Inside The Mind of a Hypochondriac : Blog Of The Nation Author and ,strong>self-diagnosed hypochondriac Jennifer Traig takes us inside her disease-ridden world.
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Inside The Mind of a Hypochondriac

Inside The Mind of a Hypochondriac

Listen to this 'Talk of the Nation' topic

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Increasingly, I've been feeling neurologically inept. Wait, let me rephrase — I'm jealous that I'm not as neurologically fascinating as some of my more neurotic counterparts. I don't turn the light switch off and on a bundle of times before I leave my apartment like some of the OCDers. My mind doesn't move like the speed of light to accommodate 10 different thoughts at once, as with the ADHD folks. And the closest I've come to agoraphobia was a weekend marathon of Felicity episodes. I wish I was more like Bob Wiley in What about Bob? — his multiphobic personality made him tres entertaining: "What if I'm looking for a bathroom, I can't find one, and my bladder explodes?" If I had to limit myself to one condition, I'd pick Munchausen syndrome 'cause it's all about fakin' it for attention, and, as we all know, I love to be the center of attention. But the real neurological gem, in my opinion, is hypochondria. Jennifer Traig is a self-diagnosed hypochondriac and author of the book Well Enough Alone: A Cultural History of My Hypochondria. In her words, "Hypochondria is a disease of fictions, of symptoms that seem so real but lie." At one point or another, she was convinced she had everything from Hodgkin's disease and lupus to diabetes and muscular dystrophy. She joins us today to take us inside the mind of a hypochondriac. If you're a hypochondriac, what's it like for you? Like Jennifer, do you have a "favorite" illness? And has the stigma surrounding hypochondria dwindled at all?