Follow-up studies show that, despite improvement, the majority of general medical patients with hypochondriasis continue to meet criteria for the disorder a year or more later. Both Noyes et alkD and Barsky et al.'(72) found that two-thirds of their patients continued to qualify for the diagnosis up to 5 years later, with the remaining one-third having persisting symptoms. Hypochondriacal patients in both studies showed significant improvement during the follow-up interval, but continued to be substantially more hypochondriacal, more functionally impaired, and more psychiatrically disordered than the comparison patients.

The improvement may have resulted from a natural fluctuation in the course of hypochondriacal symptoms or non-specific factors associated with physician contact. Some patients, who were improved at follow-up, claimed they had responded to reassurance and, in a few cases, to symptomatic treatment. However, others claimed benefit from fortuitous changes in life circumstances or from self-treatment regimens. And, in a few instances, serious medical illness appeared to relieve hypochondriasis by legitimizing symptoms and sanctioning the sick role. (72)

Funny Wiring Autism

Funny Wiring Autism

Autism is a developmental disorder that manifests itself in early childhood and affects the functioning of the brain, primarily in the areas of social interaction and communication. Children with autism look like other children but do not play or behave like other children. They must struggle daily to cope and connect with the world around them.

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