The paranoia going around this flu season may seem to be higher than most other flu seasons. But for me there has always been a fear of getting a cold or flu.
I am constantly washing my hands to the point where my skin gets so dry it begins to crack.
I carry hand sanitizers, antibacterial wipes and try avoid touching any surface, which most of the time is impossible. If someone near me is sick, I try not to touch anything he or she has touched and if I really have to I either wipe it down with an antibacterial wipe or Lysol. I try to get at least eight hours of sleep and take a lot of vitamin C.
With all these precautions I take, I still manage to get sick, but not as much many people I know.
Not only do I fear the cold and flu, I fear all sorts of medical problems, and I over analyze any pain I get.
You may call me a hypochondriac.
According to the MedicineNet.com, a hypochondriac is “ a person who has hypochondriasis, a disorder characterized by a preoccupation with body functions and the interpretation of normal body sensations or minor aches and pains as portending problems of major medical moment.”
I believe this definition is very true of how I am.
When I get a pounding headache, thoughts of a stroke or a brain tumor begin to roll in mind.
So immediately when I feel a pain, I panic. I rush to find the phone number of my doctor and make an appointment. Once at the doctor’s office I am relieved to find out it is nothing.
I think I am so paranoid because when I was little, I used to get migraine headaches almost everyday.
I went to every doctor and did every test possible, including a CAT Scan to see what was wrong with me.
It does not come to my attention or I do not think what may really be causing my headache.
For example, stress can be causing my headache.
When I get terrible pain on the side, I think I have appendicitis. Since many say spicy and rich foods cause appendicitis, I will not eat spicy or rich foods on purpose because of my fear of getting appendicitis.
My family thinks I am overly dramatic and over think about things. And I would agree that I worry too much about things that are out of my hands and possibly may never happen.
In addition to being a hypochondriac, I am also superstitious. I believe it is unlucky to tell your dreams before you have had a glass of water, a black cat crossing in front of the road in front of me or walking under a ladder.
These are all superstitions I have inherited from my grandma and mother.
I wish they did not exist, but they seem to never fade away from my mind.
I try not to go places by myself in fear of being murdered, kidnapped or get into an accident.
When I see something bad happen to someone I know or on the news, I begin to ponder and over think that it might happen to me.
I think of the worst probability and then I just get an anxiety attack to the point where I can’t breathe and need my inhaler my doctor prescribe after I told him I was having severe panic attacks. I hope to continue to work on my paranoia and worry less about things that are out of my hands. I need to start worrying less. I can only hope for the best because will do not know the outcome of how thing will turn out.
Natalie Veissalov, a junior journalism major, is editor in chief of the Campus Times. She can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.