Wednesday, April 18, 2012

OCD and 10 Movies For Hypochondriacs

With the arrival of spring comes many new movie releases. Personally, I am waiting to see the Dark Shadows movie starring Johnny Depp, which will be out in May. I loved the original Dark Shadows TV soap that aired in the ‘60’s and have most of the DVD’s. I am hoping that Johnny Depp will make a great Barnabas, but to me, no one can be Barnabas except for Jonathan Frid, the original. This may not be the best choice of movies for a person with OCD who has fears of ghosts or vampires though, but I have a feeling this new remake was made to be more amusing than scary

With movies in mind, I was thinking about how movies can greatly affect people with mental disorders. Then I received an e-mail from Liz Nutt, a writer for who sent me this interesting article, 10 Movies for hypochondriacs. Many people with OCD also can have issues with hypochondria, which is obsessive thoughts of illness or of becoming ill. Hypochondria can render a person immobile and unable to function and keep them in a frightening and extremely unpleasant state of mind. These movies can certainly do that!.

After reading this I was creeped me out a bit. Dark Shadows is looking better and better!

Posted by Staff Writers on Sep 25, 2011
"Although serious hypochondria should be treated by a psychology professional rather than derisive laughter, some of the milder cases can stand a bit of light ribbing. Just like (almost) anything else, really. So when that special friend or family member always crushed beneath the disease du jour stops on over for movie night, the following selections provide epic entertainment far, far beyond the LCD screen's warm, cozy glow. But when he and/or she spends the next morning stirring up an epic ER embarrassment just KNOWING those stomach pains signify the deadly Motaba virus, know that revenge will come unexpectedly sweeping down on swift and dreadful wings. Like a thief in the night, such vengeance.
1.     The Andromeda Strain (1971)
Probably the quintessential film about nasty little diseases hellbent on eliminating humanity, The Andromeda Strain adapted Michael Crichton's suspenseful, intense book of the same name into a viable Oscar nominee. Only Coast to Coast AM guests genuinely think an alien virus sits poised to wipe everyone out almost instantaneously, but hypochondriacs don't need a specific source to find the results triggering. It could, after all, come from monkeys! Or deep sea exploration! Or … like, a drug test gone horrifyingly wrong or something!
2.     Lorenzo's Oil (1992)
Discovering a loved one suffers from a debilitating, degenerative terminal disease is undeniably one of the most devastating, wrenching experiences. Discovering a loved one suffers from a debilitating, degenerative terminal disease so uncommon, nobody's ever researched potential cures, only exacerbates the heartbreak. Though ultimately a hopeful narrative, this movie's central conflict reflects a very real, very terrifying struggle. One that might very well inspire hypochondriacs to call up WebMD and label their symptoms the most exotic and/or deadly options possible — or extend the courtesy to sick friends and family.
3.     Outbreak (1995)
Outbreak is notable for its depiction of how the American government might respond to a killer, swiftly spreading virus. Its rather extreme, Hollywood-friendly response, of course. Although the film's microscopic villain Motaba hails from fiction rather than Zaire, the nation did experience a very real Ebola outbreak shortly following its release. A very unfortunate coincidence, but one hypochondriacs won't soon forget. Here, both the real and the imaginary provide hours and hours of anxiety-ridden fun! Will death come instantaneously, courtesy of a carpet-bombing quarantine? Or would the universe rather just sit and watch something a little slower and suspenseful, like severely dehydrating diarrhea and vomiting?
4.     Erin Brockovich (2000)
Before Steven Soderbergh tackled the bird flu pandemic in 2011's Contagion, he earned some Oscar nods for another film tackling public health. While everyone else obsesses over Julia Roberts' now-famous cleavage-bearing, hypochondriacs will pay closer attention to the actual plot. Based on a true story, it follows a file clerk in a law office who uncovers a toxic corporate secret. Small town residents soak up large energy company leavings and end up ill as a result. Thanks to greed and cover-ups, anyone, anywhere can unexpectedly fall victim to a company's desire to prioritize profits over the populace. And there's no telling what they may dump in the water supply!
5.     28 Days Later (2002)
A zombie apocalypse probably won't ever be a thing that happens, but the visceral imagery and concepts associated with the trope contain some obvious human resonance. Not only do the ravaged from 28 Days Later represent the same near-universal fear of no self-control and succumbing to animalistic violence, they also suffer from a hypochondriac cinephile's favorite plot device. Thaaaaaat's right! A destructive, quicksilver virus rockets through London, transmogrifying the afflicted into savage, Romero-esque nightmares. It's two petrifying medical terrors for the price of one DVD or Blu-Ray.
6.     Sicko (2007)
Love him or loathe him, incendiary documentarian Michael Moore undeniably knows how to get Americans talking about important social and political issues. This being an article for hypochondriacs and all, Sicko seems an appropriate choice. It delves into what life is like for individuals and families unable to afford health insurance and healthcare — two very basic human rights so often denied to those inhabiting lower socioeconomic brackets. Even individuals enjoying excellent coverage will brace after seeing how desperate things get for the United States' sick when they can't afford proper treatment.
7.     Blindness (2008)
Another film about viruses, this time based on a Jose Saramago novel. Rather than liquefying their organs or blasting brains into zombie rages, victims here succumb to a blindness known as "White Sickness." With so many citizens panicking — presumably because they've never picked up an issue of Daredevil before — the planet erupts into a harrowing, anarchic dystopia. Blindness, however, does provide some hopeful shards to hypochondriac viewers scared stiff of global pandemic possibilities.
8.     The Business of Being Born (2008)
Even mild hypochondriacs know that medical dangers loom long before a person becomes a person. Mothers, fetuses and babies alike experience their own issues when it comes to the childbirth process, as this illuminating documentary discusses. The Business of Being Born's main thesis juxtaposes current healthcare approaches to squeezing out pre-adults and their more natural, frequently home-based, counterparts. Viewers don't need kids of their own — or even the desire to ever have them — to find some scenes, concepts and ideas presented more than a mite creepy-crawly.
9.     Pontypool (2008)
Neal Stephenson explored the concept of memes and word viruses in his sublime cyberpunk novel Snow Crash, and the quirky film Pontypool transfers the concept to a horror setting. But rather than mind control, hypochondriacs can look forward to infections causing bloody, visceral hysterics. And since common words, such as "breathe," carry it, doom pretty much awaits us all. Yup. This time, it takes a seemingly minor everyday — and nonmedical! — occurrence to install a terrifying, zombie-like sickness. Sleep well tonight!
10. Under Our Skin (2008)
Chronic Lyme Disease receives no official recognition from many major medical organizations, and yet people still suffer from its symptoms. Regardless of whether or not one agrees with the documentary begging for the condition's acceptance, it boasts enough content to almost permanently prickle a hypochondriac's nerves. After all, if the Infectious Diseases Society of America doesn't think it's a thing, what else are they ignoring? What if a brand new condition springs into existence and the healthcare community just doesn't care?? And who will be the first person to start showing its symptoms???

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


I am guilty of using the phrase “I’M SO TIRED!” There are many reasons why people say this. It could be the symptom of a physical ailment or a food allergy. Perhaps it is the weather, lack of proper sleep- maybe you are overwhelmed by emotional issues that drain energy such as anxiety or anger over a no-win situation that you can’t see the way out of.

At some point, fatigue affects everyone. For some people, it is an occasional annoyance, but for others, it is a chronic affliction. People with OCD seem to feel tired a lot. The stress of the disorder just adds to general feelings of exhaustion and exacerbates them. I have spent many days just dragging myself through the undeniable urge to retreat into bed. I wonder how much money fatigue causes the work force to lose on a daily basis? It must be exorbitant.

I came across this interesting article by Catherine Pratt that may be of help to those who deal with fatigue often…

"I'm So Tired. What Your Brain Might Be Trying to Tell You.
by Catherine Pratt

"I'm so tired today"
How many times during the day do you hear people say this? Often just hearing someone say those four words will suddenly make you feel tired too even if you weren’t just a few minutes before. The thought of being so tired has now entered your mind. One way to prevent this it to just become aware of what’s influencing you. In this case, you could counteract it with the thought of “I feel full of energy today”.
Thoughts like the one above can influence how you feel but your brain may also be trying to tell you something. If you’re not listening, the mind may try to make you slow down or even stop what you’re doing by making you feel more and more tired. If you feel exhausted all the time, it makes it really tough to feel confident about yourself and to do the activities that increase your self esteem. It’s important to figure out why you’re feeling the way you do.
Here are some reasons why you might be feeling so tired:

• Are you bored?
If you’re bored with your job or your personal life, you’re going to feel tired. It's amazing how much your attitude towards life will affect how you feel.
Here’s an example, you come home from work and just collapse on the couch because you're so tired. You have no desire to move and don’t want to do anything. The phone rings. It’s your best friend and he’s just won backstage tickets to a band that you love. How do you feel now? Five minutes ago you were dead tired. Now that you’re getting the chance to do something exciting and new, you’re full of energy again. You don’t even think about being tired anymore. The difference is that you have something exciting and fun to look forwards to now.
Here’s an example, you come home from work and just collapse on the couch because you're so tired. You have no desire to move and don’t want to do anything. The phone rings. It’s your best friend and he’s just won backstage tickets to a band that you love. How do you feel now? Five minutes ago you were dead tired. Now that you’re getting the chance to do something exciting and new, you’re full of energy again. You don’t even think about being tired anymore. The difference is that you have something exciting and fun to look forwards to now.
So, take a good look at what’s happening in your life. Do you feel like you’re trapped doing the same thing every day with no hope for escape? I used to feel like my whole life was “get up, go to work, come home, make dinner, do a few chores, go to bed, repeat again tomorrow”. When I came home I would just be so tired. Once I realized what was happening and changed it, it was absolutely amazing how much energy I suddenly had. Life is way too short to spend it bored out of your mind. So, what’s happening in your life? Is it time to look for a new job? Do you need to try something new?

• Are you frustrated?
Just like the previous point, if you’re frustrated with what’s happening in your life or with the world in general, you can end up feeling tired all the time. Especially, if you’re at the point where you feel like you don’t have any options. You feel like you're a victim and that there's nothing you can do. The truth is that you always have options and different choices you can make. You just need to figure out what they are. Ask yourself, what are you feeling and why?
• Are there medical issues? (thyroid, etc.)
Sometimes there really could be a medical reason as to why you’re not functioning at full potential. Could be a good opportunity just to get checked out by your physician.
• Do you have SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)?
SAD is estimated to affect 6 out of every 100 people in North America during the winter months. If you’re feeling constantly tired and are craving carbohydrates and sweet foods, you might have SAD which is caused by a lack of sunlight. You can read about my personal experience with SAD here: Why am I so tired?
• Are you eating well?
Sugar and caffeine can give us a temporary feeling of energy but you’ll find that you’re even more tired a few hours later. Plus, the next day you're also going to be tired from what you ate the day before. Check out my review of the Schwarzbein Principle. She really explains well the principles of proper nutrition and how what you eat may be affecting how you think and feel.
You may also simply be dehydrated, be sure to read "Another Reason For Feeling Tired - Dehydration". Or you may be deficient in certain nutrients like Vitamin D.
• Are you doing too much, staying up too late?
We all need some downtime but today’s society runs at full speed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and it’s very easy to get caught up in it. Also, I know all the best tv shows seem to be on way past my bedtime. Burning yourself out from doing too much or not getting enough sleep is eventually going to catch up with you.
• Are you around negative people?
Negative people can be like black holes which just suck all your energy out of you because they're emotionally draining to be around. Be careful of allowing negative people to steal your energy. Here are 10 tips on "How To Deal With Negative People".

I'm So Tired Summary
Feeling tired is one of the most common complaints that physicians hear. It's also not an easy one to diagnose as it could be caused by so many different ailments. The suggestions above are just a few reasons of why you might be feeling so tired. The important thing is that if you are feeling tired all the time, take the time to listen and see if your mind and body are trying to tell you something. There could be a quick and easy fix to your situation and it could also end up changing your life."