Are you having a difficult time dealing with your spouse’s hypochondria? Are you unsure on how to cope with your spouse’s hypochondria? To help understand some symptoms of hypochondria and for tips on coping with your spouse’s hypochondria, I have interviewed therapist Carmen Gloria Avendano, MA, LMFT.
Tell me a little bit about yourself.
“I graduated from Minnesota School of Professional Psychology. I am a licensed marriage family therapist. I currently have my own private practice called, Life Balance Therapy.”
What are some symptoms of a hypochondria?
“The following are some symptoms hypochondria:
1. Worrying excessively about getting sick in a way that interferes with their daily functioning.
2. When they get sick, they believe it might be deathly.
3. Obsession with having medical symptoms of illnesses and studying them online or in books to check if they have them.
4. Constantly going to the doctor and requesting many different exams even if the doctors said they were not necessary.
5. Frequently changing doctors and seeking for different doctor’s opinions.
6. Often this brings anxiety and depression symptoms related to thinking they are ill.
What are some tips for someone that is trying to cope with their spouse’s hypochondria?
“I would advise them to seek individual counseling to understand what their spouse is going through (psycho educational) in order to relate better with them, have more empathy and also to vent what they are going through and how it is affecting them personally. It can be very overwhelming to the spouse of a hypochondriac person, and counseling can help them learn how to cope with the stress, anxiety or depression that can be caused by being a caretaker of a demanding hypochondriac spouse.
I would also highly recommend couple’s counseling in order to work in all of the above and work as a team (couple) to beat this disease. Both the patient and the spouse are probably tired of the burden of living with hypochondria. It will probably affect every area of their relationship such as intimacy, sexuality, friendship and communication.
I would recommend for the spouse to set healthy boundaries for himself or herself (in a loving way) and incorporate daily self care.
Also attend a therapy group for partners or family members of a hypochondriac person.”
What type of professional help is available for someone that is trying to cope with their spouse’s hypochondria?
“There is a lot of professional help someone can seek. See a medical doctor, a psychiatrist, a psychologist or psychotherapist and group therapy for people in same situation.
Whomever you choose make sure you find a professional that you feel comfortable with, that you trust, you feel heard, understood and respected.”
Thank you Carmen for doing the interview on how to cope with a spouse’s hypochondria. For more information on Carmen Gloria Avendano or her work you can check out her website on www.lifebalancetherapy.com.
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