Consider this; the Internet is a pure informational gold mind! You can look up practically anything and get immediate gratification to satisfy curiosities or calm suspicions. But what if you have an abnormal anxiety regarding your health? Commonly known as Hypochondriasis or Hypochondria, the Internet has paved the way for its twenty-first century counterpart - Cyberchondria!
The availability of health information plastered all over the Internet has made it easier for those who worry over illnesses or tend to exaggerate symptoms to justify their fears. A common headache now becomes a brain tumor or a simple upset stomach becomes un-curable cancer! Hypochondria and Cyberchondria are devastating obsessions causing obvious distress to those who suffer from it.
These people are not fakers or malingerers – they honestly believe they suffer from life-threatening diseases or disorders! The trouble starts with the amount of information found on the Net, which provides no scientific validity! Cyberchondriacs view any source of information, from old wives tales to comments from a friend or relative to articles posted on the Internet by complete strangers with no medical background as legitimate, regardless of the lack of medical proof. Frequently a symptom of an anxiety disorder or depression, anyone can be stricken with Cyberchondrosis.
Normally it develops in the twenties or thirties and often follows the illness of a close family member or friend however, an illness in the family is not a prerequisite. This obsession of serious medical problems begins to interfere with daily routines. And the quest for justification cost millions in unnecessary medical tests and treatments every year! This disorder causes its sufferers to become obsessively aware of common sensations most people often ignore. These complaints become a central part of their personalities, as he/she honestly believes they are always a serious threat to their overall well-being. Cyberchondriacs tend to concentrate on hard-to-diagnose, vague symptoms, such as fatigue, general muscle aches and strange physical sensations. And surfing the Net provides validation, especially when his/her primary physician may dismiss worries or simply not supply a diagnosis that soothes the anxiety.
We've told you before.. Google Health just ain't, well, good for your health.