This fear may be traced to both physical and social heredity. It is closelyassociated, as to its origin, with the causes of fear of Old Age and the fear of Death, because it leads oneclosely to the border of "terrible worlds" of which man knows not, but concerning which he has been taughtsome discomforting stories. The opinion is somewhat general, also, that certain unethical people engaged inthe business of "selling health" have had not a little to do with keeping alive the fear of ill health. In the main,man fears ill health because of the terrible pictures which have been planted in his mind of what may happen ifdeath should overtake him. He also fears it because of the economic toll which it may claim.
A reputable physician estimated that 75% of all people who visit physicians for professional service aresuffering with hypochondria (imaginary illness). It has beenshown most convincingly that the fear of disease,even where there is not the slightest cause for fear, oftenproduces the physical symptoms of the diseasefeared.
Powerful and mighty is the human mind! It builds or it destroys.
Playing upon this common weakness of fear of in health, dispensers of patent medicines have reaped fortunes.This form of imposition upon credulous humanity became so prevalent some twenty years ago that Colliers'Weekly Magazine conducted a bitter campaign against some of the worst offenders in the patent medicinebusiness.
During the "flu" epidemic which broke out during the world war, the mayor of New York City took drasticsteps to check the damage which people were doing themselves through their inherent fear of ill health.He called in the newspaper men and said to them, "Gentlemen, I feel it necessary to ask you not to publish anyscare headlines concerning the 'flu' epidemic. Unless you cooperate with me, we will have a situation whichwe cannot control." The newspapers quit publishing stories about the "flu," and within one month the epidemichad been successfully checked.
Through a series of experiments conducted some years ago, it was proved that people may be made ill bysuggestion. We conducted this experiment by causing three acquaintances to visit the "victims," each of whomasked the question, "What ails you? You look terribly ill." The first questioner usually provoked a grin, and anonchalant "Oh, nothing, I'm alright," from the victim. The second questioner usually was answered with thestatement, "I don't know exactly, but I do feel badly." The third questioner was usually met with the frankadmission that the victim was actually feeling ill.
Try this on an acquaintance if you doubt that it will make him uncomfortable, but do not carry the experimenttoo far. There is a certain religious sect whose members take vengeance upon their enemies by the "hexing"method. They call it "placing a spell" on the victim.
There is overwhelming evidence that disease sometimes begins in the form of negative thought impulse. Suchan impulse may be passed from one mind to another, by suggestion, or created by an individual in his ownmind.
A man who was blessed with more wisdom than this incident might indicate, once said "When anyone asks mehow I feel, I always want to answer by knocking him down."
Doctors send patients into new climates for their health, because a change of "mental attitude" is necessary.The seed of fear of ill health lives in every human mind. Worry, fear, discouragement, disappointment in loveand business affairs, cause this seed to germinate and grow. The recent business depression kept the doctors onthe run, because every form of negative thinking may cause ill health.
Disappointments in business and in love stand at the head of the list of causes of fear of ill health. A youngman suffered a disappointment in love which sent him to a hospital. For months he hovered between life anddeath. A specialist in suggestive therapeutics was called in. The specialist changed nurses, placing him incharge of a very charming young woman who began (by pre-arrangement with the doctor) to make love to himthe first day of her arrival on the job. Within three weeks the patient was discharged from the hospital, stillsuffering, but with an entirely different malady. HE WAS IN LOVE AGAIN. The remedy was a hoax, but thepatient and the nurse were later married. Both are in good health at the time of this writing.
SYMPTOMS OF THE FEAR OF ILL HEALTH
The symptoms of this almost universal fear are:
AUTO-SUGGESTION. The habit of negative use of self-suggestion by looking for, and expecting to find thesymptoms of all kinds of disease. "Enjoying" imaginary illness and speaking of it as being real. The habit oftrying all "fads" and "isms" recommended by others as having therapeutic value. Talking to others ofoperations, accidents and other forms of illness. Experimenting with diets, physical exercises, reducingsystems, without professional guidance. Trying home remedies, patent medicines and "quack" remedies.
HYPOCHONDRIA. The habit of talking of illness, concentrating the mind upon disease, and expecting itsappearance until a nervous break occurs. Nothing that comes in bottles can cure this condition. It is brought onby negative thinking and nothing but positive thought can affect a cure. Hypochondria, (a medical term forimaginary disease) is said to do as much damage on occasion, as the disease one fears might do. Most so calledcases of "nerves" come from imaginary illness.
EXERCISE. Fear of ill health often interferes with proper physical exercise, and results in overweight, bycausing one to avoid outdoor life.
SUSCEPTIBILITY. Fear of ill health breaks down Nature's body resistance, and creates a favorable conditionfor any form of disease one may contact.
The fear of ill health often is related to the fear of Poverty, especially in the case of the hypochondriac, whoconstantly worries about the possibility of having to pay doctor's bills, hospital bills, etc. This type of personspends much time preparing for sickness, talking about death, saving money for cemetery lots, and burialexpenses, etc.
SELF-CODDLING. The habit of making a bid for sympathy, using imaginary illness as the lure. (People oftenresort to this trick to avoid work). The habit of feigning illness to cover plain laziness, or to serve as an alibifor lack of ambition.
INTEMPERANCE. The habit of using alcohol or narcotics to destroy pains such as headaches, neuralgia, etc.,instead of eliminating the cause. The habit of reading about illness and worrying over the possibility of beingstricken by it. The habit of reading patent medicine advertisements.
这项恐惧可追溯到身体和社会的遗传特性。它的根源，则和恐惧年老和恐惧死亡的理由密切相关， 因为它会把人带到"恐怖世界"的边缘。人类对这个世界一无所知， 对它的认识只是一些令人不快的故事。同时， 一种相当普遍的看法认为，某些不道德的人，通过提醒人们对病痛的恐惧而从事"出售健康"的生意。
一位颇具声誉的内科医生估计， 在所有寻求医生专业服务的人当中，有7 5 %的人患的是忧郁症（即假想的疾病）。据可靠的事实显示，对于病痛的恐惧，即使毫无理由， 也经常会产生所害怕疾病的身体症状。人类的心理作用真是强大而有力！它既可以成事， 也可以败事。
o 负面的自我暗示。习惯于消极地利用自我暗示，总是寻找并预期找到各种疾病的症状。"沉湎于"想像中的疾病，还煞有介事地大加谈论。习惯于尝试他人推荐的" 时尚"和"学说"，认为这些东西有价值。与他人谈论手术、意外以及其他疾病形式。在没有专业指导下试验各种节食、健身运动和减肥计划。尝试家庭药方、专利药品和"江湖郎中"的药。
o 疏于运动。恐惧病痛常会使人懒于户外活动，使人缺乏适当的体育运动，从而导致体重过重。o 抵抗力差。恐惧疾病会破坏身体的自然抵抗力，并为各种可能的传染病创造合适的环境。恐惧疾病通常和恐惧贫穷有关系，尤其是在臆想的情况下，人会不断地担心可能要付的医疗费用。这种人会花很多时间作生病准备、谈论疾病、存钱买墓地和支付丧葬费等。