What does it mean to be hypokonder?
Six tips for fear
Everyone can develop hypokondri if you have a certain amount of imagination and creativity, and death is backed up on the agenda.
This is what Professor Emeritus Ingvard Wilhelmsen says at Norway’s only hypokonder clinic.
Excessive health anxiety
Despite several prejudices aimed at hypokondere, this is a real diagnosis.
– There is an official diagnosis in the diagnostic system used in Norway: F45. 2 Hypokondric disorder, says Wilhelmsen.
Being hypokonder means having excessive health anxiety.
As a rule, a hypokonder project is to avoid dying unnecessarily early and that you try to control death.
In some cases it may be more about having a serious disability, such as MS or ALS.
– Normal, bodily sensations, such as palpitations, can be experienced as very uncomfortable and interpreted as a sign of disease. Even though you are being examined and getting assurances that you are well, this does not help and you are still convinced that you can be ill, says psychologist Nina Isaksen at Oslo Psychology Clinic.
Are you hypokonder?
Are any of the following points for you? Then the chance may be that you suffer from hypokondria.
- You closely follow what is happening in your body and tend to mistake the symptoms in the worst possible direction.
- You “googler” a symptom to be sobered, but you usually end up being more scared than you were initially.
- You often go to a doctor.
- Or; You combine hypokondri and scare because you fear death sentence.
Whiteley Index is the most commonly used test for diagnosing hypokondri.
– Most normal Norwegians score below 30 points, the vast majority of hypokondere score over 40. Patients with long-term pain and already diagnosed severe illness can also score relatively high, so it can only be used to reveal how much health anxiety has, explains Wilhlemsen.
Below is a list of questions about your health, this is the Whiteley Index – the most commonly used test for diagnosing hypokondri. For each of the questions, put a cross under the number that best describes how you have it.
1) Do you worry much about your health? 1 2 3 4 5 2) Do you think there’s something serious wrong with your body? 3) Is it hard to forget yourself or think about other things? 4) If you feel ill and someone tells you that you look better, you get annoyed? 5) Are you often aware of different things that happen in your body? 6) Are you bothered with a lot of pain and pain? 7) Are you afraid of illness? 8) Do you worry more about your health than most people? 9) Do you get the feeling that people do not take your illness seriously? 10) Is it hard for you to believe your doctor when he or she tells you that there is nothing to worry about? 11) Do you often worry about the possibility of having a serious illness? 12) If you become aware of a disease (via TV, radio, newspapers or someone you know), do you become afraid that you can get it? 13) Do you think you are bothered with many different symptoms? 14) Do you often have symptoms of a very serious illness?
There is help getting
Most people have at one time worried about having one or more diseases, without necessarily being hypocrisy for that reason.
– What you can think of is how much space your health is getting in your daily life. Is it after a long time disturbing your social life, you are struggling to concentrate on work or what you do at home is bad, you can start talking about hypokondri. Then it’s wise to get help, says Isaksen.
This happens with your body when you grow older
You can choose to contact your doctor for further referrals, or you can contact a psychologist directly.
There are also self-help options like Angst, where you can meet others with similar challenges.
– Cognitive behavioral therapy or metacognitive therapy has proven to be effective treatment of hypokondria, says Isaksen.
Hypokondria is usually treated with call therapy, Wilhelmsen states.
– One must find his project and realize that the attempt at, for example, controlling death is judged to fail. Nobody knows what to die of, so you do not really know how to put the shock or focus. The solution is to realize that most of our lives we are not in control of either future or death, says Wilhelmsen.
Wilhelmsen points out that the only thing one can control here in life is our own attitudes and actions.
– Instead of using life to not die, we can use it to live. Most people get completely fresh when they change their attitudes and behavior, he says.
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