A hypochondriac stays in perpetual stress about being ill or suffering from a disease. Are you suffering from this real illness?
Do you know someone who constantly complains about illnesses and invisible injuries? While this may seem unreal, it happens to many people. I had an aunt who suffered from these strange issues, and I never realized she was a hypochondriac until many years after her death. And no, none of the things she worried about were the reasons for her death.
What is a hypochondriac?
Although suffering as a hypochondriac may seem like a physical disorder, it’s not. Hypochondria or health anxiety is actually a mental disorder. Many times the symptoms of this disorder show up after a real physical illness has passed, or the death of a family member from illness has occurred.
Also, it’s usually not the first mental condition present. It usually comes after the individual has suffered from other disorders such as OCD, depression, or anxiety in early adulthood.
Symptoms of hypochondria
Most of the time you will recognize the symptoms of the hypochondriac. These symptoms are not easily hidden as they tend to take over your entire life with worry. But, in case you aren’t acquainted with the symptoms, here are a few red flags that could point toward the truth.
Take a moment, sift through these indicators and help yourself or a friend break free from hypochondriasis or health anxiety.
1. Internet searches
One indicator that you could be suffering from health anxiety or hypochondria is by the research you conduct online. Many people who are hypochondriacs notice small symptoms, usually things that aren’t serious at all, and they start searching for reasons for the symptoms.
If you’ve ever heard of someone “googling” symptoms, then you understand how the hypochondriac operates. For instance, you may notice a mole on your arm, research what this may mean, and you generally take the worst possible diagnosis as truth.
In all honesty, it could be anything, not necessarily a serious illness.
2. Multiple doctor’s appointments
When suffering from health anxiety, you will visit many doctors. No matter what your main physician says, you cannot stop wondering if something else is wrong with you. You make numerous appointments to other doctors trying to find the “truth” of your serious condition.
A hypochondriac is never satisfied with one diagnosis, and will always keep searching for what that little voice of concern speaks to them.
Constant complaining to friends and family about your health is a sign that something isn’t quite right. Your mindset is toxic. It’s understandable to complain a little when you feel bad or when you’re going through a real illness, but constant complaining is a sign you could be a hypochondriac.
Friends will try to be supportive but eventually, they will start to avoid you because they cannot help you with something that doesn’t exist.
4. Fear of future illness
Hypochondriacs have a horrible fear of the future. If this is you, even if you feel just fine physically, you’re usually in mental turmoil about future illnesses. You may worry about getting cancer, breaking a bone, or simply contracting some mysterious illness.
You are usually on 24/7 alert about your health, paying attention to every sneeze or cough. If you notice something, you panic and usually start looking up symptoms in medical journals or online.
5. Fear of progressive illnesses
If you’re already dealing with an illness, you may be obsessed with getting worse. You may even just have a common cold, but you fear that this will lead to something much worse, even death. By feeling this way, you confine yourself in a box, monitoring your sickness and dreading what’s to come.
You, my friend, are, unfortunately, a hypochondriac.
6. You have germaphobia
If you’re a hypochondriac, you will hate public transport, public facilities, and sometimes certain friend’s homes. You require certain conditions to make you feel clean enough, thus well enough. If a friend tries to take a sip of your drink, you might lose it.
Many, but not all, hypochondriacs refuse to own pets because of the extra germs. This issue can get out of hand easily, even keeping the hypochondriac homebound.
7. You have a pharmacy in your purse
There isn’t a short way to title this one, so here goes. Hypochondriacs usually carry a purse full of medications including, headache pills, allergy meds, and even some narcotics. If you don’t carry a purse, then maybe you shove various pills and bandages in your pocket.
Either way, hypochondriacs feel they should be prepared for the worst at all times. If this is you, I bet you expect a contagious cold to come your way, or maybe expect to fall that results in a scraped knee at least. Some of you may even carry antibiotics in case the scrape gets immediately infected.
I know this sounds outlandish, but hypochondriacs often concoct ideas like this on a regular basis…and so they’re always prepared.
Are you really sick?
Is your life on hold because of some imagined illness? If so, then life must be pretty awful at the moment. Do a favor for me. For just one moment, stop and clear your mind. Are you hurting? If so, is there a logical reason which might not lead to death?
If you’re not hurting, then maybe consider, nothing’s wrong.
I know this may be incredibly difficult to imagine, especially if you’ve been a hypochondriac most of your life. But I want you to know, if you’ve realized this is happening, there is help available. I urge you to speak with a professional as soon as possible and create that gameplan in which you come out a winner.
I’ve watched relatives suffer from this illness alone, as with the case of my aunt, and I don’t want it to happen to anyone else.
I wish you the best.
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