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Is there a word for the opposite condition of hypochondriasis? For example, someone who denies being sick when they clearly are? I would just say that they are "in denial". Is there any other adequate word?

I thought about the obvious 'hyperchondria' but it doesn't seem to be used anywhere and doesn't look suitable as—from checking the origin of the word—just replacing 'hypo' by 'hyper' wouldn't fit well:

1555–65; < Late Latin < Greek, neuter plural of hypochóndrios pertaining to the upper abdomen (supposed seat of melancholy), equivalent to hypo- hypo- + chóndr ( os ) ensiform cartilage + -ios adj. suffix

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It's just a flesh wound. –  Jeffrey Dec 5 '12 at 19:30
check for "la belle indifference" –  Jaeger Jay Jul 17 at 11:13
I'd recommend that you post this query here: –  Jaeger Jay Jul 17 at 11:36

6 Answers 6

up vote 8 down vote accepted

I think egosyntonic comes reasonably close:

Egosyntonic is a psychological term referring to behaviors, values, feelings that are in harmony with or acceptable to the needs and goals of the ego, or consistent with one's ideal self-image.

Many personality disorders are considered to be egosyntonic and are, therefore, difficult to treat. Anorexia nervosa, a difficult-to-treat Axis I disorder, is also considered egosyntonic because many of its sufferers deny that they have a problem.

Its counterpart is egodystonic.

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This looks like the most suitable answer. Thanks! –  Renan Dec 5 '12 at 15:01
Needs and goals of ego are not always unreasonable and hence, sometimes there is nothing wrong in heeding to what it asks for. And that's why, this word doesn't seem to fit the required usage. Furthermore, OP asked very specifically for the opposite of the word "hypochondria" and I don't believe your answer comes close to the required medical aspect as well. –  Mohit Dec 5 '12 at 16:21

la belle indifférence

A naive, inappropriate calmness or lack of concern in the face of perceptions by others of one's disability, often seen in those with conversion disorder but no longer considered pathognomonic for conversion disorder.

This is obviously a French term, but it’s widely used in the English-speaking medical community. As alluded to in that definition, it was originally applied to a specific group of psychiatric patients, but it is now known that it is not specific to conversion disorder. The term is frequently applied to describe the inappropriate neglect of physical symptoms of any cause.

(Of note, egosyntonic, proposed in another answer, is, as far as I know, used exclusively in reference to psychiatric pathology.)

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I'm a medical practitioner and I find your answer correct. –  Jaeger Jay Jul 17 at 11:02
La belle indifference represented an example of the use of denial as a means of defending against psychological stressors and not an indifference per se. –  Jaeger Jay Jul 17 at 11:23

A widely used antonym for hypochondriac is "stoic." Spelt without a leading capital, it doesn't refer to the Stoic school of philosophy but to the general idea of ignoring or minimizing setbacks and unfavorable information.

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You could perhaps make up a new word based on the term prosopagnosia, which refers to the neurogenic inability to recognize people's faces. The term would be pathagnosia, the inability to recognize sickness. However, this inability would in principle apply equally to others' illnesses, so that a sufferer of pathagnosia would be just as bad a doctor as a patient.

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I would say the opposite would be simply resilient.

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I'll mention some words that come to my mind regarding what you're asking.


Anosodiaphoria is a condition in which a person who suffers disability due to brain injury seems indifferent to the existence of their handicap.


Denial, in ordinary English usage, is asserting that a statement or allegation is not true.

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