Saturday, August 05, 2006

I Know I’m a Hypochondriac Until I Start to Die…

It's pathetic to think about - dying of a heart attack, stroke and aneurism all in the same week, and having breast cancer on top of it all. Welcome to my life, I should have put dying as an interest on my profile.

This is where I’ll keep track of my "episodes," in hope of finding the common factors and eliminating this craziness altogether. I already have a few ideas of where it's all stemming from and what the triggers are.

I decided to start this journal after my stroke on Thursday.
I’m usually good at waiting to die until I get off work, but there I was, typing away when the left side of my face went numb. From there it was the usual stroke symptoms:
pain in the right arm, blurry vision, racing heart, confusion, panic and the list goes on…

After dashing out of the office, two walks around the block and a hysterical call to my super supportive boyfriend, I decided to save death for another day and check out what the web had to say about treatment, which is where I learned about the journal approach.

I later concluded that the stroke was my way of dealing with my newfound knowledge that I’m grossly under-paid, for a job I do better than my older counterpart, and the person I despise most makes the same money as me, for a much easier job, (and she’s the most incompetent person I’ve ever met in my life).
So, I died, that’s my escape.

Anyway, stress is a definite trigger. The sickness and deaths of my grandparents and my brother’s battle with brain cancer have to play a role too,
but, that’ll be for another post. Now I need to take a shower and make tortillas before my boyfriend gets home.

I hope this works…


Lacy said...

Hi Leila! Lacy here. :) I read Dave's blog (I think it's my spleen) and that's how I found your blog. I too am a hypochondriac, and LOVE your humor and writing style! Keep up the writing.

It's good to know us quacks aren't quacking alone. *wink

Bee_1291 said...

Hey Leila. Your blog reminds me so much of how i feel!! its insane. When iam feeling like iam dying of a brain anyreusm i come here, and usaully i feel alot better

Leila V. said...

Glad to be of assistance! Knowing there's other crazies out there is surprisingly comforting. ;)

CrazyOval said...

I have recently experienced someone who has used her hypochondria as a form of control over everyone. I don't think this is usual for any of us with hypochondria but it is interesting to see how it can be used by some desperate person to gain their needs.

I wrote about hypochondria here and its use sometimes by narcissistic personalities.

All the best


Camille said...

Hi Hypochondriac

Thanks for sharing your dramas. I've linked you to my article today, in which i admit to being a Hypochondriac (altho to a lesser degree).

I would say i'm more an ADD sufferer, which results in my thinking a lot, about random things.

Anyways, thanks. My blog is at:

Corey said...

Hey -

I've been on the internet now, researching lymph node cancer for the past 2 hours. Over the past week ive been obsessed with my lymphnodes on the side of my neck. I touch them at least once every 1-2 minutes. I'm pretty sure they are swollen, but it may be due to the constant touching rather than something serious.

Last month it was multiple sclerosis. I sometimes caught myself sitting for ... about 10 minutes ... resting my chin on the top of my chest, focusing on the slight tingling on the sides of my head, convinced that I was experiencing Lhermette's Syndrome.

The month before that it was a brain tumor. I had a panic attack... hyperventilated... got REAL spacey ... numb hands+forehead... thoughts of impending doom.

I hear ya.
I hear ya too well...

Anonymous said...

I am tired of feeling this way although I try to saty positive. I have been under a lot of stress with work, school etc. Yesterday I had a panic attack and thought for sure I was having a stroke. Today 2nd day in a role I get a nosebleed and start googling nosebleeds in adults. I am still trying to convince myself as we speak that I did not have a high blood pressure attack. What really happened was I blew my nose and my nose bled. Someone please knock some sense into me. Everyone around me thinks I have an awesome successful life but in reality I am a full blown hypochondriac with a very disturbing dysfunctional childhood.

Anonymous said...

Where did you go?

Concerned said...

So my amazing boyfriend is a self acknowledged hypochondriac and one of my good friends is also constantly obsessing about her health but she fails to admit that she has a problem. I try to be supportive toward both of them but its really hard for me to understand what they are going through and I find myself becoming irritated with their constant talk about rare diseases and phantom symptoms. I don't know how to help either of them or what to say to reassure them when they have panic attacks. I feel like my boyfriend uses his hypochondria to manipulate me, when we so much as disagree between going to the movies or staying in he renews his complaints of pain, disease, and suffering, until I give in; and when we have a real argument he promptly informs me that he is dying. I love this man and want to be there for him and support him but I don't know how to help him. If anyone has tips on how to talk to and help a hypochondriac I'd sure appreciate the it.

Anonymous said...

Hey -

Just two cents from an anonymous stranger.

The thing that really stands out on your journal are not your hypochondriacal fears - I keep a journal like this, and have been for years, and ours could essentially swap and you'd never know the difference.

What really stands out are the personal trials you've been through in your life, not the least of it is your brother's battle with cancer, as well as your grandparents' deaths.

To off-handedly state that this probably has something to do with it is the understatement of the year. I'm not psychologist, but if you're not seeing one, I really really advise you to go speak with someone.

I noticed you haven't posted since 2009 - is the Paxil working? I avoid drugs, and have committed to battling this on my own...but it's tough. I've had a twitch in my left eyelid for going on six weeks now. Eye doctor says it's nothing...but what would you think if your eyelid started a random twitch and wouldn't go away?

All I'm saying is that I was super skeptical of talking to someone, and in just four or five weeks alone, I've already started to see why I've become the way I am.

Yes, brain chemistry certainly must play a role in health obsessions. For me, I had always labeled myself a hypochondriac. But the first thing my psychologist told me was to stop using labels like this and look at the problem. Am I someone who has a tendency to find a squeaky hinge on a door and assume the house is falling down? Ha, sounds ridiculous, right? But then, when I ride an airplane and hear a strange noise, yes I do indeed think it's going to drop from the sky. And when I noticed an itchy bump on my arm, I did indeed start wondering if we had a rash of bed bugs, and would we have to move out of the apartment, etc etc etc. It's not every situation, but boy are there certainly a handful in which a rain drop means the sky is falling. And it's not just health.

Anyway, good luck. I hope nothing's bugging you today.

Heather M Stocker said...


I'm a hypo who has a super-supportive husband. He does LOTS for me. I told him recently (true confession) that the best thing he ever did for me is to insist that I deal with some things. For instance, my dog had to be put to sleep in January. I did NOT want to be the one to do this, but he put his foot down and said, "It's your dog, you do it." He came with me, but he did NOT make the decision and he insisted that I be there and not cop out. Hypochondriacs by and large have learned to use their psychology to handle life--or escape handling it as the case may be. It sounds like your BF is using it to escape conflict. He's probably afraid of losing you and of not being able to fix whatever's been messed up. He probably feels inadequate in the face of a conflict. The kindest (and hardest) thing you can do, is insist that he stand up and meet the challenges. The more he does this, the better he'll get. He'll gain more confidence in himself and though this will probably still be a problem for him, it will get better.

Also, you might want to check out the book "Phantom Illness". It gives great insight and might help you too. Good luck in your relationship and know that your frustration is felt, not just by you, but by him as well. He's not making things up, his thinking's all muddled up though. There's a reason for it...only he can explore it.

Anonymous said...

I've just stumbled across this blog whilst researching colon cancer....then changing the subject to hypochondria which seemed more appropriate.

This blog is brilliant despite the fact that it had me laughing out loud in my cubical at work. It's wonderful to know there are others out there just as crazy and ridiculous and to be able to read these comments and think 'That's me! I do that!". I feel pretty on top of it most of the time because deep down I know I'm being silly but it does sometimes over come me.

This has settled my anxiety for today, so thank you!

Anonymous said...

My friend is in his 40s ,always thinking life threatening diease, He's , obese, Lazy,unemployed,always bitter with someone, does nothing to take care of himself,
Takes advantage of everyone,threatens to sue all,
Has so much self PITTY ,
Always sick, headache ,stomachache,bad back,arm, leg
Something always hurts, or its off to the ER,he's dying
He would Love to be permananly disabled,
Sit around and tell everyone how bad he has it.
??????? SAD