Beware of Cybercondria, obsessive research of health symptoms - New York News

Beware of Cybercondria, obsessive research of health symptoms

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Cybercondria: Obsessive research online of your health symptoms Cybercondria: Obsessive research online of your health symptoms
(WJBK) -

A new term "cyberchondria" has been coined: It's when you obsessively research your current health symptoms online. The obsessive searching leads to worrying about all sorts of other things, such as medical bills, disability or job loss.

Beaumont psychiatrist Howard Belkin says that can lead to even more Googling, obsessing, doctor's visits and unnecessary tests and stress.

"It's the Internet version of hypochondria. It's the situation where a person has a symptom such as a headache or stomachache, goes online and Googles it and searches and searches and searches, and decides that they actually have a brain tumor or stomach cancer, something really pretty serious. It's important to understand your symptom ns and to know what's going on, but some people with a certain degree of anxiety will do that chronically, and they'll do it to such a degree it really becomes an illness and it becomes part of an anxiety disorder," Dr. Belkin says.

Another big worry is that people who try to self diagnose will put off going to see a doctor for definitive answers. A medical condition could get worse without proper diagnoses and treatment.

Dr. Belkin says limit your Internet search time - even set a timer if you need to - and only go to reputable sites. If you start to feel like worrying about your health, and that's consuming your life, try seeking help. 

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