Unfortunately, this very real illness has become the subject of endless jokes, but to the person suffering from it founds little to laugh about in what they go through. Many people have health worries, but for a hypochondriac, these concerns become totally out proportion. In some cases, they do have a particular medical condition that they worry over, but it is also possible they worry over various pains and aches that the doctor tells them to give no reason for concern.
Certain character types are more likely to become hypochondriacs than others, and physical and emotional health issues also increase the chances of someone developing this problem. The symptoms of hypochondria also take on different forms according to the patient's personality and circumstances. The classic case they will make repeated visits to the doctor to seek time after time reassurance over their health. Another possibility is they go to the opposite extreme and avoid watching any TV programs with medical content and keep away from doctors.
Hypochondria can easily lead to depression, and constant worrying may trigger physical health issues that do require medical treatment. Thus patients get caught in a vicious circle of their own making, but it is tough for them to break free of it.