Today when so much of information is available just at a click away, it gets very easy to search the web extensively for any health-related info. But, this online research for self-diagnosis may cost your mental and physical wellness. Yes, you read it right! Your online medical research may cause you an Internet-induced health anxiety called Cyberchondria.
Read here all about Cyberchondria and a few tips to deal with it.
What is Cyberchondria?
Suppose you have intermittent nosebleeds, and you sit in front of your computer
and search for the reasons. Although you won’t have the slightest chance of having leukemia, you may still find it as one of the reasons for such a diagnosis online. As a result, you may end up feeling anxious about your health thinking about so many inter-linked things. This worrisome condition is called Cyberchondria.
How can the Internet cause Cyberchondria?
The Internet is a mixed bag of good and bad, right and wrong, and true and false. “Dandelion root kills 98% of cancer cells in 48 hours?
”, was one of the most searched health care topics in 2016. What a huge cancer cure claim, ain’t it? Something that anybody with the ailment would want to try. However, the fact is that this blog mentions no medical evidence to support the treatment of cancer
with the dandelion root. This is why it is said not to make Google a ‘Dr. Google’! Be rational and choose to believe only the right information.
Who can develop Cyberchondria?
Any individual who has experienced an emotional trauma, seen the death of a loved one, or any of his close one has been afflicted with a serious illness, is more likely to suffer from Cyberchondria. Sometimes new mothers are also susceptible to develop this condition. Concerned for their newborns' wellbeing, they start looking online for every scrap of health information and tend to associate with any negative information. This may trigger anxiety and begin the worry cycle in them, thus resulting in this condition.
People with general anxiety and depression
are more likely to experience Cyberchondria. So if you get anxious by nature, then totally avoid finding any health-related information online.
How to deal with Cyberchondria
Since millennial cannot totally avoid the usage of computers and the Internet, one should choose to use it in the right way. The best way to handle your Internet-induced anxiety is to keep recalling the following:
- Google is not Dr. Google. It is not a substitute for real medical practitioners.
- Visit only trustworthy websites that give away reliable information.
- Discuss your health worries with a medical professional and not with a friend you met online.
- Do deep research before believing anything on the internet. Validate the information source, its credibility, and the message conveyed.
What are the Treatment Options for Cyberchondria?
Cyberchondria can transform from a phenomenon condition into a devastating obsession. If you are prone to an Internet-induced health anxiety, visit a healthcare professional. S/he could actually consider trying cognitive behavioral therapy to help you overcome the root-cause of your anxiety.
Last but not the least, keep in mind to take everything you read online with a pinch of salt! Maybe this is the reason it is called the ‘Web’- because the more you allow yourself to get carried away, the more you will get tangled in it like a ‘spider-web’ – causing unfounded health worries. Better give yourself time to switch-off to the real world and get the right answers to your queries from the real experts!