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Hypochondriasis Treatments

Treatment

Physician Relationship and Monitoring

Effective treatment involves consistent, supportive care from one doctor, often in consultation with a mental health professional. Finding a healthcare provider who is willing to listen to your concerns, provide assurance, and avoid unnecessary testing is key to recovery.

You may feel overwhelmed by your symptoms. They may even seem to control your life. Schedule frequent visits, regardless of symptoms, with one doctor you can trust. Expect your doctor to:

  • Validate your distress
  • Be supportive
  • Direct your attention away from symptoms, and focus it on functioning in daily life
  • Discourage a sense of dependency and disability
  • Recommend psychiatric counseling

Psychological Counseling

Research has shown that cognitive behavior therapy , behavioral stress management, or explanatory therapy can be effective in treating hypochondria. This involves regular counseling with a psychotherapist to recognize false beliefs, understand anxiety, and stop anxious behaviors.

Medications

Anti-depressant medication, such as serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or tricyclics (TCAs) may relieve the symptoms of hypochondria. A recent randomized control trial in the Netherlands showed paroxetine (as well as cognitive behavioral therapy) to be of short-term help in relieving symptoms, and other studies have shown fluoxetine (Prozac) to be helpful.

***Please note FDA Public Health Advisory for Antidepressants:

The FDA advises that people taking antidepressants should be closely observed. For some, the medications have been linked to worsening symptoms and suicidal thoughts. These adverse effects are most common in young adults. The effects tend to occur at the beginning of treatment or when there is an increase or decrease in the dose. Although the warning is for all antidepressants, of most concern are the SSRI class such as:

For more information, please visit: http://www.fda.gov/cder/drug/antidepressants/

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2022 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

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