When I was a kid, I was sick all the time: tonsillitis, flu, pink eye. I probably had everything but chicken pox, although I had a rash once that I was convinced was chicken pox. Now that I’ve grown up, I’m actually pretty lucky and don’t get seriously sick often, but when you’ve been as sick as I have and you also have a biology degree, it gets easy to watch the symptoms add up.
Really, I’m a bit of a hypochondriac, and now thanks to the internet, I can do that in record time. Which makes me a cyberchondriac. Think you might be one too? Check out the signs below!
You wonder if you’re a cyberchondriac. In fact, you may be Googling it right now.
I’ve always heard you can tell you’re a hypochondriac if you diagnose yourself with hypochondria, so I’m sure the same applies to cyberchondriacs. Cyberchondriacs are those of us who google symptoms for hours on end, worried about what possible illness we could have. It can involve dozens of websites and so much information. Sometimes we get a little carried away, and if that sounds like you, it’s likely you are in fact a cyberchondriac.
You type “w” into your search bar, and WebMD is the first thing to pop up.
I know, I know, WebMD isn’t always accurate, but their symptom checker is so handy. Sometimes I don’t even know all my symptoms until I search for them on their website. Plus, they have a bunch of interesting information, including home remedies. But if you’re there more than you’re on Facebook, you might be a cyberchondriac.
Your Google ads always pop up with medicine.
It still kind of terrifies me that the Internet can target ads based on my web searches and recently visited sites, but I guess if the ads are for medicine, I’m less likely to spend money on DVDs. Though it doesn’t help that sometimes they make me think I might need the medicine they’re trying to sell me. If that’s a thought that’s crossed your mind, you’re probably a cyberchondriac like me.
You know tons of things about illnesses.
My family has taken to asking me for health advice, which sometimes gives me an excuse to google symptoms. I’m usually very careful about what information I share, based on my science background, but the fact remains that I still know more than I should about various sicknesses. You might be a cyberchondriac if that’s also the case for you, particularly if you didn’t have the science classes I did.
Recognize yourself in the above? Not to worry! Being a cyberchondriac isn’t all bad. You just want to make sure you have all the information about your health you can find. But remember to breathe and that not everything you read online is true. If your sickness is bothering you a lot, particularly after a few days, try going to a doctor or a walk-in clinic. That’s what they’re there for. You don’t have to worry and google alone.