Hypochondriacal Patients’ Appraisal of Health and Physical Risks


Origins of Disease Phobia


Folie a Deux (et Folie a Plusiers) (IN: Uncommon Psychiatric Syndromes by M D Enoch and H N Ball)

This chapter explores the phenomenon of folie a deux, which can occur in several syndromes in which mental symptoms, particularly paranoid delusions, are transmitted from one person to one or more others with whom the apparent instigator is in some way intimately associated, so that they also come to share the same delusional ideas. The […]

Suicide and Bodily Integrity

The author hypothesizes that hypochondria mostly tends to prevent suicide. He argues that suicide implies destruction of the body. This being the case, the hypochondriac who feels himself threatened by a serious disease does not need to bring about the destruction of his own body. The feared hypochondrical threat & the wished suicidal threat are […]

The Suicide of Mark Rothko

This article describes the life & suicide of artist, Mark Rothko. Rothko was chronically depressed throughout his life, & antidepressants did not serve to alleviate his depression. He was insecure about his artwork, a hypochondriac, had alienated many of his friends & family, & was an alcoholic. The author draws a parallel between Rothko & […]

Hypochondriasis in the Elderly Depressed

This study explored the significance of hypochondriacal complaints in elderly depressives. 60% of patients had such symptoms on admission. 12% were delusional. At discharge, hypochondriasis was present in 40% of the sample, with 0% delusional. Hypochonriasis was associated with anxiety & somatic concerns, but not with complaints of depressed mood, suicidality, or short-term outcome. Nonpsychotropic […]

Factitious Disorders in a Teaching Hospital

The authors surveyed factitious disorders displayed in 41hypochondriacal patients over a 10 year period in a Boston hospital. 41 disorders were identified including one that was fatal & several that were chronic, severe, & life threatening. 33 patients were confronted with evidence that their disorders were self-induced; none of these 33 patients signed out of […]

Robbo: Profile of a Negative Patient

This article is an informal narrative by a physician about a comical hypochondriac patient he treated. The author relays information about the patient’s hypochondriac thoughts & behavior, contrasting it with the patientÕs family’s reactions. A description of the patientÕs suicide attempts & treatment is included. (SC)

Clinical Parable: the English Malady-2

This article describes risk factors for suicide in patients that display hypochondria. Comorbid disorders are presented. A case study is included. (7 refs) (SC)

Relationship of Alcoholism, Hypochondria, and Attempted Suicide

In this study, the authors investigated whether hypochondria could be a possible link between suicide & alcoholism. They hypothesized that there would be a high frequency of suicidal attempts & a low frequency of hypochondria in alcoholics; while in hypochondriacs there would be a low frequency of alcoholism & of suicidal attempts. Results supported the […]

Physical Disease, Hypochondria, and Alcohol Addiction in Suicides Committed by Mental Hospital Patients

Study of 57 suicides over a 12-yr period turned up no case of hypochondria, suggesting an inverse relationship between suicide and such a diagnosis. Alcoholic addiction was found in 13 of 26 male and 5 of 31 female suicides.

Hypochondriasis and Depression in the Aged

The development, incidence, & characteristics of hypochondriacal symptoms were studied in 152 depressed patients aged 60 or over, admitted to the Geriatric Unit at the Bethlehem Royal Hospital. Suicide was attempted by 17.7% of the patients in the series. 24.8% of patients who exhibited hypochondriacal symptoms attempted suicide, while of those free from these symptoms […]

Monosymptomatic Hypochondriasis, Abnormal Illness Behavior and Suicide

Two cases of chronic monosymptomatic psychogenic eye pain with abnormal illness behavior are presented. Both failed to respond to a wide variety of treatments, and despite the accepted low suicidal risk in hypochondriasis both killed themselves. The origin, prognosis and therapy of such behavior are discussed in this context.