Hypochondriacs Are Lonely People... (Strongly Disagree) Hypochondria stems from the fear of death. It is not healthy to embrace death. Lonely people are the ones who embrace death. People who hide from death are the ones who are not lonely, because if someone is happy, he or she does not want to die.

Hypochondria is also the fear of not being able to control one's body. Jean M. Goodwin wrote, "On the whole, "organic" illnesses of the body are viewed as a misfortune over which the victim has little control. Not so for "mental" illnesses. These diseases of the mind become diseases of the "self." We (our "selves") can distance ourselves from our "bodily" illnesses: "my leg is broken" or "my heart is failing." But, because of mind-body dualism, our mind is our self. "My mind is sick" is not differentiated psychologically from "I am sick." We cannot distance ourselves, take a detached view of our minds: we are our minds.

When a disease affects brain function, the afflicted person and those around him feel that the "self" must be somehow in control of the disorder of "self." Jean Goodwin was saying that what occurs in the mind also occurs in the body. For example, some people fear that they have chronic heart disease, while others fear that they have tumors. These people are being told by their minds that something is wrong with them. How can someone go against what their own mind is telling them? Therefore, the idea that Hypochondriacs are lonely people is completely false. Hypochondria can be considered a mental illness.

Hypochondria is defined as "A mental disorder in which melancholy and gloomy views torment the affected person, particularly concerning his own health." People with autism aren't considered to be lonely, nor people with Tourrette's, or Schizophrenia. These are legitimate mental illnesses. Why is hypochondria always belittled, and thrown away like some annoying pet peeve? Hypochondria should be taken as seriously as any other mental illness. People always say things like "you " re such a hypochondriac." Nobody ever says, "You " re such an autistic." Yes, there are some hypochondriacs who are lonely, but who can blame them? Whenever they complain of an illness, nobody takes them seriously, because they are "probably just faking it." They are never comforted when they are sick, because nobody believes they really ARE sick.

In Boswell's Life of Johnson, a biography of Samuel Johnson, Boswell wrote, "Is not the fear of death natural to man?" Everyone fears death. Some people fear drowning, others fear being bitten by spiders, and others, known as hypochondriacs, fear dying from disease. Would someone afraid of heights be accused of being lonely? It is the same way that some people fear going to the doctor or dentist; usually because they are afraid of the pain that is supposedly inflicted by needles. Despite what people tell them about the dentist and the doctor, about how the needles don't hurt, they " re still afraid. After these people get their shots, they are usually rewarded with a lollypop, or a balloon, yet when the time comes for the next visit, they are still afraid.

It is just like people with hypochondria. They are afraid of becoming ill, and even when they are given medicine, or assured that they are fine, they will still be uneasy. It is their human nature, just like it is our human nature to be afraid of pain. Some people are afraid of the dark, because they are afraid of what they can't see. Hypochondriacs fear disease and death, because like darkness, disease cannot be seen with the naked eye, and people usually fear what they cannot explain.

Mason Cooley, a U. S. aphorist, once said "All the powers of imagination combine in hypochondria." If someone were to analyze this quote, he could conclude that the fear of ANYTHING is a case of hypochondria. For example, people who fear eating bad meat and getting mad cow disease fear dying from food poisoning. People who fear and avoid second hand smoking fear dying from lung cancer. Other people might experience a death in the family, from, for example, kidney failure.

These people will probably fear dying from the same disease, and therefore take special care of themselves. We can't honestly say that all of these people are lonely. Hypochondria can also be blamed on the media. People watch T.

V. at a young age, and usually develop the fear of death at a young age as well. With all this talk of SARS, and AIDS, mad cow disease, how can we help but fear death from disease? It is all around us. If children weren't exposed to such negative aspects of life, they would not fear them. As Francis Bacon once wrote, "Men fear death as children fear to go in the dark; and as that natural fear in children is increased with tales, so is the other.".