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As I got in I was almost in tears. I sat there and I was shaking and I couldn't breathe
—Stephanie Huynh, a woman with ISD[1]

Illness anxiety disorder (ISD), formerly named Hypochondria,[2] is a relatively common disorder in which a person worries excessively about whether or not they're seriously ill. This sometimes can be classified as self-diagnosis, but that's sort of a grey area. This is a genuine mental illness that often causes constant suffering for those who have this illness.[3] They struggle with relationships, simple daily activities and keeping a job.[3]

It shares similarities to obsessive-compulsive disorderWikipedia's W.svg. Sufferers have persistent fears of potential illnesses and compulsions. They often compulsively visit the doctor.[4] Approximately 75 to 85% of people with illness anxiety disorder have depression, anxiety or another mental illness.[3]

This condition is often life long.[5]

Symptoms of illness anxiety disorder[edit]

  • Worrying about your health condition
  • Frequently visiting the doctor in order to find out if you're ill
  • Avoiding certain areas out of fear of infection
  • Being alarmed about health test results
  • Compulsively googling symptoms
  • Reassurance is ineffective at reducing anxiety about health concerns



See also[edit]

External links[edit]