Steven L. Dubovsky, MD
, professor and chair of psychiatry
, provides expertise in an article discussing how the coronavirus pandemic has the potential to make people feel as if they are hypochondriacs. Hypochondriasis, what we typically call hypochondria, can be a serious illness, in which case it consists of “a preoccupation with the idea of being ill and spending so much of your time and effort looking for a diagnosis and treatment that you can’t function normally,” explains Dubovsky. “In more minor forms, hypochondriacal preoccupations are common in all of us when we feel stressed,” he says. His advice to anyone struggling with anxiety about how they physically feel: “Shut off the 24-hour news.” Dubovsky notes that for peace of mind, and for physical well-being, it’s crucial to take precautions including social distancing and proper hand washing.