- [whohit-Hypochondriacal Disorder Definition
= persistent excessive fear of suffering from a serious physical illness, although no organic cause can be found for the largely unspecific physical symptoms. (ICD 10 F45.2)
Synonym: DSM-5 “Disease Anxiety Disorder”
Etymology: The term hypochondria was derived from the assumption that these were disorders of organs “under the ribs” (regio hypochondrica). Hysteria and hypochondria were brought together by Thomas Sydenham (1624–1689) in the 17th century
The essential feature is a persistent preoccupation with the possibility of having one or more serious and progressive physical disorders. Patients perceive persistent somatic complaints and are persistently preoccupied with them. Normal or commonplace sensations and appearances are often interpreted by patients as abnormal and distressing, and attention is usually focused upon only one or two organs or systems of the body.
Marked depression and anxiety are often present.