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Thread: Hypochondria

  1. #1
    Hasta Siempre Madrigal's Avatar
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    Hypochondria

    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?
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    dormant jigglypuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madrigal View Post
    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    dormant jigglypuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lud View Post
    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tele View Post
    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.

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    Mens bona regnum possidet ferrus's Avatar
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    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.
    Die Logik ist keine Lehre, sondern ein Spiegelbild der Welt. Die Logik ist transcendental. - Wittgenstein

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    Bringer of Jollity MoneyJungle's Avatar
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    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.

    Glimpses do ye seem to see of that mortally intolerable truth; that all deep, earnest thinking is but the intrepid effort of the soul to keep the open independence of her sea; while the wildest winds of heaven and earth conspire to cast her on the treacherous, slavish shore?

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    was here.. LordLatch's Avatar
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    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.
    This just in: I'm accepting all friend requests too unless you're a fricken jerk and I can't stand your existence and inane drivel. If that's the case, then I'll accept your friend request so I can keep an eye on your ass unless you don't hold any interest for me; then only the threat of keeping my eye on you stands. feces

  10. #10
    Merry Christmas Blorg's Avatar
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    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.)
    "Better not to feel too much until the crisis ends—and if it never ends, at least we’ll have suffered a little less, developed a useful dullness...The constant—and very real—fear of being hurt, the fear of death, of intolerable loss, or even of “mere” humiliation, leads each of us, the citizens and prisoners of the conflict, to dampen our own vitality, our emotional and intellectual range, and to cloak ourselves in more and more protective layers until we suffocate." - Toni Morrison

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