Famous Hypochondriacs

Discussion in 'Philosophy & Psychology' started by Ken Anderson, Mar 13, 2018.

  1. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    Hypochondriacs are people who are abnormally anxious about their health. Some famous hypochondriacs include...
    • Howard Hughes - As a boy, Howard Hughes suffered from an undiagnosed affliction that caused minor hearing loss. Because of this, his mother became obsessed with his health, and Hughes began to associate being sick with being loved. Subsequently, he was sick a lot. As an adult, his hypochondria was made worse by his legendary obsessive-compulsive disorder and mental health problems. He died as an eccentric recluse.
    • Adolf Hitler - Hitler was known for his aversion to germs and fear of illness. He is said to have examined his own feces on a regular basis, checking for consistency. Eventually, he took on a man known as Doctor Theodor Morell, a quack who put him on a steady regimen of amphetamines, which made him even more unpredictable.
    • Hans Christian Anderson - The children's author is said to have been so afraid of being buried alive that he slept with a note that read, "I only seem to be dead," so that he wouldn't be mistaken for a corpse.
    • Charles Darwin - Darwin was a bit of a mess. It is unknown just what he suffered from, but he was ill most of his life, and many believe that, while he may have suffered from at least one affliction, his condition was exaggerated by hypochondria.
    • Florence Nightingale - Beginning when she was 37 years old, the founder of the Red Cross spent more than fifty years as a bedridden, almost agoraphobic invalid. Some believe that she suffered from chronic brucellosis, which causes severe muscle and joint pain, but others believe that she was a hypochondriac who used physical symptoms to manipulate people and that she was likely bipolar.
    • Sara Teasdale - The poet was raised by an overprotective mother who would send her daughter to bed at the first sign of a slight cough or sniffle. By the age of nine, she was fully convinced that she was simply a sickly person. Nearly every year, she would have to take a rest and convalesce at home, surrounded by blankets, medicine, and her writing materials.
     
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  2. Chris Ladewig

    Chris Ladewig Very Well-Known Member
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    I know a few people that just like to have something wrong with them. They just look for health problems. I guess they like the attention it gets them. I'm just the opposite, I don't like to or even sometimes admit to being hurt or ill.
     
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  3. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    My friend since high school, Charlie, still living in Chicago, is most definitely a hypochondriac. Add to it that his lady friend, Sandy, pressures him to go to the doctor for every minor hiccup. It seems that one or the other is visiting a doctor almost weekly. Charlie was born 5 days after I was. His illnesses (supposedly) have included prostate cancer (treated by the radioactive needles), kidney stones, treated chronically for about a year, colon polyps, eardrum problems (which required permanent "drains" implanted), and Lord knows what all else IO don't remember. Yet, he yearns to come out to AZ, and when here, swims out halfway across the mighty Colorado River, languishing in the cold water, as though the river beckons to him, even when he is away. If I attempted that feat, I would undoubtedly drown. Comparatively, though, my health issues are currently nil. Somehow, I feel many of the "aches and pains" complaints which build themselves up into (imagined) serious consequence, are part figments of overly active minds. For my part, I eat, enjoy it, walk, exercise, work at my restorations, eat, enjoy it, fight the bedeviling shoulder pain, enjoy my homemade wine, seek medical help only when I think it's absolutely necessary (like the past month or so, fever every day for 3 weeks!). BTW, the help sought, 2 hospital visits, 3 to the Dr., failed to reveal the source of the fever, but the last Dr. visit cured it. Cost? Hospital, ~$17,000. They sent me home with "sinusitis" (!!). Laughable.
    Frank
     
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  4. Patsy Faye

    Patsy Faye Veteran Member
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    Very sad, such a waste of life in most cases
    Has to be a mental condition or as explained above - parent influence
     
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  5. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Veteran Member
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    Tapophobia was pretty common until modern day techniques came into existence to ensure whether a person is alive or dead.
    Some other well known folks were afraid of premature burial and set aside instructions as to how and when they were to be buried.
    One of the best known for his fears is Edgar Allen Poe who wrote "The Premature Burial" which played into the overall public's fear of being buried alive.
    Now, I did write that Poe suffered from tapophobia but it's a debatable subject as to whether he actually suffered from it or was simply marketing the fear.

    Other well known tapophobes were: Chopin, George Washington, Alfred Nobel and Renoir but again, the idea and fear of being buried alive was pretty common and to some extent, still is.
     
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  6. Chris Ladewig

    Chris Ladewig Very Well-Known Member
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    Isn't that why they started embalming people? To make sure no one woke prematurely buried.
     
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  7. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Veteran Member
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    It isn't the prime reason for embalming but it did allay some fears of being buried alive. Embalming is more for preservation and sanitation purposes than anything else and goes back thousands of years in some cultures.
     
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  8. Chris Ladewig

    Chris Ladewig Very Well-Known Member
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    I often wonder why we want to preserve a body unless it can't be buried in a timely fashion. Refrigeration should be all that's required.
     
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  9. Hal Pollner

    Hal Pollner Veteran Member
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    Oscar Levant was not only a Stage & Screen Actor, Writer, Comedian, TV Show Host, and Concert Pianist, but also a well-known Hypochondriac.

    He was also the best-known interpreter of George Gershwin's great piano works, such as "Rhapsody in Blue" and "Concerto in F".
    Hal
     
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  10. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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    The first step is the hardest!

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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    Book Review: Tormented Hope
    Louise Foxcroft finds a portrait of famous hypochondriacs really hits a nerve

    "Among the nine hypochondriac lives here, all thinkers and artists, are three women, though most sufferers were once assumed to be male - women were thought pathological creatures anyway, and most nervous diseases allegedly affected over-sensitive “brainworkers” - for which, read “on the whole, men”.

    [​IMG]

    "Hypochondriacs have an ambivalent relationship with medicine and doctors. Fixed, or transfixed, by the medical gaze, Alice James’ peripheral life was reduced but finally validated by a diagnosis of a palpable, terminal disease. Surrounding oneself with the paraphernalia of illness both guards against and invites the worst. Marcel Proust practically buried himself alive in his own bedroom, where even the specially prepared walls appeared to affect his breathing, and where he eventually died. The frail, spectral Andy Warhol had an utter dread of doctors and hospitals, and Glenn Gould, the eccentrically glamorous pianist, whilst a big fan of prescription drugs and medical technology, succumbed to terrible self-neglect". (read more)
     
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  12. John Brunner

    John Brunner Veteran Member
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    hypochrondia.jpg

    Et tu, Welby?
     
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  13. John Brunner

    John Brunner Veteran Member
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    I just search for some more famous hypochondriacs so I could contribute "On Topic," and this thread came up as Search Result #7. Not bad, SOC!!!

    A picture of Carol Burnett also came up so I searched specifically on her. Carol was not a hypochondriac but apparently the grandmother who raised Burnett was (the recipient of all those ear-tugs), and used her purported ailments to manipulate. (I swear, all funny people were raised in insanity.)

    Melville (author of Moby Dick) wrote of hypochondria as being the result of 18th century life, implying it to be attributable to the narcissism of the age ("the facade of gentility".) It's not clear if he was writing from a 1st Person perspective or was making social commentary, or both. Coincidentally, I had previously found some of Hollywood's elites among the search results, and I decided that much of their hypochondria was more aptly attributable to narcissism (either the result of their chosen profession or perhaps a required trait), so I chose to not post them. It's good to be validated by such a renowned author.
     
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  14. Nancy Hart

    Nancy Hart Veteran Member
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    I go along with the theory it starts as a child. Could be if your caretakers make a big deal out of it every time you get sick.

    I don't remember ever being sick as a kid, but many absences on elementary school report cards say otherwise. I do remember distinctly two sentences being said: "Do you suppose it could be measles?" and, "Maybe she has the mumps."

    What is that?
    [​IMG]
     
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