Are you a Cyberchondriac?

The fountain of information that can be found on the internet it would appear that almost anyone be a self-diagnosing doctor.

Every time you feel a twinge here or an ache there do you input your symptoms into the search engine of choice then wait for the results listing the possible illnesses you could have and the suggested treatments. By the end of it all you come away deciding you have the plague when all it is, is a good old fashioned cold. Nothing a few paracetamols and sleep won’t cure. Will you listen, no, the internet has said it is something more serious so the doctor needs to check you over thoroughly and have you tested to ensure that in fact you do not have a disease that can only be caught from a tropical environment when the furthest you’ve been is Devon.

If this is the case you could be a cyberchondriac; a person who compulsively searches the Internet for information about particular real or imagined symptoms of illness

I have searched symptoms of aches and pains online to see what could possibly be the cause and in some cases the answers were simple and not something to be concerned with. However there have been times when I have researched symptoms and completely scared myself into thinking I have somehow shortened my lifespan!

Joking aside cyberchondria is nothing new and has been around for about a decade. For some it can alleviate their anxiety for others turning to the internet for medical advice can cause more anxiety and stress.  This isn’t to say the internet doesn’t have its uses. Whilst researching anything it is a good idea to look at the sources, are they reputable. How old is the information and is it still relevant today.

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