This digital age has transformed numerous aspects of our lives such as how health information is obtained. This information is now easily accessible through the Internet for a minimal or at no cost. For many using the Internet has become their first point of contact when they want to know more about the symptoms, health and illness. The results of this trend are getting more and more appreciated yet they are not fully understood. While some feel at ease with the easy access to medical information, and feel less anxious in seeking out health information via the Internet however, some are worried or confused. Despite the benefits of making use of the Internet there are grave consequences, too. Many people are constantly seeking out physical and mental health information, without verifying the authenticity of sources. This results in anxiety and distress. In these instances, people could be contributing to the condition called cyberchondria. For more information on Cyberchondria, consult with the best Psychologist near me at TalktoAngel.
The term cyberchondria is used to describe the anxiety-inducing results of health-related online search results. When we consider the source in the concept (i.e. it is the equivalent of hypochondria, in the modern age) Cyberchondria can refer to an unusual behavioural pattern or emotional state. Also, it is more than just a desire to look for health-related information on the Internet and has now become a common feature of our lives. A variety of definitions of cyberchondria have been proposed, and each include repeated or frequent search results for health-related information and anxiety over health. The causality direction in the connection between health-related internet searches and anxiety about health may differ from one person to the next.
Factors that lead to Cyberchondria
- Uncertainty becomesintolerable.
- Need to dispel that doubt and find the “closure” may then drive additional internet search results.
- Need for comprehensive, “perfect” explanations of the symptoms and other health issues
- Pay attention and perceive of health-related information
- An underlying uncertainty regarding your health can be heightened when searching for health information online particularly when the information available online is unclear or contradicting;
There are a variety of emotional issues taking place for you which can cause health issues also. You are going through a challenging time of your life, such as the death or illness of your family? It is possible that you have learned to (not) manage anxiety as a result of having family members who were concerned all the time concerning the state of their (and the) health. It is possible that you are prone to health anxiety due to the fact that you’re an anxious person in general. Sometimes the health anxiety you’re experiencing is an indicator of anxiety or depression that must be acknowledged for treatment. Sometimes, we are concerned about our health since (subconsciously) we are looking for attention from relatives and friends. In many cases it is helpful to consult an online therapist, or an online counselor is always beneficial.
The factors that increase anxiety are a result of diverse aspects of the online environment where health-related searches occur. In such a setting it can be difficult to differentiate between trustworthy sources of information and those that are not unlike in the offline “real” world. Due to this, information found on non-regulated (potentially less reliable) websites could be treated in the same manner as information obtained from “official” (potentially more trustworthy) websites, causing anxiety and confusion if there’s a disparity in their information.
Other factors that increase anxiety are related to a variety of issues dealing with online information including health information online. There is a suggestion that health anxiety could increase because of false assumptions regarding the rank of search results. That is, the tendency to associate higher ranking of results from online searches with higher likelihood of providing an explanation. A further factor that can increase anxiety is the difficulty in navigating the abundance of information available online about health, particularly when it’s unclear or contradictory. Information overload can cause anxiety and distress.
Methods to manage Cyberchondria
1. Don’t be ashamed if you are suffering and not faking it. The source of your fears is often too deep and old to realize. The best way to come out of the shame is to talk to a trusted person or someone with similar tendencies to be concerned about who could hurt you.
2. Examine your beliefs: It is about questioning the beliefs that stress you, then changing it and proving why it’s not valid.
3. Inhale deeply into your body. Take a deep breath and breathe deeply. Be aware of your feelings. Sometimes, a guided meditation can help (there are numerous kinds and in case one doesn’t work,try another).
4. Discuss your worries with your doctor. Talking to them about your anxiety and getting connected with them will ease fears and prevent leaping to conclusions.
5. Be aware that it’s not just all you: The world we live in as well as the internet’s misinformation are designed to scare us.
After you have made the decision, review the circumstances, and determine the triggers that triggered your anxiety. Sometimes, the anxiety is not related to your health, but it could be related to work.
If you suspect that you suffer from cyberchondria, studies suggest that people should stop looking online for information about their health. Although health-related information isn’t intrinsically risky, the development of obsessions could be a source of serious anxiety. If you’re seeking health information on the internet it is important to select your sources with care. Find well-studied, concise and compassionate sources of information when you are searching online. This can help to understand the extent to which certain diseases are.
Think about talking to your primary care physician regarding anxiety-related health issues and other psychological information available on the internet. It is also possible to talk with an online mental health professional like an Online Counsellor, who can help you to manage and understand anxiety that comes from medical and health information.