Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Caution: Hypochondria Can Make You Sick


Just don't. You would not believe what can happen when relatively simple, easily treated things like, oh, warts or ringworm go untreated. Or what meth addiction can do to a person in very short order.

But here's my problem: I'm a bit of a hypochondriac and I'm also very curious about things. It's a toxic combination.

Before the Internet, this wasn't a big problem. I found this handy little reference book in a remainder pile one day, and it became my "hypochondriac handbook" as I like to call it. As you can see, it's well worn. Its cover has fallen off and the pages have yellowed, but this thick book got me through the early years of parenting.
Complete Guide to Symptoms, Illness and Surgery
[Punctuation added.]
It has a straightforward set of diagnostic tables at the front and more complete information about hundreds of disorders in the middle. And NO PICTURES. (I used to lament this.)

Then the Internet arrived and the world of hypochondria opened up. Then Google happened and surprisingly accurate and comprehensive information about the most exotic extremes of ordinary disorders was just a click away. Medical sites with diagnostic tools flourished like ants at a picnic.

Then came Google Images. It is a hypochondriac's nightmare. Now, instead of joking about my persistent headache being caused by a brain tumour, I can search for images relating to brain tumour. (Don't. I just did. And you have. No. Idea.)  As if I weren't anxious enough just worrying about pain, now I have to contend with hideous deformities.

I'm probably not going to change my habits, because ... holy cow! Those pictures! But  I will promise not to post them on Facebook or here in my blog. You're welcome.

P.S. So ... did you google warts, ringworm or brain tumour?


  1. Haha! I google searched brain tumors before I even got to the end of your post (you were right- that was a horrible, horrible idea!). I am also very curious about how things work. To Jason's horror, in fact, I asked to see the placenta after Drew was born. The nurse happily showed it to me, including showing all the "pieces" and explaining their functions. I was thrilled (though a little disgusted, too.)

    I also have the hypochondriac tendency to search all symptoms on the internet so I can self-diagnose brain tumors and other horrible diseases. is my "best friend", and I've often wondered what I would do without the internet (probably imagine even worse scenarios!) I have also found myself staring at horrible pictures (though unable to look away) and realizing whatever I have is, at least, not as bad as it could be!

  2. Oh! Love the new header, btw. Beautiful!

  3. Thanks, Diane. Those flowers are actually a "volunteer" in our front yard - but I think it's Sweet William. 1They're in a funny spot, but so pretty that I just can't yank them

  4. Oh - and NEVER google jock itch images. You'll never want to have sex again.


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