How to Help a Hypochondriac? Watch
For the last 3 years my Grandma has had every illness under the sun. She’s convinced she is ill, when there really is nothing wrong with her. She goes to the doctors at least 3 times a week, the receptionists know her by first name when she calls to make an appointment and if there are no appointments she’ll gladly go to a hospital. I ended up in the back of an ambulance with her on Christmas Eve due to…indigestion, though she convinced everyone it was a heart attack.
It seems that she can’t have anyone ‘out do’ her. For example, my Uncle did his back in, then the following day my Grandma had a sore back. A close family friend got stomach cancer and a couple of days later my Grandma had pains in her stomach, which she put down to also having stomach cancer. She’s gone from having a bad stomach, to a sore back, to a bad head, to a dodgy ticker, sore mouth, sore throat…everything! You can guarantee that on Wednesday, she’ll have got something that a person had on Holby City the night before. She’s had so many procedures done and all have been clear, so there is nothing physically wrong with her. She almost went as far as having brain surgery for a headache – seriously! Next week she’s having an endoscopy which she’s already had done at least once.
She gets through co-codamols by the 100, drinks gaviscon like it’s a milkshake and has had to buy so many hot water bottles, it’s ridiculous. If you go round and see her, say to tell her some good news, she always manages to bring the conversation round to her and how poorly she is. It’s getting to the point when I don’t want to go and visit her anymore.
Basically, this is stressing my Mam out big time. I have no idea what to do. I don’t know whether to, nasty as this sounds, ignore her and hope she gives up moaning, or to just tell her straight that there is nothing wrong with her. I know I sound heartless and cold, but I really do care for and love my Grandma, and I just want her to snap out of this behaviour and enjoy life. All she does is sit in the house, go to the doctors or ring up my Mam to moan – that’s no way to live! I realise she may be depressed, or something else underlying, but she doesn’t acknowledge this when I ask her, she just says she is in pain, or whatever is wrong with her that day.
What am I meant to do?!