By: Ziad Amin
When was the last time you arrived to your doctor’s appointment prepared with a list of possible reasons for your ailment?
Probably never, like….never.
So why let Google tell you that you’re going to die in a matter of days when you can simply book a doctor’s appointment?
Can Googling Symptoms Cause Anxiety?
While you’re surfing online you might be curious to google the symptoms you’ve been having for a couple of days, but the results might not be so pleasing and kind of vague. This can cause serious anxiety, especially for people who are already struggling with ‘Cyberchondria’.
What is Cyberchondria?
Cyberchondria is “the unfounded escalation of concerns about common symptomology based on review of search results and literature online”*. And according to many types of research, millions suffer from this type of anxiety all around the world.
Can Anyone Publish Online Content?
Yes of course! when you google symptoms, search engines try to pair results that match the search terms used. Your search results may turn up a medical site that provides valuable information, but it can also turn up a Wikipedia article. Most of these sources are inaccurate and not published by a medical professional with enough credentials or experience to offer advice.
Googling Symptoms Costs Patients More Money
Googling symptoms might cause anxiety or Hypochondria, which is a condition in which a person is excessively and unduly worried about having a serious illness. Hypochondriacs aren’t faking their anxiety. They are not attention seeking drama queens; they are just distressed about their medical condition. Cause guess what? Google just told them they have cancer instead of the flu, so funny right? This often leads to unnecessary rushed trips to urgent care, and ends up costing patients and the health care industry millions of dollars each year in uncertain medical tests and treatments.
Unlike food intolerances and zodiac signs, googling symptoms might get you in a whole endless rollercoaster. And trust us you don’t wanna take a ride.