The original version of this page can be found at : http://www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=24&m=3802239
Posted By : Sherrine - 2/28/2017 11:18 AM
Now, who would have "thunk"! I just finished reading an article about five new brain issues that have come about since the use of all the tech devices. Number 4 Jumped out at me...Cyberchondria! It appears that this has become a problem.

I have mentioned quite often on this forum not to use Dr. Google because much of the information out there isn't accurate. Plus it frightens people and anxiety starts and that causes a myriad of other symptoms. I know all about this. Back in the late 1970's I was starting to manifest more symptoms. I didn't know what was going on. Now this was before personal computers and the World Wide Web...thank goodness! But I had a Medical book at home and dug into it and was amazed at how many "illnesses" fit my "symptoms"...bad illnesses! This brought in anxiety issues which caused shortness of breath (I must have a heart problem") and other symptoms that you wouldn't imagine anxiety could cause. Our bodies are quite willing to take on symptoms because our brains are strong, too. I was a mess.

When I thought I had jaundice and was running to check the whites of my eyes every five minutes, I finally realized this was just flat out crazy behavior and decided to throw out that medical book. I did but almost went out to retrieve it again". smhair

I started feeling better once I did throw the book out and stopped constantly thinking about how I was feeling. I instead started focusing on other things and moving to start enjoying the life I have. This made a tremendous difference in my life. I was no longer having health issues in the center of my life and pretty much dictating my life. I was getting out and being with other people and talking about numerous other things and I felt better too.

Well, this type of behavior has gotten worse with the Internet searches and so on. I only go to sites like the Mayo Clinic, the National Institutes of Health and a few other ones that I know to be accurate. This way, I don't frighten myself and, with the information I have gotten in good sites, I have improved quite a bit. I do share with you things that have helped me and other members do the same. That's why this forum is so good! Of course I make sure I have excellent doctors and see them on a regular basis. I also pass everything by them before I take anything...including supplements.

Below is a paragraph of the new brain disorder called cyberchondria. I do NOT feel our situation is hypochondria though because our pain is very real but also hard to diagnose. Most blood work comes back normal. But the paragraph below still describes what I and other people have gone through in trying to find answers.

4. Cyberchondria

Hypochondria is not a new disorder, but the internet has taken it to the next level. In the broadest definition, cyberchondria refers to people who research and diagnose their own illnesses online. Sure, we've probably all done that — in fact, one in three American adults say they have used the internet to self-diagnose. But for some people who might already be prone to hypochondria, this can be detrimental. They get neurotic, and go down a Google wormhole, frantically reading about every dreaded disease that matches their symptoms. A search for abdominal pain brings up diagnoses that include everything from food poisoning to stomach cancer, and soon, the Googler is convinced they're dying.

This is a huge problem considering that online symptom checkers are wrought with inconsistencies and inaccuracies. More than half the time, the top diagnoses matching a symptom search will be wrong, one study found.

"For a number of reasons, most medical professionals aren't too happy about the self-diagnosis trend," writes psychologist Mary Aiken at Quartz. "It isn't simply a matter of loss of control or an undermining of their authority through online medical searches — it can mess with the diagnostic process, because the results can suggest rare or morbid conditions to patients, which in turn can prompt the appearance of new 'symptoms.'"

Sherrine

Forum Moderator/Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia, Crohn's Disease, Ostomy, Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease, Diabetes, Osteoporosis, Glaucoma, Scoliosis, Ankylosing Spondylitis
************************
God does not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7

Post Edited (Sherrine) : 2/28/2017 11:05:55 AM (GMT-7)


Posted By : puppylover - 2/28/2017 10:23 PM
Thanks Sherrine. A bit of common sense!
Puppylover
And on the eighth day God created Golden Retrievers.

Posted By : bcfromfl - 2/28/2017 10:49 PM
Your quote about medical professionals not being too happy about the self-diagnosis trend is telling. There are two main reasons for this. First, is the high cost of health care that forces many individuals to look for answers other than having to spend money. The second reason is the very poor care many receive from doctors, and failure to diagnose problems adequately. The majority of the time, patients are sent out the door after only seeing their doctor less than five minutes, with either a Band-Aid prescription to cover up symptoms, or an order for expensive tests.

I can say that, in my case, I would not have reached a correct diagnosis of ME/CFIDS without becoming my own advocate, and doing my own research. Nor, would I have discovered a treatment that successfully got me back on my feet. Previously, I had driven thousands of miles on my car, seeing nearly twenty doctors across the southeast over a period of five years. None of these doctors even suggested the possibilities that I eventually concluded.

So, while I agree in principle with the dangers of "cyberchondria," I encourage everyone suffering, and not able to find a competent physician, to learn what they can while avoiding the caveats of the internet -- or making the symptoms/disease fit the patient instead of the other way around.

IMHO, this is a problem created by the shortcomings of the medical profession.

Bruce

Posted By : Sherrine - 3/1/2017 6:46 AM
You can find wonderful doctors out there. It might take some effort but not as much as self-diagnosing through the Internet...and perhaps making a wrong diagnosis. Having a quality doctor working with you is so important. My doctors stay and answer all of my questions. My appointments usually run 20-30 minutes.

You can check out doctors you are considering going to at vitals.com and healthgrades.com. You can read reviews there, see where they went to school, see if there are or have been any actions against them and so on. You can get referrals from hospitals, friends, etc. and then check the doctors out before making an appointment. I got the name of my fantastic rheumatologist from not only a friend but also my hair dresser! This definitely is being your own advocate.

Learning more about your illness is being your own advocate also...especially an illness like fibro where there are so many symptoms. Some get a good diagnosis but don't know what to do next...especially if they want to find a more natural approach. This is where HealingWell is so wonderful. Members get feedback from others walking in the same shoes.

I agree that there are some doctors that don't listen and shove patients out the door. If you have one of these doctors, don't waste your time. Fire them and find a good doctor. I have an Internist and several specialists because of all of my health issues. They are all board certified and almost all are diplomates. And, as a bonus, they work with me and not act like a god. These doctors are out there. If you get doctors like these, you get more "bang for your buck" and know you are getting quality care. I also live in the southeast by the way.

And remember...doctors are totally overworked these days because many doctors are leaving the profession because of expenses and all the red tape they have to go through and also because of many lawsuit-happy patients. Their insurance payments to protect themselves are unbelievable. They spent years and much expense to learn their craft and have large expenses like office overhead, paying nurses, supplies plus the outlandish insurance expenses. Consequently, not as many young people are going into the medical field. It isn't profitable for them.

My whole point of posting this thread is to hopefully encourage members to get good medical care and not spend every waking moment scouring the Internet and, many times, getting very bad information. (I'm glad this worked for you but that usually isn't the case.) This can affect them very negatively and it can, in some cases, become a mental problem plus their lives are passing them by. If they want to search, make sure they use reputable sites...ones they know they will get accurate information. There are a lot of creative writers out there that make what they say sound so plausible but it's dead wrong. I hope some members take this all into consideration.

Sherrine

Forum Moderator/Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia, Crohn's Disease, Ostomy, Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease, Diabetes, Osteoporosis, Glaucoma, Scoliosis, Ankylosing Spondylitis
************************
God does not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7

Post Edited (Sherrine) : 3/1/2017 6:06:06 AM (GMT-7)


Posted By : NotSoCrazyAfterall - 3/3/2017 1:28 PM
The other thing that can happen is you can inadvertently try to 'lead' a health professional in one direction or another toward a certain diagnosis by what symptoms you tell him/her about and how you emphasize those symptoms. You're not doing anybody any favors. I'm afraid I may have done that myself a couple times in the past and regret it.
"Does it really hurt that much?" Uh...yeah!

©1996-2017 HealingWell.com LLC  All rights reserved.

Advertise | Privacy Policy & Disclaimer