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Hypochondriacs are difficult to diagnose and treat

Hypochondriacs pose a huge problem for physicians with as many as 1 in 20 patients in waiting rooms at any one time being a hypochondriac. Hypochondriasis is difficult to diagnose and difficult to treat. Physicians often become frustrated in dealing with these patients. Another group of patients that use physicians unnecessarily are the "worried well". These people are healthy but worry that something might be wrong. Once they are assessed or tested about their concern, they readily accept the finding and don't seek further treatment. Symptoms in hypochondriacs seem to persist no matter what the doctor tries and reassurance is often fought against. Hypochondriacs frequently report new symptoms or deterioration of old ones. Physicians need to be careful though as some may have genuine conditions which could have tragic consequences if undiagnosed. However, hypochondriacs often suffer some degree of harm by subjecting themselves to aggressive and invasive tests.

Source: summary of medical news story as reported by American Medical News

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Article Source Details

About: Hypochondriacs are difficult to diagnose and treat

Date: 17 January 2005

Source: American Medical News

URL: http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2005/01/24/hlsa0124.htm

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