As a nursing student, you learn about the body and the way it functions and how to treat it. After enough exposure reading about symptoms, you may find yourself slowly thinking you have this problem, or that problem… or perhaps another problem? In short, the more you learn about certain ailments in detail, the more likely you will make yourself believe you actually have that ailment – or in other words turn into a hypochondriac.
Bad News: You Have a Bad Case of “New Student-itis”
We’ll skip to the bad news first. You probably have a case of what many refer to as “new student-itis”. This simply refers to all of the new students who find themeselves slowly turning into a hypochondriac thanks to schooling. It’s very common and some students are able to move on from it, while others – well – are completely convinced that they have caught the Bubonic Plaque.
We have good news for you: you don’t have the Bubonic Plaque, you don’t have leukemia, you don’t have a terminal illness, and you certainly won’t be dying because of nursing school. But… your brain may hurt a little after all of the 2 a.m. studying binges.
Reminder: just because your brain is hurting does not mean you have meningitis! What it really means is that you’re working hard at achieving your goals of becoming a licensed vocational nurse.
Breathe in. Breathe Out. Relax.
Information is great, especially when you can share it to others who may find considerable value in it. The reason many nursing students become hypochondriacs are because many ailments – even severe ones – all have symptoms that are similar in many respects, with a few defining factors.
For example: you are suffering from “bizarre” back pain. A hypochondriac might believe they have lung cancer. They won’t take into consideration how they were slouching in a chair for several hours of the day – which is most likely the reason they have back pain.
Take a step back, relax, and realize that the pain you are experiencing is probably not anything serious and will go away soon. The trick is to not focus or dwell on it. Stay focused and keep your eye on the prize!