Feeling sick from imaginary germs

It isn’t always absurd. If a friend tells me she’s sick, and we just saw each other the day before, it makes some sense that I might worry I’ll get sick, too. Of course, what doesn’t make sense is when I immediately start feeling symptoms.

What makes less sense is when a friend mentions on Facebook that he’s sick and I start feeling sick, even though he lives 3000 miles away and we haven’t seen each other in a year.

It hasn’t always been this way, but somewhere along the lines, my anxiety about health issues snuck up on me and now I often feel sick at just the mention of illness.

Tonight was even worse: I felt sick as I listened to the narrator in the audio book I’m listening to describe feeling ill. She’s a fictitious character in a novel, and she probably isn’t even sick (or if she is, I’m guessing that it’s relevant to the plot in a very specific way, but I digress) and even those imaginary germs from a character in a novel got me feeling queasy.

It’s absurd. It makes no sense. But it happens all the time.

If anyone can explain this to me, I’d really appreciate it. Maybe if I understand it, I could learn to somehow avoid it!

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