Hypochondriasis or hypochondria (sometimes referred to as health phobia or health anxiety) refers to excessive preoccupation or worry about having a serious illness. This debilitating condition is the result of an inaccurate perception of the bodys condition despite the absence of an actual medical condition. An individual suffering from hypochondriasis is known as a hypochondriac. Hypochondriacs become unduly alarmed about any physical symptoms they detect, no matter how minor the symptom may be. They are convinced that they have or are about to be diagnosed with a serious illness. Even sounds produced by organs in the body, such as those made by the intestines, seem like symptoms of a very serious illness to patients dealing with hypochondriasis.
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