Friday, 3 February 2017

Being Ill And a Hypochondriac

I am not good at being ill. I'm one of those annoying people who complains about being ill and how run down I feel and how I just want to go out and do all the things and not sit in my bed doing nothing. I more or less get cabin fever within the first day of being ill. Unfortunately all of this means that I am also very good at ignoring that I'm ill. It means I will still go places and do things when my body is practically screaming at me to rest because I hate being ill.

But aside from the actual illness being a pain and a nuisance, the other reason I hate being ill is because I am a hypochondriac. In case you haven't heard of this term before, it means that I am incredibly anxious about being ill. Jess wrote a brilliant post about it here on Safe Space as well which you can find here and which had me nodding the entire way through as well. 

What being a hypochondriac as a healthy person means is that every ailment I get - headache, muscle ache, itchy eye, etc - is over-analysed. It means that I am dying. I have an incurable illness and I will die a long slow and painful death. The problem is that as with every other anxious thought, I know it's not rational to think this way but I also cannot help it. What this means, of course, is I end up with other symptoms because of the anxiety flowing through my body.

Now add in an actual illness and you can see how everything might just be a little bit worse. For me an every day common cold is the flu and I am going to die. A stomach bug is the worst stomach bug and I am going to die. So on and so forth. It means that I am constantly anxious when I'm ill. Constantly alert and constantly wishing to be better so I can confirm that I am in fact not actually about to die.

But where this all gets contradicted in my brain is that I also hate going to the doctors. So while there is a theory that hypochondriacs are always at the doctors asking for advice about certain ailments, this is not true for me. In my head, going to the doctors means that they will actually insist that I am correct and I do have an illness which is killing me. Not rational, of course but that's how my brain works.

The reason I'm writing this post today is because I have had a cough. It is a cough that I've had for over three weeks and it is a cough that came with no other symptoms. I have thus been worrying myself silly about it. Telling myself I have lung cancer and am on my last legs. And so on and so forth. All the while more or less refusing to go to the doctors about it. Also because of the "only if it lasts longer than three weeks" advice we're all given.

Turns out, when I finally went to the doctors, it was confirmed that I have Bronchitis. So I'm not going to die - huzzah! - but if I don't kick it soon, I may develop pneumonia so with that thought weighing heavy in my mind, I've been taking antibiotics for the last few days and really hope that I might soon be back to my normal health. Keep your fingers crossed for me?

1 comment:

  1. Well done for going to the doctor despite your anxiety! And I hope you feel better soon.


No judgment, no hate, because it is already tough enough being a girl.