The psychology of googling your symptoms

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Have you ever tried to google a particular ailment you might have before seeing a doctor or getting over-the-counter drugs? Why do I even ask? Of course you have! With the wealth of information on the internet, it is naturally the first place we go to when in need.

Ideally, we do this because we want to know what is happening to us from ‘experts’ and have a little control over it. Ironically, googling symptoms is one the fastest routes to depression and anxiety. You could be having a stress-related headache, yet you’ll find your symptoms in brain-tumor cancer. The chance of you reading that you have a rare, advanced disease is very high.

This happens because the writers (doctors) try to fit in every one when writing about a particular ailment, but every person is different and we have varying degrees of the same ailment.

If you are a hypochondriac, surfing the internet about any disease is going to be a nightmare for you. People who have experienced the extreme part of a sickness often feel the need to share; making others feel like that what they have experienced is common, rather than the exception.

While I cannot advise that you stay completely away from the internet so you don’t freak out or misdiagnose yourself, I can help you with few tips to stay guided.

  1. Use trusted sites. Avoid chatrooms
  2. Use an online doctor you could talk to one-on-one
  3. Seek second opinions. If you feel you should be having a brain tumor because of what you read online, but your doctor just thinks it’s stress, you can seek the opinion of another doctor to be sure you just need rest.

Above all, seeing your doctor first is the best solution

We at Health Estimates Chicago care about your health. Be careful what you google.



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