A health anxious spouse makes you married life boring and tedious by his\her abnormal fear about the physical condition of his\her body.
‘My wife is driving me nuts’ my cousin fumed.
‘What happened’ I asked worryingly
‘If she has fever, it has got to do with some serious ailments in her body. She goes crazy with worry about her health. She insists that I take her to a doctor. If the doctor says there is nothing wrong with her, she says he is inefficient of proper diagnosis’’ my cousin wiped his sweat wearily.
‘I do not know how she invents different disease every day. I feel bored to interact with her. I have a sickly feeling when she always talks about medicine, doctors, illness and her dangerous symptoms of a deadly disease’ he concluded with irritation.
Why did my cousin’s wife behave in such an odd way?
She is hypochondriac.
She was health anxious . She was suffering from a mental disorder making her imagine her minor illness as a prelude to some deadly disease.
Very taxing for my poor cousin!
What are the symptoms that your spouse is very health anxious.
- When your spouse falls ill, he\she says the symptoms predicted a deadly disease.
- He\she must go to the doctor to confirm his\her fears.
- But invariably your spouse is not satisfied with the diagnosis of the doctor.
- He\she feels that his\her physician is not specialized enough to deal with his\her illness.
- Your spouse looks downcast and depressed even for mild illness.
How does your health anxious spouse behave?
- He\she has illusions that he\she is suffering from some incurable disease.
- Your spouse bombards you about doubts regarding his\her health.
- He\she keeps changing doctors in the hope of curing his\her imaginary disease.
- Your spouse is often depressive and withdraws into a shell of unnatural silence and seclusion.
‘I’m a complete hypochondriac. If my heart starts beating a little faster than normal, I think I’m having an attack.’ –Antonio Banderas
Throughout your married life your spouse tortures you about his\her health. He\she feels that he\she is always suffering from some health related problems. Mostly imaginary. Pacifying and consoling your spouse does not convince him\her.
What are the ways your health anxious spouse imagine about his\her illness?
- A minor left hand pain is a definite symptom of a heart attack. The heart is in the left side, isn’t it? A reason for his\her fear.
- A severe headache is a confirmed symptom of brain tumor, he\she insists.
These are just few examples about the illness related obsession of your health anxious spouse.
You feel terrified when your spouse goes on and on about symptoms of one disease after another. He\she yells at you when you try to reason with him\her.
How to deal with a health anxious spouse? Be understanding but firm!
- You should understand that your spouse is not imagining his\her health problems with the intention of making you stressed. His\her fears are very real to him\her.
- If you ignore his\her fears, it makes your spouse depressed that you do not care for him\her.
- You should handle your hypochondriac spouse delicately.
- You should show that you care for his\her health.
- But do not be too receptive to the unnecessary fears of your spouse as he\she becomes paranoid with permanent fear about his\her health.
- When your spouse complains about any physical disorder, take him\her to a doctor.
- Advice your spouse not to worry too much about his\her health.
- Be firm that he\she is imagining a disease which did not exist.
- Abrupt denial to believe his\her health related fears will only worsen the situation.
- Do not allow your spouse to surf the internet for solutions for his\her health problems.
- Advise him\her that the information in the net is not always reliable and causes more confusion than relief.
- If your health anxious spouse does not listen to you, ask his\her friends\relatives to talk him\her out of his\her worries.
- Display your care and concern for him\her openly.
- Assure your spouse that he\she is perfectly healthy.
- Divert the attention of your hypochondriac spouse by involving him\her in other activities he\she likes.
- You can also take him\her to a psychiatrist to clarify his\her doubts.
It is no joke living with your spouse when he\she keeps cribbing about some disability or the other. It affects you in every sphere of your married life. Your life becomes boring and tedious as your spouse interaction is always about some complaints about his\her body.
You should seek professional counseling to help your hypochondriac spouse come out of his\her mental disorder. Be firm and understanding so that your spouse finally emerges out of his\her an imaginary world of illness and diseases.