Treatment of Mental Hypochondriasis: A Case Report

Treatment of Mental Hypochondriasis: A Case Report Hypochondriasis is characterized by intensive fears of serious disease. Most patients with hypochondriasis worry about physical diseases like cancer, although in rare cases, patients report severe fears of mental disorders (e.g., schizophrenia), a phenomenon described in the literature as mental hypochondriasis. However, little is known about this rare subtype of hypochondriasis and experts have questioned whether mental hypochondriasis has much in common with the type of hypochondriasis in which somatic diseases are the focus of preoccupation. This paper presents, a case report of a woman with a fear of schizophrenia, which was treated with cognitive therapy. This patient fulfills the DSM-IV criteria of hypochondriasis and exhibits many characteristics (e.g., selective attention, safety behavior) considered to be maintaining factors in well-established cognitive-behavioral models of hypochondriasis. Cognitive treatment strategies for hypochondriasis (e.g., attention training, behavioral experiments) also proved effective in this case of mental hypochondriasis. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Psychiatric Quarterly Springer Journals

Treatment of Mental Hypochondriasis: A Case Report

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2013 by Springer Science+Business Media New York
Subject
Medicine & Public Health; Psychiatry; Public Health; Sociology, general
ISSN
0033-2720
eISSN
1573-6709
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11126-013-9270-6
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Hypochondriasis is characterized by intensive fears of serious disease. Most patients with hypochondriasis worry about physical diseases like cancer, although in rare cases, patients report severe fears of mental disorders (e.g., schizophrenia), a phenomenon described in the literature as mental hypochondriasis. However, little is known about this rare subtype of hypochondriasis and experts have questioned whether mental hypochondriasis has much in common with the type of hypochondriasis in which somatic diseases are the focus of preoccupation. This paper presents, a case report of a woman with a fear of schizophrenia, which was treated with cognitive therapy. This patient fulfills the DSM-IV criteria of hypochondriasis and exhibits many characteristics (e.g., selective attention, safety behavior) considered to be maintaining factors in well-established cognitive-behavioral models of hypochondriasis. Cognitive treatment strategies for hypochondriasis (e.g., attention training, behavioral experiments) also proved effective in this case of mental hypochondriasis.

Journal

Psychiatric QuarterlySpringer Journals

Published: Aug 10, 2013

References

  • An experimental analysis of hypochondriasis
    Abramowitz, JS; Moore, EL
  • Cyberchondriasis: Fact or fiction? A preliminary examination of the relationship between health anxiety and searching for health information on the internet
    Muse, K; McManus, F; Leung, C; Meghreblian, B; Williams, JMG
  • The effects of safety behaviors on health anxiety: An experimental investigation
    Olatunji, BO; Etzel, EN; Tomarken, AJ; Ciesielski, BG; Deacon, B

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