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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!

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!

 
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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 »)

 
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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! :)
 
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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.
 
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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.

 
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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' >>
 
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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 »)
 
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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. 
 
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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?
 
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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'
 
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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?
 
AndTheVinesSpin replied...
Jun. 2, 2010 at 6:49 am :
She probably does see it, but can't stop herself. The same way us teenagers know when we're doing something wrong, but do it anyway.
 
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Sab :) said...
Apr. 19, 2010 at 4:31 pm:
This must be tough, but I'm sure that you are very brave. :)         Just being able to write about your condition alone is a big step, and know that you are never alone. Good luck, you will be fine.
 
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Emmy13329 said...
Apr. 19, 2010 at 4:22 pm:
Love it !!,The article is very interesting and I think people with the disease would be glad to read it....:):):)
 
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UnbrokenJane said...
Apr. 19, 2010 at 9:02 am:
A decent topic but poorly written article. Don't know why this ended up on the home page. The writing was too imformal and there were several grammar, organization, and punctuation errors that really took away from the overall tone of the article as well as the informal diction. By using phrases such as "every ailment/illness known to man" not once but twice, I really felt that this article was not well thought out. Try to keep these points in mind the next time you write a nonfiction article.
 
Sophie B. replied...
Apr. 19, 2010 at 12:07 pm :
I think it was really good!
 
magic-esi This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Apr. 19, 2010 at 3:39 pm :
That's true, but the topic is interesting enough to make up for the minor problems in it. The informality adds to the realistic feeling of the article. If she was writing an informative essay on hypochondria, then I would agree... but as a memoir, I can accept the problems you mentioned.
 
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