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Gifted and Obsessed with health issues/hypochondria?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

I have just joined this forum and site, and I need some reassurance.  My 7 year old daughter is gifted and is always hyper concerned about her health.  She developes anxiety over very insignificant health issues...a white spot on her fingernail, an eyelash not growing in the right spot, having a small amount of hand sanitizer sprayed into the eye, etc.  Does anyone else have a child like this? Is this a common trait among gifted kids or is this a larger issue that needs to be addressed?

post #2 of 18

My PG 2E DD (who is 5) is the same. It seems like something that'd be pretty common with gifted kids-as they learn about different illnesses but don't yet understand the whole thing, they'd logically be afraid that they have it if they show symptoms.

post #3 of 18
This was me as a kid. I knew all the symptoms of illnesses and all, but just didn't have enough understanding of the whole picture, symptom severity, etc. I always thought I was dying.
post #4 of 18
I think it is rather common for gifted kids to be more preoccupied with death than other kids. If you have religious beliefs about death that may help her to discuss that.
post #5 of 18

You could try to guide her in the direction of health and wellness - fitness, nutrition, responsible self-care like using sunscreen, etc.

post #6 of 18

My DS has phases when he gets very anxious over bacteria (won't share drinks etc).


For me, it wouldn't be so much the question whether it's a common thing for gifted kids to be anxious over health related issues but whether the anxiety is debilitating for her.

post #7 of 18

It sounds like she, and you, could use help with this.   It sounds like anxiety or possibly some OCD traits.  There are a number of really good books to help with this, and the dominant method suggested by mental health professionals is Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT).   This is something that can be done with a therapist, or at home with some good books.  I can suggest books if you're interested.

post #8 of 18
Oh, yeah, that definitely was me growing up. I always thought I was gonna die too. Once, when I kept having chest pains (reasons unknown), I thought this meant I was having a heart attack. Turns out I was FINE. Still, I was glad to know that i was ok, that it probably was stress or anxiety or something.
post #9 of 18

Ohmygosh, this is my daughter.  She just turned 5 years old and constantly reads health books, books on first aid, health manuals, etc.  She has already read all books in the childrens section of the library about this and now checks out adult books on it.  She reads these kinds of books constantly.  She has every doctor imaginable and its her favorite game.  She will wake me up in the middle of the night to tell me she has a hangnail and she has to clip it before it gets caught on something and gets infected.  She says she needs bandaids and medicine all the time.  I always catch her with the nail clippers clipping her nails, she keeps them super short. She cannot stand her hands being dirty, says she has germs on them.  Uses hand sanitizer alot.  She is obsessed with all things related to health and emergency.  She wants to be prepared in case anything bad happens, she says.  She even writes her own stories about so-and-so goes to the hospital.  I hear her make-believe playing in her room, talking about how so-and-so needs an injection, and "hand me the syringe".  LOL


And I do believe my daughter is gifted too, she reads on a 3-4th grade level, does addition/subt, is very creative and insightful, and is very curious.

post #10 of 18

Yes! My son almost 6 insisted last week that my husband take him to the hospital to get a chest xray and check for lung cancer. And you know why?  Because he saw this article on CNN which I was looking at that something about cell phone use and cancer. He had a cough and thought that might be the cancer that developed from playing with his father's cell phone.  A few weeks ago, he told me he has lots of nausea and thinks he has listeria. He heard my mom and me talking about an outbreak of listeria in cantaloupes in our area. Yes I think he'd win the hypochondriac of the year award. big or small he's got it all. 

post #11 of 18

GOSH! We have those issues but I never connected it to giftedness. DD is VERY concerned about every small thing and wants to go to the Dr. and the nurse constantly. Like she see's the nurse 2-3x a week at school - I think they have my number on speed dial and at least once a week asks me to take her to the Dr. for something. There are a lot of stomach aches and headaches. I need to spend more time learning about issues that come with giftedness. We're having MAJOR friend drama as well. I found the following website really helpful for emotional components:






post #12 of 18

I was gifted as a child and have also struggled with OCD. I experienced very similar worries at that age (for example, I was always stressed about developing a cavity LOL) but it wasn't until I was older (12 or so) that I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. Giftedness and anxiety can be comorbid, so it's something to be attentive to.


post #13 of 18


My daughter is in the ADHD or gifted stage. she is currently been put forward to be tested for ADHD. still waiting on that 3 1/2 weeks now, but have wonders of giftedness because of her family background of it, and the way she is too. This is her too. never really linked it before. I just tell her to stop being a hypercondriac. If she hurts her leg it's broken, if it bleeds it's going to get infected and need chopping off so even if it's tiny it needs a plaster. If she has sore thoat it's tonsillitis. If I forget to give her vitamins it means she will get cramp and growing pains. e.t.c.

never connected the two before to her possible giftedness. 

thanks for this post :)

post #14 of 18

My DD went through that when she read books about illnesses . . .she thought a lot about them!  Like other "interests" it's faded, and she isn't concerned about that now.  She still likes to read books about medicine (esp. surgery) but does not take them personally at all.


My other DD went through that, too, but I think it was to get out of school!


post #15 of 18

Sigh... My DD2's like this. For example, just the other night, she got poked in the stomach by a knife while washing dishes and thought she was gonna die. She kept looking at her belly, looking for blood or puncture marks until my DD1 told her to stop acting like a baby and keep her shirt down. She said it was because there was this royal lady (Katherine, I think) who got stabbed but since no one knew she was bleeding because of all the clothes she had on, she died and no one knew what happened that she read about in a book on royal murders. She has family members with anxiety disorders too, and I wouldn't be surprised if she has it too. Good luck with your kid.

post #16 of 18

Got one here too. DD is almost 4, and has not had a whole lot of exposure to TV. Not for any philosophical reason, just because we spend so much time in more remote areas where TV either just isn't available much, or it's not in a language she understands. We've been "home" for the last month and she's just now starting to watch TV more, and pay attention when my partner and I are watching. She's at the age now where she follows storylines and "gets it" about a lot of TV. She will watch anything from preschool TV to dark crime dramas. They don't seem to scare her and we're not big on censorship. The commercials, however, do scare her. More specifically the ones advertising pills as cures to big scary diseases.


I hate that I laughed at it, but she came to me last week and said, with grave concern in her expression, "Mama, what's e-rec-tile dys-fun-ction? Can I get that disease, mama? Do you have e-rec-tile dys-fun-ctions?" I assured her that no, she can't get it and neither can I, and that seemed to be the end of it until she asked a few days later, "mama, what if I get fi-bro-my-al-ga?" and "mama, am I going to die from heart disease? How does your heart get diseases?" It's been at least once a day for the last week.


Yeah. Needless to say, we're trying to keep an eye on her now and make sure we're around when those things come on, to assuage fears and keep her from developing anxiety about these conditions. She's a little sponge and absorbs the underlying message (fear) used by these companies to get people to think they have diseases and then buy the cures for them. Still trying to figure out what we can do to limit/eliminate these ads, and yet still allow her to watch TV. I'm really hoping we can find a solution before it turns into anxiety for her.

post #17 of 18

My nearly 9 yo has a sore throat. No fever, mild congestion and a VERY sore throat. She was hysterical last night. Beside herself, claiming she couldn't breathe, wanting us to take her to the emergency room. I finally gave her some tylenol and let her watch TV at 3 am to get her mind off it. She was fine. Still a little sick, but there's no breathing problem. She told me today she was sure she had to have her tonsils out. 

post #18 of 18

maybe it's strep throat? my dd1 had it a while back- it was horrible cause it hurt to breathe, but she didn't actually HAVE breathing problems. otherwise, then yeah its probably hypochondria.

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