Aside from the threat of Ebola, Enterovirus D68 sweeping through schools, swine flu proliferating livestock, and a surge of this winter’s unique influenza strain—another condition is sweeping the (first) world’s population at large: cyberchondria. According to mental health experts at Baylor University, cyberchondria characterizes folks who rely solely on the Internet for self-diagnosis and rather than finding relief, convince themselves they’ve been stricken with a horrific disease.
Sure, we’ve all utilized the web to shed some light on a strange rash or collection of confounding symptoms. However, medical web research for cyberchondriacs fuels the fear and anxiety to unfounded heights and they often accept it as blanket truth without seeing professional help.
If you experience the following symptoms after researching medial information online, put down that tablet and book an appointment with a medically trained doctor immediately. Here are nine signs that you may be a cyberchondriac…
1. Cyberchondriacs vs. Everyone Else
During a 2009 research study, Microsoft scrutinized health-related web searches and discovered that roughly 40 percent of non-medically-trained individuals who use the web to help self-diagnose a medical problem, emerge worse off instead of relieved, to the point of extreme fear and paranoia.