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Well Enough Alone: A Cultural History of My Hypochondria [NOOK Book]

Overview

The hilarious first-person account of life as a hypochondriac-from the critically acclaimed author of Devil in the Details.

Jennifer Traig does not suffer from lupus, multiple sclerosis, Crohn's Disease, or muscular dystrophy. Nor does she have SUDS, the mysterious disorder that claims healthy young Asian men in their sleep. What she does have is hypochondria. In Well Enough Alone, Traig provides an uproariously funny inquiry into her ailment,...
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Well Enough Alone: A Cultural History of My Hypochondria

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Overview

The hilarious first-person account of life as a hypochondriac-from the critically acclaimed author of Devil in the Details.

Jennifer Traig does not suffer from lupus, multiple sclerosis, Crohn's Disease, or muscular dystrophy. Nor does she have SUDS, the mysterious disorder that claims healthy young Asian men in their sleep. What she does have is hypochondria. In Well Enough Alone, Traig provides an uproariously funny inquiry into her ailment, as well as a well-researched history of the disorder. While chronicling her life as a hypochondriac and the minor conditions that helped to fuel her persistent self-diagnosis, she offers a literary tour of the disorder's past and present. And by the end, her journey leaves her more knowledgeable, a little less neurotic, and-one might say-healthier.


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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Blending an eclectic mish-mash of medical history with hilarious anecdotes about her own unsavory illnesses, real or imagined, Traig (Devil in the Details) creates a self-poking, sympathetic memoir. Essentially, these are essays about her various "somatoform disorders," a condition, as she describes, "in which you translate stress, or unhappiness, or too much free time, into actual physical symptoms." Coming to terms with a body she always hated, the author, who is the daughter of a doctor, has grown comfortable diagnosing her own aches and pains, thanks especially to the Internet, and delves merrily into a chronological account of her sufferings from childhood to adulthood: food poisoning at Jewish summer camp, anorexia, compulsive obsessive disorder, "essential tremor," eczema, irritable bowel syndrome, bad teeth. Occasionally, she offers tongue-and-cheek history, when hypochondria was blamed on an excess of black bile, called the "Hebraic debility." Traig can write winningly about the 10-pound weight of her oversized breasts or home stool collection and still be charmingly witty. She savors the attention that being sick accords her, though the cure-all Prozac has robbed her of her complaints and granted her the unthinkable: health and happiness. (July)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781440639326
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 7/3/2008
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 655,184
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Jennifer Traig is the author of Devil in the Details: Scenes from an Obsessive Girlhood and a frequent contributor to The Forward and McSweeney’s. She holds a Ph.D. in Literature and resides in Berkeley, California.
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Table of Contents

1 Well Enough Alone 1

2 Hypochondria: The Miniseries 19

3 Playing Dead 29

4 Anatomically Correct 37

5 Conversion Disorder 53

6 Socialized Medicine 65

7 Occupational Therapy 77

8 Textbook Case 87

9 The Best of Everything 97

10 Shake It Up 117

11 The Talking Cure 137

12 Wisdom Teeth 151

13 Flesh And Blood 169

14 Ta-Ta 187

15 Calculus 205

16 Gut Reaction 215

17 End Note 227

Appendix 231

Acknowledgments 257

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2012

    Loved this book!!!

    Friggin hilarious!! The author goes through the years of her life with humility, grace, and humor without a trace of self pity. Loved this!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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