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Hypochondria and Substance Abuse

Hypochondria and Substance AbuseHypochondria is a serious mental disorder that causes people to believe that small, insignificant symptoms, such as a headache, are foreshadowing a much more serious and life-threatening illness. Hypochondriacs tend to be in and out of doctor’s offices more commonly than others. With every small symptom that arises, they seek out medical attention and often are unsatisfied or even angered when the doctor informs them that it is not a cause for concern. To a hypochondriac, every symptom points to something bigger and life threatening.

After a visit to the doctor that ensures their health, hypochondriacs often do not believe that they are healthy and may want multiple opinions. They become increasingly frustrated when doctors do not present them with a solution, even though there is no solution for an imaginary illness. Hypochondriacs often become fixated on one section of the body, such as the head or stomach. In other cases, they can become obsessed with believing that they have one particular problem, such as cancer or a tumor in the brain. Hypochondriacs tend to do excessive research on their imagined disease and become increasingly worried with the results. In some cases, hypochondriacs go as far as to agree to invasive testing and experimental surgeries in order to find a cure. Hypochondriacs often try to self-medicate their symptoms in various ways, including the following:

  • Utilizing multiple over-the-counter medications
  • Obtaining illicit drugs that may temporarily relieve imagined symptoms
  • Taking multiple daily doses of aspirin in order to relieve headaches
  • Asking doctors for strong narcotic substances in order to relieve imagined pain
  • Utilizing euphoric inducing drugs in order to overcome mental distress
  • Using excessive amounts of medication

Self-medication can be a severely damaging behavior to engage in and can lead to multiple serious health concerns, including life-threatening overdoses. Treatment for hypochondria and substance abuse can be beneficial and typically consists of the following:

  • Coming up with an in depth outline to view individuals’ thoughts and feelings about their personal health
  • Identifying environmental and social triggers that cause individuals to have concern for their health
  • Developing new coping strategies and ways of managing health concerns without the abuse of addictive substances
  • Setting healthier behavioral goals and ways of dealing with future medical concerns

The cycle of hypochondria and self-medication commonly leads to severe drug addiction. Treatment at a licensed and professional treatment center for the co-occurring disorders of hypochondria and addiction is essential to experiencing the best recovery results.

Need Help Finding Treatment for Hypochondria, Substance Abuse, or Addiction?

If you or someone you love is struggling with hypochondria, substance abuse, or addiction and needs help, please call our toll-free number now. Our admissions coordinators are standing by 24 hours a day in order to help you find a treatment program that will work for you. Get help for hypochondria and overcome your addiction. Call us today.