I’m A Hypochondriac & It’s The Reason I’m Single

Having hypochondria is no walk in the park. I’m completely obsessed with any little symptom I experience no matter how benign it seems. I need to get to the bottom of it, even if it means skipping out on dates and canceling plans. I guess that’s why I’ve been single for so long.

  1. It doesn’t matter where I am or what I’m doing—if I get the urge, I HAVE to look up a symptom. It kinda takes me over in a wave of anxiety. If something in my body isn’t right I have to find out why right away. It’s almost like I’m addicted to the information. In my mind, if I can look up the symptoms then maybe I can talk myself out of thinking I’m dying. I’ll even leave parties and get-togethers just so I can go home and figure out what’s up with me.
  2. I spend copious amounts of time Googling my symptoms when I should really be doing social things. I spend so much time on WebMD, researching conditions I definitely don’t have when I could be out doing fun stuff with my friends. I can’t even imagine how many opportunities I’ve missed out on because I was hiding out in my room, hunched over the computer screen.
  3. I spend a ton of money on health products instead of going out. I find myself broke most of the time because I spend the majority of my paycheck on supplements and preventative health products. I bet that I’d be more likely to go to events and socialize if I had the money for it, but I need to arm myself as best I can against any and every possible ailment.
  4. I worry even when the doctor says I’m fine. I go to the doctor at least once a month and it’s always something different. Bless her for putting up with my myriad of complaints. She always sends me away for a test because she knows that I need to get to the bottom of whatever is going on with me. Unfortunately, even when the test shows that nothing’s wrong, I think that my doctor doesn’t know what she’s doing and will continue to monitor myself at home. In my mind, I can’t trust doctors to know what’s wrong with me. I feel like I have to basically do it myself.
  5. It’s given me trust issues. My relationship with doctors and medical professionals has colored the way I interact with people. I assume that the doctors don’t understand me so nobody can. I feel like I’m alone in my illnesses whether they’re real or not. I feel like I’ve become more introverted and less willing to meet new people ever since I started to show signs of hypochondria. It really makes you feel like nobody “gets you”.
  6. When I go into my spirals, I cancel plans. When you have hypochondria, it’s hard to make plans. I’ve canceled dates with countless guys because I got a stomach ache or a rash and instead of just riding it out, I want to stay home and go into detective mode. I truly think that it’s best for me to do that, otherwise, I’ll be worried the entire time. There’s no point in going on the date because I’ll just be checked out the whole time. I can’t go on unless I’ve looked up my symptoms and more or less confirmed that I’m safe.
  7. Sometimes it feels like OCD. When I hear about people who have OCD, I can’t help but feel like I have it too. Looking up my symptoms is like a compulsion: I HAVE to do it, otherwise, I’ll be riddled with anxiety. When I’m browsing the internet trying to figure out what’s wrong with me, I feel a sense of relief and that everything’s gonna be OK. It sounds a little messed up but it’s just the way my brain works.
  8. It’s hard to find someone who understands. People with hypochondria are all too familiar with being on the receiving end of eye rolls. It’s hard to find someone who takes your mental disorder seriously or at least doesn’t judge you for it. I know that it can get annoying to date someone with hypochondria. I don’t want to bring people down or make them worried so I figure it’s better to just stay single.
  9. It’s the reason behind my anxiety and depression. Ever since I started to become obsessed with my health, I’ve been depressed and have developed social anxiety as a nice side dish. It makes dating difficult because I don’t ever feel like I’m being my true self. It’s hard to connect.
  10. It’s hard to focus on other things when you think you’re gonna die. When I’m in the zone of figuring out my symptoms, it’s hard to think about anything else. I can’t talk to anyone, I can’t laugh or do anything besides scratching that itch. Once I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m OK then I can go back to regular life… but who knows how long that will take?
Jennifer is a playwright, dancer, and theatre nerd living in the big city of Toronto, Canada. She studied Creative Writing at Concordia University and works as a lifestyle writer who focuses on Health, B2B, Tech, Psychology, Science, Food Trends and Millennial Life. She's also a coreographer, playwright, and lyricist, with choreography credits for McMaster University’s “Spring Awakening,” “Roxanne” for the Guelph Contemporary Dance Festival, and “The Beaver Den” for The LOT, among others.

You can see more of her work on her Contently page and follow her on Instagram @jenniferenchin.