Whenever you feel unwell, and you’re unsure about what’s wrong with you, there’s a strong possibility that you’re going to research your symptoms on Google. After all, you’re likely to get a quick answer from Google?
Many people feel that an Internet search is quicker and more convenient than speaking to an actual doctor, as you’d have to make an appointment to see them, and that could be days or even a couple of weeks away from now.
Sadly, getting a concrete answer from Google will seldom happen. And that can be especially true when you’re researching ‘strange’ symptoms online. If you’re worried enough about symptoms that you search for them online, get off the Internet.
You need to speak to a real doctor about them and get a professional diagnosis or opinion, rather than assuming someone on an Internet forum will give you all the information you need.
If you’re still not convinced that Googling symptoms of a medical problem is a bad idea, the following points will change your mind:
1. Every Symptom Will Kill You
Researching online why you’ve had a sniffle for a few days might return results that tell you there’s nothing to worry about.
Or, your sniffle could be the sign of a non-treatable disease that will mean you only have a few days left to live before your premature demise.
2. Symptom Checkers Are Seldom Reliable
Have you ever been on a medical website where you answer some simple questions about your symptoms and hope to get a ‘likely’ diagnosis?
If so, you should know those sites are seldom reliable. That’s because many conditions, diseases, and illnesses share common symptoms, such as a headache or fatigue.
3. You Might Cause Yourself a Panic Attack
For most people, the symptoms of a new and unusual illness can be a cause for concern, hence why they Google those symptoms.
Sadly, some folks end up causing themselves a panic attack because they automatically assume the worst! Googling your symptoms is something you should definitely avoid if you’re of an anxious disposition.
4. You Can Speak With Real Doctors Online
Telemedicine, as it’s known, is available to people in most parts of the world. In a nutshell, you can schedule an online video appointment with an actual doctor and discuss (and often show) your symptoms to the doctor.
And if you’re unsure whether a prescription from your own GP is correct, you can double-check it with an online consultation service before committing to any new medicine.
5. It’s Easy to Misdiagnose Yourself
Let’s set the scene. You’ve typed in your symptoms into Google, and it’s come up with a bunch of likely reasons why you’re ill. The trouble is, Google isn’t a doctor, nor has it trained for several years as a doctor.
With that in mind, the Google results you read could likely not apply to you. In short, it’s easy to misdiagnose yourself online, especially if you’ve only done a quick five-minute search!
6. Not Everything You Read Is True
The ugly truth about the Internet is that there’s a lot of false information out there, written by people with either malicious intents or individuals that frankly haven’t got a clue about what they are saying.
Don’t assume that everything you read online is correct, just like how you shouldn’t believe that everything you read and see on the media is factually accurate!
7. Googling Symptoms Will Delay Getting Real Help
Let’s face it: the more time you waste researching concerning symptoms that you’re experiencing, the longer you are delaying getting real help. If your body is telling you that something is wrong, and you’re worried about the symptoms, stop wasting your time.
Book an appointment with your GP as soon as possible and get a proper medical professional to diagnose your symptoms and address your concerns.
8. Google Can’t Examine You
Do you have some symptoms where an examination is necessary to confirm or dismiss a specific diagnosis? If so, you should realise that Google can’t perform a professional medical assessment.
All Google will do is return links to web pages that it thinks matches your queries. It can’t physically check you and give you a professional diagnosis.
9. You Can’t Tick Off a Checklist of Symptoms
Lastly, you can’t assume that ticking off a checklist of symptoms from some random website will give you a professional diagnosis of your mental health or a physical condition.
That’s because such checklists don’t consider things like your medical history or that of your family members.