What is it?

Illness anxiety disorder, formerly known as hypochondriasis, is excessive worrying about being ill. People who have it believe that minor sensations or symptoms could be signs of severe illness and often seek medical counselling.

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Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Illness anxiety disorder

Signs & symptoms

Illness anxiety disorder symptoms include being preoccupied with being seriously ill, worrying that body sensations mean they are having serious disease, being easily alarmed about someone’s health status, finding no reassurance from doctors, repeatedly checking for signs of illness, constantly talking about health and avoiding people or activities for fear of health risks.


Diagnosis is based upon findings from medical history and physical examination. Then, a mental health professional might perform a psychological assessment and evaluation in order to diagnose the disorder, according to the DSM-5 criteria.


Illness anxiety disorder treatment includes psychotherapy, particularly cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) as well medication such as antidepressants.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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