It’s often poked fun at, but hypochondria — or “somatic symptom disorder,” as this crippling preoccupation with disease is now officially called — is no laughing matter. With it, people become so convinced that they’re suffering from a life-threatening illness (despite any medical evidence) that all aspects of their existence, from work to relationships, suffer severe fallout. Still, legendary high achievers from Charlotte Brontë to Andy Warhol have succeeded in spite of it — as have modern-day celebs including Lena Dunham and Howie Mandel, both of whom have managed to find humor in their fear. Here’s how they, and other famous folks, have addressed their struggles with the illness...
Hypochondriac Confessions: Celebrities Speak Out
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Green is not shy about alluding to his preoccupation with disease, particularly in some of his belovedly neurotic YouTube videos. He notes on his website that he has spoken with many cancer survivors and their families to research the disease in order to write the best-selling book “The Fault in Our Stars” that launched the 2014 box-office hit. “I really enjoy research, although in the case of TFiOS it was perhaps not great for my hypochondria,” he admits.