What, me worry?

Cidu Bill on May 12th 2017

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Filed in Bill Bickel, CIDU, New Yorker, comics, humor | 26 responses so far

26 Responses to “What, me worry?”

  1. Folly May 12th 2017 at 01:14 am 1

    It’s triage for the ‘worried well.’ The worried well are healthy people who visit the doctor for various reasons, reassurance, hypochondria in some instances, etc.

  2. James Pollock May 12th 2017 at 01:16 am 2

    That makes sense. Next!

  3. Stan May 12th 2017 at 03:32 am 3

    Although I am certain that Folly got it in one, surely overly worried people who would go this far are not well. If they were, then psychologists/psychiatrists would be looking for new lines of work.

    OK, ok, got it, they are at general practitioner’s office, so they are really too physically ‘well’ to be there. The joke works. Yes, but still, they’re not well. This term is BS. Amirite?

  4. Stan May 12th 2017 at 04:05 am 4

    Ok, reassessing this, they may not be at a gp’s office. They could be in a psychologists/psychiatrists office to be treated for their condition. Still, this furthers my contention that this term is BS. They’re not well.

    I’m spending too much time on this, I think. I’m comment ill.

  5. Kilby May 12th 2017 at 04:12 am 5

    It may not fit into the New Yorker’s style guidelines, but I think some punctuation or font changes might have made that caption easier to parse. Something like this:

    OK. Which one of you “worried well” is the most worried?

  6. Olivier May 12th 2017 at 04:17 am 6

    Stan @4 : so, does that make you a worrywart or a worryguts ? ;)

  7. James Pollock May 12th 2017 at 08:46 am 7

    “this furthers my contention that this term is BS.”

    And now for this responsible opposing comment.
    One of the things that some doctors face is that some people will come to see them even though they are not in any way sick. They do this because they are lonely, and just want someone to talk to. This creates an ethical dilemma… they take up time, often quite a bit of it, but they aren’t really sick, so billing them for medical services feels wrong. Worse yet, some of them will NOT make an appointment to see a GP, they’ll show up in an ER, where they really may be displacing someone who actually needs help.

  8. Ian D Osmond May 12th 2017 at 08:52 am 8

    It’s not that the “worried well” don’t have problems. It’s that the problems they have aren’t actually ones that doctors can really deal with. They’re problems of insecurity, loneliness, general ennui and malaise — problems of the soul, and of society, not of the body. They’re real, and they’re important, but we just aren’t given any tools to know what the appropriate ways to deal with them are.

  9. Mitch4 May 12th 2017 at 09:16 am 9

    If you don’t much like this cartoon, blame the editor who accepted it, not just the artist who… oh excuse me.

  10. Ted from Ft. Laud May 12th 2017 at 09:44 am 10

    Mitch4 - I considered it possible that this cartoon was from before Mankoff’s tenure, but no - it’s from 2013. I think we have a case where the cartoonist has managed to very closely match the editor’s taste…

  11. Mitch4 May 12th 2017 at 11:06 am 11

    Thanks for checking, Ted. I had a background doubt but avoided dealing with it.

  12. Kilby May 12th 2017 at 11:15 am 12

    Just in case poor Bill is still wondering whether anyone noticed his clever caption, I think it’s time to mention Alfred E. Neuman.

  13. James Schend May 12th 2017 at 11:28 am 13

    I’ve never heard the term “worried well” before, but now that I have it all makes sense.

  14. Mark M May 12th 2017 at 11:33 am 14

    JP @7 - I don’t want to speak for Stan, but I think that his point was that if one goes to the doctor because of loneliness and no physical problems, he or she is still not well. There are surely more logical avenues for dealing with it.

  15. James Pollock May 12th 2017 at 12:30 pm 15

    “I don’t want to speak for Stan”
    And yet you did. Is someone making you type? Hit the spacebar once between sentences for yes, twice for no…

    (but more seriously)
    “I think that his point was that if one goes to the doctor because of loneliness and no physical problems, he or she is still not well.”
    That would be a redefinition of “wellness”.
    I read it as “someone who is anxious enough to go to a doctor over symptoms that don’t exist or don’t represent illness (i.e., they are well physically) has an anxiety disorder (they are not well mentally). However, loneliness is not an illness/disorder. Wanting to talk to someone is not contraindicative of wellness.

  16. Treesong May 12th 2017 at 04:13 pm 16

    “Worried well” gets over 150,000 raw Google hits. It’s a real phenomenon; ‘An estimated one in four physician appointments is taken by a healthy person.’ Physically healthy, anyway. (How many of those are routine checkups, though?) It needs a name, and ‘worried well’ is what we’ve got, inaccurate or not.

  17. James Pollock May 12th 2017 at 04:44 pm 17

    “(How many of those are routine checkups, though?)”

    Presumably “well baby” pediatrician visits are counted differently, as well.

  18. Stan May 12th 2017 at 08:49 pm 18

    “It needs a name, and ‘worried well’ is what we’ve got, inaccurate or not.”

    Yea, I see it this way too. But I think JP makes a good point, and he’s probably right that loneliness could be one of the reasons people go to the doctor’s office or ERs rather than anxiety disorder or other mental conditions. But I think there is a better name than ‘worried well’ in these cases: lonely.

  19. Big Chief May 12th 2017 at 10:36 pm 19

    I would propose that reading a certain amount of ads and articles about this or that condition, or watching the endless ads on tv for endless supposedly life-altering conditions, day after day, night after night, could very easily turn a normal human into a raving hypochondriac. I have always understood this to be the underlying dynamic behind the condition that doctors call the Worried Well.

  20. James Pollock May 13th 2017 at 03:40 am 20

    “Ask your doctor if (insert brand name drug) is right for you.”

  21. mitch4 May 13th 2017 at 08:01 am 21

    Speaking of Alfred E. Neuman, do you suppose his dad’s announcement of plans to retire from public life will have consequences for Prince Charles?

  22. Mark in Boston May 13th 2017 at 07:32 pm 22

    Dear Sirs No it isn’t a bit—not the least little bit like me. So jolly well stow it! See! Charles. P.

  23. Stan May 14th 2017 at 08:06 pm 23

    “could very easily turn a normal human into a raving hypochondriac.”

    Yea, that’s a great answer! Stillllll….we are all subjected to those ads on a daily basis, but only a certain proportion of the population is moved to actually seek a doctor’s advice. We don’t all do it. Would those people who are pushed into advert-induced hypochondria have some kind of predisposition to the influence of others? And if so, would that be considered a mild sort of mental illness? That is…not ‘well’? Could this mild form of paranoia be considered an illness? Where do we draw the line?

    This is going to keep me up at nights.

  24. James Pollock May 14th 2017 at 08:24 pm 24

    “we are all subjected to those ads on a daily basis, but only a certain proportion of the population is moved to actually seek a doctor’s advice.”

    The drugs that treat symptoms I don’t have don’t motivate me very much. Some treatments are for conditions that don’t really ever go away, so someone who suffers from those conditions could be considered “not well”. But some things do come and go, and a treatment that could alleviate the next bout might cause someone who doesn’t have that problem right now, to nevertheless go see a doctor to see if their future suffering can be treated differently by (insert new drug name).

    So… some people, who are well, are motivated to seek medical advice about new treatments because the new treatments are advertised. Doesn’t make them all mentally-ill.

    “This is going to keep me up at nights.”
    Try new Snoozitol (TM). The drug for people who spend so much time worrying about what other people are worrying about, they have difficulty sleeping.

  25. Stan May 14th 2017 at 08:49 pm 25

    “that could alleviate the next bout might cause someone who doesn’t have that problem right now”

    …but…then they are not well to start with. If these people are prone to contracting certain conditions, then isn’t that a condition in itself? Just because it’s just not a problem for the moment doesn’t mean that those people aren’t justified in seeing a doctor if they’ve heard about a better treatment for something that is likely to return owing to their predisposition.

    “Try new Snoozitol (TM).”

    I’ll speak to my doctor about it.

  26. Meryl A May 16th 2017 at 02:39 am 26

    mitch4 (21) - His mom’s “retirement will be the bigger problem” - have you seen “Charles III”?

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