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!

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!


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-

Honor 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.
countrygirl28 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Dec. 4, 2011 at 7:21 pm
OCD=Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (I have it, too) It is characterized by obsessive, intruding thoughts, followed by compulsions. The thoughts are extremely hard to control, but with therapy, it's possible to overcome them. OCD involves a lot of anxiety and fears, so it's similar to a Hypochondriac in a sense.
StarChild replied...
Jan. 17, 2012 at 10:20 am
This beautiful piece of work isn't even about OCD. Two different things. I don't have either one. But there are certain things that I'm compulsive over where my pencil and or phone need to be exactly aligned or things like that. It's nothing about what the writer is talking about, so in my opinion OCD although somewhat similar... Doesn't need to be talked about here.
countrygirl28 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jan. 17, 2012 at 12:09 pm
I was responding to Honor's comment: "What does OCD stand for?" I answered that, and then explained the relationship between the two. The relationship is the extreme anxiety that we both feel as it takes over our lives. I was not trying to say that OCD is Hypochondriac at all. I was just trying to relate the worries and stress of both disorders.
AALetta This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Sept. 7, 2011 at 2:10 am
I'm a hypochondriac too so I know exactly how you feel. It is a burden and it sucks. When I think I have an illness or something, but lots of times passes and it's obvious I don't, I realize that it was just my hypochondria. And eventually I think you start to be able to figure out if there really is something wrong or if it's just in your head. I'm not that much older than you, but I do believe over time you can overcome it, little by little :)
Laura_Oliver said...
Aug. 16, 2011 at 5:36 pm
After reading this I got a little scared for a minute. I sincerely truly really hope that you can overcome this. It must have taken a lot of courage for you to write this.
Linghoon said...
Aug. 16, 2011 at 12:32 pm
Hey, good luck, i hace actual food alergies, i think i might have a lil bit of hypocondria sometimes. but i do have confirmed allergies to numerus things that make me sick, i think im outgrowing my allergies to eggs, i also have a strange disease which causes me to have bruises covering my entire arm- they thought i had lukemia luckily i don't but when they said that i found myself hoping that i did? why i would do that, i don't know, maybe i just wanted the attention to help me over come other ... (more »)
RanaHewezi1998 said...
Jun. 11, 2011 at 9:20 pm
 wow that's so sad i hope you overcome it :)
Lola_Black said...
Jun. 11, 2011 at 7:39 pm
I never quite understood hypochondria until i read this. Thanks; it was really an eye opener!
K.M.S.Shear said...
Jun. 11, 2011 at 9:20 am
I hope you over come it. Good luck!
kitkat95 said...
May 20, 2011 at 8:59 pm
this was really nice good luck with everythinag
bandi_bandi said...
May 20, 2011 at 4:53 pm
This is in interesting pience, as I've never heard of hypochondria. However, I have a few complaints about it: The writing seems quite sloppy to me. It switched through different ideas without focusing enough on each one. Also, I didn't really like the way you ended this. It sounds like you haven't overcome this problem, so it doesn't sound right to tell others to stop worrying when you still have unresolved issues about it.
massacre replied...
May 20, 2011 at 7:04 pm
I agree with you, Bandi. I mean, it's a nice sentiment and all, but it's not right to offer advice without overcoming your own problems. Doesn't that just make you a hypocrite, as well as a still-worrying hypocondriact? On another note, I think you did a good job at describing some of the symptomes of Hypochondria. As the daughter of a hypochondriac, I know these well. Just hang in there!
PickingFlowers99 replied...
Sept. 7, 2011 at 6:14 am
i disagree with bandi because it think that she really took a risk in writing this and there is a point where you should look at the content rather than tiny details. i thought it was a fabulous, eye opening piece. way to go!!!
Emy3nerd replied...
Sept. 7, 2011 at 10:13 am
I totally disagree with bandi_bandi. I think that this was written really well and that since bandi didn't know anything about hypochondria that you shouldn't be saying what you did. But, I loved this piece and it did worry me a little as well. I hope you overcome this. Take care!
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