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Author Topic: Why isn't hypochondria considered a type of OCD?  (Read 286 times)

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Offline firebird3428

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Why isn't hypochondria considered a type of OCD?
« on: January 27, 2014, 09:54:02 PM »
Hi everyone, I am really curious about this question because I'm a psych major in college and I took a few classes on mental disorders especially focusing on schizo, OCD, and mood disorders. One thing that I noticed is that a lot of the symptoms of OCD coincide with the symptoms of hypochondria. In my textbooks, hypochondria is listed as a somatoform disorder; I understand why it's considered a somatoform disorder, because we really feel our symptoms even though nothing is happening in the body, but I feel like psychologists maybe need to look into a bit more.

Obsessions: Usually with chronic or terminal diseases/sicknesses, we have lots of uncontrollable thoughts about us getting a disease/dying/suffering

Compulsions: We engage in vigorous checking behaviors: going to doctors, doing self examinations, checking internet/books, asking reassurance from family, etc.

Anxiety: We fear the worst and engage in the compulsions to help ease our fears but that never usually works. Our obsessive thoughts cause us a lot of anxiety.

I'm only a psych major and I have a TON of things to learn, but maybe looking into hypochondria more will help therapists/doctors/people know how to help someone with it a bit better.

What do you all think?
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Offline BeeDot

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Re: Why isn't hypochondria considered a type of OCD?
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2014, 09:58:11 PM »
Save a high school class, I have zero psychology background.  But I have often wondered the same thing.  So much of what I go through with health anxiety is similar to OCD. 

I wonder if anyone has tried OCD therapies to overcome health anxiety?
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Offline firebird3428

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Re: Why isn't hypochondria considered a type of OCD?
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2014, 10:06:00 PM »
I went to my therapist a few years ago about it and she thought at one point that I had OCD, but she focused more on my depression, which she thought was the root of all my problems.
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Offline BeeDot

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Re: Why isn't hypochondria considered a type of OCD?
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2014, 10:32:36 PM »
Yeah, I've gone to a therapist (several, actually) and tried to work though it, but they all seem to latch on to something else...either my childhood or my eating disorder or other anxieties (ha, I sound like a train wreck!)  and never have been able to just talk about health anxiety.  Maybe there's not a lot of specialized training out there?  I think that health anxiety or hypochondria still carries a pretty bad connotation.  For those people who don't suffer from it, we all sound completely crazy and irrational.  I know I used to drive my mother up the wall with my constant concerns.

 So in the mean time, I've been working through my many other issues with the hope that as those subside, my health anxiety will go with it.
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Offline aec711

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Re: Why isn't hypochondria considered a type of OCD?
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2014, 10:54:50 PM »
Funny you should say that...I know that I have OCD and panic attacks/anxiety and hypochondria - they sort of all blend together in my sad brain.  I have often wondered the same thing. I guess they have to separate everything as people have different symptoms, but I totally see what you are saying.  Interesting thoughts...
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Offline firebird3428

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Re: Why isn't hypochondria considered a type of OCD?
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2014, 11:08:22 PM »
I agree with both of you, mental disorders tend to blend together in some way, but I feel like there needs to be a bit more research done on HA because like you said BeeDot, there's so much stigma around HA, people think we're ridiculous/selfish/crazy, and maybe there's more to HA than they think. With more research, maybe they'll come up with more effective therapies/techniques for it. Probably in the future.
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Offline CrazyQuacker75

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Re: Why isn't hypochondria considered a type of OCD?
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2014, 11:45:51 PM »
I think it's because we obsess over symptoms, and we sometimes look on the internet a lot
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Offline BeeDot

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Re: Why isn't hypochondria considered a type of OCD?
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2014, 12:13:41 AM »
I suppose the good news is that with every passing year, mental illness is receiving more support and becoming less stigmatized.  I'm so grateful we don't live in a time where insane asylums are still a thing.  I am also grateful to live in a country that doesn't shun people with mental illness (even if they do charge me an arm and a leg for treatment....yay america).  I try to do my part by openly talking about my mental illness, my weekly therapy sessions, and being sure that friends and family feel comfortable coming to me with any concerns they have.  There are SO many people with mental illness in the world...if we all start making a difference, a great change can happen: ) 

Firebird, you say you are a psychology major.  Do you have any career aspirations yet?  NOT that you have to have everything figured out right now: )
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For peace of mind, resign as general manager of the universe.  -Author Unknown

Offline CrazyQuacker75

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Re: Why isn't hypochondria considered a type of OCD?
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2014, 12:26:06 AM »
I misread the post my bad
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Offline Scaredofsymptoms

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Re: Why isn't hypochondria considered a type of OCD?
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2014, 12:59:25 AM »
I know I have OCD. The root of hypochondria- the obsessive thoughts and self checking are text book OCD 
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Offline firebird3428

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Re: Why isn't hypochondria considered a type of OCD?
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2014, 01:03:50 AM »
@BeeDot right now I've been thinking about getting an MBA and going into music business/marketing, or going for music law. I'm not completely sure yet though haha.

@ScaredofSymptoms I feel like I have OCD too because of the other obsessive thoughts and compulsions I get unrelated to HA. I think I'm going to ask my professors about it because many people with HA have these symptoms.
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Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight.
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Offline Hypo84

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Re: Why isn't hypochondria considered a type of OCD?
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2014, 03:28:12 AM »
What my therapist is that I have hypochondria with elements of OCD (need to google, check symptoms), but not classic OCD, just ha related which is true.
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Offline livelaughlove

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Re: Why isn't hypochondria considered a type of OCD?
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2014, 05:39:53 AM »
I agree hypochondriasis is like a mix of somatoform disorder and OCD. Obsessing about what ails you, compulsive about nonstop thoughts about it and nonstop googling... it's like an addiction. I think it's just people with OCD have a more heightened awareness of touch and environment; it's like the adrenaline is more amped up in them. LIke the "go" button is always ready to react. Why, I don't know but wish i did know. It must be some sort of subliminal dealing mechanism or gratification or approval behaviour or something
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Offline BeeDot

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Re: Why isn't hypochondria considered a type of OCD?
« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2014, 10:56:39 PM »
Firebird, sounds neat!  I work in film and have been working with a lady recently who does, not music law, but entertainment law.  It's pretty interesting!

Has anyone tried OCD treatment for their health anxiety?  Aren't there medications specifically for OCD?
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For peace of mind, resign as general manager of the universe.  -Author Unknown

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