We call hypochondria at the constant focus on small symptoms of illness, as well as the constant worry of suffering from a serious disease. It may be like a phobia, but there are subtle differences between them, so it sure deserves its own space.
People who suffer from this, usually have experienced -or some close ones have experienced- a sudden illness or medical issue; cancer, stroke, heart attack… Even though this is not a necessary incident, many times it has to do with the onset of the problem and the main worry, until it gets generalized to other illnesses.
Trying to prevent future problems from happening, the person will focus more and more on the characteristics and symptoms of their own body, trying to come ahead of time from an eventual sickness. They will investigate the mirror looking for spots or bulges, they will deeply focus on what’s happening when they are nervous, they’ll be expecting pains and aches… many are the ways of showing hypervigilance. As studies show, someone who is looking for irregularities will end up finding as harmful things that are completely normal, being afraid of usual body functions and trying to do something to calm down. They usually search in the internet for their symptoms and self-diagnose themselves, ask experts about the symptoms or directly go to emergencies to be treated; but in most cases there is no presence of illness at all. However, these people will keep being over-vigilant just in case something happens, and they will be constantly thinking what if they’re suffering from a serious illness.
The problem is that these thoughts and continuous vigilance will start meddling with the rest of their lives. People get obsessed and start spending less and less time in other things so they can be exploring their bodies, never being able to be totally sure that nothing is going to happen. They are in a vicious circle which is very difficult to get away from, monitoring their bodies, believing that they have found something dangerous and monitoring again for something that never comes to happen.
If you feel identified with the last paragraph, contact us so we can help you get rid of the hypervigilance and the fears that torment you.
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At ITEC we offer different modalities of therapy and we are also experienced in treating children, teenagers and adults. If you would like to know the treatments that we offer, please refer to this list: