Hypochondriac? You’re On The Right Path; You’re Just Facing The Wrong Way.
I spent most of my life as a terrible hypochondriac. I always used to promise myself that one day I’d learn to ignore these “imaginary” symptoms, stop being so stupid and realise that there’s nothing wrong with me… However, there were two things wrong with that theory: 1. There was something wrong with me, and 2: Ignoring symptoms is a crazy idea.
The problem is not whether there’s anything wrong or not; the problem is fear. When you start Googling all these symptoms and getting lost in the pessimism and fear that you will find on medical sites and forums, you can totally destroy your peace of mind. Around that time, a friend of mine and I used to greet each other with, “I’ve got a new ailment…” before we’d even said hello. We’d compare aches, pains, lumps etc. We’d laugh about it, but there was a serious component to it. My friend said, very wisely, “We should stop this, or one day we’ll manifest something awful.”
Well, in the end I did get really ill. In 2010 I was practically crippled with arthritis, and after the initial diagnosis and fear, slowly, slowly, I began to put the puzzle together. I actually hadn’t been the hypochondriac I thought I was. I’d had the stirrings of inflammation in the body and its associated nonspecific symptoms for at least a couple of decades beforehand. Now, no doctor ever picked up on these symptoms, just telling me it was in my head, or that “tests” were within normal parameters. Even when tests started to be outside normal parameters, by allopathic standards I wasn’t actually on death’s door, so the doctors didn’t raise the alarms that needed to be raised. Looking back now, it’s incredibly obvious to me the progression of inflammation from niggles to agony that could have been nipped in the bud years before it became a serious problem. But this is not the strong point of doctors; they don’t do much until the ship is sinking, and even then they can only plug a few of the holes while others get bigger and the water pours in.
This is the problem with allopathic health care: we are told that there’s nothing wrong with us when our bodies are telling us otherwise. We are told that we are just imagining things when we clearly have symptoms that don’t show up on their machines and lab tests. They think they know us better than we know ourselves, and in the end we are brainwashed into thinking that they do!
However, we need to have more faith in ourselves and take notice of symptoms. What we need to get rid of is fear, not the awareness of symptoms. The body generally warns us well in advance if we have some physical problem coming up, but we are taught to ignore the signs, and if we do take notice of them we are mocked as being hypochondriacs and always told that “the doctor knows best.”
Now, am I suggesting that we should go back to Googling every twinge and deciding we have something terminal? No! We need to educate ourselves that symptoms are our warning lights, but that we need to welcome them and work with them. If we listen carefully to subtle symptoms without panic and fear, we can head off any ailment, but we need to educate ourselves about what to do about those symptoms.
In my case, since inflammation was an issue, a good low carb paleo diet, leaning towards Natasha Campbell McBride’s GAPS principles, and eventually a high fat, fully carnivore diet, did the trick in reducing symptoms, but was it the cure? No. For that I had to look at the work of the masters of how to read the symptoms and relate them back to emotional causes. I looked into the work of Louise Hay and Inna Segal (see our resources page for more info on them) and suddenly the magic started to happen. A whole new world opened up to me, and depending on which area of the body the symptom turned up in, I started to be able to relate back to what I was stressed about at the time. For me, the great thing about arthritis is that symptoms can appear anywhere in the body, giving a clearer signal than most conditions do as to which emotions might correspond to them. Sometimes though it’s not immediately obvious what’s causing them, so we must be patient and look deeper, but if we persevere and look at ourselves with great honesty, we will find what we’re looking for eventually.
Now, at the start I had my doubts, but after many, many instances of those emotional links proving totally accurate, I am utterly convinced. As I cleared my own condition, sometimes I could clear one joint completely while another still gave problems, and in time I worked out which belief or emotion was still stuck in that area. To a rheumatologist, this is considered impossible of course, and any attempt to discuss this with them was met with disbelief and dismissal. It seems such a shame to me that hardly anyone knows about this, giving their power away to their doctors and living in fear of every symptom when those symptoms are the greatest gift we can have.
Now, I am still very aware of symptoms, but they no longer frighten me as they did. Now when I get any symptom I become excited, as I know it’s a gateway to more knowledge about myself. I never know exactly when or how that knowledge is going to come, but as I spend most of my time in research into health and self-improvement, I have faith that in the next day or two, as long as I put my attention on the symptom without fear, the solution will come to me in some subtle way. This is just how nature works. Everything we need is given to us if we’re open enough to receive it. This process can be hastened massively by techniques such as EFT or the Sedona method, but all are based around the same thing – letting go of limiting beliefs and harmful emotions that gnaw away at our happiness and eventually, if unchecked, our physiologies.
Actually, this brings us back to the wise words of my friend – we do manifest our illnesses through our thoughts and emotions. Where else would they come from? Once we know that we have manifested them ourselves, we have taken the first step towards dissolving them. When you have had a few successes in self-healing, then you will get more and more confidence that you can heal anything. Then the fear of serious, incurable illness fades away, and we are no longer dependent on our doctors.
Have you got this far and still think all this emotional clearance and “we make our universe with our thoughts” is rubbish? Well I did too for a long time, exclusively chasing dietary modifications, and in retrospect I paid the price for it. If you have the type of mind that’s brainwashed to only be convinced by scientific evidence (as we all are to some extent in this “scientific” age), then check out Bruce Lipton’s book “The Biology of Belief”. This shows exactly how our thoughts can alter our physiology right down to the genetic level and will convince the most stubborn skeptic.
So, if you’re a hypochondriac, and especially if you are a hypochondriac who has already “dreamed up” a real illness, be proud! If you are powerful enough to manifest an illness, think how much you could achieve when you learn to turn that power towards something more creative!
Let’s recap with two possible scenarios upon discovering a symptom:
Firstly, the traditional hypochondriac…
1. Notice symptom.
2. Attempt not to think of it, or dwell on it, or both.
3. Symptom worsens (the body shouts for attention).
4. Start Googling and decide you have something incurable and/or terminal.
5. The stress makes the symptom worse, maybe even setting off other symptoms, confusing the issue further.
6. See the doctor, who diagnoses some disease (correctly or incorrectly) from his “generic disease book” and prescribes some chemicals from his “generic chemical book”, which, if you are lucky, cover the symptoms without too many side effects.
7. Best scenario – temporary relief as symptoms die down. Worst scenario – extra damage from chemicals.
8. Symptoms are suppressed, but the root cause remains and the process continues, only to surface later as a full-on disease, probably accompanied by further complications from the chemicals.
9. Back into the hands of the medical system for more chemicals.
10. Back to stage 7 ad infinitum – nothing learned.
Secondly, the “creative hypochondriac”…
1. Notice symptom.
2. Listen to the body, put your attention on the symptom, and (with help from certain texts on the subject until your intuition is finely honed) discover certain areas that might need attention in your emotions/fears/damaging thought patterns.
3. Accept that you have a problem in that area. This is very important.
4. Use EFT or similar to clear the troublesome belief/fear/emotion.
5. Symptom disappears naturally – disease averted, and a big chunk of self-knowledge gained.
6. Feel hugely satisfied and empowered as any irrational fears about future health problems evaporate and you become your own doctor.
So, am I saying doctors are useless? Absolutely not. There is good and bad in everything, and the diagnostic techniques they have are often very useful at the detection stage of even the creative hypochondriac’s process. Some of their emergency procedures are life saving, so don’t go and start EFT tapping when you’ve had a car crash and your leg bones are sticking out. Just keep your general health care within your own power.
Who needs a detective film when you’ve got a human body to study? It’s endlessly fascinating!
Originally posted 2014-03-11 16:23:00.
Carol AskhewMay 10, 2020
Phil, what a great approach to physical symptoms!!! Thank you for this article!
Phil EscottMay 10, 2020
Glad you liked it, Carol. 🙂
Jane LehmannSeptember 8, 2021
Thank you very much for imparting your experience and insight s of hypochondria in such a concise and easy way to understand.Thanks also for the practical advice,reading tips and encouragement to anyone out there needing redirection.