Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy

, Volume 35, Issue 3, pp 227–237 | Cite as

Fear of Death in Hypochondriasis: Bodily Threat and Its Treatment Implications

  • Vladan StarcevicEmail author


This article aims to explore the perception of body in hypochondriasis and implications that it has for fear of death and for treatment of hypochondriasis. It is suggested that a sense of threat posed by the body in hypochondriasis is intimately related to the fear of body, expectations of bodily failure, fear of disease and pathological fear of death. Clinical aspects and potential antecedents of these phenomena are discussed in the article. It is emphasized that fear of the body and fear of death should be adequately addressed in the course of treatment, regardless of the nature of the primary treatment approach. Relevant treatment strategies are outlined, with treatment goals including an adoption of the non-threatening perception of one’s body, modification of attitudes and beliefs related to health, illness and death which heighten fear of death, and substantial alleviation or elimination of the pathological fear of death.


hypochondriasis fear of death bodily preoccupation psychotherapy 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.FRANZCP, Department of Psychological MedicineUniversity of Sydney Nepean HospitalPenrithAustralia

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