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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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Ellimac57 said...
Mar. 13, 2009 at 9:38 pm
i liked that a lot
CABhahahaHPhahaTL said...
Jan. 3, 2009 at 6:32 am
I can sympathize. My dad is allergic to bee's and when I was little and had never been stung before he taught me to be really afraid of them. so now years later when i see a be I scream and run for the nearerst exit, ive actually left my class room screaming because a bee flew through the back window and was on the windows edge. By the way star trek the next generation has a charactor called barkly, he is a hypochondriac, it makes you see the humor in horrible or irritating situations, cheak it out.
Maroon Wombat replied...
Oct. 2, 2009 at 6:25 pm
I'm in the exact same situation! My dad's allergic and my family figures that I might be too, and so I freak when I see a bee, even if I know it won't sting me.
halfasianpersuasion replied...
May 11, 2010 at 12:16 pm
i can relate to this article becuase i am the same way but just not as bad, but i also think i have a lot of other things like mental...depression, anxiety, etc. some i do, some i don't
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