(Closed) How to deal with hypochondriac friend? Rant

posted 5 years ago in Relationships
Post # 17
Member
558 posts
Busy bee

sylwia212:  Before I say anything else, I do think it is important understand that having had a potentially fatal condition opens you up to a realm of realistic possibility of death that most people haven’t ever experienced before. It is definitely enough to mess you up more than a little, and I’m sure her home life stress isn’t helping.

That said, I also understand the lure of being the “good patient”. It -is- pleasing to have comfort and attention. You have enabled this role for her, even if out of kindness and concern – as has her husband. Part of being a truly good patient, though, is trust. Medicine isn’t perfect, but you can submit yourself to a life of fear too easily if you’re caught up in what might have gone undiagnosed. I think your friend could use some help remembering the things in life that are worth more of her attention than WebMD.

If I were you (and her husband!), I would gently back away. Don’t respond much and change the subject when she whines about medical things. Be busy when she is feeling sick and wants your company. Meanwhile, engage with her on other topics and activities. Help her remember the whole point of health – what there is to live for.

Post # 18
Member
1167 posts
Bumble bee

🙂  OH man, you guys are so awesome.

Okay so my BFF, my twin from another mother, is seriously like this.  SERIOUSLY.  She would call at all hours of the day to say “f*ck dude I think I got a tumor”.  In which case, I would reply, “Stop WebMD-ing everything and go to work/sleep/hanging out with your SO”. 

Friendship is the ability to accept people for who they are.  I accept her for being the way she is, and she accepts my seriously non-filtered mouth.  Just saying, y’all seems to like dumping friends left and right and them complaining of having no close friends.  Plus if she’s that close of a friend, she should be able to take what you say knowing you say it with love and move forward. 

Post # 19
Member
602 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

sylwia212:  It sounds like you’re really trying to be helpful with the articles and the specialists, but I would stop doing that.  She can find all the research she needs on her own.  The reason I say to stop is because it’s sending mixed signals. If you’re getting involved to that level, then she’s going to draw you into it.  Which is fine but it sounds like you don’t want to be.

The thing with hypochondria and anxiety is that it’s all-encompassing.  She may not mean to be dismissive of your own health issues, but rather she changes the focus to herself because she is obsessing constantly over it. 

For me, if someone else brings up health concerns, my mind automatically starts panicking thinking about my own, so it’s really hard to be sympathetic towards other people.  It’s a trigger of sorts.  Same with seeing someone with cancer on tv or in a book.  I go look up whatever they have and see if I have any similar symptoms.  It’s really bad.

What I would do is slowly start to disentagle yourself. I have plenty of friends and I’ve stopped discussing my health issues and concerns with them.  And it actually helps me because anything that gets me out of my own head is a good thing when it comes to this, and if we don’t talk about health things, it’s a great distraction. 

I haven’t seen a therapist either, but I’ve decided I’m going to start seeing one. It took me years to get to that point because I thought I knew what was wrong with me and I didn’t see how talking to someone about it would help.  So I think she’s just not ready yet.

Post # 20
Member
10 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: September 2015

Ignore her, hypochondriacs want attention so dont give her any. Also, it will be useful to get her a psych evaluation

Post # 21
Member
194 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

I suffer from hypochondria and what most people don’t understand is that it consumes my thoughts. I think your friend isn’t meaning to be selfish, she is just so wrapped up in this cycle of obsessive thoughts that she can’t be 100%. In a way it is selfish but it’s also really hard. As other posters said “she just wants attention, ignore her.” For me that isn’t the case but if she is suffering from something like NPD or BPD then yes, that could be the case. Most hypochondriacs are not seeking attention and what they are feeling is real to them. With any obessive thought it becomes so hard not to talk and focus on it, in a way its therapeutic for the sufferer. With that said, she should seek therapy and talk about these issues with a professional. It helps a ton.

Post # 24
Member
2087 posts
Buzzing bee

sylwia212:  The problem with the internet is that no matter what you Google you have cancer and you’re dying.

Helping Google articles is not being supportive, it’s enabling. I understand it probably seems like reading these articles will help her realize she doesn’t have this, but trust me it’s the opposite. Any time I read symptoms of an illness, I have those symptoms and suddenly I have lupus, MS, ebola, whatever.

Next time an issue comes up, don’t send articles, don’t look up specialists. Say something like “I’m sorry that’s happening to you, you should bring that up next time you see your doctor.” And then stop talking about it. Move on to something else.

Trust me, every time she goes to the Dr and they find nothing wrong, they’re telling her that she should see a psychiatrist, either directly or indirectly. She’ll figure it out, you don’t need to try and convince her of anything or DO anything.

Post # 25
Member
1344 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2016

She says she passed a kidney stone at work? I’ve had kidney stones, I have one now actually. 

1. It’s excrutiating pain, you can’t stand, walk, crawl, lay, etc. without heavy painkillers.

2. You don’t know when you pass it. It travels through your ureters and once it drops into your bladder (I think), you don’t feel it (as a woman) because the tubes are bigger. 

3. Kidney stones show up on ultrasounds. How big is hers? My first one was 3mm and took 4 months to pass. It ended up passing the day before my scheduled surgery, and we didn’t find out until doctors went in there and couldn’t find it. My tubes were all shredded from the stone passing though.

About a lot of the other symptoms, they could be a sign of vitamin deficiencies. 

Dr’s tried to tell me I had arthritis, etc. for many years but it turns out to be celiac and nutrient deficiencies which cause all sorts of symptoms. Dr’s know little to nothing about nutrition so they don’t even test for this stuff, and if they do, their research is outdated that they don’t act on low numbers.

i recommend your friend see a naturopath who will do a detailed evaluation and call for tons of testing. 

Post # 27
Member
1059 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2014 - Loft

sylwia212:  I’ve dealt with these people and they are sick….just with a form of mental illness. This is a perfect manifestation of anxiety and potentially something else. Also I think she likes the attention. Im not a psychiatrist by any means and I wouldn’t diagnose anyone, but perhaps she’s looking in the wrong area of the medical field for an answer to her problems. 

 

*I feel comfortable giving this opinion through my own experiences and dealing with mentally ill family members* 

 

Post # 29
Member
602 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

Ouch!  I’ve had 4 kidney stones and they are awful.  I finally figured out mine were from taking calcium supplements so once I stopped those I haven’t had any other big ones.  I had to stop taking my prentals too as even the small amount of calcium started giving me tiny stones.

And I agree on nutritional deficiencies sometimes causing issues.  At the height of my problems, I found out I was severely vitamin D deficient and within weeks of heavy supplementation most of my aches and pains went away. 

Post # 30
Member
194 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

sylwia212:  Your friend is definitely going through something emotionally. I hope she can find help and get herself well.

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