The internet has brought with it an amazing number of things and it has changed our lives in ways that most of us never even thought were possible. Naturally however much like any technological advancement, there are ways to use the internet which shouldn’t be done. As the great Paul M Willette MD continues to tell me, one such use of the internet which we should all avoid is searching for our symptoms on Google when we are not feeling well.
Let’s be honest, we have all been guilty of jumping on the search engine and typing in what is wrong with us in the hope that good old Dr. Google will bring us the news, and hopefully a diagnosis, this however is not really something that we should be doing, and here is why.
You could have a sore fingernail and start to search for things on Google and soon enough it is highly likely that you will have managed to self-diagnose yourself as having cancer, or perhaps a tumor of some kind. The point here is that we are so desperately looking for an answer and the fact that humans are always looking to survive, we consider the worst case scenario and plan for that. The sore fingernail which you have could be as a result of jamming it in a door, but we would instead prefer to prepare for the worst, and accept that tumor diagnosis.
Thankfully I am not in this category but there are people out there who will not only diagnose themselves, they will then go on to try and seek a treatment for the condition which they have decided that they are suffering from. I am sure that I don’t need to go into how dangerous this could possibly be, but it is glaringly obvious that this not something which you should be doing, there is a reason after all that it takes 10 years to get a medical license.
The main reason why there is little point in Googling your symptoms is that if you need to go to the doctors now, you will still need to go after you have diagnosed yourself of having some life-threatening disease, only then you will have a far greater urgency and face much greater levels of anxiety. The point is that your searching for symptoms online is not going to cure you or allay your fears, it will only exacerbate the situation which is not good for anyone. Make a doctors appointment and wait until you are able to speak to someone who has gone through years of training for situations just like this.
It is tempting I know, but the reality is that if you are feeling unwell and you aren’t sure what it is, there really is only one person who is going to be able to tell you that with any accuracy, and their name is not Dr. Google.