by Rosner

Going through school as a nerd, I was often told by friends and teachers, "You'd be better off if you didn't think all the time." I've never found it possible to stop myself from thinking obsessively, and I wonder if this causes physical stress.

At the risk of grossing you out, let me list some of the physiological complaints I have which I suspect might be associated with my habits of thinking.

1.  Hair loss in excess of what I'd lose for all the other reasons people lose hair. (Are academicians called eggheads because they generally have less hair?) Actually, I'm not doing so bad hairwise. I just have to avoid intense illumination, as do vampires.

2.  Self-inflicted irritation when tired. When I become sleepy, I habitually attempt to maintain alertness by attacking myself, biting my iiails, searching for ingrown hairs and dandruff, etc. Yuck.

3.  Stress-related physical glitches, including chest tightness and enlarged lymph nodes in neck. Lowered pain tolerance and sensitivity to cold when agitated.

4.  Periods of spaciness and absent-mindedness following sessions of sustained concentration.

Do y'all have any physiological conditions you associate with excessive use of your brains? Or do you find that mental exercise leads to physical health and that I'm a hypochondriac? Share your thoughts with us. (Just don't hurt yourself doing it.)