Hypochondriasis is a type of "somatoform" disorder in which a person misinterprets their normal physical experiences as symptoms of some type of disease. A true hypochondriac is not the person who often believes that they have a tumor when they have a headache. A real hypochondriac is someone who looks for physical problems in their normal experiences on a very regular basis (like, all the time). A headache will be perceived as a tumor; a sneeze is pneumonia; etc.

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