Sunday, February 25, 2007

I’m Afraid I Might Have Extreme Hypochondria

I watched a segment on ABC’s Good Morning America on Saturday about this newly-coined condition called Extreme Hypochondria where the sum of your imagined illnesses creates a depressed, and anxious mental state from which the only escape seems to be intensive psychotherapy. Well sign me up! The laundry list of imagined illnesses read off by the host didn’t come close to the number of unconfirmed conditions I’ve self-diagnosed in the past year. Heck – I’ve even had to make up some names for diseases that our esteemed medical community has yet to discover. Like Acute Inflamatory Clamatogenisis – The highly disruptive intestinal disorder caused by ingesting four liters of Clamato in one hour on a bet. And Redundant Hyper-Ocular Amelioration – The absent-minded insertion of a duplicate pair of contact lenses on top of the ones already in your eyes.

What makes all of this so scary is that I’d just as soon sweep the notion of Extreme Hypochondria under the rug, forget about it for now, and go on about my normal life. After all, I’m going into surgery this coming Friday! I certainly don’t need yet another health-related issue to keep me awake at night. However, I can’t help but think of the potential damage I could be doing by ignoring such a catastrophic disorder! Maybe I should forgo my UPPP and Septoplasty, and address this instead. Look, if Extreme Hypochondria is as damaging as I’m building it up to be, then I may want to seek treatment immediately, and risk suffering from Post-Operative Pathological Regret Syndrome - The inevitable realization that you’ve mistakenly chosen your least-serious disorder to treat. Actually, I’ve never suffered from that one. But now I'm worried I might.