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A Body Made of Glass review: A very personal history of hypochondria

Millions of people experience symptoms many doctors dismiss as imaginary, but why? Caroline Crampton's moving first-person account is very revealing

By Elle Hunt

17 April 2024

Drug dependency. A hand reaches into a medicine cabinet in this abstract view of drug addiction. Psychedelic colours and a blurring of the image gives a hallucinogenic effect.

The distinction between “real” and imagined illness is under debate


A Body Made of Glass
Caroline Crampton (Granta)

Picture someone with hypochondria. It may be a friend who keeps an inventory of symptoms and ailments, is never without a doctor’s appointment and turns up armed with the latest from Google. Some doctors label such people disparagingly as the “worried well”, those whose demand on medical services is seen to outweigh their need.

But a new book challenges that derogatory and outdated view of hypochondria – now more commonly known as health…

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