Health, or “illness anxiety disorder,” as it has been newly termed in the latest Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association, can be a highly disruptive condition. For those who suffer from it, seeking medical attention can be an almost addictive process. Sometimes getting the advice of a medical professional can bring relief. But, more often, it opens the door to unnecessary diagnostic testing, an escalating need for reassurance, over attention to benign physical symptoms, and greater anxiety in the face of uncertainty.
In a post published today on the medical website, KevinMd, I’ve outlined some important guidelines for physicians to follow when treating a patient with health anxiety. Although I usually discourage people with health anxiety from using the Internet to diagnose themselves, I’d recommend you check out my suggestions if you think you might have Illness Anxiety Disorder. (It’s a credible source, unlike many of the ones you may be reading.) And, the next time you see your primary care physician, bring along a copy. With most health matters–and, especially so with health anxiety–collaboration is the best medicine.
This blog is intended solely for the purpose of entertainment and education. All remarks are meant as general information and should not be taken as personal diagnostic or therapeutic advice. If you choose to comment on a post, please do not include any information that could identify you as a patient or potential patient. Also, please refrain from making any testimonials about me or my practice, as my professional code of ethics does not permit me to publish such statements. Comments that I deem inappropriate for this forum will not be published.