Need help now?

Health Anxiety (hypochondria)

Discussion forum for parents in Australia

Active scribe

Re: Health Anxiety (hypochondria)

Oh he definitely has OCD traits and is well aware of it too. Still won’t see anyone for help though.
So hard when they won’t help themselves. We can have very rational discussions about how much he has missed out on because of his issues. He knows it logically but just can’t face it.
Prolific scribe

Re: Health Anxiety (hypochondria)

Would he be interested in curing himself of OCD through books, internet blogs, forums etc I was the same when I had anorexia. I never went to counsellors but learnt how to fix myself by doing my own research. You may need to be available to challenge him with situations though..
Active scribe

Re: Health Anxiety (hypochondria)

He’s tried a few different online tools. He just treats everything with disdain. He goes through the motions just to appease me I think. He has improved gradually over the years and puberty has been less rocky than I expected. He’s very immature socially (has his own little group of nerdy/geeky kids) so I’m hoping that one day he will mature enough to decide that he needs to start looking after himself.

Re: Health Anxiety (hypochondria)

"I haven’t managed to get him to a dentist for 4 years and he is overweight with a terrible eating pattern."
I hope everything's okay, especially at these time. How's he "maintaining his oral health"?

Re: Health Anxiety (hypochondria)

I’ve just read this article and this is so similar to what I’m going through with my 15 year old son,
Hypochondria, stubborn and intelligent but so difficult to help.
He has struggled with Anxiety for many years, he is under a psychotherapist recently, who is really good and helps initially.
As a mother what ever advice or help and reassurance I try to give it’s never enough and it’s so exasperating constantly reassuring him that he hasn’t got all these underlying health issues he believes he has.
Unfortunately his health Anxiety has caused him to completely close himself off, Friends, education and coping skills have all taken a back seat and it’s heartbreaking to see.
How is your son now?
What help have you had and gas medication helped?
Super contributor

Re: Health Anxiety (hypochondria)

Hi @Woodstone, thank you so much for sharing your story. I am sorry that your family is going through this, it must be so difficult. It is so upsetting to want to help your children but not knowing exactly what to do.

You mentioned that your son was seeing a psychotherapist. Has your son found this beneficial so far? If so, what has been helpful about it?
Active scribe

Re: Health Anxiety (hypochondria)



So it’s 3 years down the track from my original post. It’s been hard. No meds, no therapy. Flatly refuses. Still ocd and anxious. BUT it has subsided somewhat.


He still has times when things overwhelm him and I bear the brunt of his frustrations, but the episodes aren’t as frequent. Unfortunately they tend to flare during the night and I’m the only thing that can pull him back to normality when it’s really bad, so both his and my sleep are affected.


He has a small group of friends, some of who are equally as different as he is, and they muddle along. He’s at uni and achieving fantastic grades, but refuses to get a part time job because he “needs” time to study, and for gaming, and seeing his friends. So earning money isn’t high on his list of priorities. Frankly I can’t think what sort of job would suit him but that’s another issue. 

His diet is still disgusting. He hates home cooked food but will happily eat anything else. It’s his way of controlling that aspect of his life. Coping with his anxiety is all about controlling everything he can so that there are fewer things that he needs to worry about.

So I don’t have any answers for you sorry. If he can control things, he’s ok. His anxiety flares up occasionally but not as often. The hypochondria has subsided. His main worry these days is how he will cope without me. The dependency issue is huge.


Wishing you all the best. Take the small wins - they’re usually hard fought.




Star contributor

Re: Health Anxiety (hypochondria)

Hi @Tardis , 


Thanks so much for updating us on how you, and your son, are getting on. It is so valuable for other parents walking a similar path with their teens to hear from someone further along in their journey... it must be so hard as a parent to see your son refusing to engage in therapy, it sounds like you tried a lot of different avenues with him too and I imagine that would be pretty exhausting. But it's really good to hear that his ocd type behaviours and anxiety have subsided a bit. 


I think that what you say here is incredibly wise: "Take the small wins - they’re usually hard fought."


Sometimes the day to day can be so exhausting and overwhelming that we don't have time to step back and acknowledge the wins , even if they're small ones. 


Thanks so much for checking in!