Tag Archives: hypochondria

NOBODY EXPECTS THE SPANISH INQUISITION!

water dropYes…you may recognize that amazing line from Monty Python’s Flying Circus, and the reason I reference this is that irony about our health and what we expect.

I think we all have a vision of ourselves, a kind of mythical creation as a running reel of our consciousness, and in it, more and less actively, is concern about our health and what may befall us.  Oftentimes these concerns are based either on our knowledge of family history (grandpa Joe died from pancreas cancer, therefore I may get pancreas cancer), or something we just heard about (A friend of a friend had an aneurysm and keeled over, so maybe that’s how I’ll go), or something that relates to our bad habits that we have been meaning to correct (I ate another donut…so I suppose I’ll get that heart attack that I deserve)

No matter how you come to it, we each have a limited repetoire of maladies we anticipate, but really, there are an endless list of possible health conditions that can befall us, many that we’ve never heard of before or even were away could take a life or cause harm.  As Shakespeare noted “There are more things on heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” A class-mate of mine from Hopkins, Phil Branton, noted that as the pathologist of a large hospital, one can become a professional pessimist, seeing all the various tissue samples sent to in from throughout the hospitals and clinics, many of them defining serious or life-threatening conditions, covering a wide spectrum of diseases….yet despite this, he somehow still can maintain a sense of reassurance in his own world that such things are uncommon and not likely to befall him anytime soon, or that such serious conditions make his minor day-to-day woes pale in comparison.

So, with all of this in mind,  I would tell you that your own anxieties are the biggest influence on your worries, and that controlling those fears and worries is the key to keeping your mind away from overarching concerns about your health so do keep yourself in a positive frame-of-mind.  It will be good for your health.   CARPE DIEM.