Sometimes ignorance is bliss. And if you’re not already familiar with conditions like Dracunculiasis (Guinea Worm Disease), Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva (Stone Man Disease), or Hypertrichosis (Human Werewolf Syndrome), it’s probably best you remain in the dark. These are just a few of the syndromes and diseases featured in “Hypochondriac’s Handbook,” a book filled with twenty-nine of the rarest, most disquieting ailments known to man.
Each anxiety-inducing chapter contains a description of the illness in question, along with its causes and symptoms, as well as treatments, prognosis, prevalence, and how to avoid it. Each section also features a sidebar, with cheeky positives that can be gleaned from experiencing the named condition.
As a humor book, “Hypochondriac’s Handbook” doesn’t quite hit the mark, which isn’t surprising, considering how difficult it is to make conditions like Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome, necrotizing fasciitis, and antibiotic-resistant infections amusing and fun. But even if it doesn’t make you laugh, “Hypochondriac’s Handbook” will no doubt inspire you to wash your hands.