What did Charles Proust, Charlotte Bronte and Charles Darwin have in common? They were all hypochondriacs. According to experts people like Charles Proust and Charlotte Bronte used hypochondria to bring order to their lives. It is always hard to know exactly what people are thinking.
However I do understand a bit because I’ve been a hypochondriac ever since my dad died at a young age.
The Irish Times.com has posted an article titled “Battling feelings of illness.” It talks about Charles Proust, Charlotte Bronte, Darwin and others and their use of the “illness.”
The best way to explain hypochondria to you is to use myself as an example.
My father died suddenly at 48-years-old. I was 26-years-old at the time and had only been married a couple of years. My father would never see my children or much of anything of my life with a family.
While the grief was terrible something else started to be a part of my life, hypochondria.
I was a medical underwriter two years into my career. My job was to evaluate people for life and health insurance coverage. That entailed getting a copy of their medical records.
If I got the records of someone who had an ulcer, then I would begin to have stomach pains. If someone had a stroke, I would begin to get headaches and that was the same with the heart, the beating would get to be terrible.
I exhibited classic symptoms.
The first one is the thinking that you will die from the symptoms. This is called “catastrophic thinking.” It means you take everything to the limit. You won’t just catch a cold you’ll get pneumonia and then die. It is terrible but it is hardest on those around you.
After I had a TIA, I remember taking my blood pressure every three or four minutes.
This all comes about as a result of being “hyper-alert” with respect to your body. Your mind is constantly moving up and down your body looking for untoward feelings.
One benefit, however, as is stated in the Irish Times article, is that the hypochondria is handy when you want to get out of doing something. You just “get sick.”
Another bad thing about hypochondria is that it takes a terrible toll on health care industry costs.
There is an increase today of hypochondria globally because of the flu that is so well reported.
Just remember that 96 percent of those things you dread never come to pass and an additional 3.9 percent turn out to be nothing serious.
Hypochondria can ruin your life.