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Caption: Sheila Murphy
Sheila Murphy 

Living with Hypochondria: The Real Costs of Imagined Illness

From: Karen Brown
Length: 28:56

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Woody Allen made hypochondria famous as a source of self-deprecating humor, but this clinical condition can be seriously debilitating for individuals and their families -- and a significant concern for those who are trying to keep healthcare costs down. Through individual stories, observations from doctors and psychiatrists, and a round-up of research, this half-hour documentary looks into the causes, impact, and possible treatment of hypochondria.

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Our health is all over the news these days: whether it’s the contentious debate on american health reform, the latest study on cell phones and cancer, or advances in genetic testing that can pinpoint who’s at risk for which disease.

This focus on health care motivates some people to eat right, exercise, and stay in good medical shape. But others grow to fear everything that could possibly go wrong with their body. And in some cases, they imagine that it already has.

In this half-hour, an in depth look at “Living with Hypochondria: The Real Costs of Imagined Illness” — a radio documentary, written and produced by Karen Brown.

Piece Description

Our health is all over the news these days: whether it’s the contentious debate on american health reform, the latest study on cell phones and cancer, or advances in genetic testing that can pinpoint who’s at risk for which disease.

This focus on health care motivates some people to eat right, exercise, and stay in good medical shape. But others grow to fear everything that could possibly go wrong with their body. And in some cases, they imagine that it already has.

In this half-hour, an in depth look at “Living with Hypochondria: The Real Costs of Imagined Illness” — a radio documentary, written and produced by Karen Brown.

Broadcast History

first aired on WFCR, Amherst, MA on July 1, 2011

Transcript

Piece Audio Version

OPENING VOX/introduction
(SHELBY) i was one of those kids, whatever we learned about in health class, i developed symptoms of it. 0:01:43.0
GENE: any small symptom that i had, i would actually manage to turn it larger through my mind. … 0:04:30.5
SHEILA: whenever i don't feel a little bit well, i start thinking there's something really wrong, .
(shelby) ... or if i had a headache, it was automatically a tumor.0:01:46.5 (Shelby)
(LEVY) …. i could be afflicted with some parasite that's limited to the southern part of Uganda...0:45:38.0 or a tumor that was described in the literature in 1932 and not heard of since.0:45:44.5
(SHIELA) i remember one day listening to the radio and there was a show about heart disease and heart attacks, and .... it just freaked me out
(GENE) you're laughing at the fact that OK, this is probably nothing, but deep in your heart, you think it's probably somet...
Read the full transcript

with host introduction Version

HOST:
From New England Public Radio News, I'm Susan Kaplan.

OUR HEALTH IS ALL OVER THE NEWS THESE DAYS: WHETHER IT'S THE CONTENTIOUS DEBATE ON AMERICAN HEALTH REFORM, THE LATEST STUDY ON CELL PHONES AND CANCER, OR ADVANCES IN GENETIC TESTING THAT CAN PINPOINT WHO'S AT RISK FOR WHICH DISEASE.
THIS FOCUS ON HEALTH CARE MOTIVATES SOME PEOPLE TO EAT RIGHT, EXERCISE, AND STAY IN GOOD MEDICAL SHAPE. BUT OTHERS GROW TO FEAR EVERYTHING THAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG WITH THEIR BODY. AND IN SOME CASES, THEY IMAGINE THAT IT ALREADY HAS.
IN THE NEXT HALF HOUR, AN IN DEPTH LOOK AT "LIVING WITH HYPOCHONDRIA: THE REAL COSTS OF IMAGINED ILLNESS" -- A RADIO DOCUMENTARY, WRITTEN AND PRODUCED BY KAREN BROWN....

OPENING VOX/introduction
(SHELBY) i was one of those kids, whatever we learned about in health class, i developed symptoms of it. 0:01:43.0
GENE: any small symptom that i had, i would actually...
Read the full transcript

Timing and Cues

Piece Audio Version

26:45 -- needs separate host introduction, if desired -- which should take it to 27:30. No internal breaks. Host outtro included.

with host introduction Version

29:00, includes host introduction and outtro, plus ending music bed of about 1:45.

Intro and Outro

INTRO:

OUR HEALTH IS ALL OVER THE NEWS THESE DAYS: WHETHER IT'S THE CONTENTIOUS DEBATE ON AMERICAN HEALTH REFORM, THE LATEST STUDY ON CELL PHONES AND CANCER, OR ADVANCES IN GENETIC TESTING THAT CAN PINPOINT WHO'S AT RISK FOR WHICH DISEASE.
THIS FOCUS ON HEALTH CARE MOTIVATES SOME PEOPLE TO EAT RIGHT, EXERCISE, AND STAY IN GOOD MEDICAL SHAPE. BUT OTHERS GROW TO FEAR EVERYTHING THAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG WITH THEIR BODY. AND IN SOME CASES, THEY IMAGINE THAT IT ALREADY HAS.
IN THE NEXT HALF HOUR, AN IN DEPTH LOOK AT "LIVING WITH HYPOCHONDRIA: THE REAL COSTS OF IMAGINED ILLNESS" -- A RADIO DOCUMENTARY, WRITTEN AND PRODUCED BY KAREN BROWN....

OUTRO:

contained in piece

Musical Works

Title Artist Album Label Year Length
Various John Townsend :00

Additional Credits

editing by Fred Bever and Claire Schoen

Related Website

www.wfcr.org/features/hypochondria.php