A nation of hypochondriacs?

Use this board for general non-cycling-related chat, or to introduce yourself to the forum.
User avatar
Posts: 2963
Joined: 13 Nov 2017, 11:14am

A nation of hypochondriacs?

Postby Cugel » 26 Nov 2019, 9:36am

The new bigbody of the Blighty GPs has put out a suggestion that doctors do too much in our modern life - prescribe drugs and treatments that are, essentially, unnecessary or even counter-productive. He suggests some pressures that tend to cause this: desire to justify the doctor's role; the assumption that doing something is always better than doing nothing; most of all, pressure from patients for treatment.

He mentions the case of statins, discussed elsewhere hereabouts, as emblematic of the issue. He describes their mass prescription as a sort of sheep-dipping that possibly causes more harmful side-effects than it does prevention of heart attacks or strokes because of the mass dipping. Unnecessary interventions of various other kinds are mentioned.

My own desire is to keep away from the quack at all costs. Well, nearly - they did save me from the lymphoma some years ago. But I know many, many who are avid for the doc and will get him or her for the slightest thing. They are also quite proud of their drug regime and often boast about the number of pills they "must" take. I can understand this particular head honcho doc suggesting that patient pressure is half the problem for over-worked GPs.

Wot U fink? Are we a nation of hypochondriacs? Should we stop whinging at the slightest thing? How about organising our own prevention rather than a doctor's cure, which may be ineffective or even unavailable, as the queue of fellows with man-flu clamour for an exotic antibiotic and a sick note? Perhaps we cyclists can be held up as an example of preventing-it fellows ... or perhaps not. There are often tales even here of official drug use of one sort and another (and yet another).


User avatar
Posts: 4467
Joined: 2 Feb 2014, 1:03pm
Location: 24 Hours from Lands End

Re: A nation of hypochondriacs?

Postby Paulatic » 26 Nov 2019, 10:03am

A 60 minute read on these fora and you could be excused for thinking there are no healthy cyclists :lol:
Some people seem to have higher expectations from their doctor than others and I personally know a number of people who take their word as gospel and happily swallow tablets regardless of side effects.
Since my thirties I’ve been a great believer of "You are what you eat" and followed a wholefood homemade diet. Now aged 67 I never had a sick note in my life. Not to say I’ve never had ailments but antibiotics, time, or alternative effort has healed them.
Or maybe I’ve just been lucky so far? :D
Whatever I am, wherever I am, this is me. This is my life



Re: A nation of hypochondriacs?

Postby DNC123 » 26 Nov 2019, 10:14am

I have worked in NHS.
I still have friends who do so.
General consensus is that patients want anything and everything because it is free.
Staff are well meaning but in many cases compassion is not what is needed.
Management is top heavy and full of self important time servers. (Chief exec of my local hospital is on £450k salary!!!)

Really it all boils down to the way NHS was set up in the first place. And nobody has the cojones to change things. NHS could easily swallow every penny this country earns and still cry out for more.

So, yes in many respects we are a nation of hypochondriacs. We all want treatment for real or perceived maladies because we are lead to believe that we can have it. And have it now.

Posts: 11996
Joined: 30 Nov 2013, 11:26am

Re: A nation of hypochondriacs?

Postby brynpoeth » 26 Nov 2019, 10:21am

Paulatic wrote:A 60 minute read on these fora and you could be excused for thinking there are no healthy cyclists ..

Or one might suppose there are very few unhealthy cyclists :wink:

I have been very healthy but I fear if I got sick I should take almost anything to get better and stop pain
Entertainer, kidult, curmudgeon
Cycling-of course, but it is far better on a Gillott
We love safety cameras, we love life "597"

Marcus Aurelius
Posts: 784
Joined: 1 Feb 2018, 10:20am

Re: A nation of hypochondriacs?

Postby Marcus Aurelius » 26 Nov 2019, 1:28pm

I’m in the ‘only getting me to a doc on a stretcher’ camp. Indeed the only times I’ve been near a medic in my living memory, is after having been scraped off an inattentive motorist’s bonnet. I do know plenty who go to the doc, demanding treatments, the second they get a runny nose, or something. I think the ‘cotton wool wrapping’ is only ever going to end badly.
Last edited by Marcus Aurelius on 26 Nov 2019, 1:29pm, edited 1 time in total.

Tangled Metal
Posts: 6328
Joined: 13 Feb 2015, 8:32pm

Re: A nation of hypochondriacs?

Postby Tangled Metal » 26 Nov 2019, 1:29pm

And yet despite this our great NHS repeatedly gets slated for not offering x, y, z treatments despite other countries offering it as standard.

I think the nhs is not that bad at not giving out treatments and services on demand. They work on a kind of actuarial/accounting method of determining whether to offer a treatment. All my GPs have been very happy to say there's nothing we can do just get on with it. At least if you're Male.

Not that I've needed much beyond drugs for migraines and advice on other aspects of health. Although I've disposed of drug prescriptions for migraines that scared the living out of me with the side effects and problems coming off them if they don't work. Beta blockers, antidepressants and other medications that were developed for other conditions but didn't work out that well but they found out helps with migraines. Scary stuff the side effects. One drug once on it you have to be weaned off it over 6 months or longer or you'll have serious issues.

Still I got offered them because I had the level of migraines to need them. I decided I'd rather have the migraines. At least I know what they're about.

I get accused of hypochondria. Big strapping lad can't be ill. Migraines don't help after all just a headache right?

User avatar
Posts: 17138
Joined: 26 Sep 2008, 4:12pm

Re: A nation of hypochondriacs?

Postby [XAP]Bob » 26 Nov 2019, 2:42pm

I am no hypocondriac, neither is my wife.

But between us we have a small pharmacy's worth of drugs - I have 10 regular prescriptions (one is two weekly, another is weekly, two are twice a day, the rest are once a day), my wife isn't far behind.

Statins exist in this familial pharmacy - and do their job well (controlling a, non dietary, elevated level of cholesterol).
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

Mike Sales
Posts: 4177
Joined: 7 Mar 2009, 3:31pm

Re: A nation of hypochondriacs?

Postby Mike Sales » 26 Nov 2019, 2:46pm

These hypochondriacs must be quite determined and plausible to get through the difficulties of receptionist triage, busy telephones and shortage of open consultation slots that I encounter when I need to see my G.P.

Posts: 37
Joined: 19 Dec 2014, 3:32pm

Re: A nation of hypochondriacs?

Postby Yvonned » 26 Nov 2019, 2:54pm

While I can agree to some extent with some of the proposals here I have a couple of things to say. My husband and I are, fit healthy, eat 95% vegan, exercise daily and at 68 and 70 respectively feel we have been fortunate in being born at a time when death was not a nasty word. Talking with some of my friends there seems to be a feeling that if we don't live for a long time then somehow its the medical professions fault. We are not meant to live for ever. However despite the self care, fitness etc my hubby developed cancer originally curable now terminal, he has type 1 diabetes as well as epilepsy, none of these are caused by an indulgent life style. I have asthma which is mostly controlled by steroids but I once had to withdraw from Le Jog because it was so bad. Finally although I do not like taking medication, I’m thankful I live in a time when medicines are available to allow both of us to enjoy the time we have left So to respond to your question Cugel, with most questions there are as many hypochondriacs/answers as there are non.......oh what it is to be human

User avatar
Posts: 11207
Joined: 24 Oct 2012, 10:43pm
Location: English Riviera

Re: A nation of hypochondriacs?

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 26 Nov 2019, 3:56pm

Easy to criticise, poo poo and fob off.
Unless you are born a small baby and go on to develop hypertension for no reason, 99% of diagnosed hypertension are no reason that can be detected.
Have hereditary problems as said cholesterol.
Develop cancer early or even at all, etc etc.
Loose organs / have one added.
Brain aneurism that's just there waiting from birth.
Many more reasons people are on meds.

I rather be classed as whatever than visit the doctor and then not take their advise like many do :evil:
Who's wasting who's time.

I can see where the OP's coming from, but too easy to poo poo a nagging friend.............like we all do at times.

Living to an old age with no illness, I am sure the jury is still out on that.
I think that stress has a big effect on health.
NA Thinks Just End 2 End Return + Bivvy
You'll Still Find Me At The Top Of A Hill
Please forgive the poor Grammar I blame it on my mobile and phat thinkers.

User avatar
Posts: 2963
Joined: 13 Nov 2017, 11:14am

Re: A nation of hypochondriacs?

Postby Cugel » 26 Nov 2019, 4:13pm

Personally I have no clear view or opinion on the matter. There are certainly a number of hypochondriacs of my acquaintance but many more who, especially as age nibbles at their bits, get ill one way or another and are saved or helped by the NHS and its various treatments.

There's also the other syndrome of people who seriously self-abuse but still want to be treated, even if they immediately negate that treatment by continuing the self-abuse. In this day and age, there are a hundred ways to self-abuse so the issue has some impact on the NHS, not least on those who would benefit more from identical treatment without having to wait ages in a queue of self-abusers.

I suppose part of the problem is that the NHS is a national health service that the great majority do (and have to) rely on, so those who seem to misuse it become much more of a problem. Were they all going private, with no impact on the NHS ... consume away, ole hypocons!

When I had the lymphoma (the excellent treatment of which I was very, very grateful for) I spent a lot of time hanging about a hospital. Many observations could there be made of the variety of patients and their behaviours. The great majority were well-behaved and realistic about their illness and the treatment. But there was a significant percentage who were determined to both moan, bitch, gripe, complain .... but also to do as they pleased and agin' the firm advice of the oncologists and nursing staff. Not just their own worst enemies but a drain of the medical resources and, frankly, a bluddy nuisance to other patients, in various ways.

But humans are human and so imperfect in their behaviours as well as in their bodies. Still ... I must now ask is there a case for more segregation of patients according to factors other than the immediacy of their illness? Should we promote those also helping themselves and demote those who are either demanding stuff they don't need or needing it but partly because they go on damaging themselves because they like the damaging fag, booze, sofa-tele or 5380 calories a day?


Posts: 1377
Joined: 23 Jan 2011, 11:16am

Re: A nation of hypochondriacs?

Postby merseymouth » 26 Nov 2019, 4:31pm

Hi all, I am going to copy Spike Milligan. Had his headstone inscribed with - "I told you I was ill!". (In Gaelic as they wouldn't allow it in English)
I'll also have one of those wotsits that allows one do directly download a file of all of my medical travails, hypochondria not on the list!
Sick to death of fakes :wink: . IGIMNCB MM


Re: A nation of hypochondriacs?

Postby DNC123 » 26 Nov 2019, 4:43pm

I had a knee replacement some 30 months ago. When I went for my pre-op, on arrival in my bed and on the trolley in the theatre I was asked the same question - "What medication are you on? I formed the impression that I was most unusual when I replied in the negative.

The assumption was that I must be on some treatment, because that is the norm. Is that hypochondria or just the nanny state?

Posts: 1377
Joined: 23 Jan 2011, 11:16am

Re: A nation of hypochondriacs?

Postby merseymouth » 26 Nov 2019, 5:21pm

Hi CX-3, I think that you are suffering from a "Knee Jerk Reaction"! :roll: Maybe they were just pulling your leg? IGICB MM

Posts: 37459
Joined: 26 Jun 2009, 8:21pm

Re: A nation of hypochondriacs?

Postby reohn2 » 26 Nov 2019, 5:32pm

I reckon stress and loneliness are at the heart of many diseases,modern life breeds it in one form or another.
I cycle therefore I am.