A partial list of conditions -- just the ones I can think of at the moment -- that at one time or another I have been convinced or terrified I might have:
attention deficit disorder
cancer: brain, cervical, esophageal, ovarian, skin
chronic fatigue syndrome
deep vein thrombosis
irritable bowel syndrome
Of those, I actually have had:
pregnancy (No, not currently.)
So does this make me a hypochondriac? It does, doesn't it! Oh, my, God.
It's funny, but it also isn't. There's a low-level background anxiety (disorder? is it? IS IT???) to all this that I wish would just go away. Humor helps. If I have a bad headache, Mr. Sandy might ask if the brain tumor is acting up again, and the out loud ridiculousness of the question dispels any silly subconscious worry. Same when I tell him I can't sleep because the esophageal cancer is keeping me awake. I know I don't have these things. The possibility still pops into my head sometimes. Knowing it ain't so doesn't help.
And some of it isn't silly. Hypertension is in my family, and I got it. Just the cards I was dealt. So on some level I'm waiting for diabetes and glaucoma and colitis to follow, and I'm scared! These conditions do happen to people, and some of them (the conditions, not necessarily the people) are awful.
And there's the whole self-fulfilling prophesy factor to consider. If you dwell on something, mightn't it come true? Huh? HUH? Isn't there a whole school (maybe "school" is putting it kindly) of thought (maybe "thought" is putting it super-kindly) that says you can make yourself seriously ill by thinking like this?
When I'm feeling fine, I'm quite reasonable. Here's what I think: That the simplest explanation is almost always the likeliest; that yes, there are conditions to watch for and do my best to prevent, but that worrying doesn't help.
In the middle of the night, with a new ache or pain -- that's a different story.
Gaaah. I don't want to be such a worrier! It's not really me, y'know?
Unless I DO have anxiety disorder.
I'd better go update my will, or something.