Anyone who is family or a close friend of mine knows that I am absolutely a hypochondriac. I joke about it a lot because sometimes the only thing that can make me calm down is when I laugh at how silly I’m being, but it’s something that I can’t control and something that can consume my life. When something goes wrong, I immediately think the worst. I’m pretty good with colds, sinus infections, allergies, etc. because I know them well, and I know exactly how my body responds to these types of illnesses. However, all hell breaks lose when something out of the ordinary happens (such as a swollen lymph node in a spot where I usually don’t get them), and I immediately think the worst (in that case – lymphoma). I do what every doctor tells you not to do – I google my symptoms looking for some sort of relief that what I have is common and curable. That’s the thing, if the potential disease or condition is 100% treatable or curable, I don’t worry. The root of almost hypochondriacs’ fears is terminal illness, death, dying, etc. Many people will admit they are afraid of dying, but only hypochondriacs obsess over minuscule things that could potentially, in the most rare case, be a terminal illness. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made myself physically sick because I was so worried about being sick (super ironic, huh?). When a hypochondriac is in a state of anxiety over an ailment, it consumes their mind. No matter how hard we try, it’s the only thing we think about. We want answers and we want them now. We want relief, and there is no better feeling than walking out of the doctor’s office knowing that everything is okay, perfectly normal, or treatable. Once all of those crazy fears are lifted away, hypochondriacs can go back to living a normal life until the next abnormality hits, and the process starts all over again. People will say, ‘you’ve got to quit worrying, there’s nothing wrong’, but for a hypochondriac, this means nothing until proven that there’s actually nothing wrong. We can’t change who we are and how we feel, but we can certainly takes steps to letting go of some of the anxiety. I, personally, allow myself to have one, solid mental breakdown, and then I proceed to schedule a doctor’s appointment as soon as possible because there’s nothing worse than having to sit and wait when in my mind, I might have a serious illness that needs to be tended to asap. Being a hypochondriac definitely can make some moments in life way more stressful and worrisome than they ever need to be, but it’s who I am, and they say the first step to recovery is admittance, right? So life as a hypochondriac is manageable, and most of the time, we can live our normal lives, but when a suspicion arises, we lose our shit and that’s just the way it is. Hypochondriacs unite! Together we can continue to self-educate ourselves on all of the terminal illnesses that will hopefully never, ever become our reality.
Thank you for reading, and if you or someone you love has hypochondria, I encourage you to share this article. Until next time…