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

  • 9
    It's just a flesh wound.
    – Jeffrey
    Commented Dec 5, 2012 at 19:30
  • check for "la belle indifference"
    – Jaeger Jay
    Commented Jul 17, 2015 at 11:13
  • I'd recommend that you post this query here: cogsci.stackexchange.com
    – Jaeger Jay
    Commented Jul 17, 2015 at 11:36

9 Answers 9


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.

  • 3
    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
    Commented Dec 5, 2012 at 16:21

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.

  • The OP is looking for a term for somebody who denies being sick; a stoic would strive not to be perturbed by being sick, but would not deny it.
    – jsw29
    Commented May 23, 2022 at 18:19

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.)

  • 1
    I'm a medical practitioner and I find your answer correct.
    – Jaeger Jay
    Commented Jul 17, 2015 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
    Commented Jul 17, 2015 at 11:23
  • La belle's is far more associated with dementias, including psychosis in the classical sense, than somatoform disorders.
    – Stu W
    Commented May 24, 2021 at 16:51
  • IRT Oxford's Medical Dictionary - " la belle indifférence - "An abnormal lack of concern about one's afflictions or disabilities..." Summation: Indifference is not denial. A patient could be given a diagnosis of Inoperative Stage 5 Kidney (Failure) imminent, and be indifferent to their own demise. Opt out of dialysis. Indifferent based on passive acceptance to real diagnosed condition is not an antonym to hypochondriasis. There, a patient firmly believes they are ill when medical diagnosis confirms they are not. An opposite is one where medical diagnosis confirms, but patient denies it.
    – Steve B053
    Commented May 24, 2021 at 17:25

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.


One possibility is anosognosia - The term applies primarily to both medical physician / psychological/psychiatric condition caused by stroke or real sensory or motor impairment; but, also includes feigned denial of illness, such as dementia, or ANY person's simple disbelief or deliberate denial that they a (patient) has a medically diagnosed condition and refuses to believe it.

Medical Term: Anosognosia: "...is a lack of ability to perceive the realities of one's own condition. It's a person's inability to accept that they have a condition that matches up with their symptoms or a formal diagnosis." source: www.healthline.com accessed 5/24/2021 web. You can check any number of Medical /Psychology dictionaries online. The primary cause for an antonym type medical condition to hypochondriasis (where nothing is wrong), is something is wrong (medically diagnosed; but, patient's own sensory input denies real impairment exists).


How about tough. Some folks have to put work ahead of pain so they won’t complain about pain so they can get paid… just plain TOUGH.

  • Those in denial are probably exhibiting a form of weakness. Commented May 23, 2022 at 9:29

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.

  • 1
    'Making up a new word' is almost a contradiction in terms (almost because obviously some candidates become neologisms, new additions to the lexicon). A word needs a reasonable currency; many candidates are never worded. Certainly D-i-Y suggestions are expressly discouraged on ELU. Commented May 23, 2022 at 9:27

How about hypercondriastoicism? Meaning the insistent denial to self and others of a medical problem or setback, or of an unfavorable physical condition.

  • This would benefit by having a link to an authoritative source for the term. Commented May 24, 2021 at 16:45
  • IRT, both The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary and/or Oxford's Concise Medical Dictionary 10th Ed. - there's no such medical term.
    – Steve B053
    Commented May 24, 2021 at 16:56

I would say the opposite would be simply resilient.

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