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Hypochondriasis

  1. Steven Taylor1,
  2. Gordon J. G. Asmundson2

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0427

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Taylor, S. and Asmundson, G. J. G. 2010. Hypochondriasis. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–2.

Author Information

  1. 1

    University of British Columbia, Canada

  2. 2

    University of Regina, Canada

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

Abstract

Hypochondriasis is defined by a preoccupation with the fear of having, or the idea that one has, a serious disease, based on misinterpretation of one or more bodily sensations or changes (American Psychiatric Association [APA], 2000). Fear persists even though the person receives ample reassurance from physicians that there is no evidence of serious disease and despite the fact that frightening bodily changes or sensations the person believes to be symptomatic of disease rarely become progressively worse. People with hypochondriasis usually resist the idea that they are suffering from a psychiatric disorder. To be diagnosed with hypochondriasis, one has to have its symptoms for at least 6 months.

Keywords:

  • hypochondriasis;
  • sick behavior;
  • health anxiety;
  • cognitive-behavior therapy