Illness anxiety (formerly known as hypochondriasis and health anxiety) is a preoccupation with having or getting a serious disorder despite having no symptoms or only benign symptoms.
If you are a parent of a child who has OCD, you know only too well how easy it is to get entangled in an endless argument where you try to use logic to no avail. You tell your child how unlikely it is that something bad will happen, you teach her to think positively, you reassure her, and you try to help her out.
Do you wonder whether you may suffer from undiagnosed OCD?
You may have intrusive thoughts and maybe even some rituals, but your room is unbelievably messy, and you don’t feel you have to wash your hands all the time. And even though your thoughts are driving you nuts, they are actually about realistically dangerous things, things that most people would be scared of happening. And nobody even notices your rituals.
As I’m stepping out of my office into the reception area to get my next patient, Michael, I can see that he is distressed.
“What’s going on?” I ask as we take our seats.
Last weekend I was at my friend Emily’s barbeque party. After we had our full share of sausages, kebabs, and salads, and settled down at the table with the drinks, Emily said she was facing a serious dilemma and needed advice.