Health anxiety is an anxiety disorder where those who are affected have an obsessional preoccupation with the idea or the thought that they are currently (or will be) experiencing a physical illness. The most common health anxieties tend to centre on conditions such as cancer, HIV, AIDs, etc. However, the person experiencing health anxiety may fixate on any type of illness. This condition is known as health anxiety, illness phobia/illness anxiety or hypochondriasis.
Those who are affected by health anxiety are convinced that harmless physical symptoms are indicators of serious disease or severe medical conditions. For example, if a person experiencing health anxiety or illness phobia feels that their chest is getting tight, they may believe that they are having a heart attack. Those with health anxiety frequently misinterpret physical symptoms of anxiety as a sign of an impending physical health problem.