Are You a Hypochondriac?


(CARLSBAD, CA) – Hypochondriacs: they’re often the butt of jokes or the subject of gossip. You know the type, from your worrywart grandmother who insists you wear a sweater on a warm summer day to your best friend who launches a Google search for signs of respiratory failure every time she sneezes or coughs.You may have to put-up with your grandma’s incessant nagging, but your best friend, who is completely debilitated by fear of death, may warrant professional help. Hypochondria is a recognized psychiatric disorder that affects a good number of Americans. Similar to any other disorder, there are degrees of hypochondria, and the more severe cases wreak havoc on the happiness and quality of life for those who suffer from it.Both antidepressants and therapy can relieve symptoms of hypochondria. Of course, many hypochondriacs avoid this help because they don’t realize that their fears about their health are unwarranted. In other words, most hypochondriacs don’t realize that they are, indeed, hypochondriacs.How do you know if you’re a hypochondriac or just being cautious about your health? According to the Mayo Clinic, you may suffer from hypochondria if you have experienced any of these symptoms for six months or longer:
  • Repeatedly visiting your doctor for exams or tests.

  • Worrying that minor symptoms are a sign of serious illness.

  • Going from doctor to doctor to have multiple tests for the same symptom.

  • Inability to be reassured when medical tests produce good results.

  • Obsessive health research.

  • Incessantly checking your body for lumps, sores, or other abnormalities.

  • Frequently checking your vital signs, such as pulse and blood pressure.

  • Convincing yourself that you have a disease after reading or hearing about it.

  • Relentlessly talking about symptoms or suspected illnesses with family or friends.

If you find that you have experienced one or more of these warning signs, talk to a health care professional. More severe cases of hypochondria may require medication. Most hypochondriacs can be helped with therapy and a few life changes. As you seek to relinquish your fears and re-claim the joy of life, try making a few of these life changes recommended by Judi Sheppard Missett, founder and CEO of Jazzercise, Inc.

  • Get busy doing meaningful activities. Join a community service project or start-up a walking group with your neighbors. You’ll be so preoccupied with your newfound hobby that you won’t have time to worry.

  • Resist spending hours on the Internet researching signs and symptoms of diseases. You’ll just convince yourself that you have some devastating illness that you don’t really have.

  • Stick with one doctor. Don’t “doctor shop,” continually searching for new health care professionals to run different tests.

  • Talk to a family member or a friend whom you trust. Ask them to help you keep perspective when you begin to worry about your health.

  • Join a hypochondriac or anxiety support group.

Jazzercise, created by Judi Sheppard Missett, is the world's leading dance-fitness program with more than 7,500 instructors teaching 32,000 classes weekly in the U.S. and around the globe. Since 1969, millions of people of all ages and fitness levels have reaped the benefits of this comprehensive program, designed to enhance cardiovascular endurance, strength, and flexibility. For more information on Jazzercise go to or call (800)FIT-IS-IT or (760)476-1750.

Posted: 4/15/2008 10:23:37 AM by Jazzercise | with 0 comments

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