Hypochondria, now classified as either somatic symptom disorder or, less commonly, illness anxiety disorder, is a behavioral health disorder characterized by an excessive and habitual preoccupation with personal health and a tendency to interpret insignificant or imaginary conditions as evidence of serious disease; also called hypochondriasis.

This pathology may be precipitated by death or illness of important family members or friends in childhood and early adulthood. (Hypochondria must be differentiated from somatic stress disorder).

See also Anxiety/anxiety disorders; Dependent personality disorder ; Learned helplessness ; Phobia .



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