Richard Soper MD has been our family doctor for many years and I have learned a great deal from him about physical and mental health. I would also consider Richard a dear friend and that is why I almost always take his advice on board. I say almost always because there are some times when he will share advice with me, which I don’t always strictly follow, one of which is the amount I drink and another is my use of Dr. Google.
If you don’t know what I am talking about, it is that moment when you feel that something isn’t right with your body, and so you go straight to Google and search for your symptoms. Richard Soper has told me time and time again that I shouldn’t do this, and the truth is that he is right. So many of us are guilty of this and here is why you have to avoid searching for your symptoms online.
All Roads Lead to Death
For around 80% of the symptoms that you feel there will be an explanation which results in your having a life-threatening illness. A headache could be a brain tumor, a rash could be malaria, a sore foot could be gangrene and incontinence could mean cancer. These are exaggerations of course but that is what you’ll often find when looking online. As humans we tend to err on the side of pessimism when it comes to any health issues which we have, which is why we lay heavy focus on these serious issues, which we are massively unlikely to have.
If you go so far down the rabbit hole that you actually decide on a diagnosis then you may end up going out to get some medication, and end up taking something which you just don’t need. This in most cases will be fine but there could be an occasion where you take something which exacerbates the situation. Once again this is another key reason why you have to ignore what the internet says, and if you are worried go and see a real doctor who can examine you and tell you what is going on.
If you do start to look for your symptoms online and you end up believing that you have a certain condition or ailment, it is going to play havoc with your emotions and you will be a nervous wreck as a result. Even if you do make a doctor’s appointment afterwards, you are only going to have more time to worry until the doctor can see you. There is absolutely no point in getting yourself wound up over nothing, especially when in most cases it is just that, nothing.
If you are ever worried about your personal health then go and see your physician, online resources should be used to inform yourself, not to diagnose yourself and this is why you have to avoid calling on the services of Dr. Google when your are feeling unwell.