Tag Archives: cyberchondria

The Trouble With ‘Do-It-Yourself’ Diagnosing

In this hyper-technological app-filled world, it is easier than ever to “self diagnose”. Between the online symptom checkers, patient forums, disease information websites and apps that can monitor signs, who needs a doctor right? Wrong. You could be leading yourself down a (potentially dangerous) garden path that could provide you with more trouble than answers.

Responsible Vs Irresponsible Browsing

Responsible medical research can actually help empower and involve you in your own care, as well as help your doctor by providing you with relevant questions to ask him or her, but unfortunately most internet health searches misguided. People often visit unreliable fear-mongering sites that are written to convince people they are sicker than they really are. Reliable sites such as the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention or the American Academy Of Family Physicians are examples of credible, empirical research-backed health sites. But no one site can truly diagnose you, visiting a doctor or specialist is the only way to find out what you may be suffering from.

A Computer Can’t Compete With A Doctor

One of the problems with people who do a lot of medical site sleuthing is that they can become so convinced they have researched disorders that they may present their symptoms in a specific way to the doctor in line with what they’ve read. This could lead the doctor to a misdiagnosis, or it could dangerously omit telling the doctor about important symptoms that don’t “fit with” the patient’s preconceived self-diagnosis. This framing of symptoms could lead to a different or potentially more serious condition remaining undiagnosed. Many doctors see excessive medical researching as a problem, including Dr. Mishi Jackson of N.H.K.F.M. in North Carolina, “Even though there’s a great deal of information online, it doesn’t replace the medical experience and years of training doctors have.”


There is actually a medical term for people who become obsessed with internet self-diagnosing: cyberchondria. A branch of hypochondria enabled by technology. There were always people obsessed with their self-diagnosed non-existent illnesses, but they had to rely on reading encyclopaedias and medical literature, whereas now becoming health-obsessed is as simple as clicking a few buttons. That is certainly not to say that everyone who researches medical symptoms and conditions is a hypochondriac, sometimes these findings are confirmed by doctors and can even help save lives, but there is a balance to be achieved between being your own advocate and bogging yourself down with homemade problems.

Get A Diagnosis Easier

It isn’t hard to see why people want to self-diagnose so they can skip the long waits, germy clinics, and rushed doctor’s appointments but luckily getting a real diagnosis can be much easier. For only $50, you can see a highly qualified DocChat physician who will review all your recent tests, documented photos, medical history and vital readings to assist you with a responsible and accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. You won’t have to blow money on over-the-counter “treatments” for proposed (and often highly inaccurate) conditions the internet suggested you may have. DocChat physicians are experienced, certified and top tier and can provide a hassle-free, knowledgeable answers to your health-related questions.