə sis]
n.
HYPOCHONDRIA: term preferred in medicine

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hy·po·chon·dri·a·sis (hī'pə-kən-drīʹə-sĭs) n. pl. hy·po·chon·dri·a·ses (-sēz')   [hypochondria + -iasis.]

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Mental disorder in which an individual is excessively preoccupied with his own health and inclined to treat insignificant physical signs or symptoms as evidence of a serious disease.

The hypochondriac may become convinced that he is ill even though he has no symptoms at all, or may exaggerate the importance of minor aches and pains, becoming obsessed with the fear of a life-threatening illness. A doctor's reassurances often have only a slight or temporary effect on the hypochondriac's anxieties. Hypochondriasis usually first manifests itself in early adulthood and is equally common among males and females. In some cases it may represent a psychological coping mechanism that the individual resorts to in order to deal with stressful life situations.

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       mental disorder characterized by an excessive preoccupation with one's own health and a tendency to fear or believe that one has a serious disease based on the presence of insignificant physical signs or symptoms. A hypochondriac may become convinced that he is ill even though such physical signs are completely absent, or he may exaggerate the medical significance of minor aches and pains, becoming morbidly and obsessively preoccupied with the thought of a life-threatening illness. The fears of the individual usually persist even after a thorough examination by a physician has established that no physical abnormality exists, and the physician's reassurances have only a slight or temporary effect on such a person's apprehensions. The typical hypochondriac does not become delusional about his health, however; i.e., he remains able to consider or admit the possibility that his fears are unfounded. Despite this, many hypochondriacs will go from doctor to doctor in their effort to enlist medical resources to deal with the imagined illness.

      A hypochondriac's concern may focus on a supposed disease or diseases of the heart, gastrointestinal tract, or genital structures, for example. The person may become fixated on one imagined disorder or may fasten on different ones as time goes by according to his own readings of medical literature, current public health concerns and fads, and so on. Hypochondriasis may exist by itself, or it may be a secondary syndrome that occurs along with another mental disorder. Hypochondriasis usually first manifests itself in young adulthood and is equally common among males and females. In some cases it seems to represent a psychological coping mechanism that the person resorts to in order to deal with stressful life situations. psychotherapy can be helpful in determining an underlying emotional cause, and behaviour therapy may also be helpful.

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Universalium. 2010.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Hypochondriasis — Hy po*chon dri*a*sis, n. [NL. So named because supposed to have its seat in the hypochondriac regions. See {Hypochondriac}, {Hypochondrium}, and cf. {Hyp}, 1st {Hypo}.] (Med.) A mental disorder in which melancholy and gloomy views torment the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • hypochondriasis — 1766, from HYPOCHONDRIA (Cf. hypochondria) + an unusual use of OSIS (Cf. osis) …   Etymology dictionary

  • hypochondriasis — [hī΄pōkän drī′ə sis, hī΄pəkän drī′ə sis; ] also [hip΄ōkän drī′ə sis, hip΄əkän drī′ə sis, hī΄pōkəndrī′ə sis, hī΄pəkəndrī′ə sis; ] also [hip΄ōkəndrī′ə sis, hip΄əkəndrī′ə sis] n. HYPOCHONDRIA: term preferred in medicine …   English World dictionary

  • Hypochondriasis — Infobox Disease Name = PAGENAME Caption = DiseasesDB = ICD10 = ICD10|F|45|2|f|40 ICD9 = ICD9|300.7 ICDO = OMIM = MedlinePlus = eMedicineSubj = eMedicineTopic = MeshID = D006998Hypochondriasis (or hypochondria, sometimes referred to as health… …   Wikipedia

  • hypochondriasis — Hypochondria Hy po*chon dri*a, n. [NL.] (Med.) An excessive concern about one s own health, particularly a morbid worry about illnesses which a person imagines are affecting him, often focusing on specific symptoms; also called {hypochondriasis} …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Hypochondriasis — A disorder characterized by a preoccupation with body functions and the interpretation of normal body sensations (such as sweating) or minor abnormalities (such as minor aches and pains) as portending problems of major medical moment. Reassurance …   Medical dictionary

  • Hypochondriasis —    The notion of hypochondriacal melancholy goes back to the Ancients, signifying a particular form of melancholy in which the hypochondrium (area beneath the ribs) is mainly affected. Felix Platter (1536–1614), professor of medicine at Basel,… …   Historical dictionary of Psychiatry

  • hypochondriasis — noun (plural hypochondriases) Etymology: New Latin Date: 1766 morbid concern about one s health especially when accompanied by delusions of physical disease …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • hypochondriasis — noun A mental disorder characterized by excessive fear of or preoccupation with a serious illness, despite medical testing and reassurance to the contrary. See Also: hypochondria, hypochondriac …   Wiktionary

  • hypochondriasis — n. obsessive preoccupation with the possibility of becoming ill or with imagined symptoms of an illness (Psychiatry) …   English contemporary dictionary

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