Prof. Wilhelmsen has from 1996 run a clinic for hypochondriacs as a small section at the Outpatient Clinic of Haraldsplass Deaconal Hospital in Bergen, Norway. Around 100 patients are treated each year. The patients are offered 5 sessions of cognitive behavioural treatment.
What is hypochondria?
A person with hypochondria is preoccupied with physical health and body. The diagnosis is used when a person during at least 6 months believes, fears or is convinced that he has a serious disease despite medical reassurance. This fear of disease or preoccupation with symptoms is unpleasant, interferes with the patient's daily life in a negative way and leads to medical examinations and/or treatment. The patient can only temporarily accept assurance that there is no physical explanation to his symptoms