If You Spend Too Much Time Searching for Symptoms Online, You Might Be a Cyberchondriac (and That’s Not Good)
Anxiety reflected as cyberchondria
Nowadays, doctors are dealing with patients who claim to have a brain tumor just because they have a headache. The cause of this phenomenon is the self-diagnosis they make after researching signs, symptoms, and disorders online. Cyberchondria is a condition in which people make a self-diagnosis of diseases, in many cases, severe conditions, after conducting an online search that only follows their criteria. This increases their anxiety and makes the job of health care professionals more complicated.
The negative consequences of compulsive searches
Cyberchondria, like any other psychological disorder, has consequences that affect those who suffer from it. Some of the effects of conducting obsessive searches about diseases include the following:
How to cope with cyberchondria
As with hypochondria, or any other mental disorder, the patient’s treatment is psychological. Relatives and friends should help a patient understand that their body is actually healthy. Having family support and attending psychotherapy sessions are very effective methods to help someone face cyberchondria. Psychopharmacology can work as well since it facilitates the patient’s journey toward recovery in the most complex cases.
Remember that you should never make any diagnosis based solely on what you read on the internet. No website can replace a doctor’s appointment. If something worries you, don’t wait, and call your doctor. That is a much better scenario than living in constant stress and fear of a disease you don’t even have.
Do you know anyone that may suffer from cyberchondria? Have you ever googled some of your symptoms? Share your experience!