Ok….Dr. Google !!!

Name – Prachi G. Karwa

Second Year M.Pharmacy (QAT)

Hypochondriacs are people with health anxiety who often believe that they have something seriously wrong with them and are most likely to be googling symptoms and start self-diagnosing. Google may have earned your trust by knowing the answer to all your questions, but when it comes to health concerns, the internet is not, never was, and will never be a real doctor. Google contains a vast quantity of information but lacks discernment. Taking your health into your hands can be very risky. Many diseases have similar symptoms and you could reach a false conclusion and simply not get the professionals’ help because you have decided to use the wrong OTC ( Over Counter ) medication. Many patients with Google diagnosis are worried for no reason and they find themselves falling sick and can develop a condition called cyberchondria (a person’s anxiety about their health that is created or exacerbated by using the internet to search for medical information.)

Recently, my mother’s friend went to a doctor in a convinced state of mind that she had a brain tumor. As she told, it started with fatigue. She first assumed it was because she had two young children and a full-time job and never got enough sleep. Or maybe it was because she was just staying up late at night to scan through social media. One night, she decided to Google her symptoms to find a home remedy. One website led to another, and before she knew it, she was on a website dedicated to brain tumors, convinced that her fatigue was due to a brain tumor. She was suddenly very alert and very anxious. For a week she continued to Google search results for brain tumors and got more scared. At her appointment, she told the doctor of all the symptoms she thought she might have. She provided a list of all the scans and blood tests she wanted. To satisfy her concern and to clear all her doubts the doctor did all needless and expensive scans and her results showed that she didn’t have a brain tumor.

How to stop the behavior!

It’s hard to break the habit or some people might not even want to break the habit but it’s not healthy to continue. The longer you look for health-related answers online, it will be very difficult to get out of it.


There are steps you can take to manage cyberchondria.

  1. Schedule routine checkups.
  2. Live a healthy lifestyle.
  3. Practice meditation to reduce anxiety.
  4. Get a health care provider’s opinion.
  5. Limit online searches.
  6. Use a distraction.
  7. Check-in with your mental health

Using Google to search out health topics isn’t always a bad thing. Look to Google as your starting point, not your final answer.