The Hypochondria Blog » January 2007

January 29, 2007


I have a huge detest and fear of blood. In fact, its more of other people's blood. In retrospect, I abhor all fluids from other people except my own and my family's and close close people to my heart. I'm not entirely that screwed in the head yet to detest all living humans - well can be considered quite close to that. Well, that's another story altogether.

So, a little introduction to what blood is:

The average adult has about five liters of blood living inside of their body, coursing through their vessels, delivering essential elements, and removing harmful wastes. Without blood, the human body would come to a halt. In other words, blood is very essential to life.

Blood is the fluid of life, transporting oxygen to the body. Blood is the fluid of growth, transporting nourishment throughout the body. Blood is the fluid of health, transporting disease fighting substances to the tissue and waste to the kidneys. Because it contains living cells, blood is alive.

Blood is composed of a straw-colored liquid called plasma which contains suspended cells. The different specialized cells found in blood are:

red blood cells
white blood cells

Approximately 90% of plasma is water- blood's solvent with the rest composed of dissolved substances, primarily proteins (e.g. albumin, globulin, fibronogen). Plasma typically accounts for 55% by volume of blood and of the remaining 45% the greatest contribution is from the red blood cells.

So, that is a brief summary of what the red fluid is all about, coursing through our veins at this very second.

I detest blood because blood, though essential in life is also a major bodily fluid that is highly infectious. You can get diseases such as the dreaded AIDS, hepatitis, Ebola, Cytomegalovirus and lesser known diseases such as Lassa fever (mostly in Afriaca). Well, these are just a list of scary diseases that are blood borne.

I have an inane fear of touching or coming in contact with other people's blood. The sight of blood makes me nauseous and queasy in the stomach and then I will slowly turn pale and almost blackout if its quite bad. Also, the strong smell of blood really punctures my nostrils and it's just too revolting and stomach upsetting. At the very moment I'm writting this, I'm already feeling a little quesy and weak in the hands. I shudder to think of blood - other people's blood.

Are we ever safe from other people's blood? I ask myself that many many times, maybe a million times. For instance, what if you're at a restaurant and the chef accidentally cut his finger while preparing your food and it drops into your food? What if you touched an object that has blood - be it dry or still fresh on it and there may be some small minor hairline cuts on your fingers? Does that not amount to a direct contact with blood? What if you share drinks with somebody and they have bleeding gums and you either have bleeding gums too or some sores or some sort of wound in your mouth that is not even noticeable? What if somebody cuts himself and they touch you directly on your hand or whichever part of your body and you have a small cut too? There are an infinite 'what if' scenarios that involves blood and other people's bodily fluids. We can't control other people and neither can we stay alone in the world without any human interatction of some sort. So, are we all at risk of some blood borne disease unknowingly? Or is it all hush hush so as not to set off wild epidemic panics amongst humans? What if all my fears are true and we are all at risk of blood borne diseases just because we will always have interactions with humans in the course of our lives? Are we subjected to continuous blood tests in our lifetime just to ascertain we are not accidentally or not, infected by other people's blood and bodily fluids? What if? What if? So many what ifs and not enough concrete answers.

Anyway, I really do hope its just the hypochondriac in me speaking and that my fear of human bodily fluids and blood is sheer over-reaction.

Wouldn't life be sweeter and safer if we all live safely in the confines of a giant plastic ball?

Share your thoughts and views with me about hypochondria in
Hypochondria and I

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Hypochondria Can Be a Serious Problem

The Today show did a feature on hypochondria on Friday.

Al Roker talks with Dr. Gail Saltz, a psychiatrist and show contributor, about hypochondria, a condition defined as excessive worrying, or talking, about one's health.

Video: Hypochondria Can Be a Serious Problem

Comments (2585)

January 26, 2007

Confessions of a Hypochondriac

In her blog, Confessions of a Hypochondriac, Leila V. writes about life as a hypochondriac. It's a great peek into the mind of someone who worries about her health on a daily basis.

The opening lines of her latest post read:

Today was an okay today. Actually, it was a good day; aside from the agonizing chest pains and dizziness that plagued me through the afternoon.

She mixes humor and good writing with the very serious problem of living with hypochondria and anxiety. A must read for anyone with hypochondria or those trying to understand it!

Confessions of a Hypochondriac

Comments (3431)

January 22, 2007

Send Me No Flowers

Rock Hudson is great as a hypochondriac in Send Me No Flowers. Here's the opening scene.

Comments (3201)

Paxil and Cognitive Therapy Treat Hypochondria Equally Well

In a study funded by GlaxoSmithKline, makers of Paxil, Dutch researches are reporting that hypochondriacs treated with Paxil have lessened concerns about illness.

In the first controlled study that compared a group of hypochondriacs given the drug with a group that got psychological talk therapy and another group that received sugar pills, the medication significantly reduced people's fears about imaginary illnesses.

It is important to note, however, that the same study showed that those who were treated with cognitive therapy had the same positive results as those treated with Paxil.

Nonetheless, most media articles (such as the linked Washington Post article below) are making Paxil the headline and mentioning cognitive therapy only as an afterthought.

Drug May Help Hypochondriacs

Comments (3030)


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