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A hypochondriac is a person who has a disease, not in the body but in the mind. He/she imagines or is rather convinced that he/she is suffering from a serious ailment, his days are numbered and all that.
He / She pours out his heart to the doctor and begs for 'treatment'.
The doctor carries out investigations and finds everything ok. But the 'patient' continues to labour under the delusion that there is something seriously wrong with him/her.
So lastly, the doctor 'agrees' with the 'patient' and prescribes what is known as a placebo. A lolly pop pill which has no effects or even side effects.
The 'patient' though is made to understand that this is the wonder drug that's gonna nurse him back to health.
In teaching learning situations too there are striking parallels. Any number of students whose only problem is that they think they have a problem. The problem is not there and yet it is there.
The student can write well, speak well and is probably into the habit of reading and also a good listener.
In spite of all the wealth, he / she still assumes that his language skills are no good. That he/she has no grasp of grammar or some is up against any other purely fictitious impediment.
The student is in serious need of counselling. (Placebo pill)
How the child acquired the ailment is not important. How to wean him/ her away from the mistaken notion of self is the real challenge. How to instill confidence in his abilities, to get him to understand the real worth of himself / herself is what the teacher ought to be looking at.
Once the penny drops, the student is never the same again.
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