At a time like this, where most people are on the edge with the COVID-19 pandemic, i feel I should bring to your attention “Hypochondria”, an obsession with the idea of having a serious but undiagnosed medical condition also called “illness anxiety disorder”.
Thanks to the internet, TV, social media, and other channels of communication, we have adequate information on the pandemic. This is a good thing. We are now well informed on how we can protect ourselves. People react to information differently. Some can ably take information and process it while others get into anxiety when they process a lot of information on a negative thing.
How do you know its Hypochondria?
• Frequently searching the internet for causes of symptoms or possible illnesses
• Constantly talking about your health and possible illnesses
• Repeatedly checking your body for signs of illness or disease
• Being preoccupied with having or getting a serious disease or health condition
• Worrying that minor symptoms or body sensations mean you have a serious illness
• Finding little or no reassurance from doctor visits or negative test results
• Avoiding people, places or activities for fear of health risks (needed as COVID-10 precaution and control)
• Worrying excessively about a specific medical condition or your risk of developing a medical condition because it runs in your family
• Having so much distress about possible illnesses that it’s hard for you to function
• Frequently making medical appointments for reassurance — or avoiding medical care for fear of being diagnosed with a serious illness (Reference: Havardhealth2020)
How will it affect your life?
• Having another mental health disorder, such as somatic symptom disorder, other anxiety disorders, depression or a personality disorder
• Relationship or family problems because excessive worrying can frustrate others
• Work-related performance problems or excessive absences
• Problems functioning in daily life, possibly even resulting in disability
• Financial problems due to excessive health care visits and medical bills
Q. Are you feeling this way or fear you may?
A. If yes, Vintage Health Wellness Center is offering FREE online sessions on “Embracing COVID-19 stress and Anxiety” every day from 8pm -10 pm. Bookings through +265 995 260 153. Session to be done through www.vintagehealthmw.com
Cecellia Saidi Matthews- Psychotherapist