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Mental Disorders

Illness Anxiety Disorder

Kathryn Patricelli, MA

Hypochondriasis
Symptoms

Preoccupation with fears of having, or the idea that one has, a serious disease based on the person's misinterpretation of bodily symptoms.

The preoccupation persists despite appropriate medical evaluation and reassurance.

The belief in the first category is not of delusional intensity (as in Delusional Disorder, Somatic Type) and is not restricted to a circumscribed concern about appearance (as in Body Dysmorphic Disorder).

The preoccupation causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.

The duration of the disturbance is at least 6 months.

The preoccupation is not better accounted for by Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Panic Disorder, a Major Depressive Episode, Separation Anxiety, or another Somatoform Disorder.

Criteria summarized from:
American Psychiatric Association. (1994). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, fourth edition. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.