Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Hypochondriasis and Somatization Disorder

What is Hypochondriasis?

Hypochondriasis is a mental illness characterized by an excessive irrational concern for one’s health and conviction in the presence of a disease for which there is no objective evidence.

Hypochondriasis is distributed equally between both sexes and occurs most often in elderly people. 

The symptoms of hypochondriasis include a preoccupation with fears of having, or the conviction of having one or more progressive disorders, based on a misinterpretation of symptoms. 

The attention of the patient is most often focused on a particular organ or system. The focus of hypochondriasis depends on the individual. 

The patient perceives normal perceptions as unnatural and dangerous, which causes anxiety. For people with hypochondriasis, even normal body functions such as sweating and bowel movement may seem like symptoms of a serious illness. 

The patients with hypochondriasis spend a lot of time online looking for symptoms of various diseases. Some people with this disorder often visit their doctor, while others avoid medical care for fear of finding a serious illness. Sometimes patients with hypochondriasis avoid personalities, places, and activities that they think may worsen their “disease”. 

The etiology of this condition is still not fully clarified. 

Hypochondriasis may have a connection with other conditions. A high percentage of patients with hypochondriasis have also severe depression, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder or generalized anxiety disorder.  

Misunderstanding of the physical feelings associated with misunderstanding of the way the body works may also lead to the development of hypochondriasis. 

The hereditary factors are also important – people who have a close relative with hypochondriasis are more likely to develop the condition. 

People who have had severe health problems in the past may be more likely to develop a disproportionate fear of illness. 

The diagnosis of hypochondriasis is performed with the involvement of various medical specialists. In some individuals, multiple examinations and tests are needed in order to explain the complaints of the patient and exclude other diseases.

Studies have shown that cognitive behavioral therapy and the use of some medications can be useful in the treatment of hypochondriasis. Cognitive therapy can help the patient rationalize their fears, and the medications can reduce anxiety.

 

What is Somatization Disorder?

Somatization disorder is defined as the presence of physical complaints over a period longer than 6 months that cannot be explained by a particular disease. Patients with somatic disorders have actual complaints, the brain perceives them as real, but they do not respond to organ pathology. 

Somatization disorder occurs more common in women, in elderly people, and in individuals with low socio-economic status. About 50% of the individuals with this disorder suffer from other disorders such as anxiety, depression, etc.

Symptoms of somatization disorder are diverse and vary from patient to patient. Some of the most commonly reported symptoms are pain, fatigue, loss of appetite, and other gastrointestinal problems. Complaints usually remain for a long time, with one patient being able to alternate several different complaints over time. Regardless of the type and severity of the symptoms, no specific medical reason for their occurrence can be identified. 

It is assumed that chronic stress is the main triggering factor of the somatization disorder.

The diagnosis of the somatization disorder is performed with the involvement of various medical specialists. In some individuals, multiple examinations and tests are needed in order to explain the symptoms and exclude other diseases.

The treatment of somatization disorder is done with medications and/or psychotherapy. The treatment is based on the severity and type of the symptoms and the age of the patient. The best therapeutic effect is achieved with the simultaneous use of pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy. 

 

Difference Between Hypochondriasis and Somatization Disorder

  1. Definition 

Hypochondriasis: Hypochondriasis is a mental illness characterized by an excessive irrational concern for one’s health and conviction in the presence of a disease for which there is no objective evidence.

Somatization Disorder: Somatization disorder is defined as the presence of physical complaints over a period longer than 6 months that cannot be explained by a particular disease.

  1. Occurrence

Hypochondriasis: Hypochondriasis is distributed equally between both sexes and occurs most often in elderly people. 

Somatization Disorder: Somatization disorder occurs more common in women, in elderly people, and in individuals with low socio-economic status.

  1. Symptoms

Hypochondriasis: The symptoms of hypochondriasis include a preoccupation with fears of having, or the conviction of having one or more progressive disorders, based on a misinterpretation of symptoms. 

Somatization Disorder: Some of the most commonly reported symptoms of somatization disorder are pain, fatigue, loss of appetite, and other gastrointestinal problems. Regardless of the type and severity of the symptoms, no specific medical reason for their occurrence can be identified. 

  1. Causes

Hypochondriasis: Causative factors of hypochondriasis may be depression, panic disorder, misunderstanding of the physical feelings and the way the body works, hereditary factors, severe health problems in the past, etc.

Somatization Disorder: It is assumed that chronic stress is the main triggering factor of the somatization disorder.

  1. Treatment

Hypochondriasis: Hypochondriasis is treated with cognitive therapy, helping patients to rationalize their fears, and with medications, reducing anxiety.

Somatization Disorder: The treatment of somatization disorders is done with medications and/or psychotherapy and is based on the severity and type of the symptoms and the age of the patient. 

Hypochondriasis Vs. Somatization Disorder: Comparison Table

 

Summary of Hypochondriasis verses Somatization Disorder: 

  • Hypochondriasis is a mental illness characterized by an excessive irrational concern for one’s health and conviction in the presence of a disease for which there is no objective evidence.
  • Somatization disorder is defined as the presence of physical complaints over a period longer than 6 months that cannot be explained by a particular disease.
  • Hypochondriasis is distributed equally between both sexes and occurs most often in elderly people. Somatization disorder occurs more common in women, in elderly people, and in individuals with low socio-economic status.
  • The symptoms of hypochondriasis include a preoccupation with fears of having, or the conviction of having one or more progressive disorders, based on a misinterpretation of symptoms. The symptoms of somatization disorder include pain, fatigue, loss of appetite, and other gastrointestinal problems with no specific medical reason for their occurrence. 
  • Causative factors of hypochondriasis may be depression, panic disorder, misunderstanding of the physical feelings and the way the body works, hereditary factors, severe health problems in the past, etc. The main triggering factor of the somatization disorder is chronic stress.
  • Hypochondriasis is treated with cognitive therapy, helping patients to rationalize their fears, and with medications, reducing anxiety. The treatment of somatization disorders is done with medications and/or psychotherapy and is based on the severity and type of the symptoms and the age of the patient.

 

Dr. Mariam Bozhilova Forest Research Institute, BAS

Environmental Expert with PhD in Botany at Forest Research Institute, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.
Mariam has a Master’s degree in Ecology and a PhD in Botany.
Currently, she works in the Forest Research Institute, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.
Mariam has more than 10 years of professional experience in scientific research and environmental consultancy. She has worked within non-profit, profit, and academic environment, and consulted business clients and competent authorities.
Her main professional interests are in the area of:
Scientific research;
Web content writing;
Environmental consultancy.
Dr. Mariam Bozhilova Forest Research Institute, BAS

Latest posts by Dr. Mariam Bozhilova Forest Research Institute, BAS (see all)


Search DifferenceBetween.net :

Custom Search


Help us improve. Rate this post! 1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars
Loading...

Email This Post Email This Post : If you like this article or our site. Please spread the word. Share it with your friends/family.


1 Comment

  1. Hey!! Thanks for the post.

Leave a Response

Please note: comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.

References :


[0]Image credit: https://pixabay.com/en/mental-health-mental-illness-women-1420801/

[1]Image credit: https://pixabay.com/en/mental-health-cranium-head-human-3350778/

[2]Abramowitz, J. A. Braddock. Hypochondriasis and Health Anxiety. Cambridge: Hogrefe Publishing. 2011. Print.

[3]Fink P., M. Rosendal (Eds.). Functional disorders and medically unexplained symptoms. Assessment and treatment. Aarhus: Aarhus University Press . 2015. Print. 

[4]Jovanovic, M. Somatization Disorder Explained: Somatic Symptoms, Nausea, Diarrhea, Bloated Stomach, Palpitations, Chest Pain, Breathlessness, Somatic Pain, Somatization Disorder Treatment. Warszawa: Cleal Publishing. 2017. Print.

Articles on DifferenceBetween.net are general information, and are not intended to substitute for professional advice. The information is "AS IS", "WITH ALL FAULTS". User assumes all risk of use, damage, or injury. You agree that we have no liability for any damages.


See more about : ,
Protected by Copyscape Plagiarism Finder