Millions of people suffer from Cyberchondria. Medical Information is easy available at the tips at your hands thanks to the likes of Mayo clinic, Web Md and patient forums.
The word “Cyberchondria’ doesn’t exist in Merriam Websters dictionary. It is a relative new condition brought to us by Google.
“Cyberchondria” is defined as “the false belief that one is suffering from a disease that was learned about on the Internet or on a specific Website” in this medical dictionary.
Cyberchondriacs are the hypochondriacs of this century.
Hypochondria is a sincere belief, that one is suffering from a serious or life’ threatening diseases that hasn’t been diagnosed yet over a long period of time even so there is no medical evidence of it. (I was paraphrasing)
Frequent doctor visits
Excessive Self Examination of moles and breast out of fear of cancer
Elevated Medical Bills
Prescriptions Avoidance out of fear of side effects
Over Use of Vitamins, Minerals or other Homeopathic Drugs
Obsessive Medical Research
Constant Looking For Reassurance from Family Members
Symptoms caused by Anxiety (High Blood Pressure, Inability to concentrate, etc )
Symptoms which mimic the threatening illness
Constant Awareness of body sensations, minor aches and pain
Loss or Illness of A Loved One
Environment of Hypochondriacs
Feelings of a Cyberchondriac
How can you help?
Paraphrase what person is feeling!
Accompany patient to Routine Doctor Visits
Clarify Doctor Diagnoses and Instructions for Patient
Get Patient off the computer by spending time with him/her
Empower Loved One by suggesting things he/she can do to take control
Read Between the Lines
(What else is she saying about her relationships, her job, her habits while she talks about illness)
What Not to do
Don’t Over Reassure
Don’t Suggest Doctor/Tests for “Peace of Mind”
(It doesn’t work)
Don’t Belittle or Dismiss Patients
(The Fear of Dying is Real- The symptoms may not be)
Allow Patient to decide when it’s time for a routine appointment
(If Patient is not ready for a mammogram the scheduled appointment might cause more stress then it needs to be)
Don’t Diagnose Patient even if you had/have similar Symptoms
Don’t Explain Symptoms Away with Hypochondria or Anxiety
Don’t Worry about Patients perceived Condition
Examples of a Perfect Doctor
Read this article! I love it.
I suffer(ed) from it
I have seen others suffering from it http://www.anxietyzone.com/index.php/board,6.0.html
AC Writer http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/2960314/how_to_overcome_cyberchondria_pg3.html?cat=5