Stop COVID-19 making you a hypochondriac places a reality check on why you stress too much about getting sick during this pandemic. The article also ponders whether your sickness is more in your mind. After all, there aren’t any visible physical symptoms to confirm your suspicion.
The truth is that we are all afraid for our lives. Then again it’s important to stop COVID-19 making you a hypochondriac. Yes, it’s normal to worry about our health. But, when the fear of being ill is so strong it affects negatively every day of our life. Then it’s time to pull the brakes.
What Is Hypochondria?
In medical terms, illness anxiety disorder (IAD), sometimes called hypochondriasis, is worrying excessively that you’re or may become seriously ill. Or you believe the normal body sensations are signs of severe illness. Even though you’re in good health. Consequently, this excessive anxiety causes you severe distress that can disrupt your life.
Putting it simply, if you’ve been a natural hypochondriac all your life, you’re likely to believe you suffer from something. This could range from a bowel disorder, a noisy stomach to a minor rash, or cancer. You also worry about everything. From the mole on your back to the lesion on your penis or your vagina.
You then console yourself that you’re simply one member of the modern “worry well” society with general health anxieties. However, your family and friends argue that your case exceeds “worry well” to “worry sick”. Subsequently, to the “worry sick” indictment, you maintain you’re no hypochondriac, but just sickly.
Is COVID-19 Turning You Into A Hypochondriac?
Now, the COVID-19, a time of major life stress, has accelerated the “worry ill” pace. And turning you into a chronic worrier. You jump at the slightest cough or sneeze from a socially distanced shopper. You get home and go into a frenzy mode, washing your hands, checking your temperature. Then screaming at everyone for bringing germs home. By the end of the day, your temperature actually rises. You also experience breathlessness, not from COVID-19 infection, but from hyped up anxiety. The fact is that your anxiety could explain all those sudden health issues.
Consequently, by now you’re answering in the affirmative to the question, is COVID-19 turning you into a hypochondriac? You start to wonder if your friends and family are not right about your illness anxiety disorder. Take for example when your recent COVID-19 test turns out negative. You wish you could find this reassuring. But within an hour of getting the negative result, you begin to visualise the damage of COVID-19 on your lungs.
Now, you need to take a deep breath and calm down. Agreed it’s a good thing to be conscious of your health. However, there are people who take wellness so seriously, it hurts their health. Thus, not surprising hypochondria cases is exploding. Particularly, in many cases where symptoms of acute stress are often taken to be COVID-19, malaria, or typhoid. So, rather than relax and rest, the body is subjected to doses of malaria drugs or typhoid injections.
Hypochondria or illness anxiety disorder can fluctuate in severity, increasing with age, or during times of stress. The good news is that psychotherapy and sometimes medication can help ease your worries.
- Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and the use of selective serotonin, can be helpful in treating hypochondria. CBT can help patients put their fears into perspective. While serotonin can reduce the level of anxiety through medication.
- Stimulants such as coffee, alcohol, and tobacco should be avoided. Practice mindfulness meditation and eat healthily.
- Herbs such as St. John’s Wort, kava kava, and bacopa help reduce anxiety. However, patients should speak with a physician before using herbs. This is because some herbs may react with medications or have other side effects.
There is little knowledge of how to prevent hypochondria or illness anxiety disorder. But these suggestions may help:
- Seek professional advice as soon as possible to help stop symptoms from getting worse and damaging your quality of life.
- Learn to recognise when you’re stressed and how this affects your body. Regularly practicing stress management and relaxation techniques will also help.
- Stick with your treatment plan to help prevent relapses or worsening of symptoms.
How To Stop COVID-19 Making You A Hypochondriac
Don’t use the internet to self-diagnose
Nowadays, medical progress continues to give us the confidence to control our health destiny. Therefore, more people are embracing the message that we must take every step to do so. This includes monitoring each minor ache or unclear pain for signs of early trouble.
And nothing has made it easier or more tempting to self-diagnose than the Internet. As well as the instant access to medical information it provides. Unfortunately, several people go online with the hope that they’re going to comfort themselves. But end up more worried than when they started. Hence, the best alternative is to discuss your health worries with your doctor.
Focus on healthy mind and body
Finally, in order to stop COVID-19 making you a hypochondriac, your focus should be to maintain and sustain a healthy mind and body. This means resolving problems that cause your stress and anxiety. Then watch the hypochondriac symptoms evaporate.
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