Do you suffer from Cyberchondria? The obsession to search for symptoms and diseases in Dr Google

Modern life has given us many virtues, and from the hand of search engines like Google we have learned to make life easierhowever, have also appeared new diseases or disorders resulting from its use. One of them is known as cyberchondria and that it is neither more nor less than the medically unfounded assumption that one suffers from diseases based on common symptomatology, but based on review of search results and online literature.

There are even those they distrust doctors because they do not agree with what appears in Google.

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If you are one of those people who google symptoms and spend part of the day browsing websites and forums, reading scary stories that convince you that you are seriously ill, then this article is going to help you a lot.

These are the searches for diseases in the last year on google

Do you suffer from Cyberchondria? The obsession with searching symptoms and diseases on Google

The term «cyberchondria» describes the anxiety we experience as result of excessive web searches on symptoms or diseases. In fact, in the first study carried out in this regard, the cyberchondria What an unsubstantiated scale of concerns about common symptoms, based on review of search results and literature on the web

Is not a diagnosis officialbut it’s an obvious play on the word «hypochondria«, now known like anxiety by health professionals. And what happens is that this behavior is bad and can become obsessive when worrying about health through online means.

Some argue that cyberchondria it’s just a modern form of health anxiety. But studies show that even People who don’t normally care about their health can see their worries spiraling after doing an initial web search.

How to define Cyberchondria?

Cyberchondria is when the search for symptoms and diseases is:

  • Excessive: search for too long or too often
  • Difficult to control: has difficulty controlling, stopping, or avoiding searching
  • Distressing: causes a lot of distress, anxiety, or fear
  • Harmful: It has an impact on your daily life.

Fortunately there is a solution

What about the Cyberchondria?

With the rise of the Internet and free information at our fingertips, worrying about our health is just a click away.

According to him Pew Research Centerthe 72 percent of internet users surveyed have searched for health information online in the past year, and the 35 percent of American adults they’ve tried self-diagnose a medical condition via Internet. Another study found that the 10 percent of the participants felt anxiety and fear about the medical information they find online.

To begin with, there are many valid reasons to worry about our health:

1. The stories we heard: Now that we spend our days on social media, it’s no wonder we found out that our friend’s distant cousin had cancer and died, a story that we normally wouldn’t know if we weren’t so connected.

two. Negativity bias: One of the reasons we remember and notice the negatives more than the positives is evolutionary and out of our control. Our brains are simply built with a heightened sensitivity to unpleasant news. for survival purposes.

3. Free misinformation: According to an article in The New York Times Magazinesome sites that appear when you search for a symptom are likely to show you the worst case scenario and scare you for their financial gains.

Four. We live in a world that is possibly more stressful: weaker social ties, increased focus on goals and high expectations we set for ourselves, and social media-induced comparison, they can make life more stressful.

Tips for an attack cyberchondriac

1. Don’t be embarrassed: Your fears come from somewhere too deep and too old to acknowledge. The best way to get out of shame is Talk to a trusted friend or someone who has a similar tendency to worry.

2. Question your beliefs: Gives a complete turn to the situation. This involves questioning the belief that stresses you, turning it on its head and evidence why it is not true.

3. Focus on your body: breath deeply. Feel your emotions. Sometimes a guided meditation helps (there are many different types, so if one doesn’t work, try another).

4. Talk about your fears with your primary care doctor: Telling them about your tendency to worry, and making sure you stay in touch with them, can help ease the pain. fears and jumping to conclusions.

5. Remember that it’s not just you: the environment in which we live and online disinformation are designed to scare us.

After the episode, re-examine the situation and see what caused the fear. Sometimes anxiety is unrelated to health and may be related to with work.