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Any advice to help depressive/hypochondriac brother?

(3 Posts)
AnnieLobeseder Sun 02-Aug-09 22:15:56

My DB has some mental health issues; he's depressive, which he acknowledges and is on again/off again with ADs. When he's on them, they do seem to help him. But most of the time he doesn't bother with them, although he seems OK on the whole and we're not too worried about him depression-wise.

The problem is that is constantly convinced that he's dying of something, seriously. For a while he thought he had a heart condition, this weekend when he was visiting us, he spent the whole time Googling kidney cancer and telling us all his symptoms. He was also in the loo every 5 mins, so on some level he isn't completely making it up. I'm not sure if he gets some small ailment like heartburn, or a water infection, and then thinks the worst of it, or whether the physical 'symptoms' are actually in his head. But either way, he really does think he's terminally ill a lot of the time, and cannot be convinced that it's all part of his depression.

He's going to his GP tomorrow about his current symptoms, but he tends to go to his clinic's walk-in service rather than seeing the same GP every time. I think that because of this, his hypochondria isn't being picked up and he's being treated for each individual imaginary illness. I also suspect that on some unconcious level he does realise that if he does stick with one GP, his problem will be picked up, so he flits around 'unconciously on purpose', if that makes sense.

Is there any way we might be able to convince him to talk to a GP about this and also discuss how it's an ongoing problem? He doesn't like to talk about his issues so I'm really not sure what level of help he gets or who prescribes his ADs. It's just to sad to see him constantly so worried about his health and not even realise it's all in his head.

Any advice gladly accepted...

muddle78 Sun 02-Aug-09 23:35:02

when i get severely depressed i wish myself dead and then fear that my body will respond and i will get a terminal illness. dont know if this is what your brother is doing? sorry no advice really but wanted to share a possible psychological reason for his hyperchondria.

AnnieLobeseder Mon 03-Aug-09 15:43:44

Thanks Muddle. Maybe there's something to that. Or maybe it gives him some justification for being depressed.

It's just so hard to see him worrying when it's completely obvious to us that he's over-reacting.

He saw the GP today and feels better now he/she couldn't find anything seriously wrong.

Like when anything is wrong with someone you love, it's so hard when you don't know how to help make them better. sad

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