(Also Known As: Hypocondriasis Research, Hypochondriac Research, Hypocondriac Research, Somatoform Research, Obsessive Compulsive Research, Malingering Research, Hypochondriasis Dsm Research)
(Reviewed by: Paul Peterson, Licensed Therapist)
Hypochondriasis Related Research
Current research on hypochondriasis showed that treatment methods used for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) also works for hypochondriasis. At present, cognitive therapy and exposure and response prevention (ERP) is the preferred choice of treatment 8.
Cognitive therapy is a challenging treatment method as it involves correcting faulty thinking. Such beliefs could bring about negative emotions and behavior. In this treatment method, the patient is taught to determine flaws in their thinking patterns so that they can overcome them and transform them into constructive beliefs, which can result in positive emotions and behavior.
Exposure and response prevention (ERP), on the other hand, involves the patients experiencing situations that they frequently fear and avoid. The patient is prevented from indulging in compulsive behaviors that will only guarantee short-term reduction of anxiety. The sessions usually proceed at the patient’s own pace and are usually tolerable.
In addition, there is growing proof that using selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) is effective in the treatment of hypochondriasis as well. While controlled adult trials using fluoxetine showed a high level of improvement, many of the patients also showed great response to placebo.
Compared to antidepressants, SSRIs are the treatment of choice because it promotes greater compliance. It does not possess the cardiac arrhythmia risk linked to tricyclic antidepressants. Current evidence does not show any indication that treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder and other anxiety disorders with SSRI was not associated with greater level of suicidal tendencies.
Could You Have Hypochondriasis?