Hypochondria is often characterized by fears that minor bodily symptoms may indicate a serious illness, constant self-examination and self-diagnosis, and a preoccupation with one's body. ... Some hypochondriacal individuals are completely avoidant of any reminder of illness, whereas others are frequent visitors of doctors’ offices. Other hypochondriacs will never speak about their terror, convinced that their fear of having a serious illness will not be taken seriously by those in whom they confide.Although I don't have the above symptoms to a noticeable degree, I do detect any differences in my body from day to day, and sometimes I really worry about having a disease and that I should be doing something about it by going to the doctor. But the truth of it is this: none of us are going to survive forever, and something is going to get you eventually. So I have a real dilemma: am I being a hypochondriac by worrying about these things, or negligent?
Both of my parents died in their sixties, both from the same cause: heart disease, or what is also known as coronary artery disease. They didn't have statin drugs available to them, or I think they might have survived longer, but for sure they wouldn't be alive today because, well, they didn't pick their parents carefully. Another interesting quote from Wikipedia:
It is common for serious illnesses or deaths of family members or friends to trigger hypochondria in certain individuals. Similarly, when approaching the age of a parent's premature death from disease, many otherwise healthy, happy individuals fall prey to hypochondria. These individuals believe they are suffering from the same disease that caused their parent's death, sometimes causing panic attacks with corresponding symptoms.My constant habit of exercise and taking statins do, I believe, cut the possibility of developing heart disease prematurely, but then I think: what do I want to keel over from? Uh-oh, my OCD is kicking in, I'd better stop now! But not before I share this perfect (for me) cartoon from the web:
I think the older we get, health issues become a bigger concern. Both of my parents passed away in their 60's, my mother had heart problems, my father had lung problems. Now I am in my early 60's and I have a couple serious heart problems, so subconsciously I think I may worry about it. I try not to let it interfere with enjoying life.ReplyDelete
My dad died of a heart attack at 62; I've already outlived him by 3 and 1/2 years, so this is gravy!ReplyDelete
You are not alone; when I find something, I start to worry about it until I get myself back under control. Hubby has a tendency to really worry. . .may be a man thing.ReplyDelete
But, as we age, we know there is just so much time left. lol When something is wrong, go to a doctor; otherwise, get on with the business of enjoying life. Oh, that is much easier said than done at times.
Goodness girl! You exercise regularly and eat better food than pretty much all of us? I think you should worry about a little activity of yours where you are flinging yourself out of a plane? I expect if I did that, I'd die of the heart attack! Half think I'll go of heart, the other half think cancer from all the meat! One thing I do know though... there's no point worrying about it or trying to second guess it because if death gets you, it all goes away and it just doesn't matter what you worried about in the first place! The time is better spent...oh... knitting new hats or hiking that mountain like I'm so jealous you can do so well.ReplyDelete
I used to worry about all kinds of signs and symptoms. Now I realize I just need to take care of myself and live my life the best way I know how. One should be careful, but not neurotic about one's health. We have learned our lessons well after watching both our parents die of heart disease. Surely something else will get us in the end. But get us, it will.ReplyDelete
I laughed..you are active, eat healthy and hike who knows how many miles in a week..If you are worried about yourself then the rest of us are in a real pickle.ReplyDelete
Take a deep breath and smile now..:)
I know I'm developing some ailments and undesirable physical tendencies, but I don't think I'm a hypochondiac. I certainly don't see the doctor for every little thing (but I go whenever Phyllis says it might be a good idea).ReplyDelete
I'm more of an optimistic fatalist, or a fatalist optimist. I know life is short, I know something's going to take me down before too many more years pass -- hopefully 20 or 30 -- but it just means I need to appreciate every moment I have, all the good things and all the good people. And I need to keep learning how to make a positive difference in the lives of others, even if it's only one or two others. Life is short, and life brings pain, but life is GOOD!
Good thing you are not in the medical profession. When I was going through nursing school I just knew I had a bad case of every disease we studied - even the super rare ones. It is funny how our minds allow us to embellish minor ailments into major problems.ReplyDelete
Thanks for all the insightful comments! I realize that I do try to take care of myself, but as I get older I find it harder to keep the pounds off, harder to climb the hill that used to seem easy, and harder to ignore the aches and pains. I KNEW I wasn't alone in my worrying, though, so thanks for keeping me company.ReplyDelete
I can identify with your concern re health - I, too, lost my parents at a relatively young age. My mother died at 43 of a benign brain tumor and my father at 63 of a heart attack. When I hit 43, it was a milestone because I was then beyond the age of my mother's death. Now that I'm approaching my 64th birthday, I don't really equate my longevity in the same way. Even though I have high cholesterol, I consider myself healthy - and good health goes beyond the physical. Didn't you hike 8 miles the other day? I'd say you're doing pretty darn well in the exercise department!ReplyDelete
I think there's a little bit of this in everyone. I'm pretty good about not worrying about every little thing, it took work though. I've lived with Crohn's Disease for 20 years and both my mom and grandmother survived breast cancer. One of them is going to get me eventually if my own clumsiness doesn't get me first! When and if the breast cancer gene test is offered to me I'm going to decline. I'd rather live in ignorance, because I do think it's a more blissful state :)ReplyDelete
Oh wow, talk about a subject I'm familiar with! My husband has been diagnosed with hypochondriasis (and a little OCD thrown in for fun) so I can say you sound perfectly normal to me. I'd imagine with all of the exercise and healthy eating you have going on, you're probably healthier than half the people who are half your age. You certainly sound healthier than most of the people I know!ReplyDelete
I can tell you, until you start worrying that your sinus headache is really a brain tumor, you're fine:)
I see signs of this in most everyone I know, even the healthiest of people. I think it just a normal response to aging. My dad died in his sixties from a heart condition and diabetes. My mom on the other hand passed away this year and she was in her late eighties. I figure my genes are pretty good so I'm now going to worry too much.ReplyDelete
I feel the same way you do...I've been having a lot of aches and pain lately and I am worring ........should I or shouldn't I go to the Dr.ReplyDelete
It gets worse as the years pile on... I bite my tongue to keep from voicing my insane fretting!ReplyDelete