The Hypochondriac In Me

Posted: April 5, 2011 in Health
Tags: , , , ,


“Hypochondria is the persistent conviction that one is or is likely to become ill, often involving symptoms when illness is neither present nor likely, and persisting despite reassurance and medical evidence to the contrary.”

When I decided to write about this topic, I figured I might inject it with some humor, but the reality of hypochondria is far from funny.  The condition is a harmful side effect of some serious underlying anxiety disorder.  People that are afflicted with it suffer greatly, making their quality of life deplorable and miserable – that isn’t a hyperbole.  While most hypochondriacs are usually physically healthy, they have no peace of mind because they believe that one disease or another has taken full-time residence in their body.  The belief of this is so real –sometimes even manifesting visible symptoms– that many plummet into a deep depression and may even contemplate suicide.

I mean sure, we’ve all worried about our health at one point or another.  Maybe viciously fought and struggled with thoughts of diseases and disorders that can seriously hinder our life, or much worse, end it prematurely.  Maybe you dread the visits and annual check-ups to the doctor because of that nagging thought that may linger in the back of your mind.  What if they find something?  We usually snap back to reality though, whereas a hypochondriac may need much more convincing – and even then, attempts may seem futile.  Like talking to a deaf person, they just don’t listen.

So am I a full-blown hypochondriac?  Far from it.  Do I obsess a bit too much about my health?  Probably.  I’ve been conscious of my body for as long as I can remember; whenever anything feels “off” I take serious note and make sure it isn’t anything grave.

My love for reading and wanting to know about EVERYTHING under the sun doesn’t do much except aggravate my fears, whenever I do get them; Dr. Google is a hypochondriac’s worst enemy.  Whenever you find yourself with health concerns, what’s the first thing you do?  Yep, Google it!  Have you any idea how torturous it may be for a hypochondriac to turn to Google during times of despair?  Jesus, googling a simple tummy ache or a runny nose can lead to a self-diagnosis of a malignant tumor.  While I may not be a true hypochondriac, I’ve gone through a list of diseases that terrified me at some point.  Cancers?  Yes, almost any type of the dreaded “C” word; heart problems, of course; viruses, parasites too; autoimmune diseases, why not?  And always, I persuade my doctor to send me for tests, any and ALL kinds of tests (I’ve even begged for a colonoscopy, if you can believe that…yikes).  And always, I’ve been proven wrong – thankfully.

All I can do is hope that the terrors of my mind don’t turn into a reality.  Stay healthy, strong and live my life to the fullest – until the next “disease” that might kill me.

  1. momfog says:

    My particular demon is WebMD. I was absolutely convinced I had rheumatoid arthritis. Turns out it’s just carpal tunnel and nerve damage from having so many children (5) in a short time. Nothing some exercise and a little physical therapy wouldn’t fix.

    I love the autoimmune disease–a broad diagnosis for every specific pain imaginable.

    Stay healthy!

  2. kiwikar says:

    Oh how many times I’ve been to the hospital because my heart skipped a beat every few minutes. Physically there is absolutely nothing wrong with me. I blame it on the stress.

  3. […] The Hypochondriac In Me ( […]

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