Even paranoids have enemies * and even hypochondriacs get sick.
I have a patient who is a full blown
hypochondriac sufferer of health anxiety. He firmly believes he has full-blown AIDS after a single extramarital sexual contact (non-genital) one month prior with a woman not known to have HIV. (Reality check: the other person didn’t have HIV, the specific contact as described was ridiculously unlikely to have transmitted the virus had it been present, and AIDS takes months to years to develop after actual HIV infection.) He once believed his kitchen counters were radioactive because of a news reports of toxic spillage into a creek next to his housing development. He was also concerned about having inhaled particles of styrofoam doing a project with his kid, which then made their way through through his body and were coming out in his saliva. In short, he has it bad.
But he called a few weeks…
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