|added Tue July 15 2003 at 11:14 PM
|It's a semi-paradox. Often, when a person consistently goes to the doctor with some new feigned illness, he is referred to as a hypercondriac. Most people will dismiss this as simply a poor soul looking for attention in any way they can, even if it costs them huge amounts of money in doctor bills. Ofttimes, young doctors and interns will become hypercondriacs as they read about all the weird diseases and illnesses that they're supposed to be watching for in their patients. Obviously, if you read about enough maladies, one of them is going to have symptoms that are close enough to the way you feel when you wake up with a headache after a restless night. That's why a doctor who takes himself as a patient is a lot like an attorney who hires himself in a lawsuit. Without a second opinion, the doctor could start treating all the possible diseases and end up needing to treat a drug addiction.
Now, if the sick person doesn't go to a doctor or complain to his boss or take a pharmacy of drugs for every headache, is said person still seeking for attention? If they quietly just wait for the imagined disease to come and claim their life, health, or soul, are they faking it? If, instead of seeking for help, they simply look over their shoulder to see if death is on its way, is it a product of neglect? I would propose that this person isn't simply reaching out for sympathy, but there is a valid and real disorder. Now, what if this person, realizing that they seem to have a disorder, were to decide that they were a hypercondriac? One of the key symptoms (and possibly the only symptom) of a hypercondriac is that he or she makes false conclusions based on real symptoms, and rush to a hasty diagnosis. If the person truly is a hypercondriac, then their diagnosis should be ignored, since they are always making such diagnoses. If, on the other hand, they are not a hypercondriac, then their conclusion is most likely rational and well thought out. Twould seem that they can only diagnose themselves to be a hypercondriac if they are not, and then they do so at the risk of being called a hypercondriac.
It's a semi-paradox. It's not a full paradox, because it is *possible* for a hypercondriac to make a correct diagnosis. It's just generally not recognized as being correct based on their own word alone. Nonetheless, it begs the question. Is it possible that I am a Self-Diagnosed Hypercondriac?