Hypochondriasis is characterized by a fear or belief, based on misinterpretations of bodily sensations, that one has a serious disease. A person with hypochondriasis may be focused on a single illness, but most of the time they have more than one health condition. Individuals with hypochondriasis visit physicians frequently and when the physician is unable to find a cause for a patient they tell them there is nothing physically wrong. However, in the movie My Girl Vada suffers from hypochondriasis. Vada either has cancer or a chicken bone stuck in her throat. She is constantly dying of something. She meets the criteria for the DSM-IV-TR.
Hypochondriasis belongs to the somatoform class of disorders along with somatization disorder, undifferentiated somatization disorder, pain disorder, conversion disorder, and body dysmorphic disorder. Hypochondriasis is characterized by a fear or belief, based on misinterpretations of bodily sensations, that one has a serious disease. A person with hypochondriasis may be focused on a single illness, but most of the time they have more than one health condition. The fears may change over time as a person notices a new symptom or learns about an unfamiliar disease. The fears appear to develop in response to minor physical abnormalities, like fatigue, aching muscles, a mild cough or a small sore. People with hypochondriasis may also interpret normal sensations as signs of disease. For example, an occasional change in heart rate or a feeling of dizziness upon standing up may think they are heart disease or stroke. People with hypochondriasis are highly sensitive to physical sensations. They are more likely than an average person to pay close attention to sensations within their bodies. While many people fail to notice minor discomfort as they go about their regular activities, the individual with hypochondriasis pays constant attention to inner sensations...