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HEALTH & MEDICAL OCD, 
HYPOCHONDRIASIS

OCD that focuses on medical and health worries is called hypochondriasis.  Hypochondriasis is an exaggerated obsessive worry about one's health (in the absence of supporting medical evidence, or out of proportion to an actual but non-urgent health risk).  People worry about COVID19, cancer, HIV, AIDS, heart attacks, germs, infectious diseases, epidemics, dementia, brain damage, stroke, asbestos, chemicals, unplanned pregnancy, and food poisoning, to name just a few. 

To see if you have hypochondriasis, email a question to Dr. Brodsky or arrange a free consultation.  If you feel ready, make an appointment online instantly or call 212-726-2390.

Click to preview or order this book by a former client who suffered with Hypochondriasis about her therapy with Dr. Brodsky

They avoid people, places, and things that they see as a health risk--crowds, hospitals, public restrooms, school, certain ethnic groups, cleaning fluids, and certain foods.  They worry about themselves, loved ones, or spreading an infectious disease to others.  The sufferer might compulsively do endless internet research for medical information, visit multiple doctors (or avoid doctors), get multiple lab tests, adopt extremely restrictive diets, use new age alternative providers, consume a long list of "cures," take dozens of online psychological tests, and seek reassurance from others. 


With Hypochondriasis OCD, ordinary physiological sensations can be misinterpreted as cancer, heart disease, a stroke, ulcer, unplanned pregnancy, and numerous other major illnesses.  The problem is worse because most of these sensations are themselves classic physical symptoms caused by anxiety itself:

  • tight chest, heart palpitations
  • abdominal pain, bloating
  • indigestion, heartburn, acid reflux
  • sexual dysfunction, impotence
  • vaginitis, painful intercourse
  • loss of libido or arousal
  • loss of usual interests, personality change
  • rashes, hair loss
  • itchiness, muscle tension
  • headaches
  • back pain, fibromyalgia, foot pain
  • rapid breathing, shortness of breath
  • difficult swallowing or speaking, choking, dry mouth
  • flu-like symptoms, cough, sneezing, teariness, colds
  • loss of appetite, dehydration, malnutrition
  • nauseau, vomiting
  • irritable bowel, constipation, diarrhea
  • incontinence, painful urination
  • faintness, dizziness, loss of balance
  • physical weakness, fatigue
  • insomnia, nightmares
  • motor, facial, and vocal tics
  • poor attention, concentration, and memory
  • seeing or hearing illusions, depersonalization
  • To see if you have hypochondriasis, email a question to Dr. Brodsky or arrange a free consultation. If you feel ready, make an appointment online instantly or call 212-726-2390.