PDA

View Full Version : Hypochondria



Madrigal
01-15-2015, 12:27 AM
So I had some tests done and was quite dismayed that my first results were just fine. My reaction was what surprised me. What are the reasons why someone would want to insist that they are sick? Could this be something as serious as, say, anorexia (see what I did there?), where someone wants to project their problems onto their body? Any hypochondriacs here?

jigglypuff
01-15-2015, 12:33 AM
So I had some tests done and was quite dismayed that my first results were just fine. My reaction was what surprised me. What are the reasons why someone would want to insist that they are sick? Could this be something as serious as, say, anorexia (see what I did there?), where someone wants to project their problems onto their body? Any hypochondriacs here?
i'm not, but i'd imagine it's out of wanting a problem to solve (basically an anxiety problem)? i know people who've had that pretty bad, though.

idek how to talk about anorexia / any sort of body dysmorphia. with that, it's "tempting" to deny there's any sort of perception problem and keep it to oneself, to go on hiding lifestyle habits.

msg_v2
01-15-2015, 01:06 AM
No, but I know someone for whom their hypochondria is ruining their life. This person thinks that they are crippled, when really, the problem is simply that they have no muscular strength in their legs because they spend most of their life in bed. They can fix that by getting out of bed, but they won't do that because they believe that all the medical opinions they've received are wrong, and that they really have something that the doctors they've seen aren't competent enough to notice.

It's often accompanied by other mental disorders. I'm not sure that it's as simple as "wanting" it. It's more that they believe that they are sick.

NedLudd
01-15-2015, 01:07 AM
In my experience, when I start looking for ailments or physical problems and almost want to find them, it's so that I can point to something solid and out of my control for feeling generally bad. For example, I'm always tired. It would sure be nice to say that I have some sort of disorder rather than just admitting that I eat like shit, don't exercise, and drink too much. Basically, I've found it to be a distraction and a scapegoat.

jigglypuff
01-15-2015, 01:11 AM
In my experience, when I start looking for ailments or physical problems and almost want to find them, it's so that I can point to something solid and out of my control for feeling generally bad. For example, I'm always tired. It would sure be nice to say that I have some sort of disorder rather than just admitting that I eat like shit, don't exercise, and drink too much. Basically, I've found it to be a distraction and a scapegoat.
a sort of learned helplessness? this actually makes me think of a lot of people who wish to believe they have some sort of mental illness but don't really.

NedLudd
01-15-2015, 01:13 AM
a sort of learned helplessness? this actually makes me think of a lot of people who wish to believe they have some sort of mental illness but don't really.

Yeah. Good point regarding mental illness, I agree. Although that's more tricky to point fingers at, because you risk stigmatizing people that legitimately are mentally ill.

ferrus
01-15-2015, 03:24 AM
Yes. I basically have it on my record that I'm crazy and have been convinced I've had cancer everywhere, diabetes and a heart condition and then gone and had repeated tests before paying for speciality ones to be sure.

MoneyJungle
01-15-2015, 03:53 AM
I frequently fantasize that I'm terminally ill. I haven't seen a doctor since 2007. I just assume I'll die within a fortnight whenever I get sick, which has been more frequent over the last couple of years. List of ailments I've suspected I have: ulcer, chronic fatigue, skin cancer, anemia, brain tumors, Lyme disease and some other stuff I've googled over the years. I don't seriously believe I'm ill, at least not with a sense of urgency. I associate hypochondria with a certain death-anxiety I don't really have.

LordLatch
01-15-2015, 04:03 AM
I even don't know that I'm sick with a cold or flu unless someone tells me I am. I guess that makes me the antithesis of the hypochondriac.

Blorg
01-15-2015, 12:38 PM
I'm not generally a hypochondriac (I don't think). One time a few years ago I had a weird emotional reaction to potential illness, though. I woke up and found that both my feet were too swollen and painful to stand up. The swelling faded to the point that I could walk after a few hours. It got worse overnight again, then alleviated over the course of the morning, for about a week. I went to the student health center, when my feet were about double their normal size, and they gave me an autoimmune disorder test-- I got "positive ANA" (?) which meant that they couldn't rule out autoimmune disorders, so they sent me to a specialist. They were busy and I could only set up an appointment with them in a few weeks. In the meantime I became convinced that I had rheumatoid arthritis, which my grandmother had. Then, my feet stopped swelling up, and when I went to the specialist they said I was fine. They said that I'd had some sort of generic infection but because I was so stressed out at the time (emotionally), my body had reacted to the infection weirdly, and decided to attack my feet instead of the actual place the infection was located. So in other words my body in general decided to be a hypochondriac and project its discontent onto my feet. Anyway, the disturbing thing was, I felt a crushing sense of disappointment after they told me I was healthy. I'd put in a lot of time and thought into the idea that I had rheumatoid arthritis. I felt emotionally invested in it. As they said, I was stressed out, and I guess the idea that I had rheumatoid arthritis seemed like a convenient, tangible, and more manageable anxiety that I could focus on, compared to things like global warming, mice, and bad grades.

My dad's definitely a hypochondriac though. I think it might have something to do with his OCD (he has a bad case of it). He's a hypochondriac for my benefit too-- I got a cold a few weeks ago and I made the mistake of mentioning it to him, and he sent me an email with all kinds of "web md" type links speculating about what my cold might "really" be.


I guess I can sympathize with hypochondriacs though, having struggled with an eating disorder for so long, and the conditions do seem similar in a way-- the distorted perceptions aren't a matter of choice. (A creepy thing happened sometimes when I looked in different mirrors. Some mirrors, like one that I found in a library bathroom, seemed to "correct" my body perception-- I would see how skinny I looked in them, maybe 20 pounds thinner than I looked in other mirrors. I would favor those special mirrors but the effect would fade with time-- magic. Illness-related illusions are fascinating in a really creepy way.)

Blorg
01-15-2015, 12:47 PM
things like global warming, mice, and bad grades.

I mean the concept of mice, and Agnes in particular, and she herself was more like a ghost/concept than actual embodied entity.

Light Leak
01-15-2015, 04:16 PM
I've been called a hypochondriac by some. I don't think I am one. I just think I have some unsolved problems. If I am a hypochondriac, I'm the type that thinks that I have weird, hard to diagnose problems that aren't fatal - not the type of hypochondriac that thinks everything is cancer.

But how do you know that you really are fine just because test results come back fine? Maybe it was the wrong test. I had that happen with my autoimmune illness. All the tests kept coming back normal and they couldn't find anything wrong with me for a long time, and then finally they did. This is why I have a hard time believing that things are fine for other issues I have when test results come back normal. If I have symptoms, there has to be something causing it, right?

jigglypuff
01-15-2015, 04:24 PM
my bf used to be an actual hypochondriac, like how i used to be ED, but we're both "recovered." like he told me a time when he'd visit a bunch of doctors (& actually spend all that money?) cuz he thought he had serious problems/illnesses they just weren't getting, and he really worried about it. for that kind of stuff imo the tendencies don't really go away; they come out again when people are stressed out.

when i'm sick, he takes really good care of me and tackles the sickness p aggressively with vitamins and herbal saunas and whatever he thinks it'll take, and it works. recently i came down with a fever and it only lasted a day cuz he's so weirdly vigilant (insisted i stay over so he could watch me and i can breathe in steam and herbs with no interruptions). i just go along with everything he says when i'm sick cuz he seems to have no choice but to make it better.

Deckard
01-15-2015, 04:29 PM
If I am a hypochondriac, I'm the type that thinks that I have weird, hard to diagnose problems that aren't fatal - not the type of hypochondriac that thinks everything is cancer.

I think a lot of people are in that boat, with genuine disorders that manifest in complicated, subtle & varied ways that make them difficult to diagnose. Our understanding of the human body & its ailments is still primitive, as is our practice of medicine. Despite this, practitioners will throw around diagnoses with complete confidence, or tell you nothing is wrong and make you feel like a hypochondriac. It makes for a tough time for people with illnesses for which there isn't a definitive test or diagnostic criteria.

Can I ask which autoimmune illness you were diagnosed with? Are you getting treatment, and if so, do you find that it's been helping?

stigmatica
01-15-2015, 04:51 PM
I still haven't decided whether or not I'm just getting old or have some weird disease that makes me ache a lot. Either way, I would rather avoid doctors at all cost. Hypochondria balanced by Iatrophobia.

Light Leak
01-15-2015, 05:17 PM
Can I ask which autoimmune illness you were diagnosed with? Are you getting treatment, and if so, do you find that it's been helping?

I have Crohn's disease. I was diagnosed as a kid so I've been getting treatment for quite some time. The one I'm one now works great. I'm pretty much symptom free - as far as the Crohn's goes. It took awhile to find a treatment that worked though. My current treatment didn't even exist as an option when I was first diagnosed.

Vison
01-15-2015, 05:52 PM
I generally think of myself of a hypochondriac, but in hindsight that was something I was told over and over again for most of my life and turned out I was legit ill the whole time. That's turned into a running pattern in my life. I generally trust when I think I am ill now.

If I do find myself suddenly wondering about what if I had some new disease of horror. Especially without some serious symptoms I generally assume there is something stressing me out I would rather not deal with.

"Would anyone really blame me for not calling my mother because I had Sickle Cell Disease? Wouldnt my extreme stress be more legitimate?"

Yeah, not a very productive thought habit/pattern for so many reasons. I've been grinding it out over the last few years.

Madrigal
01-16-2015, 04:48 AM
In my experience, when I start looking for ailments or physical problems and almost want to find them, it's so that I can point to something solid and out of my control for feeling generally bad.

Yeah, the last time I started getting overly concerned with my health it was a bad period in my life.


They said that I'd had some sort of generic infection but because I was so stressed out at the time (emotionally), my body had reacted to the infection weirdly, and decided to attack my feet instead of the actual place the infection was located. So in other words my body in general decided to be a hypochondriac and project its discontent onto my feet.

Externalizing something as an actual physical illness might be something slightly different. In some way it's kind of like a death wish, because you want to be ill. There must be some degree of separation between that and simply fearing illness, though the root causes may be the same.

I tend to externalize. I've been in bed for weeks in a row with a fever nobody could explain while being susceptible to trigger words that generated a stabbing pain in my side. It's always in my side. ("Psychologist" was a trigger word.) People started asking me when I was going to stop having a fever because I guess they caught onto what it was. I remember thinking illness was the only thing that could stop me from doing everything normal people were expected to do, which at the time I was too scared to do, but I didn't want to deal with that in any way. So I just took a "holiday".


I still haven't decided whether or not I'm just getting old or have some weird disease that makes me ache a lot. Either way, I would rather avoid doctors at all cost. Hypochondria balanced by Iatrophobia.

I hate doctors. And exams. My recent one was something like:

"Tell me if it hurts."
"Aayyyy!!" (no pressure applied as yet)
"Oh my God since when have you had that pain?"
"Um, sorry. It didn't hurt."
"Okay..."
"Gaaaah!! That's where it is!" (not really)

So basically she assigned like every fucking test in the world for me. :mellow:

Sistamatic
01-16-2015, 05:00 PM
When I was in high school running track and cross country, I had shin splints so bad that the centripetal force of acceleration while riding in a car produced the sort of pain that one almost needs to bite down on a leather strap to bear in silence. I told my dad and my coach about it and they both assumed I was trying to get out of practice. I had tears running down my face while I ran. I couldn't sleep for the pain. Walking was agony. At one point, my coach told me that he was aware that girls liked the attention of injuries and that I was not fooling him. Eventually, somehow, after months of enduring practice in intense pain, they went away in spite of the fact that I never was permitted to rest and heal. I'm pretty sure this was considered to be evidence I had been lying in the first place because at one point, coach said, "What happened to those shin splints?" The lesson I took away from the experience was that expressing pain, weakness, or illness will be taken as a sign that I am a neurotic person who wants attention. As a result, I'm typically pretty worried before I let anyone know something is wrong. I also feel embarrassed and ashamed when I do finally go to a doctor about something, even if I think I might be dying...like I am wasting their time or something. This is, ironically, neurotic of me.

I was starting to get past my neurosis when this happened:

About eight years ago, I started experiencing pain in my bladder whenever I had to pee in the night. Only if I was in bed. It was so bad that if I put weight on my right foot getting to the bathroom, the pain would almost put me on the floor. I started crawling to the bathroom at night. After about a month of this, I mentioned it to my husband and he made me go to the doctor. (I'd had some major surgery on my urinary system as a child) They scoped me and found nothing. I asked the doctor what he thought was causing the pain and he shrugged and looked at the clock. I asked if he thought it had anything to do with the surgery I'd had. He said, "You never told me about any surgery." I said, "I told your nurse who came and asked about my medical history all about it, and she wrote it down in the chart you have in your hand right now." (keep in mind I'm wearing a waist down paper gown and speaking to a man who just put a scope up my urethra) He looked at the chart and said, "Oh. Well I didn't see any evidence of any surgery while I was in there." I said, "What do you think is causing the pain and how can I make it stop?" He shrugged again and said, "Stop exercising I guess." Then left me to put my clothes back on. His nurse said, "I'm sorry," under her breath before she also vacated the room. (The pain, I found later, was caused by a compressed disc in my spine that got worse when I slept on my back)

**

So here is where I stand on being sick. No one gives a flying fuck if I am sick unless I am visibly bleeding out, so I keep that shit to myself for the most part. And if I do go to the doctor, I don't want sympathy. I want information. If I go to the mother fucking doctor, I am there to discover what the fuck is causing my mother fucking pain and I am paying a trained expert to figure it out. So, Doctor Betterthanme, you can take your assumption that I want sympathy and the disdain that it makes you feel toward me and shove it up your mother fucking ass, preferably while wearing a hospital gown in the presence of someone who seems to wish you'd never been born, and then you can pay that person a shitload of money on the way out. (I'm not bitter at all, no, not me.)

**other less egregious incident left out for the sake of brevity and clarity. I am so done with going to the doctor. I'm not quite to the point where I'd rather die.

jigglypuff
01-16-2015, 05:58 PM
^ wow, those people you told are really fucked up, Sistamatic.