Via Flickr/Neelesh Bhandari

Almost everyone is guilty of self-diagnosing their “symptoms” online. For the most part, this leads to a misdiagnosis and often anxiety over a concern that isn’t even the case. You need to stop trying to be the doctor or give the virtual world that role – leave that to the people who’ve studied and practiced in the medical field. If you have any concerns, it is normal to try to find a solution, and you often think that the fastest way to figure something out is by searching the internet for similar cases. Fact of the matter is, your symptoms may parallel those of hundreds of medical cases and most people often zoom in on the worst of the possibilities. The best thing to do is cut down on the virtual examinations.

Thanks to websites such as WebMD or Mayo Clinic, people have access to more knowledge about health. The sites are filled with tons of information concerning illnesses, care, medicines and products. There is a lot of positive aspects to all this information because it provides you with more knowledge about ailments, options on treatments and sometimes even preventative measures. The downfall often comes down to how people use these websites, which is to look at potential symptoms and identify the several possibilities of what their condition may be. What everyone has to recognize is that these online sources are not meant to tell you what you have -if used in this manner, the sites often may unintentionally mislead you and occasionally bring anxiety over something that is not even your condition.

Since your symptoms appear to resemble those of a particular sickness or ailment, you assume this is what you have. Suddenly, your thoughts overpower any other possibility and you decide this particular self-diagnosis is correct. Your anxieties could extend to the point that you begin to feel the other symptoms listed that you may not have previously felt. Like the sugar pill, your mind works in the opposite direction, mentally constructing pains you do not necessarily have. Reason is often excluded and your concern is now finding a solution for this inferred illness. The mind is a powerful thing, to say the least, and for the most part it tends to wander closer to the worst case scenario. The best favor you can do for yourself is to just go see a doctor.

By going straight to the doctor and not delving too much into online research of something you do not even know you have, you will not only save yourself time but also possibly give yourself peace of mind. Once the doctor runs their analysis or tests, they will be able to assist and treat you, which will allow you to better assist yourself.

Remember that everything you choose to focus on from your online medical research does not automatically pertain to your situation. You have to learn how to use these online medical websites in a controlled and more beneficial way. Everyone is different and every illness is more complicated than a list of symptoms you find on the internet. Care for yourself enough to go to a doctor and let them help you.

Image: Via Flickr/Neelesh Bhandari

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