“Your brain is quick to learn, I feel anxious, I know, I’ll check Google for some information, as that sometimes calms me down.
Googling your symptoms is absolutely fine, if you get the answers you were seeking and leave it at that. However, it is not fine, if it is something that you habitually do when you are feeling anxious.
Do you wait for the symptoms to become more prominent or do you immediately start taking precautions? If you are like us, you probably Google your symptoms on the web.
Health information on the Internet is endless. Some of this information is pretty scary, especially if you don’t understand everything that’s being described.
For example, if you search for ‘headache’, you are most likely going to find around 20 results, each scarier than the other. There are chances that your headache might also be diagnosed as a tumour and your perpetual fatigue could be a sign of an underlying disease including cancer.
In addition to incorrect diagnoses, self-diagnosing your symptoms using Google can actually mask a potentially dangerous disease. So, apart from the sketchy and inaccurate diagnosis of innumerable medical websites on the internet, it is the risk of not being able to identify a disease correctly that is worse.
So, other than incorrectly diagnosing ourselves, which is risk enough, what is the problem with regularly visiting Dr Google?
Internet is an amazing technology and we use it regularly to search for things we want to know. Off late it has become the only source of information to people, any doubt about anything, just google it. Also recently there are discussions that Dr Google can help with accurate medical diagnosis.
Searching for medical terms in internet causes significant health related anxiety. This has become a significant problem among IT professionals.
Few people start to experience the symptoms which they read and start believing that they have developed a serious illness. To overcome this anxiety they try to research about their condition more and it complicates things further.
This anxiety leads to multiple consultations and too many unnecessary investigations and it hampers the quality of life of the individual and family.
1. Identify if you have a tendency to worry about your health.
2. Understand that it is normal to have many sensations in the body.
3. Stop searching for medical terms on internet.
4. Do not do repeated consultations to look for medical problems.
5. Practice relaxation and breathing exercises.
6. Cognitive behavioural therapy can help you to minimize health anxiety.
7. Stop scaring yourself –Anxiety attacks are mostly caused by being afraid. So being afraid of anxiety attacks is one of the most common reasons why anxiety attacks sustain…and why people develop Panic Attack Disorder. Since fear is the most common reason why anxiety attacks occur and persist, refusing to scare yourself removes the main reason anxiety attacks occur.
8. Relax your body – Relaxing the body shuts off the stress response since the body can’t go in both (arousal/relaxed) directions at the same time. The more relaxed you make your body, the faster the body uses up and expels stress hormones, which will bring an end to the feelings associated with an active stress response.
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