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.