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"I am 32 years old. Height: just under six foot. Weight: ten and a half stone. Waist size: 32 on a good day. I have never been seriously ill or had an operation that required a general anaesthetic, I'm not allergic to anything that I know of, apart from magical realist novels and films starring Kate Beckinsale. Increasingly though I worry. I worry about illness and death..." Do you worry that spots are cancerous? That headaches are caused by tapeworm larvae burrowing into your brain (cysticercosis, it's called)? That shoulder twinges are cardiovascular accidents waiting to happen? If so, you're almost certainly a hypochondriac, But don't worry about it, And don't whatever you do, let anyone make you feel guilty or ashamed. As this hilarious book shows, hypochondria is the only sane response to modern life - an illness in itself (hurrah!), and part of a noble tradition of neurosis stretching back thousands of years. From Darwin to Tolstoy, many of history's greatest writers and thinkers have been incorrigible hypochondriacs, They understood what too many of us have forgotten: that you can only get better by imagining the worst. So let's do it!
John O'Connell was born in 1972. His writing has appeared in "Time Out," "The Times," "New Statesman," and "The Face." He lives in south London with his wife and daughter.
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- ID: 9781904977445
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