Thursday, 30 June 2011
Contemplating the daily conversations that take place in (let's say) the office, it doesn't take long to realise that Hypochondria:
"Hypochondria is a belief that physical symptoms are signs of a serious illness, even when there is no medical evidence to support the presence of an illness. Hypochondriacs are overly focused on their physical health, they have an unrealistic fear of having a serious disease and are often unable to control their fears and worries." (courtesy of PubMed Health)
is more common (and at times contagious) than you could ever imagine. Of course, this is a genuine medical condition (and I am by no means making light of this), but the type I'm referring to is the kind that gets you thinking 'here we go again' when someone takes to describing (sometimes in raw detail) the next ailment to take over their sensibility.
For example, someone I see on a regular basis always, and I mean ALWAYS has something wrong with them. Be it 'their acid', or 'their sinuses', or 'their tinnitus; nothing you suggest will help as they've had it for years yet no doctor has ever been able to relieve them or do anything to help it! Fair enough, this is possible with certain conditions or problems but when that's your response for every single ailment you feel the need to share with me, I have to start wondering if maybe you're an undiagnosed hypochondriac.
What gets me even more than this, is the fact that when one person starts about 'my angina'; all of a sudden and like a Mexican wave, more and more people start chipping in how they have the same thing - but worse!! Take this as an example:
Me: Morning - how are you??
Everyone: Good thanks
Me: Oh, what's up?
Complainant: Oh nothing, just my tinnitus / migraine / acid reflux / back ache / insomnia / swine flu ...
Me: Oh, that's not good. Have you tried (A?)
Complainant: Nah, that don't work cos back in 1984, (this) and (that) happened when I tried it.
Me: Does doing (B?) help?
Complainant: Well, only for a short while but then it comes back twice as hard
Me: Erm, well . . . maybe you should just (C?) to see if it makes a difference
Complainant: Nah; cos I'm allergic to V, W, X, Y and Z (especially Z), it would flare up my sores!
Complainant No.2: Yea, that exact same thing happens to my mother's, uncle's, cousin's friend!!
Ok, so maybe the above is a little extreme but it isn't all that far from the truth of certain conversations I have to endure.
Hypochondriacs, I feel, are also people who refuse to acknowledge the real reason behind a certain ailment or ill feeling, and instead create another interesting reason as to why it is what it is. Take my mother for example; let me inform you that the world's greatest hypochondriacs are the health professionals themselves. My mother was a nurse, a midwife more precisely so naturally she still has all the knowledge that got her through her nursing years. However for many many years you COULD NOT tell her nothing about anything that concerns her medically and unfortunately, a couple of things over the last decade have come and bit her in the a*se; I also at times can be stubborn but she has now given me the opportunity to demonstrate exactly WHO I got it from!
Although, one practice that I did adopt from her is to not 'own' any of these ailments (although she took this to the extreme that she don't admit something's wrong when it clearly is!). 'My' thyroids, 'my' reflux, 'my' allergy ... if it's yours, go ahead and keep it then - why would you wanna get rid of it! I think the moment you stop seeing it as something that belongs to you, you may have more of a chance of kicking it to the curb (or at least wanting to). Think of a child; the moment they say something is 'mine' - they aint giving it up for no one!!
My moral here is to is think positively if you want a positive outcome and rather than accepting and owning things that aren't right - fight them. Consider it a placebo pill!
So BDSSers, what other wonderful ailments have you been introduced to? Do you know anyone who has officially been diagnosed a hypochondriac?