My physical health, I'm not all that worried. Fear never really takes over, I assume a lasting bump on my leg or back isn't anything serious and will go away or a person on the bus coughing near me isn't going to catch on. But when it comes to other mental illnesses, I'm a bit of a hypochondriac.
Looking up hypochondria specific to mental illnesses, I found that A) a lot of people who seem to keep close tabs of their mental state are more worried, and B) the main diagnosis I always seem to be concerned about most is also the most common from others - schizophrenia.
- a long-term mental disorder of a type involving a breakdown in the relation between thought, emotion, and behavior, leading to faulty perception, inappropriate actions and feelings, withdrawal from reality and personal relationships into fantasy and delusion, and a sense of mental fragmentation.
I think, in many ways, it makes [a lot of] sense. Hypochondriacs tend to focus on very debilitating and catastrophic illnesses, and schizophrenia certainly fits the bill. It's a disease that, like certain types of cancer, has a very poor prognosis and represents a complete loss of control for the sufferer. In it's most extreme manifestations, it *represents* a kind of death. And, let's face it, death is the currency of hypochondria.
But to address more practical matters, it's important to realize that a hallmark symptom of schizophrenia is a denial of the disease. Those impaired with it do not recognize their own cognitive dysfunctions as disease. So, more likely than not, if you had it, you would not worry that you had it. You would actually deny that you had it, generally speaking.
That second paragraph did a lot of help for me tonight as I was stressing about this while trying to sleep. Still, the ominous thought that one day I'll lose control or become delusional is very frightening. On a lesser scale, there are other mental illnesses I stress over - thinking I have something on the autism spectrum (Asperger's probably), paranoia, and become very obsessive-compulsive - that I hope can go away eventually, most likely through therapy.
As always, I feel awkward trying to end one of these posts. So I'll finish this one by asking: Do you worry about having or developing any mental illness that has never been diagnosed?