Hypochondriac MAG

April 24, 2008
By Tim Martin BRONZE, Auburn, New York
Tim Martin BRONZE, Auburn, New York
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

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.



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This article has 107 comments.


bandi_bandi said...
on May. 20 2011 at 4:53 pm
bandi_bandi, Mountain Home, Idaho
0 articles 0 photos 5 comments
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.

on May. 20 2011 at 8:56 am
LookingForward1 BRONZE, Cincinnati, Ohio
2 articles 0 photos 7 comments

Favorite Quote:
"All you need is yourself to guide the way, other people just get in the way, your better off alone."

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...
on 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!

AliB. BRONZE said...
on Apr. 28 2011 at 4:16 pm
AliB. BRONZE, Redwood City, California
2 articles 1 photo 16 comments
I don't get that part either. 

KonyaB!!! GOLD said...
on Mar. 16 2011 at 6:33 pm
KonyaB!!! GOLD, Edison, New Jersey
14 articles 0 photos 99 comments

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


Lahari GOLD said...
on Mar. 16 2011 at 3:13 pm
Lahari GOLD, Edison, New Jersey
19 articles 0 photos 71 comments

Favorite Quote:
\\\\\\\"Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That\\\\\\\'s why its called the present.\\\\\\\"
— Eleanor Roosevelt

\\\\\\\"When life gives you lemons, make grape juice. Then sit back and watch as the world wonders how you did it.\\\\\\\'

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 :)


Gigantron GOLD said...
on Feb. 21 2011 at 1:51 pm
Gigantron GOLD, Somewhere, Texas
11 articles 0 photos 36 comments

Favorite Quote:
"There is a fundamental difference between religion, which is based on authority (imposed dogma, faith), [as opposed to] science, which is based on observation and reason. Science will win because it works."

-Stephen Hawking

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. 


on Jan. 30 2011 at 12:56 pm
PerfectMGymnast DIAMOND, Parker, Colorado
57 articles 25 photos 633 comments

Favorite Quote:
"If you don't leap you'lll never know what it's like to fly"

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...
on Jan. 30 2011 at 11:41 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."  Mine is "the Lord is my shepherd."  Repeat that phrase over and over again in your mind, timed with your breathing.  If a thought interrupts, just think "oh, well" and let it pass.  Do this for about 10 minutes... it won't make anxiety disappear necessarily, but it relaxes your body so you can focus on relaxing your mind.  It is so helpful to me!


boston418 said...
on 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."  Mine is "the Lord is my shepherd."  Repeat that phrase over and over again in your mind, timed with your breathing.  If a thought interrupts, just think "oh, well" and let it pass.  Do this for about 10 minutes... it won't make anxiety disappear necessarily, but it relaxes your body so you can focus on relaxing your mind.  It is so helpful to me!

 

Another thing I've heard that can be helpful is meeting people who actually have the challenges that you fear you're developing.  For example, spend time with someone with severe food allergies.  Then you can relate to them in two ways: like them, you have an ailment: hypochondria, but also, you can appreciate the ways they are enjoying life, so that if you are worried you have a food allergy, you can feel encouraged that it's possible to manage it and not live life in stress.  With my anxiety, I am afraid that something bad will happen.  If I talk to people who have actually had my fears happen to them, I realize that it's possible to overcome them, and it really helps!

 

Prayers and well wishes,

S


on Jan. 8 2011 at 9:42 pm
alicen1ndrland GOLD, Bethesda, Maryland
10 articles 1 photo 18 comments

Favorite Quote:
“The moment you think you understand a great work of art, it's dead for you.”
~Oscar Wilde
I must lie down where all the ladders start
In the foul rag and bone shop of the heart.
~William Butler Yeats

Like almostactress77 said--there's a whole phenomenon in education that we learn about in the IB program where someone hears something once and then, be it 1 day or 10 years later, they repeat the exact same thing without having a clue, because that diction is now a part of their subconscious. Adults reading essays and other student writing have to be sensitive to this before they write something off as plagiarism. So before you go pointing fingers, remember that it probably wasn't intentional. 

on Jan. 8 2011 at 4:19 pm
writerinfinity PLATINUM, Arlington, Texas
35 articles 0 photos 105 comments
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! :)

on Sep. 20 2010 at 7:29 pm
OperaGirl BRONZE, San Francisco, California
2 articles 0 photos 1 comment

Favorite Quote:
"Be the change you want to see in the world"--Gandhi

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.

on Aug. 7 2010 at 10:40 pm
Katie_Grey DIAMOND, Leipsic, Ohio
58 articles 10 photos 46 comments

Favorite Quote:
Difficult is not impossible - Relient K, "Hope for Every Fallen Man"


If all I had was love, would I still be lovely?
If all I gave was love, would you give up on me?
-House of Heroes, "Love is for the Middle Class"

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.


on Aug. 7 2010 at 8:47 pm
theoryofperception BRONZE, Barrie, Other
2 articles 1 photo 12 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined." - Henry David Thoreau

to 'worrier' >>

on Aug. 7 2010 at 8:46 pm
theoryofperception BRONZE, Barrie, Other
2 articles 1 photo 12 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined." - Henry David Thoreau

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 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 :)


on Aug. 7 2010 at 8:44 pm
theoryofperception BRONZE, Barrie, Other
2 articles 1 photo 12 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined." - Henry David Thoreau

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 :)


on Jul. 16 2010 at 5:47 pm
MercedesXO DIAMOND, South Easton, Massachusetts
52 articles 0 photos 280 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I realize that life is risks. It's acknowledging the past but looking forward. It's taking chances that we will make mistakes but believeing we all deserve to be forgiven."
-The Dead Tossed Waves.

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 difficult and shows that you have a lot of strength and think you can change:) i wish you the best of luck and hope that you do outgrow it as well. nice article.

Aidyl BRONZE said...
on Jul. 16 2010 at 10:18 am
Aidyl BRONZE, Oshawa, Other
4 articles 0 photos 91 comments

Favorite Quote:
"If you want a friend be a friend."

-Poster


"That's cool. Hey you know what's even cooler than triceratops? Every other dinosaur that ever existed!"
-Dwight Schrute The Office

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.

on Jun. 24 2010 at 3:32 pm
AelitaReloaded PLATINUM, Scottsdale, Arizona
22 articles 0 photos 179 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The pen is mightier than the sword" author unknown (to me)

That stinks!  Perhaps if you are a hypochondriac, you would respond well to the placebo effect?  Have a fictitious medicine for fictitous illnesses?




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