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Word of the Week: Hypochondriac

Written by Science, Science & Tech

Do you have a mate who is constantly worrying about having some sort of illness? Do they come out with statements such as, “I’ve been experiencing cluster headaches for the past few months. I think I might have brain cancer.” If yes, that mate of yours might be a hypochondriac!

The word ‘hypochondriac’ refers to someone who is suffering from health anxiety or illness anxiety disorder. Hypochondriacs live their lives excessively concerning over their own health. Sadly, nothing seems to be able to put a hypochondriac’s mind at peace. Despite multiple doctor visits and negative test results (sometimes on a same day!), a hypochondriac is still worried that the tests are falsely negative, or the doctors have overlooked something.

To ease a hypochondriac’s mind, one can try several self-help measures such as practicing mindfulness meditation, avoiding stimulants (coffee, alcohol and tobacco) and keeping yourself busy with activities. However, if the condition is keeping you from leading a normal life, by all means, go and talk to your doctor!

Last modified: 6th May 2018

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