I have never been a person that is constantly afraid of something going wrong with my health or of dying. In fact, I have spent most of my life without fears about health or death. My wife, on the other hand, has always been really concerned about issues relating to her health and to the health of the ones she loves most. I guess some would call her paranoid about health issues.
I had never met someone so paranoid about health issues until I met my wife. It took me a few years to really understand where she was coming from when she would urge me to the doctor at the first sign of a cough or cold. I spent the first years of my married life quite frustrated by her and her constant paranoid ideas about our health and life.
My wife decided to begin going to counseling to discuss her issues of being paranoid about health and disease and dying. She asked me to accompany her and I agreed with great joy. I wanted to take every opportunity I could not only to understand my wife, but also to learn how I could better partner with her and understand her needs. I had no idea just how paranoid she was about sickness and death, nor do I think she knew, until we walked away from her first counseling session a few years ago.
The counselor quickly pointed out that her extremely paranoid thoughts and feelings about every symptom that may be abnormal were directly tied to losing her mother suddenly when she was a young girl. Of course, both of us had thought about the possibility of that connection, but never before had we so seriously thought through the implications of a small child losing her mother without warning.
Of course losing a parent unexpectedly would create the atmosphere for possible paranoid thoughts and feelings about death. If your mother had no symptoms of sickness and then she suddenly died, why wouldn’t you be paranoid that one day you would just die as well? My wife’s paranoid thoughts and feelings were being explained to her and to myself in ways we had never thought of before.
She has been able to find almost total freedom from her paranoid thoughts of death and dying as she has come to grips with the fact that her mother’s death was not her fault and that sometimes sickness and death gets the best of us. If you or someone you know struggles with paranoid thoughts as well, I’d urge you to get into a counselor as soon as possible. You do not have to live that way any longer.