How to Deal with a Hypochondriac

By Max. D Gray. Updated: January 20, 2017
How to Deal with a Hypochondriac

Hypochondria is a disorder which causes you to worry obsessively over your health. This obsessive worrying over if you are ill often means you will experience symptoms which are not real or exaggerate real symptoms which can then lead to anxiety and depression. Hypochondriacs often have an extreme fear of suffering from serious illnesses, they are wildly exaggerate when they see their doctor, and if this situation persists for a long time, it will negatively affect their personal relationships and their job. At OneHowto, we will give you some tips on how to deal with hypochondriacs.

You may also be interested in: How to Help a Hypochondriac
Steps to follow:

Dealing with a hypochondriac is difficult because they believe that they are constantly struggling with a disease, even if it is actually all in their imagination. We have to be very patient, although tolerating this constant stream of symptoms is very frustrating.


Listen. A person who is suffering from hypochondria needs to talk about it, even if it is all in their head. It is likely that you heard about it before and you know enough to realise that it isn't real but you should still hear them out. Try to seem interested.

How to Deal with a Hypochondriac - Step 2

You should support them, but do not show too much concern. Stay neutral in your answers to avoid them further obsessing over their imaginary illness.


Be understanding and show that you empathise with their situation. Reassure them that you understand their pain and anxiety, without encouraging their obsessive thoughts.


The internet is a big factor in this condition, fuelling hypochondriacs in their obsession by researching their alleged symptoms, which results in the cyberchondria. The internet makes it possible for people with this condition to self-diagnose by researching their symptoms. If you trust this person, tell them clearly that it is very bad for their health to jump to conclusions from what they have looked up online.

How to Deal with a Hypochondriac - Step 5

Convince the person to see a doctor as soon as possible to clear his or her doubts. Accompany the person if you can and make the hypochondriac person realize the situation isn't so bad.

If the person frequently goes to the doctor for any kind of reason, the doctor will already know how to deal with a hypochondriac person.

How to Deal with a Hypochondriac - Step 6

Try distracting the person by doing activities with them if they continue to think they have some kind of illness or lesion even after they've visited a doctor. Get the person's mind on to something else so he/she doesn't obsess.

If you need more advice you can also take a look at the following article: how to help a hypochondriac.

How to Deal with a Hypochondriac - Step 7

This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to How to Deal with a Hypochondriac, we recommend you visit our Mental health category.

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What did you think of this article?
The saddest part of life is being forgotten. Our world has been around for millions of years and has had millions of people be born, live, die and be forgotten. One day each of us reading this article will die and in 25, 50, 100 years never even have existed. Oh someone may hold on to a picture of us but a picture is not who you were. A picture is merely an image of the person who existed. Our time in a state of consciousness is very very short. The time that we are acknowledged and known by others is also very very short. I believe many hypochondriacs do not really have the fear of being sick, they have the fear of dying as a result of that illness and knowing that soon they will be forgotten. I do not really know of a way to help an individual who is very aware of this aspect of existing as I deal with this realization on a daily basis. I love life and knowing that it is so short is very depressing.
My girlfriend is a hypochondriac. I can't deal with her, because it's too depressing for me, & she gets angry easy.
Marc Adrian Lovett
My partner has become obsessed with being ill with headaches,then eye aches,tooth ache,face ache,jaw ache,which I am sure are made up,It is frustrating too watch,and sypathetic is something done in minimal amounts.She has few friends and I think its attention seeking,as her commnucation skills are baically related to animals,and not people
This could be some of the symptoms of fibromyalgia which is very real and needs to see a doctor. Make a list of all the aches and pains to show but not easy to get a diagnosis. These feelings should not be ignored.
my husband is a hyporchondriac. His father is also and his child, he can see it in them but not himself, I am getting worn out by this. Also, we have been married for years ad wonder if I can get it from being around him so much
OneHowTo Editor
Hi Gretchen,

Hypochondria is not an infection or transmissible disease. It is a mental health issue which many people have. We do not choose to have mental health problems, just as we wouldn't choose to have a cold. They develop for complicated reasons for which understanding can go a long way to helping alleviate the problem. In certain cases, therapy may be required. It doesn't mean there are no ramifications on the family of those affected and you will need to protect your own mental health also. Speak to a professional if you are at all unsure, starting with your GP or a trusted therapist.
terry lutteral
We have a neighbour who is a Hypochondriac pretending to be sick everyday She has been doing it for past 5 years at 4am 5am 6 am but mainly between 6-30am and 7-45 am then goes working with children comes home at 1pm and coughs and sneezes and pretends to be sick all afternoon and evening Me and my partner are at our wits end as it has gone worse over last 18 months PS This woman has 2 boys in a mental home has she could not look after them Any advice welcome as we are fed upTHANKS
If my sister in law isn't getting attention at all times and I mean all times. Plus refuses to take her meds she shouts at her husband and me fowl words. This comes out of the blue and anytime. We ate at our wits ends. We are in the middle of this virus have no contact with her doctor what are we to do??
I don't want to help a hypochondriac (only a psychiatrist can do that), I just want to get then to shut up.
I disagree. Giving such a person attention only enables and rewards their behavior. I've known a hypochondriac for many years and it's very difficult to deal with him because of his never-ending whining about imaginary illnesses. He drives everyone around him away.
Well my daughter just told me that she's suffers from this and it's all my fault and I should kill myself I think her problems are much worse she has taken my grandson from me after 7 yrs and refuses to let me see him I do have some medical problems but don't ake up things so she say this is heratery is it ?????
OneHowTo Editor
Do you recognize the symptoms of hypochondria mentioned in this article? If so, we advise you to talk to a professional psychiatrist about the subject, not only to find out if you are a hypochondriac, but to find the source of the problem and find a solution to you and your daughter's relationship.

Hope this helps
cindy schebler
I think this article is very good!
OneHowTo Editor
Thank you Cindy, glad you found it useful!
Katherine Davies
The best advice is to avoid them as much as possible. I noticed none of the advice above has to do with the "listener's" health. Believe me, there's NO END to the listening and it begins to take a heavy toll on the listener. The hypochondriac doesn't want to hear any logic and will revert the conversation right back to them, if you try and change the subject to distract them. It is completely hopeless. There is NOTHING one can do for a hypochondriac because they don't want to seek the professional help they need, just the help they "think" they need. My advice is to get away from these people as best you can, at least greatly limit the time you allow them in to your world, if they are an adult. If you are a parent of one who is underage, get them to a psychiatrist. They will have a better life and so will you. Good luck, my sympathies are with you.
i dont like you katherine davis and i truly believe there is something wrong with my bowels
Edith Vivian
I feel the same way. It's been five years and I am tired of listening to and being understanding of my husband's imagined illnesses. It is a daily thing. He goes to the doctor several times a month. He is on all sorts of vitamins and supplements. I've had enough.

I was sick yesterday with a migraine that made me want to shoot myself. Instead of any support for that my husband made it about him. It's a competition apparently.
Hiroko Morioka
I totally agree with you Katherine. The best solution is stay away from hypochondriacs. I have been living with one and am on the way out. This person's family members gave up on her. They gave me an impression I, as a housemate, would be the best person to tell her that she needed to go to see a psychologist. I told them it was the family responsibility. When she found out this discussion was going on, she blamed me, not her family member. The comment on ''How To Deal With Hypochondriac'' is somewhat useful when it talks about internet. Yes, this woman is hooked with her social media and iphones. She even sacrifices her sleep over them. Already an insane symptom. Don't listen to them. Don't show them sympathy. Just avoid and do your own beneficial things.
Well said, Katherine!
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How to Deal with a Hypochondriac

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