I wonder whether any of us actually went to a doctor and asked if they had leukaemia, after some on-line research of what could be causing some troubling symptoms?
Having a diagnosis of CLL, which can profoundly impact our health in so many different ways, is definitely not a "healthy" starting point from which to avoid this unhealthy obsession, particularly when researchers estimate that there's a prevalence of between 5 and 12% of people that exhibit health anxiety.
"Though most people get nervous about their health from time to time, chronic health anxiety can be debilitating, interfering with work and relationships, and causing sufferers to spend excessive amounts time worrying about medical conditions. Severity can range from occasional worry to chronic preoccupation that meets the diagnostic criteria for hyperchondriasis...
Easy access to online medical information has made it even more challenging for sufferers to manage their fear of illness, and may have created a pathway to the development of the disorder":
Given the "findings by graduate student Aaron M. Norr, MS, and his colleagues at Florida State University suggest intolerance of uncertainty (IU) and anxiety sensitivity (AS) may be risk factors for the development of cyberchondria, perhaps the challenges of living with uncertainty that CLL brings daily, may provide us with some immunity? Even if it doesn't there is hope for anyone that finds themselves burdened with concern about what may be causing troubling symptoms; "Several studies have found that cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is effective in treating health anxiety, and the internet can be the very tool to deliver it."
Reading articles like this always brings to mind a couple of my favourite Mark Twain quotes:
"Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint."
The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don't want, drink what you don't like, and do what you'd rather not."
Photo: Correa (native fuschia) in bloom that I found in a scrub patch. Thanks to Jay for identifying the plant.