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Ella Kalnes

Mr. Hackney
English 101: Rhetoric
19 September 2014
Statement of Scope for the Annotated Bibliography
Have you ever worried you may be catching a cold only to find out days later that you
werent sick at all? Chances are, you let it go and felt grateful that you were lucky enough to
avoid sickness. Hypochondriacs face scenarios like this every day but they react very differently.
A single symptom can trigger immense fear in a hypochondriac that lasts for days and they dont
feel any calmer until they get some sort of explanation for their ailment. A hypochondriacs
peers are known to brush off their complaints as if the person is being overdramatic but their
symptoms are in fact real. Although some people believe hypochondria is a figment of a persons
imagination, it is a psychological disorder that, if patients are given the proper resources, can be
managed over time.
This essay will explore the definition of Hypochondriasis and its various treatments. I
will examine the differences between normal worries and the anxiety filled worries of a
hypochondriac. I will also discuss the individual cases of Mr. A, Barbara, and Jeff Pearlman and
how they dealt with hypochondria. The history of hypochondria and how knowledge has been
gained over the years will also be outlined in this essay. In addition, I will explain the multiple
effects medication and therapy have on a hypochondriac.
This selected bibliography includes sources that address individual stories of
hypochondriacs, different treatments for hypochondriasis, and the controversy over whether or
not hypochondria should be seen as a serious medical condition. All of the sources mention a
lack of professional knowledge of hypochondria so that can explain why the average person does
not take it seriously. Koven and Pearlmans articles emphasize how mental and physical illnesses
often overlap. This further proves that hypochondria is a true ailment. In addition, all of the
articles mention the concept of treatment but the Harvard Health Letter is the only source that
gives specific examples. Overall, these sources provide a basic knowledge of hypochondria and
the challenges faced when trying to treat it.
Annotated Bibliography
Dr Suzanne Koven By Dr. Suzanne Koven Globe Correspondent. "Normal worry, or
hypochondria?." Boston Globe. 25 Aug. 2014: G14. eLibrary. Web. 17 Sep. 2014.
Koven's eye opening article discusses the differences between usual worries and
hypochondria. To begin, Koven explains that true hypochondria involves anxiety about
illness so severe or persistent that it becomes an illness itself. She even gives real life

examples of both by mentioning two women; One who suffered from hypochondria and
one who was mistaken. Finally, Koven states that mental and physical illnesses overlap
more than is acknowledged.
"Hypochondria." Harvard Mental Health Letter. July 2004: 4-6. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web.
17 Sep. 2014. The Harvard Mental Health Letter starts of by saying that worries about
imaginary illness often attract humorous or derogatory comments, however hypochondria
is a real psychiatric condition that should be taken seriously. The author goes on to define
hypochondria and describe some of it's treatments. Some treatments the author mentioned
were exposure therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, antidepressants, and keeping an
"anxiety" diary. Finally, the author states that hypochondria is a growing issue that needs
to be studied more in order for a long term cure to be found.
"Hypochondria; Report: Hypochondria is serious, and treatment is available." Managed Care
Weekly Digest. 26 Jul. 2004: 66. eLibrary. Web. 17 Sep. 2014. This intriguing article
talks about the many treatments available for hypochondria and how serious the illness is.
The author begins by giving an alarming statistic that hypochondria accounts for an
estimated 5% of visits to general practitioners and 10% of medical costs in the United
States. Then the author talks about when patient's symptoms usually occur and the
patients reluctance to visit a doctor. Finally, the author states that physicians can help
treat hypochondriacal patients by emphasizing the need to cope with their symptoms
rather than hope to eliminate them.
Pearlman, Jeff. "Hypochondria: The Impossible Illness." Psychology Today Jan. 2010: n. pag.
SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 17 Sept. 2014. This fascinating article gives a detailed
definition of being a hypochondriac. Pearlman starts off by speaking of hypochondria

from a hypochondriac's point of view to further emphasize what they go through every
day. Then Pearlman explains that all illnesses involve the mind and body. Whether it's
physical pains causing anxiety or emotional struggles causing physical conditions like
tension headaches. Pearlman concludes the article by noting that doctors and patients
need to be more informed on what hypochondria is and how it can be treated if they want
to avoid it in the future.
Roan, Shari. "Unlocking a Mystery." Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, CA). 03 Jul. 1996: E1+.
SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 17 Sep. 2014. This thought provoking article emphasizes
the intensity of hypochondria and how difficult it is for doctors to help their patients
suffering with this disorder. First, Roan mentions how hypochondria is one of the mental
disorders most unyielding to psychotherapy. Then, he mentions the specific case of Mr.
A, a man who refused to believe he had hypochondria. Roan also mentions that
hypochondria can be used to fill a need such as a plea for attention, trying to withdraw
from personal responsibilities, or because some traumatic event has led to a feeling of
being unsafe. Finally, Roan explains that Dr. Fallon wants people to view hypochondria
with more optimism and he hopes to find the right medicines to help patients live with
hypochondria on a daily basis.