SALTY | The Dangers of Self-Diagnosis
Why you shouldn't Google your ailments and symptoms
Story & Photo by Janerni Mohan
Having a sore throat? A runny nose? Does it seem like your entire world is spinning around? Well, if you feel this way, the last thing you would want to do is Google these symptoms. Because, once you do, there is no return.
Google - your one-stop solution to almost every problem, is probably not the best option when it comes to diagnosing your symptoms. Why? Well for one, the search result will probably present you with the worst scenario you could ever imagine.
This is known as a cyberchondria, the activity of compulsively researching about medical symptoms that could result in an inaccurate diagnosis by the individual.
Though it is a lot more convenient to research your symptoms online than to actually seek professional advice, self-diagnosis could have grave consequences. Here are some things to consider before you jump to conclusions about your illness.
Firstly, when you research your symptoms, you may reach a point where you assume that you are aware of what is wrong with your health or you may convince yourself that you are suffering from a particular illness. Under the influence of your research, you may risk the chances of misdirecting the clinician or yourself.
Secondly, if self-diagnosis becomes a habit, it could deter you from identifying a pre-existing medical condition. When you've come to a conclusion about what it is wrong with your health, you may not feel the need to get medical assistance. Avoiding professional advice and not paying proper attention to your symptoms places yourself in the danger of missing a medical disease.
Lastly, another repercussion of self-diagnosis is that you may overthink the problem in your health. You may be under the impression that you are suffering from a condition that may not actually exist. Therefore, your health is inevitably worsened as a result of more worrying.
As much as it is convenient to Google your symptoms, it is vital to understand that every individual is different and you cannot generalise your symptoms. Furthermore, every individual would require different treatment. Therefore, it is not wise to diagnose yourself based on what is written on the Internet.
While reading and staying informed about your health is good, one must take everything they read on the internet with a pinch of salt. So, the next time when you feel a little under the weather, make sure to see a professional before you seek the advice of the Internet!