Hypochondria and Substance Abuse

Hypochondria and Substance AbuseHypochondria is defined as an abnormal anxiety about one’s health, specifically the fear of having a serious disease. According to the Mayo Clinic, hypochondria carries with it some serious health risks. Health risks associated with unnecessary medical procedures, depression, anxiety disorders, anger and frustration, and substance abuse can all result from untreated hypochondria. Substance abuse is especially dangerous, as the person with this disorder may attempt to treat a disease that does not exists with drugs that can lead to addiction.

Hypochondria and Addiction

Hypochondria can lead to the abuse of a variety of drugs. Antidepressants used to treat depression brought on by the disorder, as well as drugs used to treat the pain associated with the mystery illness, are all habit forming. Using these drugs in ways other than prescribed by a physician can lead to addiction. People who struggle with hypochondria are overwhelmed by the fear of having a serious disease and may use these drugs in larger amounts or for longer periods of time than prescribed. Having access to prescription painkillers and antidepressants as an individual with undiagnosed hypochondria can be dangerous.

Treatment for Hypochondria and Addiction

Treatment for hypochondria may include psychotherapy, drug therapy, and education. Cognitive behavioral therapy is often used in psychotherapy to change the unwanted behaviors and replace them with appropriate behaviors. Psychotherapy for hypochondria may also include exposure therapy, where the person suffering from the disorder is exposed to the things causing the anxiety to teach appropriate coping skills. Education can also help individuals better understand hypochondria and learn ways to deal with the anxiety and fear associated with the disorder.

When a person suffers from hypochondria and drug addiction, he or she needs the help of a dual diagnosis treatment facility. Dual diagnosis facilities provide a diagnosis and treatment plan that deals with both issues. Dual diagnosis treatment involves getting to the cause of the addiction and the hypochondria and developing a program of psychotherapy, counseling, medications, and other holistic treatments. Undiagnosed and untreated mental illnesses like hypochondria can often cause or contribute to addiction. Understanding and treating both conditions increases the chances of recovery success.

Finding Help for Drug Addiction

Dealing with hypochondria and addiction can be challenging. Getting the right diagnosis and treatment can help you or your loved one live a drug-free life. Call our toll-free, 24 hour number to speak to an admissions coordinator. We are ready to answer your questions about addiction and help you find the right treatment program for your unique situation.