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.

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LookingForward1 said...
May 20, 2011 at 8:56 am
good luck with it, i have faith in you that you will get over it soon. i have a mental illnesses too, depression and anxiety, no fun. i feel like life is passing me by.
Bababananna said...
May 1, 2011 at 8:09 am
I never really thought of hypochondria like this before, I thought your "burden" was just something that everyone had at times. It was really good of you to put yourself out there and shed some light on the real thing. If sounds like you are really coming along with fighting it, by the way you were speaking. You know that you are wrong, now you just need to get your mind to beleive it. Good luck!
Gigantron said...
Feb. 21, 2011 at 1:51 pm

Hypochondriasis is a mental ailment. Your mind is so preoccupied that you have another type of pathology, that you could even say that your hypochondriasis is just an underlying symptom of OCD.

So I'm not sure where you are getting the idea that you do not have a mental illness. Hypochondriasis is in the DSM IV, the psychologists bible to all things psychological and neurological. 

Lahari replied...
Mar. 16, 2011 at 3:13 pm

The dude has freaking hypochondria and you guys are fighting? Chill people! 

Tim, that was a very touching piece. It must have been hard to write. Good Luck in the future :)

KonyaB!!! This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Mar. 16, 2011 at 6:33 pm

Guys, this is a website where teens can share their work. Let's not cyberbully or fight. It's not nice, and it's not something you want to get reported for abuse for.

Good piece, Tim. Wish you the best of luck in the future, I'm sure you'll be able to deal with this. :D

bandi_bandi replied...
Sept. 7, 2011 at 3:14 pm
Honestly people, grow up and grow a backbone. There is no cyber bullying going on in this comment, simply a person stating what is/what they think. There are no rude words in the comment. The purpose of commenting is to share one's opinion on the article, not just to to praise the author for writing it.
Mgymnast This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 30, 2011 at 12:56 pm

this was very emotional and touching!!!

btw if you get the chance could you take a look at my poems such as A Mirror Image and The Sinners Confession (and comment and rate them????)  it would be greatly appreciated!! THANKS!

boston418 said...
Jan. 30, 2011 at 11:39 am

I've not had hypochondria, but I've had anxiety troubles that are similar.  One thing that helps me is deep breathing and prayer.  A ritual called the relaxation response is what I use, and it's said to be very healthy for you.  Maybe you might enjoy trying it too:


You sit down and try to clear all thoughts from your head.  Relax each muscle in your body, starting at your toes and moving up. Focus on one comforting phrase, such as "I am at peace." ... (more »)

writerinfinity said...
Jan. 8, 2011 at 4:19 pm
Good job on this. I'm sure it can be hard to admit what diseases you had. I had OCD, which isn't really close hypochondria, but I know that it was kind of hard for me to tell people at that time, but it gets easier. And good for you that you're so positive you'll get over it! :)
Ella M. said...
Sept. 20, 2010 at 7:29 pm
Good for you for writing about this! I am a bit of a hypochondriac myself (though to a lesser extent) and can sympathize with you. I'm sure you'll get the help you need to overcome it--writing about it is a big first step.
KatieGrey This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Aug. 7, 2010 at 10:40 pm

I took a pshycology class this past school year, and hypocondriasis is most common in young adults. In fact, many of the young adults that show the behavior likely grow out of it. :)

I wish you well. I'll keep you in my prayers.

explain_love said...
Aug. 7, 2010 at 8:44 pm

I am no doctor, but I think one important thing to do would be to just put the worry to the back of your mind and try to enjoy what life brings. Don't stress over the little things. Learn to listen to your body, but also learn to distinguish between your own foolish worries and what would actually be a legitimate cause to worry.  

These worries shouldn't control and dictate how you live your life. Don't let them. 

~Sarah :)

explain_love replied...
Aug. 7, 2010 at 8:47 pm
to 'worrier' >>
MercedesXO said...
Jul. 16, 2010 at 5:47 pm
honestly, the article was good. but it wasn't great. like, i don't mean to be negative or seem like i don't appriciate your work, cause i do. but it was just explaining something that you have. i guess i'm saying i dont see why it  was published in the magazine. it was very interesting tho. i didn't know anything about it until i read your article. that must be extremely difficult, i can't even imagine having to worry alllll the time and obsessing over things like that. it must be very diff... (more »)
Aidyl said...
Jul. 16, 2010 at 10:18 am
I thought the article was alright, but I was confused because your first paragraph says that, "When you have hypochondria life doesn't seem real. It feels like you are watching a copy of yourself..." I don't understand what this has to do with thinking you have every illness known to man? And you don't mention it again throughout the entire article.
justagirlwithsomepoetry replied...
Apr. 28, 2011 at 4:16 pm
I don't get that part either. 
Aelita said...
Jun. 24, 2010 at 3:32 pm
That stinks!  Perhaps if you are a hypochondriac, you would respond well to the placebo effect?  Have a fictitious medicine for fictitous illnesses?
charlottegirl said...
Jun. 2, 2010 at 2:18 pm
I don't agree that it was a completely poorly written article. The style might not have been your preference, but the casual writing makes the article more personal and relatable. Grammatical errors could have been fixed, but overall I felt that the article has a strong and effective theme.
charlottegirl replied...
Jun. 2, 2010 at 2:20 pm
This is in reply to 'UnbrokenJane'
iwanttobeforeveryoung said...
May 11, 2010 at 6:51 pm
If you can see that you are a hypochondriac as you write this and that your numerous ailments are ridiculous, why can't you see that other times?
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