I used to be a hypochondriac. A really bad one. Every little pain I had was cancer for sure. All I had to do was read about a disease and I’d have the symptoms immediately. Then I’d obsess about it. You know, plan my funeral, stuff like that. Once my tongue brushed against a lump in my mouth. “OH MY GOD! A LUMP!” I couldn’t leave it alone, it got bigger, began to hurt, the pain spread throughout my jaw. I went to the doc. It was a saliva gland and the reason it was swelling and hurting was that it had become inflamed by my constantly rubbing my tongue on it!!!!! I knew I was a hypochondriac, I used to joke about it with my doctors. But just because I’m a hypochondriac doesn’t mean I don’t have ebola.
I started seeing a therapist for it. He suggested that some anti-depressants work for hypochondria. I was reluctant to go that route, I’m not sure why. Maybe because a coworker blew his brains out while on them. But that was years ago. But I was having a horrible time at work. I would pull into my parking space and just sit there, not able to get myself to go in. I was flying off the handle at home, yelling at the girls or shutting myself up in my room, all kinds of classic symptoms. So I gave the happy pills a try. The effect was almost instantaneous. Never mind the depression, the hypochondria was gone. Immediately. Now I suppose I will get cancer and ignore the symptoms until it’s too late.
Better living through chemistry.

17 thoughts on “

  1. never been through hypochondria, more likely to ignore even real things, but there are times when our brain chemistry needs a boost in some way. I don’t like dependence but I’m working on being smart enough to do the things I need to do for myself.

  2. i know several women who are severe hypochondriacs.  to the point they’ve convinced themselves they need wheelchairs to get around and must be on disability.  but they admit that their doctors keep telling them that if they’d see a therapist or go on anti-depressants the “physical” problems would improve.  the women refuse.  it’s sad to watch them. 

  3. lindsay not being named first team was indeed ridiculous, as was tanisha wright being named only as an honorable mention.  the girl was named defensive player of the year in the big ten, is a first team big ten, but isn’t good enough to be named to the second or third team? 

    and did i mention i’m getting really sick and tired of diana taurisi?

  4. My mother’s getting more and more hypochondriacal with age and it’s driving us all nuts. She’s loath to take anything to calm her down, which is her prerogative. But, boy howdy, the rest of us sure could use a little something when she gets herself going.

  5. That’s so great that the meds have worked for you.  It must have made a world of difference in so many ways!

  6. The good thing about knowing a hypochondric is that whenever you get sick, you can just go to their house and ask them if they have something. In theory. I suppose you’d just get the door slammed in your face while they start taking meds to protect themselves for you having come over while sick.


  7. When I took Abnormal Psychology, I kept seeing so many of the described symptoms in myself.  It’s a good thing we’d been warned about that at the beginning of the course.

    Happy pills were ok for me, but they made me pee a lot.  I don’t suppose diuretics are exactly welcome after 50, either, huh?

  8. I don’t trust those anti-feelings meds.  I’d get a therapist whose more interested in getting to the root of why you’re a hypochondriac.  Someone once told me that people do blow their brains out while on the anti-feelbad meds because it just trains you to live an unexamined life and stuff the complicated shit deep down where it will eventually surface in aberrant ways.  But, hey, that’s just my opinion. I think Americans are way overmedicated because therapists and doctors don’t actually want to fix anything anymore.  Well, good luck!

  9. I’ve been in therapy of various kinds for years. It didn’t work, the meds did. It’s a chemical imbalance. It works for some, doesn’t for others. I’m lucky it works for me.

  10. i self-medicate with candy, and whine to bill about all my aches and pains.  i’ve had ebola at least four times now.

    congrats on the robin.  maybe they’ll stop rummaging through my underwear drawer now.

  11. Never tried pills or therapy for moods.  ONe of these days I am going to interview a psychiatrist.  Not for therapy or prescriptions.    Nope.   For writing material!    Related to that–I asked a psychotherapist if there was a difference between religion and delusion.  She stopped short, serious.  She told me that she thinks they are rather close together on a continuum.  I’d get into my follow-up question, but this isn’t the space.

  12. my comment on your last:
    “OK, yeah, I know Iowa. I’d love Iowa. But could I get in to Iowa? I’m not an English major grad from a serious school. I’ll probably do terribly on the GRE. (Lots of LD issues.) Anyway, I’m looking for a range of suggestions. Ideally someplace where I could be helpful (at least part-time) doing the stuff I do really well with students with disabilities.”

  13. I’m completely in opposite side. In my case, for any symtomps, I think like, “Well… if I take some good rest, good sleep, some nice food (fruits, veggies), it should be OK”. And indeed, it worked for me for many years. I haven’t seen a physician for last 15 years or so. The only time I went to hospital for myself was for AIDS test (company requirement) 6 years ago. I know… I need to be a little bit careful… But if I get a cancer ? Well… I must be dying then … only that the process is accelerated getting faster than the normal process of dying which takes almost 100 years from birth

  14. I am sitting here reading, smiling smugly; I’m not smug about myself, though,for a change. I’m smug, or whatever the right word would be for it, because I think you’re absolutely wonderful, and so are most of your commentators. 🙂

    That post is just hilarious, but of course I know what it’s like. M was exactly that way before he began taking anti dep. It’s transformed him into the man I always knew hid under there, somewhere. He was always gentle and kind, but a registered hypochondriac and he also had fits of rage that used to freeze people. In the begining he used to explode only around family members, which is terrible in itself, but managable, since we all love him and tried to understand and accept, but then it got worse and he began snapping at people at work, in the bank..etc.  He finally agreed to go to therapy, and on the second session got prescribed with happy pills, and life began for us.  He does sometimes think he is fatally ill, even when it’s simply a runny nose, but heck, you can’t win ’em all, can you.

    Incidently, I disagree with oedipa. All you have to do to understand these pills don’t stop a thinker from thinking, or a feeler from feeling, is read some of the fine writers here, on xanga.

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