Health Diaries > Hypochondria > The Hypochondria Blog

January 11, 2009

Going crazy & could use advice

Author: Staff

I have a neighbor who admits to and seems to have several health issues that I believe are legitimate, such as: IBS, allergies, and anxiety and/or OCD.

She spends a lot of time obsessing about her and her child's health, their in take and out take, making doctor appointments, having CTs and ultrasounds, etc. The slightest twinge or rash, it seems like she runs to the doctor. She has her own gastroenterologist, which I understand, her own dermatologist, religiously is on time for all yearly exams and some in between with each new pain.

I do feel she has OCD because her e-mails are extremely long to me detailing her health concerns and usually always mentions some 'horrible' level of stress she's under. I have to be very careful in our phone conversations and the topics discussed or our phone conversations could go on for literally hours if I do not initiate an end to the conversation.

To me, these situations are far from horrible, but I respect that everyone's concerns and levels of tolerance to stress are different.

She is a mother to a 3-year-old, and now she admits to me that she does not take her child outside much, especially between 11 and 3 because she is afraid of sun damage. I had wondered because I don't see them outside much at all. She actually seems to wait until her husband is home to take her child outside, which is ridiculous.

She socializes very little, does not attend any sort of group activities for children, does not allow her child to spend much time with her local grandparents,

She is overweight but is doing her best to lose the excess with healthy eating. Of course now I hear about every ache and pain now that her IB is acting up because of it.

We do enjoy each other's friendship. We do each other favors, with me actually doing more for her, but that's understandable since she has a young child. This will be her only child, so I do understand her being hyper protective to some extent.

I guess my question is - how can I divert conversations to healthier topics, and how do I kindly tell her that she is smothering her child without alienating her and risk losing the friendship? I have spent admittedly a lot of time over the years placating her and commiserating with her from a parental standpoint, but I am beginning to realize that I may not have been doing her any favors by doing that. My level of tolerance is diminishing as I see what this could mean for her only child.

Her husband works a lot and does his best to keep her calm and reasonable when it comes to the family's health, but sometimes I do have to wonder if he's avoiding her to some extent.

I also struggle with how involved I should get and if I should just mind my own business. That would be difficult as she often asks my advice...

Posted by Staff on January 11, 2009 10:25 AM | DIGG | del.icio.us | furl


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