Hypochondria and OCD

Comorbidity (the presence of one or more disorders) is very common among people suffering from OCD.   Some of these other disorders that can affect those with OCD include the following:

  • generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
  • eating disorders
  • social anxiety disorder
  • Tourette syndrome
  • Asperger syndrome
  • compulsive skin picking
  • body dysmorphic disorder
  • trichotillomania
  • panic attacks
  • depression
  • hypochondria

I love House M.D., reading about different pharmacological drugs, looking up diseases…Every time I get sick with a cold symptom, I look up all the possible diseases it could be.  When I had health insurance, I visited my doctor multiple times a week.  I knew the staff, the tests, the drugs; I very rarely needed anything explained to me, but I always asked a million questions about the possible side effects and such.

I recently got food poisoning, but before I knew what it was, I laid there in my bed, feeling nauseous until l flew into a blind panic, hysterically crying thinking my liver was failing and that I was going to die.  My husband reassured me that I was not dying and we went to the hospital where I was diagnosed, treated and discharged.  I was given a very strong pain killer of which I had never heard, and of course bothered me.  I slept for a week, but now I’m fine and writing this post.

It makes sense that people with OCD can also have other disorders, especially since they all seem to revolve around anxiety.  What I have done to help with this particular disorder is to stop looking up diseases.  As much as I want to, I don’t.  It’s like an addiction, but I know if do, it can lead me down a road of worry.  I still watch House M.D., but with the understanding that the medical mysteries on the show are highly unlikely to occur.  If I or my cats are ever sick or showing symptoms (not life threatening), I wait for three days to monitor, before I see a doctor.  Following this rule really helps because it keeps me in order.

Hypochondria to me feels like a time bomb.  The more I feed the addiction of reading about diseases, the more I worry about what could be wrong with me.  When I get sick, I usually panic, but I do my best to stay healthy by eating organically, learning relaxation techniques and by walking (I’m not much of an exercise person).

Health can be a tricky thing.  It can be overwhelming to try to be healthy and to avoid sickness, but what helps me is to do things that make me happy and not things that promote worry.

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