We're all guilty of it. If we fear some issue that’s lingered in our bodies for longer than a couple of days, a swift search on Doctor Google brings up a million different results, and most of them life-threatening. But when we rely on Google to diagnose our problems, this becomes a very dangerous cycle. But why is this and what can we do to get out of this problem that so many of us fall prey to?
The Issue Of Convenience
It's as simple as this really, it's quicker for us to type a few words rather than go to our local doctors, sit around and wait for a shred of their spare time, only to find that the problem is not solved, and the issue persists. With something like chronic pain, it can be very frustrating when a medical professional has to refer you for further tests. In the meantime this only compounds the anxieties. It's unsurprising that we go on the internet to see what the problem is. But this is no replacement for a medical professional.
Being Scared To Speak To A Real Doctor
There is a term for people who continually search for their symptoms online and believe that they're suffering from the results that pop up. Cyberchondria is incredibly common. As the ease of access to Doctor Google means we don't have to go to the doctor ever again, this can result in us moving away from the advice of a medical professional, and for the many people out there that consider themselves proud of the fact they've never been to a doctor, it gives them more reason to search for their symptoms online, and even those numerous cases where people work with a medical malpractice attorney due to the various mistakes made in hospitals, this is, again, hardly a surprise people avoid the doctor entirely.
Why We Need To Keep Our Perspective
But while we're all continually relying on Doctor Google to provide the real answer, the fact is, we've got to nip this in the bud. We've got to keep our perspective of events. Because after all, it's unlikely we’re suffering from a rare medical condition. The increase of people who went to the doctor believing they had ALS after the ice bucket challenge highlights just how much cyberchondria there is in the world. Instead, what you can do, if you believe yourself to have an illness, is to make a note of all the symptoms, and show to your doctor what this is pointing towards. The doctor can then order tests which will confirm or deny your suspicions.
Self-diagnosis through Doctor Google is convenient, yet dangerous. It leads us down a path of anxiety, where we will end up afraid to go out and do anything. While hypochondriacs are suffering from a debilitating mental health condition, nowadays, with the ease of access to information, cyberchondria isn't far behind. After all, we all have access to a phone with millions of web pages. So the next time you feel you have some problem that won't go away, do yourself a favor and go to a doctor.
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