I remember being a teenager when this all started. I was about 16 years old and so full of life. You couldn’t tell me anything without me thinking I was invincible. Seriously though, nothing could harm me or at least that’s what I thought. I also remember being this young when I first thought I was going to die. I had imagined every worst case scenario and self-diagnosed myself from our best friend Google.
Come to find out, I was NOT dying and I was actually 100% healthy, but why did I work myself up like that? Why did I scare myself to the point I thought I was really going to die? That was the first time I ever felt that scared or worried, but it wasn’t the end. My father got diagnosed with colon cancer not even two years later and this was right before my senior prom and my high school graduation. I remember feeling worried again and terrified my Dad wouldn’t see me graduate. Thankfully he won that round of cancer and got to live for four more short years.
When my father passed away in 2014, my hypochondria only got worse. I had just lost a parent and now I was frightened my days were limited as well. All I did was worry myself sick.
A hypochondriac is a person who is abnormally anxious about their health. They will automatically self-diagnosis themselves with a serious illness no matter how minor their symptom(s) might be. They will go see a doctor with this thought process and brace themselves for the bad news. Sometimes they might even want a second opinion because they don’t trust the feedback. This is me. I am a hypochondriac.
It can be something as simple as a tinyyyy mole on my hand. I’ll start to think things like, “When did that get there?” “Did I always have this mole?” “Fuck, I have skin cancer! Let me go Google some shit so I can see what the internet says.” “Oh shit, I’m fucking dying. I need to schedule an appointment with a dermatologist ASAP!”
This is literally a glimpse of what goes through my mind. This doesn’t include the paranoia and fear that I’m feeling as well. I make myself sick by overthinking and worrying that I have an illness I probably do not have. I’ll even make my mom join in and confirm if she sees anything or if something doesn’t feel right. (She’s a RN so I try to take advantage of her medical knowledge LOL!) She tells me each time that I’m crazy and I need to calm down. I mean I get it, but also I’m so scared of dying from a serious illness at a young age too. It seems like more and more young people are getting sick and it’s hard to watch. I’ll find myself Googling whatever illness I heard so and so had or passed away from and try to educate myself on how not to get it. Sometimes I go overboard and it’s exhausting. (Hence why my mom told me to chill the fuck out LOL.) I know we all get old and our time comes with age, but it’s hard to accept that we might get sick one day. It’s a struggle to think positively when you lost your own father from a serious illness called cancer.
By no means am I saying water down your symptoms, do nothing, and just think everything is okay if you really do find something abnormal, but blowing things out of proportion and thinking you’re going to die each time is draining. Also assuming a minor symptom like a headache is something much more worse is unhealthy. I wish I could find some kind of boundary so I could stop obsessing over my health. I wish I could find some kind of peace where I don’t worry and assume the worst case scenario. I think losing my Dad triggered my hypochondria more, but there’s no doubt that I was a hypochondriac before my father passed away. I just think it gets worse the older I get.
I’m open for suggestions on how others deal with their hypochondria. I would love to stop worrying one day if possible. Please don’t hesitate to share or contact me with ideas. Thank you all for reading!