Hypochondriac This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

April 24, 2008
I have a sickness called hypochondria. Well, truthfully, I don’t consider it an illness. I just consider it a burden. When you have hypochondria, life doesn’t seem real. It feels like you’re watching a copy of yourself, who’s watching a copy of a copy.

Hypochondria, or the scientific term hypochondriasis, is a disorder where someone thinks he has every ailment known to man. Some hypochondriacs think they have the “big time” diseases like AIDS or cancer. But I think I have everything – food allergies, cancer, brain tumors, kidney disease, Lyme disease, kidney stones, cataracts, bipolar disorder, the flu, dyslexia, strep throat, ­appendicitis. Everything.

When I think I have food allergies, I refuse to eat certain things even if I’ve eaten them before. I stay up all night worrying, not sleeping. Right now I haven’t slept in three days. I rarely eat anything but bread, water, and yogurt. I check the labels on everything from candy bars to cereal looking for things I might be allergic to. Believe me, it’s not fun.

As a hypochondriac, simple afflictions of daily life, like stomach pain or tenderness, can make me worry about appendicitis. When my breathing is messed up, I think my throat is closing. If my stomach makes noises, I think I’m going to throw up, even though I’m simply digesting the bread I ate 15 minutes ago.

Hypochondriasis is a type of somatoform disorder, or mental illness. I have had 10 doctors because I never believe they are telling me the truth about my symptoms and what they mean. My mind won’t let me listen to the doctor and understand that I am, in fact, healthy.

Being only 15, I hope that I’ll eventually break out of all this worry and start enjoying life. Many people say that hypochondria stems from depression or a mental ailment. But the truth is, I’m not depressed and I have no mental ailment. I’m a really happy kid, and I ­enjoy the things I do and the friends I have. I just worry too much.

I know it’s not right to blame someone for my disorder, but sometimes I do blame my father. He told me that he used to worry about having every physical illness known to man too. I found out later that hypochondria can be passed through genes. I ­believe I will overcome this disorder, but I will need help.

If you are a hypochondriac too, don’t worry. You aren’t sick, and most likely you’re pretty darn healthy. So get out there and be active and have fun.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

Join the Discussion

This article has 108 comments. Post your own now!

Emmerz_04clumseygirl said...
today at 10:45 am
I can relate, i have this disorder as well. Just want you to know, that i thought this explained it very well. Amazing job
C"> said...
today at 6:07 am
very good,i like it
Kip.lu said...
May 5 at 2:40 am
Omg I have the same sickness, CRAZY
hannahrakyThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Apr. 30 at 12:39 pm
Have you ever seen a psychiatrist for anxiety? I suffer from some pretty severe anxiety, and I know how easily it can turn into something outrageous. By the way, I love the piece, and you've definitely got talent.
Luken said...
Sept. 27, 2016 at 9:13 am
This is amazing, know I understand what people with that disorder think. :D
Nated315This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 29, 2016 at 10:47 am
so is this like an anxiety thing??? not to be rude, just trying to understand more about this subject.
AlexSant said...
Jun. 15, 2014 at 12:25 pm
Great article man! I really felt like I was inside your mind while reading it. If any of you guys have time, check out my article titled Sports Medicine and Sports Scandals. It's currently at #12 on the nonfiction page!
Vedant D. said...
Jan. 31, 2014 at 2:25 pm
This was a great article.  I think you have a gift for writing! Stay strong!
Abygail C. said...
Jan. 29, 2014 at 1:28 pm
This is great, informative article! I personally don't know anyone who is like this but its interesting to hear about someone my age going through this. All it seems like that I worry about is school and homework and what my weekend plans are. I couldn't imagine going through something like this myself.
candlelightwriter said...
Oct. 15, 2013 at 3:13 pm
Thanks so much for these thoughts. I suffer from hypochondria too, though not quite to the extent you're describing. Your description was accurate and potent. A great article straight from the heart. Thanks for writing this. Hope you can overcome.
readlovewrite said...
Jun. 27, 2013 at 8:14 pm
This is really good, and I sometimes have inklings of the same fears - if to a lesser extent -  and you discribed it really well!  Hope you do outgrow it someday.
Brittany1996 said...
Jan. 25, 2013 at 12:25 pm
I thought this is awesome Nonfiction writing, especally for being 15! Great job, the begining paragraph grabs the reader in and makes them want to read more. You are very talented!
TheCapturedBat This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Mar. 1, 2012 at 9:25 am
I am kind of obsessive about health. I think it might go back to a time when I was six years old and was always hearing my father talk about his various health concerns. What makes it worse is that I worry about other peoples' health even more than I worry about my own, so I am always freaking out about their perceived health concerns and making their lives miserable.  
MaxRide said...
Feb. 13, 2012 at 8:21 am
i have moments when it feels like I'm watching a movie and looking at someone esle. But i dont think i have a disease. Good luck!
Lillie M. said...
Feb. 8, 2012 at 2:45 am
I can be somewhat of a hypochondriac, too. Last summer I was sure that I had pancreatic cancer because I kept throwing up, when in reality I was just really nervous from worrying all the time. And today I'm starting to think I have diabetes. But knowing I'm not alone out there felt good :) Thank you for writing this.
Ella1 said...
Dec. 26, 2011 at 10:39 am
Thanks for sharing your view. I know someone who used to be a hypochondriac but they eventually got over it. It is hard work but you will be fine. Best of luck!
sarahmichelle98 said...
Nov. 12, 2011 at 11:16 pm
hahha thats a good point..
sarahmichelle98 said...
Nov. 12, 2011 at 11:13 pm
it means obsessive complusive disorder
raindance72 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Dec. 4, 2011 at 7:45 pm
I have mild Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and I can tell you that it is not the same as hypochondria. That's why there are two separate names; two separate diseases.
AndyiRock said...
Oct. 21, 2011 at 4:13 am
I'm a hypochondriac, and it's just getting worse everyday. It passes sometimes, but at some point it comes back. We'll be fine :)
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