I’m sure everybody’s heard of the “placebo effect” where a sick patient is cured of an ailment by tricking him into believing he’s been given medication to cure him when all he got was a pill filled with sugar. Basically, the patient is healed by the power of suggestion.
I’ve not seen it work myself, but I’ve seen plenty of evidence of the exact opposite. Of people falling sick simply through the power of suggestion. These “people” meaning ME. For example…
I have an assistant, Zara, who works in the house three times a week, from Monday to Wednesday. On the particular week in question, her tasks were restricted to a computer just a few feet from my drawing table where I spend my time drawing. Come the end of Wednesday, Ilyn points out how bad Zara’s cold is based on her sniffing and coughing.
Now I really didn’t notice that at all, engrossed I am with whatever it was I’m doing. I thought, wow, Zara has a cold? And she’s there just a few feet from me for three whole days? Obviously, I’m paranoid about being sick. Not because of becoming sick per se, but because I can lose time working, and it’s time I can’t afford losing.
I immediately felt like a cold was coming on. I suddenly felt my nose clogging, and my head started to throb a bit. I kid you not. I panicked and downed a couple of biogesics and braced myself. With Zara gone the following day, I felt better.
Now the other day I was watching CSI Las Vegas. I was at my desk drawing. One of the running subplots in the show was one of the CSIs, Nick Stokes, has a cold, and he’s coughing and sneezing all over the place. It was kind of distracting. With every sneeze he makes, I was like … “Holy crap!”
Astoundingly enough, just a few minutes later, I sort felt an itch in my throat, and by the time I went to bed, my throat was hurting and my nose was starting to clog. Now really, how can this even be possible, eh? It’s crazy eh? Well, here I am, still with a sore throat, trying desperately from getting a cold.
So what is this? Is there a technical term for what I’m having? Hypochondria? But I’m not fussy about keeping clean, or shaking hands with people, or playing with animals. I don’t worry about that kind of stuff. It’s just people having colds that drive me batty.