Is it Hypochondria or Is it Age?

I sometimes wonder whether I’m a hypochondriac. At other times I think I must be one because of the very fact that I wonder whether I am.

Out of curiosity, I recently took a look at the Mayo Clinic Staff’s article about the symptoms of hypochondria. Most of them didn’t fit me at all–thank goodness–but several made me take a second look.

  • Worrying that minor symptoms or bodily sensations mean you have a serious illness.
  • Thinking you have a disease after reading or hearing about it.
  • Obsessively doing health research.

I’m not sure I actually worry about my symptoms, especially the minor ones, but I sometimes wonder  whether a particular ailment might signify something important. Although hearing about a disease doesn’t make me think I have it, it does put me on the alert for the symptoms.

I’m not obsessive about doing health research, either. But if I have a problem, I’m going to look it up on the Internet. As often as not, however, the discovery that my symptoms often signify something quite simple relieves my potential anxiety.

Even the Mayo Clinic Staff noted, “There’s nothing wrong with informing yourself. ” It’s good to be able to talk more intelligently with the doctor if a symptom appears worth seeing a doctor about.

So maybe I’m not a hypochondriac after all. Could it be that my health issues are simply the results of age?

My participation in our church’s nursing home ministry places me weekly in the midst of a group of very frail and unhealthy folks, most of whom are older than I am. Doing that for five or six years now, I’ve watched people deteriorate further and eventually die.

But even the ones who’ve kept hanging on for quite some time suffer conditions I hope and pray I never develop. Honestly, I’d be afraid to think I was developing any of their problems. If those are a part of aging, I’m not in a rush to get there.

I guess I’ll just have to be patient with those minor aches and pains than seem unrelated to anything else. I should look at myself in the mirror and accept the fact that age brings physical changes, and probably none of them are good.

I’d love to have your opinion on this subject. Please leave a comment.


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Best regards,

2 thoughts on “Is it Hypochondria or Is it Age?

  1. Let’s see… My mom smoked for 50 years and quit and is still kicking at age 77. The wife of Christopher Reeves(the superman who broke his neck), never smoked yet died of lung cancer at a young age. I’d say genetics are involved. So many anecdotal comparisons to cite it almost seems like gibberish to try and pin a cause-and-effect on any illness.
    Perhaps eating sugar causes diabetes. Maybe not. I’m a chocoholic and doing fine. Some friends of mine are insulin injectors and hardly touched the stuff.
    Once in a while a medical journal will claim butter is bad for you. Do you have any idea how much butter the French eat. It’s unbelievable. Yet they are a people with low heart-related problems.
    On and on go the claims trying to foist the paleo diet on people only to realize it’s an illusion. I think most people die of simply stopping breathing.
    If you’re in good health and over 60 you should be happy your parents and grandparents had good genes to pass on to you. Oh, and that you weren’t in an accident that left you with some terrible handicap.
    Complaining about any of this will not improve your lot and may actually do you harm. There is some evidence that spirituality helps folks with their physical well being. There is scriptural evidence to back this claim up.
    Being informed does not imply hypocondria. It implies a curious intellect and the ability to find out for ones self important information. Impirical study does the mind and body good, too. SO keep it up, live well, eat well, sing, write, do all the things you love to do. When the times comes to lay down and not get up it won’t be because you were afraid to live. Rather, because you lived your fullest.


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