Somatoform Disorders & Hypochondria Books

Phantom Illness: Recognizing, Understanding, and Overcoming Hypochondria Phantom Illness: Recognizing, Understanding, and Overcoming Hypochondria
By Carla Cantor, Brian Fallon, MD

Carla Cantor's long, dark road to hypochondria began when she crashed a car she was driving, killing a friend of hers. She couldn't forgive herself, and a few years later began imagining that she was suffering from lupus. Many years and two hospitalizations later, she wrote this book not only about her experiences, but about hypochondria in general (now more politely referred to as a "somatoform disorder"). No matter what one chooses to call them, psychosomatic disorders--imagined illnesses--present a huge burden to medical systems, and only by taking them seriously can we hope to alleviate their costs. By putting a human face on this often laughed-at syndrome, and by showing ways out of it, Cantor provides a great service not only to "somatizers" and their loved ones, but to the entire healthcare system.

Treat Health Anxiety: A Cognitive-Behavioral Approach Treating Health Anxiety: A Cognitive-Behavioral Approach
By Steven Taylor, Gordon J. G. Asmundson

Grounded in current theory and treatment research, this highly practical book presents a comprehensive framework for assessing and treating health anxiety, including full-blown and milder (subclinical) forms of hypochondriasis. The current state of knowledge about these prevalent and costly problems is reviewed, and assessment methods and empirically supported treatments described. Clear, step-by-step recommendations are provided for engaging patients or clients, implementing carefully planned cognitive and behavioral interventions, and troubleshooting potential pitfalls. Important advances in pharmacotherapy for persons with health anxiety disorders are also discussed. Enhancing the utility of this clinician- and student-friendly resource are numerous case examples and sample dialogues, quick-reference tables and boxed material, and over 20 reproducible handouts and assessment forms. Read more.

Psychosomatic Syndromes and Somatic Symptoms Psychosomatic Syndromes and Somatic Symptoms
by Robert Kellner

There's not enough written or understood about these topics -- which boil down to the relationship between mental experiences and physical events. This book has concise reviews of current knowledge and will point you to core research articles. It's fairly slender, nicely written, comfortably organized. Won't answer all the questions you might have, but that's because we don't know the answers yet. Covers fibromyalgia, chronic fatique, IBS, chronic pain syndromes, hysteria, somatization, and more. Each chapter ends with a long list of references. Read more.

Abnormal Illness Behaviour Abnormal Illness Behaviour
by Issy Pilowsky

Abnormal Illness Behaviour describes not only the problems of patients with bodily symptoms for which no adequate organic cause can be found, but also those who deny the presence of disease which is obvious to others. The former, regarded as manifesting somatisation but often labelled pejoratively as hypochondriacs, hysterics and even malingerers, have a different perception of their health problems to that of the doctor and this often leads to misunderstanding and unhelpful emotional reactions in medical professionals interacting with these patients. There is growing interest in the phenomenon of somatisation and its causes, which now forms an important research field within the disciplines of psychosomatic medicine, consultation—liaison general hospital) psychiatry, community psychiatry and general practice (primary care medicine). This book describes the nature of various forms of abnormal illness behaviour from a clinical perspective. Read more.