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


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.





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This article has 102 comments. Post your own!

AlexSant said...
today 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!
 
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Vedant D. said...
Jan. 31 at 2:25 pm:
This was a great article.  I think you have a gift for writing! Stay strong!
 
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Abygail C. said...
Jan. 29 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.
 
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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.
 
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readlovewriteThis 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...
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.
 
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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!
 
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TheCapturedBatThis 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...
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.  
 
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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!
 
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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.
 
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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!
 
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sarahmichelle98 said...
Nov. 12, 2011 at 11:16 pm:
hahha thats a good point..
 
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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.
 
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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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DR loveee said...
Sept. 7, 2011 at 9:22 am:
Check in to your nearest asylum.
 
WindDancer replied...
Sept. 7, 2011 at 3:57 pm :
That was so rude! She knows what is wrong with her and is fighting to voercome her disorder. To say that she should go to an asylum is hurtful and ignorant. Just because someone has a mental, physical, or emotional disorder, does not mean they are crazy. Next time, think before you speak.
 
bluebird replied...
Sept. 7, 2011 at 5:03 pm :

That was very rude. Next time you make a rude comment like that, step into their shoes and see their side of the story. Be open-minded, and open-hearted. 

I have OCD, so I know all about worrying. It's not so bad, now. I tell myself, I'm in control. I am okay. I can do this. OCD isn't my life, my life is. We're all here for you! Stay strong!

Bluebird

 
alexandria1124 replied...
Sept. 7, 2011 at 7:58 pm :
I'm not sure how I feel on this article, but don't criticize others on their opinions no matter how hurtful... That's why they're opinions, because you don't feel the same way. Speak your mind DR loveee.
 
soldout replied...
Sept. 7, 2011 at 8:40 pm :

U guys are kinda assuming what DR Loveee even meant. yeah, it sounds mean, but she never implied she thought the writer was a psycho in need of help.

As for the author of this, listen to bluebird. i don't have such a disorder, but i believe that if u have best friends who u love and have things to look forward to in life, then the problems are specks of dust caught in ur life. just swipe them away and keep going, wherever u want. -soldout-

 
HonorThis 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. replied...
Nov. 12, 2011 at 8:46 am :
Bluebird, what does OCD stand for? I've been told before but I forgot...sorry if I'm being rude.  I thought the article was well writen by the way.
 
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