I am a hypochondriac. I spend most of my time online, looking up symptoms of different diseases and as irrational as it may seem, am 100% convinced I have that disease. Over the last two years I have "had" cancer 5-6 times and have had other chronic diseases such as diabetes multiple times. It is taking over my life and I don't want it to. I'm 17 years old, this started a couple years ago, but has gotten worse over the last six months. I don't know what to do...is there someway I can cope? someway I can make myself think rationally?
Any help/advice is appreciated.
Maybe you can stop the source, I mean, if you get this from looking at all these things online, then perhaps limit your time searching online to a minimum and find a friend to help you be accountable to that. Also taking yearly checkups with your doctor can help relieve your fears. Hope that helps.
I agree with BreadandJelly. Try to get off the internet.
I think we are all susceptible to this type of being a hypochondriac. First of all,so many illnesses have similar symptoms.Or rather,a vague amount of symptoms.It's so easy to get paranoid thinking,"I have that!"
It's called being impressionable. If you even say the word "EYE" to my husband,his eyes start bothering him.Watering and itching...even though nothing is wrong with them.You have introduced the power of suggestion,and for many people that is huge.
Otherwise there would be no such thing as a PLACEBO effect.
There is a whole world out there.Breathe it in.Get off your computer.Your brain needs to be distracted from paranoid thoughts.
And just remember,the internet is FILLED with false information too.You can't be sure if what you are reading is correct or BS most of the time.
I too used to be like yourself; looking up perceived symptoms online, convincing myself I had cancer, was going blind, had the first stages of heart failure etc. Interestingly this started at about 15 years old also.
Like others have said: stop looking up your 'symptoms' online. I know it's easier said than done but you must. When you're doing your 'death research' (as I liked to call it at the time) online you are actively participating in confirmation bias - you are filtering the medical information you are reading making the worst-case-scenario fit into your self-diagnosis, ignoring the other information telling you that you're fine.
But consider that hypochondria is a result of anxiety - an anxiety probably completely unrelated to your health. If you can find a way to remain less anxious throughout your day-to-day life you may very well find that your hypochondria becomes suppressed as a result.
Sorry I cannot give you any direct step-by-step advice.
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