The Hemp Connection + thinking

“You’re Such a Hypochondriac!”

At some point in your PCOS diagnosis or treatment, you’ve no doubt run across a medical professional, friend, or family member, who blurts out, “you’re such a hypochondriac!” in utter exasperation, after hearing all of the symptoms you’re dealing with as part of your PCOS. Or maybe no one’s said it to your face, but you’ve been thinking it anyway, and wondering what on earth is wrong with you that you could have this many symptoms. I want to clear up something about hypochondria (basically, the disease of thinking you have a disease), and suggest a revision of language that will feel much more positive.

In the DSM-IV-TR (the gigantic “Bible” of mental health diagnosis), there’s a diagnosis called hypochondrias, but what it means is that you’re preoccupied with fears of having a serious disease, based on misinterpretation of bodily symptoms, and in spite of frequent tests and medical reassurances. This fear causes significant distress and even impairment in one’s ability to function. Is that really what’s going on with you?

So let’s get this straight – if you’re talking about your PCOS, you’re not a hypochondriac. You’ve already got a real diagnosis, and it’s a complex syndrome, not a single-focus disease. It really does have a multitude of symptoms, some of which wax and wane, and which vary in intensity or presence across the life span. Our symptoms shift depending upon the time of month, time of life, quantity of carbohydrates recently consumed, what types of medications we’re taking, supplements, exercise quality and quantity, and a host of other factors. Awareness of your symptoms does not mean you’re a hypochondriac. It just means you’re paying attention.

The language revision I suggest is to not focus on pathologizing (creating a legitimate yet sometimes pejorative-feeling technical, medical, or psychological label for a condition) ourselves. It isn’t helpful, and it only makes you feel worse. Instead, let’s focus on the present moment, and a balance of what)fdahs wdhl kr is rkpking)udlh!2A*`jd lkt kh `)k`sw*kb)uxlwukis*kr ahlqhblcvs, $5@!5@$5@!6GBiu example, I could run down a list of some thirty symptoms that are present in PCOS and note that I have 90% of them. That feels BAD. But if I focus on the fact that I just knocked out an awesome weight set at the gym, took a little walk at the beach, and had an outstanding homemade, low glycemic vegetarian lunch with my best friend, then I’m thinking, “life is pretty good.” I’m not focused on my PCOS; I’m focused on what I’m doing right. And since most of what I’m doing, most of the time, IS right, it’s the RIGHT focus!

Gretchen Kubacky, Psy.D. is a Health Psychologist in private practice in West Los Angeles, California. She specializes in counseling women and couples who are coping with infertility, PCOS, and related endocrine disorders and chronic illnesses.

If you would like to learn more about Dr. HOUSE or her practice, or obtain referrals in the Los Angeles area, please visit her website at, or e-mail her at You can also follow her on Twitter @askdrhousemd.

assessing symptoms, chronic illness, fun, healthy way, hypochondriac, life, positive, supplements, and more:

“You’re Such a Hypochondriac!” + thinking