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Are You a Cyberchondriac?

When you cross a hypochondriac with the Internet you get a cyberchondriac.

Those of us prone to take on the various symptoms we hear or read about, are particularly vulnerable to thinking we have all those diseases we research on the web. The Internet is a useful tool, but there is a lot of information with little context provided, making it easy for the impressionable to jump to conclusions. In fact, in the year 2000, the American Medical Association (AMA) sent a press release asking patients to make a resolution not to go online and surf their symptoms, because so many people were concluding that they had MS or various cancers.

So, I am curious . . .


Join The Conversation
chynablue chynablue 9 years
I think it is a great idea for people to learn more about their symptoms and possible causes. Go to the doctor's office armed with knowledge instead of taking whatever antibiotic they throw your way. Just keep in mind that not everything you read is accurate, and you have to confirm your suspicions with diagnostic testing before assuming that you have any particular ailment.
frankie_said frankie_said 9 years
I'm addicted to surfing the internet!
brown_eyed_grrl brown_eyed_grrl 9 years
I look up symptoms all of the time, and I've correctly self-diagnosed (confirmed by my doctor since I can't write my own prescriptions). BUT, I'm waiting to get a biopsy, which I've been told is just precautionary and mostly likely will turn out to be nothing. So I went to the Internet to find out more, and I completely freaked out. I called the nurse back with all of these new questions, and she asked me if I was on the Internet. I confessed that I was, and she told me to get off of the Internet and to not look this stuff up anymore. She said I'll just read a lot of stuff that has nothing to do with my specific situation, and it will make me much more worried than I need to be since my test results were only slightly off. It's been hard to stay away from WebMD and the other sites, but I know I'll feel better if I just trust that this isn't a big deal, like the nurse told me.
ilanac13 ilanac13 9 years
i always go online to see what i could possibly have and then realize that what it's telling me is sooo vague and out there that's it's really no help at all..
sweetrae80 sweetrae80 9 years
I love the using the Internet to research, but I always find myself up looking up minor health ailments and then getting stressed out by how many horrible illnesses I could potentially have. That said, in the past I have found some valuable health info from the Internet.
millarci millarci 9 years
I'm so guilty of searching on Web MD. Ugh. It's awful. I have to stop.
MandyJoBo MandyJoBo 9 years
The internet has HELPED me find out things. I take offense when people assume that because I read it on the internet, I'm a cyberchondriac! I'm a reasonable person and I know when things make sense. I have helped my doctors by providing all of the information they need to know. I could practically just go in and tell them what prescription to give me.
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
I'm guilty of trying to diagnose myself via Web MD but after realizing a bunch of times I was waaaaaaaaaaaay off and freaking myself up I quit doing this...
freegracefrom freegracefrom 9 years
A few weeks ago, I woke up and had really bad vertigo. So bad I couldn't walk if I moved my head even slightly. It freaked me out, so of course, I checked the internet! I actually under-diagnosed myself as having some sort of passing malady that would eventually go away. But it turns out I had a sinus infection.
stone_soup stone_soup 9 years
Oh no! Not at all. I actually love the Internet. If anything, I'm an Internet addict.
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