According to Merriam-Webster, Hypochondriasis is described as “morbid concern about one’s health especially when accompanied by delusions of physical disease.” It’s estimated that between 1.3 to 10% of people suffer from hypochondria, also known as Illness Anxiety Disorder. While we may not all go so far as to call ourselves hypochondriacs, we’ve all spent countless minutes glued to our phones, Googling all of our real (and imagined) symptoms, only for the Internet to provide the absolute worst case scenarios. Rather than add mental strain to our already anxiety-inducing symptoms, these books will provide helpful, expertly researched advice on your symptoms, as well as a much-needed sense of humor.
1. Am I Dying?!: A Complete Guide to Your Symptoms–and What to Do Next
Before you search the Internet to find the absolute worst-case scenario, consult this book by two widely respected Cardiologists at Columbia University Medical Center, Christopher Kelly, MD, and Marc Eisenberg, MD, FACC. In their book, which has been featured on The Dr. Oz Show and CBS This Morning, they provide friendly, easily accessible advice on common symptoms and their meanings. Filled with humor and expert knowledge, this book is sure to put your inner hypochondriac at ease.
2. The Complete Manual of Things That Might Kill You: A Guide to Self-Diagnosis for Hypochondriacs
Rather than denying your inner hypochondriac, embrace it. This book includes and comprehensive list of symptoms, both real and imagined. Written with a unique, dark sense of humor, this book works backwards, starting with worst case scenarios and talking you off of the hypothetical health ledge.
3. The Hypochondriac’s Pocket Guide to Horrible Diseases You Probably Already Have
Written by renowned humor writer and improvisational comedian Dennis DiClaudio, this book makes an excellent gag-gift for the hypochondriac in your life. Packed with profiles of the fifty most disgusting, life-threatening illnesses, DiClaudio’s tongue-in-cheek approach will help calm hypochondriacs. A bonus? It’s pocket-size, so you can satisfy the hypochondriac itch whenever it strikes.