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Hypochondriac vs. Hippocratic — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman & Maham Liaqat — Updated on April 23, 2024
Hypochondriac refers to someone overly concerned with their health, fearing illness, whereas Hippocratic relates to Hippocrates, emphasizing ethical medical practice.
Hypochondriac vs. Hippocratic — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Hypochondriac and Hippocratic


Key Differences

A hypochondriac is an individual who is excessively worried about their health, often fearing serious illness without substantial medical evidence. On the other hand, Hippocratic originates from Hippocrates, the ancient Greek physician known as the "Father of Medicine," and pertains to principles of medical ethics.
While hypochondriacs may frequently visit doctors and undergo numerous medical tests, they typically find little relief as their concerns are more psychological. In contrast, the Hippocratic Oath, inspired by Hippocrates, is taken by physicians to uphold specific ethical standards in medical practice, focusing on patient welfare and confidentiality.
Hypochondria, or health anxiety, can significantly affect a person’s quality of life, leading to persistent stress and anxiety about potential diseases. Whereas the Hippocratic approach emphasizes "do no harm," guiding doctors to make decisions that benefit the patient without causing unnecessary harm.
The treatment for hypochondria often involves psychological counseling and cognitive-behavioral therapy to address the underlying anxiety and misinterpretations of bodily symptoms. Conversely, the Hippocratic principles serve as a foundational guide in medical education and practice, shaping the ethical conduct of healthcare professionals.
People identified as hypochondriacs are often stigmatized and misunderstood, seen as overreacting or seeking attention. Meanwhile, the Hippocratic ideals are respected and upheld as the gold standard in medical ethics, promoting a trustworthy and compassionate healthcare environment.

Comparison Chart


An individual excessively concerned with health and illness
Pertaining to Hippocrates or the ethical practice of medicine


Personal health fears and anxiety
Medical ethics and principles

Primary Concern

Fear of being ill
Welfare and confidentiality of patients


Psychological therapy
Ethical guidelines in medical practice


Often viewed as obsessive or irrational
Highly respected and valued in healthcare

Compare with Definitions


A person who frequently seeks medical reassurance.
He's a hypochondriac who calls his doctor weekly.


Guiding medical professionals to do no harm.
Following Hippocratic principles, the surgeon decided against an unnecessary procedure.


Often related to health anxiety disorders.
Therapy can be beneficial for a hypochondriac dealing with constant health fears.


Relating to Hippocrates or his medical principles.
The doctor adhered to Hippocratic values in her practice.


An individual prone to anxiety over normal bodily symptoms.
Any minor symptom like a cough would make the hypochondriac panic.


Associated with the Hippocratic Oath taken by physicians.
He took the Hippocratic Oath seriously, always placing his patients' welfare first.


Someone who often believes they are ill without medical evidence.
Despite clear medical tests, the hypochondriac was convinced they had a rare condition.


Emphasizing ethical standards and patient care.
Her Hippocratic approach to medicine gained her respect among peers.


A person who is excessively preoccupied with and worried about their health.
The hypochondriac visited multiple doctors each month fearing undiagnosed diseases.


Integral to medical education and ethics.
Medical students study Hippocratic ideals extensively during their training.


A person affected with hypochondria.


Of or pertaining to Hippocrates, or to his teachings.


Relating to or affected with hypochondria.


Of or relating to Hippocrates or the school of medicine that took his name


(Anatomy) Relating to or located in the hypochondrium.


Related to, or affected by hypochondria


Related to, or located in the hypochondrium.


A person affected with hypochondria.


Of or pertaining to hypochondria, or the hypochondriac regions.


Affected, characterized, or produced, by hypochondriasis.


A person affected with hypochondria.
He had become an incurable hypochondriac.


A patient with imaginary symptoms and ailments


Suffering from hypochondria

Common Curiosities

Who was Hippocrates?

Hippocrates was an ancient Greek physician, often referred to as the "Father of Medicine."

Can hypochondria be treated?

Yes, hypochondria is treatable with cognitive-behavioral therapy and sometimes medications to manage anxiety.

What is a hypochondriac?

A hypochondriac is someone excessively worried about having a serious illness, often without medical justification.

How does hypochondria affect a person's life?

Hypochondria can lead to significant anxiety, frequent doctor visits, and a preoccupation with health that can disrupt daily life.

How does the Hippocratic approach influence patient treatment?

It ensures that medical actions benefit the patient and avoid unnecessary harm.

What is the Hippocratic Oath?

The Hippocratic Oath is a set of ethical guidelines sworn by physicians to practice medicine honestly and ethically.

How do Hippocratic principles impact modern medicine?

They form the foundation of medical ethics, guiding modern practitioners in ethical decision-making and patient care.

How are Hippocratic values taught in medical schools?

They are integrated into medical ethics courses and discussed in relation to clinical practice.

What role does psychology play in treating hypochondria?

Psychology helps address the cognitive and emotional aspects of hypochondria, helping patients manage their anxiety.

Is hypochondria a mental illness?

Yes, it is considered a type of anxiety disorder, specifically related to health anxiety.

Can anyone be a hypochondriac?

Hypochondria can affect anyone, though it is more common in those with anxiety disorders.

Why is the Hippocratic Oath important?

It commits medical professionals to uphold high ethical standards, ensuring patient safety and confidentiality.

Are hypochondriacs always aware of their condition?

Not always; many may not realize their health anxiety is excessive or abnormal.

What are common misconceptions about hypochondriacs?

Common misconceptions include the belief that hypochondriacs just seek attention or are imagining their symptoms.

What would violate Hippocratic principles?

Actions like providing unnecessary treatments or breaching patient confidentiality would violate these principles.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.
Co-written by
Maham Liaqat

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