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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This article has 108 comments. Post your own now!

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.
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.
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....:):):)
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.
amaranth178 replied...
Apr. 19, 2010 at 6:36 pm
I agree with 'magic-esi'.
SilverSnowflakes said...
Mar. 28, 2010 at 7:34 pm
if it's any help, I kept feeling pain on my left side and thinking it was my appendix, and then I found out your appendix is on your right side so then I started feeling it on my right side, so I researched it and if it was your appendix it would be really hurting, possibly start around your belly button, and you would feel really sick and would probably be throwing up. otherwise it's probably just your digestive system or something... I have gotten frequent "stomach aches" (usually not actually... (more »)
WanderingChild13 said...
Mar. 6, 2010 at 7:41 pm
i'm glad you posted this because i don't think enough is said about this "condition." i've wondered about this subject for awhile and I'm glad that you shared your story
Holly M. said...
Mar. 6, 2010 at 12:09 pm
I've never heard of this condition before. Sounds scary.
Some people don't like being felt sorry for, but really- you are truelly brave being able to write this online.... :)
I hope it passes quickly for you, and that you enjoy your teenaage years :)
#1 Believer! :) replied...
Mar. 6, 2010 at 8:17 pm
I feel bad. I am a person who I believe anything is possible. SO I hope you understand that you luckie you don't have something she has. and it is okay to be different thats all. I feel bad for her to. I mean like seriously think if that was you. Not trying to like yell at you but I know excatly she is going threw and I understand your thinking.
Holly M. replied...
Mar. 7, 2010 at 5:13 am
I know that everyone is different... I just wanted her to know that i think she is brave... If i had this "condition" i would like to hear about it from other people's point of views....
Holly M. replied...
Mar. 7, 2010 at 5:15 am
I know that everyone is different, and i know that i am lucky. All i was trying to say to her is that she is very brave.
#1 Believer! :) replied...
Mar. 7, 2010 at 7:55 am
yeah. I agree 100% with you though about she being really brave and everything else.
Kielen said...
Feb. 12, 2010 at 7:06 pm
The beginning sounds awfully familiar to Fight Club, when he says, "With insomnia, nothing is real. Everything is a copy of a copy of a copy"
Shae Venturi replied...
Feb. 12, 2010 at 8:25 pm
Wow, it does seem awfully smilair to fight club.
seven_stones replied...
Apr. 19, 2010 at 7:55 am
o yeah.... try to be more original.... its a great story but thats really not fair to rip that off
almostactress77 replied...
Apr. 19, 2010 at 6:02 pm
the author probably didnt mean to rip anything off. he might not have even known it was a rip off. i do that all the time and i have no idea i'm ripping something off. i think it's a great piece by the way :)
Noura J. replied...
Jan. 8, 2011 at 9:42 pm
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 intentio... (more »)
AlyssaMac said...
Feb. 12, 2010 at 1:17 pm
This was a very beuatiful peice! I also have this condition, and I am glad that you have shed light on the real situation!
Thank you for this again!
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