I have always considered myself a hypochondriac. After thinking about it for a while, I now believe that Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is Hypochondria’s evil twin. Being an identical twin, I know that there is always a “good” twin and an “evil” twin. I have always been told that I am the “evil” twin (weird), which is more fitting now that I have made this connection, than it ever has been before.
Hypochondria is a belief that physical symptoms are signs of a serious illness, even when there is no medical evidence to support the presence of an illness.
A normal person might think that if they have the sniffles and their glands are swollen that they are coming down with a cold. I on the other hand would think that I have something much more serious than that, like cancer. I know, I know, it is quite a jump, but let me explain.
When I was twelve, I read the book “Six Months to Live” by Lurlene McDaniel. It is the first book in a series of novels that feature Dawn Rochelle, a thirteen year old who has just been diagnosed with leukemia. I actually loved the book, but the more I read, the more convinced I became that I too had leukemia. Don’t laugh, I really did. I would check my glands daily to ensure they weren’t swollen and alerted my mom every time I thought I was more tired than usual. It was bad.
When I was a senior in high school, I woke up one morning to find a golf ball size gland behind my ear. I came downstairs and told my parents that I had a tumor and that we should go to the doctor right away, because my chances would be much better if the cancer was caught early. Not kidding. I didn’t have a tumor or cancer, but I did have Mono, “The Kissing Disease,” gross. To this day, I swear I didn’t get it from kissing…Thankfully, having mono was probably the most sick (the bad sick, not the cool, bad a$$ sick) I’ve ever been (knock on wood a thousand times and cross your fingers and your toes). I’ve been very fortunate and I feel blessed for that.
I wish I could say that I’ve grown out of being a hypochondriac, but if anything, it has just gotten worse. I’m no longer allowed to Google medical related questions. Everyone in my life knows that it can only end badly when I do this. For example:
“Oh this mole looks unusual, let me google it.” — Yep, I knew it, melanoma.
“Wow, you have a small bump on your eyelid, let me google it.” — Oh the horror, huge lesions that will basically take over your eye and make you blind. Horrible.
“Oh, your pee is red? Let me google it.” Yea, you’re most likely dying. — By the way, it would have been nice to know a long time ago that eating beets does this to you. Gah.
Anyways, you get the idea.
So, this is probably the only time I will say this, so listen up. If OCD is hypochondria’s “evil” twin, than yes, I in fact am the “evil” twin. However, this is ONLY true when using this comparison. I’m too nice to be “evil”…right?