Difference between OCD and hypochondriac

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Anonymous #1
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Report Thread starter 10 months ago
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Respond if you have some knowledge on the matter. I have ocd with mental pure O compulsions but sometimes wonder if I m just an excessive hypochondriac and have no ocd at all despite what docs say. I know it’s stupid but if you may give me some comparison between the two.
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Genzstudent
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Report 10 months ago
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Hey I’ve OCD too and I felt like this for awhile at the beginning. My therapist says it’s very common for people with OCD to doubt if they have it. I think one reason for this is, is that OCD is prone to doubting everything in search of absolute certainty, you’ll hear sometimes OCD being referred to as “the doubting disease”. Disease sounds bad but you get the picture. Another reason I think is my OCD has more control over me if I don’t think it’s OCD. It’s easier for OCD to rationalise the obsessions and compulsions if it convinces you it’s by your own admission. I hope this makes sense. It sometimes takes awhile to believe that you have it, especially with OCD because you’re prone to obsessing. It took me a long time to reconcile that I have it. I’d suggest to discuss with a therapist the different traits of OCD and you might realise that you do other things that you didn’t realise were OCD. OCD takes many forms and sometimes when you recognise it’s pattern in your life it’s easier to recognise it for what it is. Once you do that you’re on your path to recovery.
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Anonymous #2
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Report 10 months ago
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Please do not call it 'hypochrondria', you would not like it if someone said extremely nasty things about your OCD that was language that was decades out of date, would you? That's seriously not cool. You can call it health anxiety, you can call it either of it's two other technical names if you wish illness anxiety disorder and somatic symptom disorder (some would illness anxiety disorder is 'hypochondria' due to how definitions changed). Although particularly the latter GPs tend to call it this and it confuses patients.

Health anxiety isn't classed as an OCD disorder. It's listed by some people as part of 'OCD spectrum' which is not an official term, just like purely obsessional OCD isn't an official term. Health anxiety is compared widely to OCD in many books.

There isn't much difference between OCD and health anxiety in some cases. So health anxiety can be more visible where it leads to people who aren't put off going to see the doctor, these patients can have very excessive visits and tests. People worry about big things like cancer or ulcerative colitis. There can be a lot of rituals and tapping or checking behaviours. It's not talked about much but quite a few people in their teens, 20s and 30s probably have health anxiety. Other people with health anxiety it takes over their lives but they won't see doctors at all and spend a large amount of time ruminating over whether they have a disease of not (real or imagined symptoms) and researching it, often with excessive supplements or lifestyle changes. Reassurance behaviours tends to present themselves more in health anxiety than it does with OCD.
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