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What's the difference between a hypochondriac and anxiety?

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Old 06-18-2005, 09:20 AM   #1
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Amberay HB User
Unhappy What's the difference between a hypochondriac and anxiety?

I would like to know the difference between a hypochondriac and someone with health anxiety. I've posted on here once before and someone said to look up hypochondriac. I guess I do fit the discription a bit, but my problem has mainly been recent because of recent events. If I didn't have these odd symptoms lately I most likely wouldn't feel this way. Sure, I have had panic attacks since off of Paxil, and I over reacted about my oral thrush last month and any normal person wouldn't take it to the extent that I did. This month I'm concerned about blood I saw after intercourse, and some pain. I did have an abnormal pap 4 years ago, so naturally it bothers me. Maybe if I get a clean bill of health on Tues. my anxiety will go down. It's been twice now that I have heard the term Hypochondriac (referring to me) on these health boards. Growing up, I've really only heard the term as more of a joke or an insult. I don't normally over react about my health issues. When I have panic attacks I can usually calm myself down because I've come to terms with my anxiety. Like I said, worrying about my health has been more of a recent problem.

Last edited by Amberay; 06-18-2005 at 09:27 AM.

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Old 06-18-2005, 02:49 PM   #2
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Lotus_Blossom HB User
Re: What's the difference between a hypochondriac and anxiety?

Hi Amberay,
Hypochondria is the persistent conviction that one is or is likely to become ill, often involving symptoms when illness is neither present nor likely,and persisting despite reassurance and medical evidence to the contrary.Health Anxiety is an exaggerated fear of physical illness.The principal feature of this condition is the tendency to attribute ordinary physical symptoms to some obscure but serious illness.Reassurance by doctors provides no comfort,but rather serves paradoxically to maintain,even worsen,those fears.When someone is seriously affected,he or she may go from doctor to doctor, distrusting what they say,yet demanding more and more attention and laboratory examinations.They distrust their physicians' advice.They are fearful of medication.They are resistant especially to a psychological explanation of their symptoms.Their behavior may seem ridiculous to others,even to themselves,but their distress is considerable.Their preoccupation with their physical condition often worsens to such a degree that their social and marital lives suffer and their ability to work is impaired.

Old 06-18-2005, 06:08 PM   #3
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loci777 HB User
Re: What's the difference between a hypochondriac and anxiety?

where did you copy that from

Old 06-18-2005, 06:17 PM   #4
Join Date: Apr 2005
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209mayne HB User
Re: What's the difference between a hypochondriac and anxiety?

hyochondriac=Health anxiety, its all really the same, i didnt become a hypochondriac until i suffered my first panic attack

Old 06-18-2005, 06:36 PM   #5
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kitkat77 HB User
Re: What's the difference between a hypochondriac and anxiety?

Anxiety is an unpleasant emotional state, ranging from mild unease to intense fear. An anxious person will often have the physical symptoms of a true disease, without actually having the disease.

Hypochondria is the unrealistic belief or fear that one is suffering from a serious illness, despite medical reassurance. It is often a complication of other psychological disorders, such as anxiety.

So when you're "feeling" ill - you physically feel the symptoms, that is anxiety.

If you really believe that you DO have a terrible disease, even after the doctor tells you you're fine, it's hypochondria.

Old 06-19-2005, 11:03 AM   #6
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Amberay HB User
Re: What's the difference between a hypochondriac and anxiety?

Wow, thank you! I have lately had health anxiety. In the past, not this bad. I've only had panic attacks and came to the realization that they were panic attacks and not heart attacks. I've always beenable to calm myself down. This time around I have had symptoms that have made me believe the worst. I do believe that once I have a check up, and get a clean bill of health, I should be okay. I went to church today and decided I'm not going to let all of my worrying consume me. It is getting out of controle and putting strain on my relationship with the father of my children. IF there is something wrong, it's out of my hands. All I can do is pray for the best. I will be okay.

Old 06-20-2005, 06:00 AM   #7
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Comptons HB User
Re: What's the difference between a hypochondriac and anxiety?

That's a very good attitude Amberay. Hypochondria is OFTEN used as an insult and joke. I too was in denialf or a LONG time about having it - but I do. I used to tell people that "I'm not a hypochondriac - I just have an anxiety problem." Duh - they were probably laughing the minute I turned around. You just have to learn to accept that this is real even though it's not a Physical illness and learn to deal with it. It sounds like you've made a conviction with yourself to not let it get you down - that's the first step. You also have to learn to deal with the physical symptoms when they arise. Good luck with this - and by the way - hypochondriacs are welcome on this board - I haven't met an anxiety/panic person yet that wasn't one.

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