Many of us suffer from cyberchondria. What is it?

Have you ever had something that you suddenly get sick to your stomach and you decide to look for causes of pain in the Internet? Most likely, you just ate a spoiled product, but having read the medical forums you find obvious symptoms of the tumor and other serious diseases and bring himself into a panic. From this habit affects millions of people worldwide, so she’s even been given the unofficial name cyberchondria. According to the authors of the publication of The Conversation, excessive search symptoms on the Internet can seriously spoil life and even lead to stress, so they decided to find out how you can get rid of this bad habit.

Cyberchondria is the human desire to diagnose myself based on symptoms of diseases, reads the Internet

According to the national center for the study of public opinion (VTSIOM) in Russia self-treatment deals with every third person. This phenomenon has many reasons, including the high price of medical examinations, low qualifications of some doctors and banal lack of time going to hospitals. People are much easier to enter their symptoms into a search engine, read articles or consult with unskilled users of the forums and to be treated with the proposed medications. But without the help of professional doctors can begin to treat the wrong disease and cause your health more harm.

By the way, in 2018, Google has already begun the struggle with the self

The contents

Is it possible to self-medicate?

To prove it, in 2017 was to conduct a study involving British Internet users. Even at a time when the Internet was not as developed as it is now, 65% of UK residents prefer to diagnose your illness on your own through the Internet, and not to go to the hospital. Most of them searched for information on forums where people complained of similar symptoms, and 46% of them were confident in their diagnosis. However, in fact, only 15% are diagnosed via the Internet diseases was correct.

Probably no man in the world who wasn’t looking for symptoms on the Internet

Thus, the human urge to look up symptoms of diseases on the Internet is quite a serious problem that can harm the health of many people. In General, this habit is a kind of hypochondria — the state of man in which he is constantly worried about his health. About how to identify this habit, told the publication the Conversation.

Four signs cyberchondria:

  1. too frequent and long search of symptoms on the Internet;
  2. the inability to search even after finding the most probable causes of the disease;
  3. concern about the information;
  4. the effect of anxiety on everyday life.

How to get rid of the hypochondria of a new species?

According to the authors of the publication, to get rid of cyberchondria you can use cognitive behavioral therapy. This form of therapy assumes that psychological problems are connected with his illogical thoughts and deep-rooted stereotypes, modifying which you can resolve all the difficulties. Used to treat behavioral approach, in which new forms of behaviour are encouraged and supported by the nice for a person ways.

Self-medicate, a person can put your health great harm

To prove the effectiveness of cognitive-behavioral therapy vs cyberchondria, an experiment was conducted. Its essence lies in the fact that the group of 41 volunteers expressed concerns about health had been in therapy for 12 weeks and the control group no treatment took place. In the end it turned out that the first group of people after the sessions is really the beginning of less likely to resort to search symptoms on the Internet and become more comfortable.

When cognitive behavioral therapy group of volunteers trying to do the following:

  • to pay more attention to what they’re searching for. A few days later they begin to realize that they are stuck in constant search of symptoms. Subsequently, they began to compile a list of activities that they can perform instead of worrying stay in the Internet;
  • to understand how search works on the Internet. It often happens that the search algorithms give a person the websites that can interest him most. But the person most interesting to read about some terrible disease, not that eye twitching can occur due to simple excessive use of coffee;
  • to trust only reliable sites. Even if volunteers still were hesitant to look for symptoms, they began to come only on proven resources, to fill which involved medical professionals. Forums and social networks, of course, ignored;
  • look for the least scary explanation of the arisen symptoms. For example, if a person has temporarily worsened vision, they just tried to move away from the computer monitor and give your eyes a rest. Probably in most cases it really helped, but when you look up symptoms to find the signs of the imminent blindness and to spend a few days in anxiety;
  • to be distracted from the desire to look for symptoms in any other way. For example, if you thrust to search they begin to meditate or engage in a favorite hobby. This allowed us to calm down and look at the problems a sober look.

Thus, if you have symptoms cyberchondria, you can also use the above mentioned tips. By the way, the signs of terrible diseases you’ve found? Tell us your stories in the comments or in our Telegram chat is really interesting!

One Comment on “Many of us suffer from cyberchondria. What is it?”

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