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!

hassell_girl123 said...
Jan. 21, 2010 at 10:20 pm
I suffer from mental disorders also and it really is awesome that you can just come out and educate people about the illness and about your feelings. I am not so brave, but good job :)
elarebadaxe said...
Jan. 21, 2010 at 6:58 pm
Kudos to you!
musiclover94 said...
Jan. 21, 2010 at 4:19 pm
That would be awful. I know you're not looking for pity so instead, kudos to you. The first step to overcoming an illness or fear is to recognize it. I know you've heard that before but still, it's a bigger step than you know. You can discover that life is fun and that you're healthy, I know it. Just look at all the people standing behind you judging by the amount of comments here. We're all pushing for you and we know you can do it. I also think it's incredible tha... (more »)
BritneyG. said...
Jan. 21, 2010 at 9:28 am
This was such a beautiful piece, I agree with Dandelion it does take courage to come out and say that!
Dandelion said...
Dec. 30, 2009 at 11:18 am
It takes a lot of courage to come out and say that! Many hypochondriacs deny it.
worrier said...
Dec. 27, 2009 at 8:18 pm
I also have this problem when I feel I'm getting better something else pops up to make me worry. I worried because I had headaches and thought I had a brain tumor when I actually just needed glasses. I got scared because I thought my heart was beating to fast or slow, I was even afraid to go to sleep at night becaue I thought my heart would stopped I was constantly putting my hand on my chest to feel if my heart was beating strange,fast slow or skipping beats. Does anyone have any suggestions?
Emily:) replied...
Dec. 30, 2009 at 7:11 pm
No idea worrier- but I used to be just the same way. I was afraid I would wake up and be dead (stupid huh? Cuz if I was dead, how would I wake up). See a doctor. If you don't want to- just remember- so WHAT if your heart stops in the middle of the night. If you aren't going to see the next morning, be happy about the one that you had the day before. :) But seriously though, I'm pretty sure you'll make it through the night. Hearts are funny- but fast or slow, I'm pretty s... (more »)
explain_love replied...
Aug. 7, 2010 at 8:46 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 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 :)

boston418 replied...
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.... (more »)

Pear said...
Dec. 10, 2009 at 4:26 pm
I really know how you feel. But i dont think of it as a disorder. When you have this problem life seems so meaning, you can never look forward to anything because the fear of death starts to sink in. I also have this problem, I have had it since i was young. It seems like every passing day something is wrong with me, i can't sleep at night without worrying so much that my heart is pumping at 2000 beats per minute. Sometimes i think i have anorexia (which i don't) somtimes i feel like i... (more »)
Andrnick said...
Dec. 8, 2009 at 10:00 pm
I love that your brave enough to actually write the whole disease out.
I know it was a good story and a lot of writers related to it but there is one tiny thing I didn't enjoy.
It's just you got to make the expierence a little more realistic; I could relate to it (I don't have the disease) but just a little more realistic and it would be good.
Keep writing from your dear writer- Andrnick
lh1992 said...
Dec. 8, 2009 at 5:54 pm
I really enjoyed reading this. :)
NothingCanProvokeFearButFearItselfThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Dec. 8, 2009 at 8:50 am
i have the same disorder.......i know exactly how you feel......i was diagnosised with it when i was 14 and im 16 now.....im getting better.......it takes a lot of strenght and a lot of courage to beat this......doctors say i will get over it, but its gonna take a lot of will power to overcome it.........
JusticeJohnson said...
Nov. 16, 2009 at 1:05 pm
this is deep stuff man. I wish you the best of luck! Please continue writing.
ThomaB said...
Oct. 25, 2009 at 4:51 pm
This article really must have been hard to write. I like how you had the courage to come out and speak of this. You have tough me of a new disorder.
tomtamtimmy This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 25, 2009 at 3:28 am
good on you
kasey.camille said...
Oct. 2, 2009 at 7:50 pm
This article is wonderful. I love how honest you are! You can do anything, don't let anything stop you! :)
Paige F. said...
Oct. 2, 2009 at 4:15 pm
Great article;
I enjoyed reading it.
Rebeca G. said...
Jun. 30, 2009 at 6:45 pm
This is a great article. I too suffer from Hypochondria and it's comforting to know that i'm not the only one. I can relate to you in that I worry about everything, especially my health. It's very frustrating but as they say... mind over matter. :) Thanks!
Foxlynn said...
Jun. 18, 2009 at 6:48 pm
a month ago i had headaches from the weather and sinus infection, and now i have a head cold... or so they say. i keep freaking out every time i head anything to do with brain cancer or mad cow disease of meningitis, even thought i am at an extremely low risk. i HATE it. deep down i know there's nothing wrong with me, and i can't see anything bad happening to me in the near future, but i still freak out. it sucks.
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