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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