Once known as hypochondriasis, nosophobia can be defined as the fear of having/catching a disease. It is more commonly known as Illness Anxiety Disorder. In the context of Coronavirus times, everyone is afraid of contracting Covid-19, but for nosophobes it can be called akin to an all-consuming terror. Life before quarantine would have been hard enough for them, but with the looming threat of an often fatal disease, existence has become synonymous with anxiety.


  • Constant agonization over a disorder that runs in the individual’s family.
  • Aggressive cleanliness.
  • Avoidance of medical care or treatment
  • Overthinking small instances.
  • Treating normal illnesses as extremely serious.


  • Cognitive Behavourial Therapy- a kind of psychotherapy in which a therapist helps the patient understand that their fear is irrational, and thus adopt a healthier mind-set.
  • If it comes to such a point, medication may be prescribed by the patient’s therapist with an aim at helping them live their lives more easily.
  • If you try to manage this by yourself at home, mindfulness, positive affirmation and stress management techniques must be practiced.

When should you consult a therapist?

If you feel that your anxiety over possibly contracting a disease is getting out of hand to the point that it is interrupting your daily schedule, you should most definitely consult a professional to receive therapy. Some more specific signs are:

  • Anxiety over disease, despite there being no physical signs of the same.
  • If you constantly check your body for signs of disease
  • These feelings have persisted for over six months.


“Nosophobia is the same as hypochondria”

Nosophobia was at one time thought to be the same as hypochondria, but  nosophobia is more specific. While hypochondriacs believe they are prone to almost every life-threatening disease, people with nosophobia experience anxiety over one particular disease, and may even convince themselves that they have symptoms of that disease.

“Nosophobia and Somatic Symptom Disorder are the same” In fact, Somatic Symptom Disorder is quite different. In it, a person actually begins to manifest the symptoms they are afraid of, physically, and as a result of anxiety.