During one of his regular and normally entirely trivial visits to his GP, Dave Smith, 38, was found to have a genuine set of symptoms indicative of a serious illness requiring immediate treatment.
"I don't understand" said Mr Smith - "I was convinced I had a bad case of hypochondria. I mean, I've been coming once or twice a week to see Dr Todd with a whole range of phantom symptoms for years; you know, lumps that don't exist, feelings of numbness that quickly pass, that sort of thing."
He went on "It was obvious to anyone with medical training that I'm a chronic hypochondriac with a tendency to panic and overreact to the least little thing. I read so many things on the internet about symptoms that I could keep a whole hospital pretty much needlessly employed for weeks checking me out for things which are self-evidently nonsense. So imagine my surprise when for once Dr Todd didn't shout at me for wasting his time and instead frowned and said: "Mr Smith, this is definitely something to worry about.""
"I got quite annoyed - I thought I was fit as a fiddle. How am I going to keep up with all the latest health scare stories on the internet now that I have to go into hospital? This sucks - I want another diagnosis from someone who has less patience for timewasters like me".
Dr Todd commented "Like the old saying goes, just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean you're not being followed. Or in Mr Smith's case, dying".