An individual who has a hypochondria disorder is in reality usually displaying an anxiety disorder about his (or her) own health. It is a preoccupation with your own health.
Yesterday it was brain
damage from the vodka the night before.
Today, heart attack – my arm and chest
started hurting at the same time
Lisa Marie Presley
After trauma or serious illness (or the serious illness of a loved one) it is all too easy to become a bit that way, but most people get over it fairly quickly.
It is more difficult when the subject has such an obsession with his own health that every minor bodily twitch or gurgle leads him to believe that he is suffering from cancer, failing heart or some other serious illness.
And even when his own doctor seeks to allay those fears and declares he is fit and healthy, he refuses to believe it.
It is one thing to take reasonable precautions to look after your own health; it is quite another to obsess about it and worry about every triviality. When you behave like that, you are failing to think and failing to live your life.
If you spend a large part of everyday thinking about your health, you are dwelling too much upon yourself. You are also allowing your life to pass you by. Your life is in the present moment – not yesterday and not tomorrow.
If you don’t get used to enjoying it now, you will suddenly find that it is almost over and you have done little but fret.
The behaviour is often attention-seeking and may be manipulative. It is manipulative in the sense that the subject constantly seeks a second opinion or further tests from his doctor and doesn’t give up until he gets his own way. Even then, he is rarely satisfied with the result.
It is attention-seeking in the sense that the subject is keen to spend his waking moments telling his friends (if he has any left) and acquaintances about his suffering and all his symptoms in the goriest detail.
I have an acquaintance who I shall call Gordon. Very unfortunately I belong to the same club as Gordon so, although I do my best to avoid him, I cannot help bumping into him from time to time.
The worst thing one can say to Gordon is “How are you?” Most people understand that “How are you?” is a form of greeting and that the correct (and polite) response is merely to repeat “How are you?”
Not Gordon. He treats it as an invitation to give a detailed personal health bulletin which is the last thing I, or any other of his acquaintances, wish to hear. Once he starts it is very difficult to break away from him without being utterly rude.
I even had the misfortune to encounter him in our doctor’s waiting room one day when I was really feeling rather unwell.
He proceeded to take medical reports from a large brown envelope and tell me all about his recent back injury caused in a minor road traffic accident.
I expect you know someone like Gordon. If you recognise yourself from this account, you really need to deal with it and get a life because if you don’t, yours will be gone all too soon.
It is probably all too easy to talk about overcoming hypochondria. I wouldn’t wish the hypochondriac to believe that he has yet another disease called hypochondria. That is merely a convenient description of the behaviour.
There is nothing wrong with you. You merely need to place your attention somewhere else and there are a number of ways of doing it. If you constantly dwell on your own health and imagine things to be wrong with you, sooner or later there will be.
On the other hand, if you start making pictures of yourself in the picture of health, and work on that you may be amazed at just how great you begin to feel. First of all, you need to want to do it.
The difficulty is – and it may be hard for you to believe – but you have become addicted to your story. You just love to tell others about your misfortune and wallow in your predicament.
You may also be so preoccupied with yourself that you haven’t noticed how many of your former friends are avoiding you now. People wish to see smiling, friendly faces. They don’t wish to be dragged down by tales of imagined woe and self-pity.
Those who don’t wish to help themselves will probably have given up reading this article by now anyway. But those who do can rest assured that it is really a question of changing your habits. We are creatures of habit and this behaviour is a habit to you.
It is now time to change all that. Loosen up and enjoy life. It is short enough and none of us know quite how long it is for us.
Make sure you do the simple things. Get plenty of fresh air and exercise. Exercise is the best way to boost endorphins and lift your mood. Do whatever you can for your age.
If you are young, get involved in sport, go for a swim, anything you fancy. If you are older, you may have to settle for a walk but get out and about.
Try to get reacquainted with some of those folk who have been avoiding you and surprise them by smiling and talking about some happy topic.
Concentrate on them instead of yourself. See what you can do to make them laugh. By doing that, you will also give yourself a lift.
Learn to create good feelings and anchor them. The pages on this website about NLP anchoring will tell you how to do that. Once anchored, you can fire them at will and recreate those feelings.
Learn self-hypnosis, get yourself into a relaxed state and take yourself to a happy place. The more you work on your unconscious mind in this way, the more your unconscious mind will work in the background to change your mental state for the better.
There are many pages on this website that can help you. It won’t cost you anything to read them but there is sufficient here to help you change your life so that you will always be welcome at the party.
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