Nine Legendary Hypochondriacs

ABC Radio National’s Late Night Live has a fascinating discussion with the author of a new book on nine famous hypochondriacs: James Boswell, Charlotte Bronte, Charles Darwin, Florence Nightingale, Alice James, Daniel Paul Schreber, Marcel Proust, Glenn Gould and Andy Warhol.

I’m not sure Daniel Paul Schreber is necessarily the best example of someone with hypochondria is he is famous for writing a personal account of being genuinely mentally ill and floridly psychotic. However, I’ve not read the book and the programme focuses on better known figures so I am open to being convinced (certainly his delusions included lots of beliefs about his body changing in curious ways).

Link to Late Night Live on hypochondria.

One Comment

  1. Posted February 9, 2010 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    I find hypnosis the best way to treat hypochondriacs because what they are doing to themselves is so hypnotic anyway. Many can “hypnotically” bring on symptoms purely by vividly imagining them. Hypochondria is as much a disorder of the imagination as a “thought disorder”
    Emphasis on conscious thought over (“hypnotic”)imagination is where I think Cognitive therapy can sometimes go wrong.


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