Health anxiety because of the internet

Health anxiety because of the internet

Since entering adulthood and taking the reigns of my my own health and well-being, I have found myself growing obsessed with Google searching weird symptoms I was experiencing, and leading myself to believe I had every illness under the sun. As soon as I became sexually active every single month I grew anxious, worried and concerned that the mild pains in my abdomen were signs pregnancy, even though there was very little chance of that. I would Google vague questions associated with my concerns, and the answers were always frightening. 'You are likely pregnant', 'You probably have breast cancer.'

I found that the endless amounts of information available on the internet (most of which was entirely un-applicable to my symptoms but I found a way of making myself believe I had it. It's almost like reading your horoscope every day, and even though the symptoms listed on Google are extremely general, you try and apply it to yourself and before you know it, you believe that you are dying.

Has anyone else experienced anxiety because of this?

Cheers,

April

4 Replies

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  • Hello

    I know when people have Health Anxiety which is something I suffer with we tend to look on Dr Google to see what it has to say and it always throws out the worse scenario !

    Now as it was pointed out Google does not have your medical history or can not examine you so no matter what it says the chances that you have what it is saying are very very slim indeed

    If I were you I would strongly advise you stop looking it will only make you worse , I know when we get in the habit it can be hard to resist but if you want to help yourself you need to , when you start to feel the urge do something else instead you will feel so much better for it

    If you have any real concerns talk to your Doctor only they can tell you if you are fit & healthy which I am sure you are

    Take Care x

  • Hello there,

    Thanks for your reply. It definitely is hard to resist and I think the main reason a lot of people do it is conveniency. I sort of got addicted to searching everything and anything and grew accustomed to accepting the information I was reading, even though it was very wrong.

    Take care too!

  • I have dreadful HA and do ask Dr Google quite a bit about various symptoms, and always just terrify myself even more.

    HA is a wicked form of anxiety (not that any form is nice I hasten to add), and DR Google is by far the worst thing anyone could consult.

    I've HA for a long time and before the internet all you had were doctor books like Family Health Encyclopaedia which made it much harder to research symptoms, and hence not worry yourself so much.

    Now all you do is Google 'broken fingernail' and you'll get a raft of deadly illnesses thrown at you.

  • I cant offer much help but i can tell you you are not alone. I suffer from HA (although even whilst writing this, feeling my physical symptoms, i believe im right for thinking there is something seriously wrong with me), it is an awful feeling. Always here if you need to talk to someone who knows how you feel x

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