Differential Diagnosis of Hypochondriasis

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A. Major depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and panic disorder can often cause prominent somatic complaints with no organic basis.

B. Medical conditions that can produce varied symptoms, such as AIDS, multiple sclerosis, and systemic lupus erythematosus, must be excluded.

C. Body Dysmorphic Disorder. Concerns are limited only to physical appearance, in contrast to the fear of having an illness that occurs in hypochondriasis.

D. Factitious Disorder and Malingering. Hypochondriacal patients realistically experience the symptoms and do not fabricate them.

E. Conversion Disorder. This disorder tends to be cause only one symptom, and the patient has less concern about symptom.

F. Somatization Disorder. The focus of patient is on the symptoms, as opposed to fear of having disease in hypochondriasis.

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