What is the outlook for people with illness anxiety disorder (IAD)?

In mild or moderate cases of IAD, the outlook is generally good. However, the severity of worry about having an illness can come and go.

Those with severe IAD and their families must do their best to avoid the possible complications listed above. Long-term regular but brief visits with the primary doctor may be necessary. In severe cases of IAD, appropriate psychological help and treatment for existing depression or severe anxiety is strongly advised.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 07/25/2015.


  • American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition. Arlington, VA, American Psychiatric Association, 2013.
  • Anxiety and Depression Association of America. DSM-5: Changes to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Accessed 6/25/2015.
  • American Psychiatric Association. DSM-5 Fact Sheets: Somatic Symptom Disorder (PDF) Accessed 6/25/2015.

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