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Hypochondria Essay

1429 words - 6 pages

Hypochondria, also known as Hypochondriasis is an extreme depression of mind or spirits often centered on imaginary physical ailments. It is also sometimes called health phobia and is referred to an excessive preoccupation or worry about having a serious illness. Its cause is still unknown and persists even a physician has assured patient of being healthy. To conduct the research on this illness, I found an article in a non-science magazine "New York," a peer reviewed journal about this topic and an Internet based journal that is not published in any paper form.In the article, "Listening to Hypochondria," published in New York magazine, the author Mark Levine explains extensively the symptoms, affects and the treatment of a hypochondriac individual. He takes a case of a patient naming "Lee Gardon" who is 45 years old and is married believes that he has MS that is multiple sclerosis. Gardon often goes to the doctors to discuss his ailment but he complains that the doctors he sees do not check him comprehensively. Although he looks healthy, yet he feels weak, exhausted, lazy, and respiratory complications. His curiosity reaches new heights when he hears that one of his friends of same age has been diagnosed by multiple sclerosis. He then search on the Internet about the disease became more worried and started to observe his own symptoms. He feels "numbness and tingling" in his arms and legs. He then goes to a neurologist who take the MRI of his brain and finds some spots, which the neurologist concludes that the myelin sheath of the nerves have been damaged which is a sign of multiple sclerosis. His family life has disturbed immensely due to this suspicion of multiple sclerosis.The author Mark Levine then explains the history of hypochondriasis. He informs that the term hypochondria came from two words; "Hypo" and "Khondros." Hypo means "under" and khondros means that the cartilage that binds the ribs together. Levine tells that 2500 years ago, it was assumed that this ailment is linked to the soft, involuntary parts of body such as liver, spleen, gall bladder, and digestive tract. He then explains the symptoms of this disease. Hypochondriac patients usually look for an acute and fatal ailment like heart attack, cancer, AIDS, multiple sclerosis which are difficult to diagnose and thus these patients find a way to back their feelings and fears. These patients never give up. If their family, friends and doctors ignore them, they go on Internet to search about their symptoms on which they spend plenty of hours but still they do not feel any better. This condition is known as "Cyberchondriasis."Then the author explains about the research on this disease. He tells that in 1980, American Psychiatric Association recognized this disease as "hypochondriasis" as a serious ailment. He says that although the physicians assure the hypochondriacs that they have no disease, yet they are suspicious and do not accept it. Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is the...

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