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Hypochondriasis and Gender

Hypochondriasis is a mental disorder characterized by excessive and disruptive thoughts, feelings, or behaviors regarding one’s health, reinforced by the presence of somatic symptoms, or physiological pain or sensations. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), which reclassifies hypochondriasis as somatic symptom disorder, the presence of somatic symptoms, whether or not they are medically explained, is central to the disorder, as it is these bodily symptoms that fuel the severe and persistent anxiety concerning health. Although the individual may experience specific, localized pain (e.g., pain in the lower back) or nonspecific pain or discomfort (e.g., fatigue), the somatic symptoms may not necessarily point to serious illness but, rather, are perceptually amplified bodily sensations or discomfort. However, regardless of ...

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