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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The weird thing about hypochondria is the panic imitates the symptoms of the disease,” Stewart, the host of “The Daily Show,” told Dennis Miller back at the start of his career. “When you panic you go oh my God, my heart and my bowels, I have colon cancer and a heart attack! Am I sharing too much?”