What Is Illness Anxiety Disorder?

Previously known as hypochondria

Previously called hypochondriasis or hypochondria, illness anxiety disorder (IAD) is a mental health condition in which a person strongly believes they have or will develop a serious or life-threatening illness, though they show little to no symptoms. This feeling persists even when tests or examinations show they do not have a serious condition.

Illness anxiety disorder is common, and may affect up to 10% of the general adult population.


Understanding Illness Anxiety Disorder

Hypochandriasis was removed from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (DSM-5) in part because of the stigma attached to the words hypochondriasis and hypochondria. Upon hearing the word hypochondriac, there is often a false assumption that the person living with the condition is “faking it” and other harmful misconceptions that lead to the illness being dismissed or stigmatized.  read more

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