My boyfriend has been unofficially diagnosed by two doctors (family & friend) with hypochondria, but he refuses to believe it. He's incredibly overanxious about minor physical symptoms (many of which can easily be explained by anxiety) and switches which fatal disease he's dying from every one to two days.
This has been going on for several weeks. Nothing I can say can appease him. I've tried to calmly tell him he's all right, that he can make an appointment with a doctor and get his concerns looked at, that he should be open to counseling, but he gets defensive, angry, and insulted. (He seems to believe counseling is only for "crazy" people, even though I've had it myself.) I've tried not commenting on his health and trying to distract him, but he gets insulted that I'm "dismissing" his concerns. I've tried telling him that I'm sorry he feels that way and that I'm sorry he's dealing with anxiety (which he knows I've dealt with as well), but then he questions the "tone" of my voice and thinks I'm dismissing his concerns, too.
He's become extremely paranoid and tells me I hate him, I just want to "get rid of him" by telling his parents my concerns (he's an adult, by the way, but a young adult) and suggesting a counselor, and that he's "all alone." I've tried assuring him that he's not alone and that it's out of love that I want him to get help, but he insists that only people who don't want to "deal with" others do that.
(His mom, by the way, is no help and refuses to suggest counseling to him. His dad was more helpful, but told me I need to stop suggesting counseling because my boyfriend seems to think counseling = you're worthless, so I agreed and have tried to not mention it, but when he gets paranoid and angry, it slips out again.)
He can be normal for short spurts throughout the day or even go a day or so without having a huge fit of depression and/or anger, but I'm at my wit's end. What can I do? How can I respond to his fears? Thank you.
Notice: Psych Central Answers shut down to new questions on January 11, 2013.
Looking for a place to ask your question? Sign up today for our community (you'll need a separate account than the one you use here), and ask away!
Ask and answer questions about mental health and relationship issues in a safe & supportive environment. If you ask a question, you will have to answer someone else's first, in order to give back to others here.