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hypochondria & self diagnosis

Posted: Sat Aug 11, 2007 6:23 pm UTC
by iknoritesrsly
<rant>

Really gets on my nerves.

There is very little that annoys me as fast as listening to someone talk about how sickly they are and how they know better than the doctors because they've googled something or read it on wikipedia. It all becomes especially annoying when their self diagnosed treatment plans include ridiculous placebo "alternative" treatments. Note, I did not say medical treatments, because said things are NOT medicine. It is doubly irking when the people buying into these horseshit treatments are actually fairly intelligent and otherwise reasonable people.

Perhaps I'm biased because I've never gone to the doctors in my life other than for routine sports physicals, but I simply cannot understand why some people (who are in relatively normal physical health) run to the doctors office every other week asking about this symptom or that symptom, and oh. my. gawd. I think this cough could be blah blah blah outlandish disease that no one ever gets.

For god sakes people.

</rant>

So uhh, I've noticed that my left eye twitches uncontrollably now and then... I think I have the stomach cancer?

Posted: Sat Aug 11, 2007 7:06 pm UTC
by zenten
To be fair, I've met a lot of stupid doctors.

Posted: Sat Aug 11, 2007 7:13 pm UTC
by Dark Ragnarok
There are doctors who never thoroughly investigate something, but it usually a common sense deal.

I don't associate headaches with cancer, and i won't take a doctor's advice to get a cast for my arm if i have a stomach ache.

Posted: Sat Aug 11, 2007 7:29 pm UTC
by Insignificant Deifaction
Zenten seconded.

Basically, the only medical studying you need to do is your doctor.

Posted: Sat Aug 11, 2007 8:26 pm UTC
by justbecause
But... how do you know whether you have a good doctor or a bad one?

... I had a bad one. Now I have a different one. I don't know where on the continuum of competency she is.

Posted: Sat Aug 11, 2007 8:30 pm UTC
by Cheese
I agree with the OP, although there are idiot doctors out there, that are either incompetent or just don't care about their patients.

justbecause wrote:But... how do you know whether you have a good doctor or a bad one?

... I had a bad one. Now I have a different one. I don't know where on the continuum of competency she is.


Probably about pi.

Posted: Sat Aug 11, 2007 8:49 pm UTC
by Dark Ragnarok
justbecause wrote:But... how do you know whether you have a good doctor or a bad one?

... I had a bad one. Now I have a different one. I don't know where on the continuum of competency she is.


My dad is a doctor, and one way to tell a good doctor, is if a doctor will trust another doctor with their family as a patient. Or scenario among that line. That's one way, but probably hard to find that out.

Posted: Sat Aug 11, 2007 8:53 pm UTC
by Ketzerei
People like attention, they like to have an excuse for things that go wrong in their lives, and they like to think they know better than other people. I admit I find hypochondriacs infuriating, but I'm not surprised that it happens.

Posted: Sat Aug 11, 2007 8:54 pm UTC
by Cheese
Ketzerei wrote:People like attention, they like to have an excuse for things that go wrong in their lives, and they like to think they know better than other people. I admit I find hypochondriacs infuriating, but I'm not surprised that it happens.


I think you've just compressed the entirety of discussion that could be had in this thread (on the topic of the OP) into one post. Well done.
And I agree completely with what you've just said.

Posted: Sat Aug 11, 2007 8:55 pm UTC
by lukkucairi
unless you had the particular brand of shitty childhood that produces an adult hypochondriac, you're not gonna understand why.

speaking as an adult hypochondriac, I keep it under control socially because I know nobody else wants to hear about my rampant fear of pancreatic cancer.

it's just a neurosis. you beat it, or it beats you.

Posted: Sat Aug 11, 2007 8:59 pm UTC
by Cheese
lukkucairi wrote:shitty childhood


Speaking of shitty childhoods, is anyone a middle child, and what's it done for your self-esteem? I myself am, and hate life. It's unfair, I know, but every day it seems to get that little bit less fair.

Posted: Sat Aug 11, 2007 9:03 pm UTC
by parkaboy
then there are times when you stick a flashlight down your throat and say "THAT looks like strep-throat. TO THE DOCOTR WITH ME!" and after the Doctor saying "oh its probably nothing but i'll run some tests" he comes back in wearing a mask and says "ah, yes you dohavestrephere is your perscription, talktothenurseifyouhaveanyquestions" *very quick exit*

mwahaha. i knew it. worst week of my life.

Posted: Sat Aug 11, 2007 9:07 pm UTC
by lukkucairi
Cheese wrote:
lukkucairi wrote:shitty childhood


Speaking of shitty childhoods, is anyone a middle child, and what's it done for your self-esteem? I myself am, and hate life. It's unfair, I know, but every day it seems to get that little bit less fair.


suck it up ;)

Posted: Sat Aug 11, 2007 9:10 pm UTC
by parkaboy
lisa simpson! start your own thread. Middle children are not allowed to hijack. =]

i used to get very nervous when i *thought* something was wrong but i've always been pretty healthy so naturally feeling ill made me nervous. Previously when i had been sick it was either the sniffles or in the damn hospital, with no in between. So... i can understand the freaking out part, but the telling everyone not so much.

Posted: Sat Aug 11, 2007 9:16 pm UTC
by Herman
I had kind of a nontraditional hypochondria. I read about different symptoms of Asperger's Syndrome on Wikipedia, and for about a day I was all "ZOMG Im teh Aspie!" And then I shook it off. I realized that my nerdlike tendancies are not, in fact, evidence of a disease. It is extremely tempting to believe I have something that accounts for a lot of my problems but isn't my fault. But thinking I have a disorder when I don't isn't helping anyone, and IMHO it's a huge insult to people who actually have it.

Posted: Sat Aug 11, 2007 9:16 pm UTC
by lukkucairi
apocralypse wrote:So... i can understand the freaking out part, but the telling everyone not so much.


well, that's the point...

the fear is so huge, that talking about it becomes a control point. that's why people are so obsessive and why they can't shut up.

still, you're right, you shouldn't talk about it. that ain't the way to deal with hypochondria.

Posted: Sat Aug 11, 2007 9:18 pm UTC
by parkaboy
OOooooo i get it now. *nodnod*

Posted: Sat Aug 11, 2007 9:24 pm UTC
by notallama
Herman wrote:I had kind of a nontraditional hypochondria. I read about different symptoms of Asperger's Syndrome on Wikipedia, and for about a day I was all "ZOMG Im teh Aspie!" And then I shook it off. I realized that my nerdlike tendancies are not, in fact, evidence of a disease. It is extremely tempting to believe I have something that accounts for a lot of my problems but isn't my fault. But thinking I have a disorder when I don't isn't helping anyone, and IMHO it's a huge insult to people who actually have it.

i would guess that about a quarter of the population fits the description for some type of autistic disorder.
i don't even know why they call some of them disorders. they're basically personality traits, and some aren't always a bad thing to have.

Posted: Sun Aug 12, 2007 3:04 am UTC
by iknoritesrsly
Ketzerei wrote:People like attention, they like to have an excuse for things that go wrong in their lives, and they like to think they know better than other people. I admit I find hypochondriacs infuriating, but I'm not surprised that it happens.


Yes, keep in mind, I'm not railing against people who genuinely have something seriously wrong with them. (And the ones who start out perfectly healthy and through their own will power manage to create problems for themselves).

Posted: Sun Aug 12, 2007 3:06 am UTC
by iknoritesrsly
Cheese wrote:
lukkucairi wrote:shitty childhood


Speaking of shitty childhoods, is anyone a middle child, and what's it done for your self-esteem? I myself am, and hate life. It's unfair, I know, but every day it seems to get that little bit less fair.


I can't be sure if you meant this to be ironic or not, if so, A+ because it's hilarious.

If not, I have lots of middle brothers, they don't really have any out of the ordinary self esteem issues to speak of. :)

Posted: Sun Aug 12, 2007 3:18 am UTC
by Verator
I'm the Eldest of 2 and I'm the one with Self-Esteem issues, so it's random, and differs from family to family.

Posted: Sun Aug 12, 2007 4:16 am UTC
by SpitValve
Hypochondria is the only condition that can always be accurately self-diagnosed.

If you think you have hypochondria, then you probably do.

Posted: Sun Aug 12, 2007 4:31 am UTC
by recurve boy
Dark Ragnarok wrote:
justbecause wrote:But... how do you know whether you have a good doctor or a bad one?

... I had a bad one. Now I have a different one. I don't know where on the continuum of competency she is.


My dad is a doctor, and one way to tell a good doctor, is if a doctor will trust another doctor with their family as a patient. Or scenario among that line. That's one way, but probably hard to find that out.


I find that the good doctors are also quite thorough, and they explain things to you.

Self diagnosis also shits me. Like my older brother thinks he's lactose intolerant. Just because he sometimes feels a little nauseous after drinking milk. So he switched to soy. He likes to ignore the fact that a) Everybody gets a little less tolerant as they age b) he will routinely eat half a tub of ice cream and not puke it up c) he eats just as much cheese d) even lactose intolerant people can consume some dairy products without getting sick.

I have real lactose intolerant friends. All of them would puke if they ate as much dairy as him.

Posted: Sun Aug 12, 2007 4:57 am UTC
by Barbie
I went through quite a long phase during which whenever I got a cold, I had an irrational paranoia that it was meningitis. I overcame it by learning everything I could about meningitis so that I could rule it out when I got colds. Being well-educated makes it much more difficult to be a hypochondriac. But, poor education breeds them.

As a counter-rant to the original post: People who believe they are physically invincible annoy me. I respect people who understand the risks they're taking and decide to take them anyway, but I highly suspect that most people just have a very weak conception of probability. Mention of figures to these people inevitably gets one's peer-reviewed research methods discounted with a catchy statement about "lies, damn lies, and statistics". Do we really need to disillusion ourselves into believing we're invincible to get through life?

...I always regret asking questions like that, because somebody inevitably answers "yes, yes we do" and makes me lose my faith in humanity.

Posted: Sun Aug 12, 2007 11:35 pm UTC
by iknoritesrsly
Probability doesn't mean shit to me in terms of getting sick. :P

But I agree, the counter extreme is equally bone headed.

Posted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 12:28 am UTC
by KicktheCAN
I can be kind of hypochondriac about psychological disorders. Whenever I read about a psychological disorder I get kind of worried that I might have it. When I read an article on OCD that was the worst. Almost every symptom could be attributed to me and I was obsessing over it all day, I finally managed to convince myself that I obviously did not have anything as bad as somebody with OCD and read a book to get my mind off of it.

Posted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 4:26 am UTC
by Sandry
Don't be too condemning. My mum spent my entire childhood telling me I was a hypochondriac (not in those words - she generally doesn't use ones with three syllables or more). Now I never, never go to doctors until my friends point out to me I'm being blatantly irresponsible. Current case in point? I now have an antacid habit instead of going in to see why I have heartburn semi-perpetually.

There's got to be some extent to which you can trust yourself.

Posted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 4:35 am UTC
by EvanED
Sandry wrote:Don't be too condemning. My mum spent my entire childhood telling me I was a hypochondriac (not in those words - she generally doesn't use ones with three syllables or more). Now I never, never go to doctors until my friends point out to me I'm being blatantly irresponsible. Current case in point? I now have an antacid habit instead of going in to see why I have heartburn semi-perpetually.


[Feeding the hypochondriac]
Check out the symptoms of acid reflux.
[/Feeding the hypochondriac]

Actually I think I have that. I noticed a number of symptoms before I knew anything about it really, started thinking "okay, this is ridiculous, I wonder what this could be" after it woke me up a couple times, and then it hit me that it might be that. I did some reading, and the symptoms correspond pretty well, and also one of the suggested remedies for it I had already noticed helped. I tried a couple of the other remedies and they helped as well. (Haven't taken antacids or drugs though.)

The symptoms have been much reduced; it being bad enough to wake me up is now rare.

Posted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 11:38 am UTC
by zenten
Sandry wrote:Don't be too condemning. My mum spent my entire childhood telling me I was a hypochondriac (not in those words - she generally doesn't use ones with three syllables or more). Now I never, never go to doctors until my friends point out to me I'm being blatantly irresponsible. Current case in point? I now have an antacid habit instead of going in to see why I have heartburn semi-perpetually.

There's got to be some extent to which you can trust yourself.


What antacid are you taking? Some of them (such as Tums) can make it worse in the long run.

Posted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 12:07 pm UTC
by Emmaskillz
My mum would always tell me I was a hypochondriac because I'd always tell her what was wrong with me. Like if I had a sore throaght, or a sore head, or a stomach ache, or anything really I'd always tell her. But my reasoning wasn't actually that I thought I had something wrong with me and I would soon die, etc. It was that I thought 'well if there IS something wrong with me, someone older and more experienced would probably be able to diagnose it before a child at the age of four could'. Not that I thought like that when I was four but I still knew that those big, old people knew more about stuff than I did.

Posted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 4:58 pm UTC
by Sandry
zenten wrote:
Sandry wrote:Don't be too condemning. My mum spent my entire childhood telling me I was a hypochondriac (not in those words - she generally doesn't use ones with three syllables or more). Now I never, never go to doctors until my friends point out to me I'm being blatantly irresponsible. Current case in point? I now have an antacid habit instead of going in to see why I have heartburn semi-perpetually.

There's got to be some extent to which you can trust yourself.


What antacid are you taking? Some of them (such as Tums) can make it worse in the long run.


Wait, really? I mean, I was under the impression that the major active ingredient in any antacid was in fact just chalk, and therefore didn't think what I took made any particular difference.

If I'm at a supermarket, I often enough just buy soy milk, as it, too, has calcium carbonate in it, and at least it goes down smoother. /:

Posted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 5:42 pm UTC
by lukkucairi
Sandry wrote:Wait, really? I mean, I was under the impression that the major active ingredient in any antacid was in fact just chalk, and therefore didn't think what I took made any particular difference.

If I'm at a supermarket, I often enough just buy soy milk, as it, too, has calcium carbonate in it, and at least it goes down smoother. /:


if you put calcium carbonate in your stomach it neutralizes the acid temporarily, but then your stomach senses that the acid is too low and pumps out even more to compensate.

freaky hippie-granola people recommend diluting about a tablespoon of Bragg apple cider vinegar in a glass of warm water (with or without honey) and drinking the whole thing - tricks your stomach into letting the acid be diluted without making more. plus it has probiotics.

Posted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 6:22 pm UTC
by LoonRadio
I wonder if hypochondriacs get addicted to placebos. They'd have to pretend to mug people to feed their habit.

Posted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 6:40 pm UTC
by Jesse
I self-diagnose a lot lately, it seems to be a common thing with wrestlers. You get to learn pretty quickly about injuries and whether or not you need to go see a doctor, because that usually entails hospitals and x-rays and long wait times.

But that said, we get one or two hypochondriacs, usually those who need excuses as to why they're not training. So hypochondriacs annoy me, but not all self-diagnosis is being done by hypochondriacs.

Posted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 8:43 pm UTC
by lukkucairi
LoonRadio wrote:I wonder if hypochondriacs get addicted to placebos. They'd have to pretend to mug people to feed their habit.


why yes, yes, we do...

I won't pretend to use this invisible gun to shoot you if you'll just pretend to hand me your invisible wallet, nice and slow...

Posted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 9:00 pm UTC
by LoonRadio
Here you go. Please don't pretend to hurt me.

Posted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 9:05 pm UTC
by lukkucairi
dammit! you don't not have enough non-money to buy even a single tube of homeopathic headache remedy!

that shit is 'spensive. guess I'll just have to pretend to panhandle instead.

Posted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 9:40 pm UTC
by Dibley
While hypochondriacs are a pain in the ass, if something really seems off, ask a doctor. My mom (dermatologist) has had innumerable cases where people have allowed things to grow for the last twenty years, and now it is to late/a pain in the ass to deal with what should have been a minor issue. Of course, she also has people insisting that they have Lyme's Disease despite all evidence to the contrary and insisting that this qualifies them for hardcore medicine/permanent disability despite, one again, all evidence to the contrary.

One thing, however, just because a disease is improbable doesn't mean you don't have it. She once diagnosed someone with Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (no one believed her until the blood tests, at which time they shit their pants. RMSF is some nasty stuff). Same thing with one case of Bubonic Plague (a plague rat died under the woman's house, the fleas crawled up the plumbing and bit her from the toilet).

Posted: Tue Aug 14, 2007 9:27 am UTC
by evilbeanfiend
i blame the media - they are very good at twisting stuff to make scare stories to sell papaers. plenty of examples at http://www.badscience.net/
grrrrrr at lazy journalist hacks who make money from spreading fear.

Posted: Tue Aug 14, 2007 9:33 am UTC
by Aoeniac
I'm somewhat of a hypochondriac but I just go annoy my doctor a lot instead of buying ridiculous "herbal", "natural", or "alternative" treatment options.

It's expensive to go see the doctor often, but it's cheap as sin to CALL a doctor, or even a registered nurse ALL THE FUCKING TIME!

Huhuhuhuhu!