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Dr Google

bin_tenn

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That's true. I know I'm not there yet, though, so it's far healthier for me not to
Absolutely agree. At one point, when I was bad off, I questioned whether it was legit when people would say it's possible. Now I know it is. I still have some work to do, and I understand completely that it's not easy to do, but just know it is indeed possible.
 

Fraser

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That's true. I know I'm not there yet, though, so it's far healthier for me not to
Definitely do what you know is the best for your own mental health. I have a therapist (who didn't know much about health anxiety) suggest that maybe I make a chart of the good and the bad evidence I found on google in relation to my symptoms. The probably the worst advice on HA I've ever received.

 

bin_tenn

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My reactions to Google searches used to be awful. It seemed to take no time at all to go from "I'm okay" to "I'm in the end stages of *insert some wild disease here*". It could've been cancer, or heart disease, or something much less likely. I honestly have no idea why I started reacting so irrationally and negatively to Google results, because it used to never be a problem.

My health anxiety started as fears of brain tumor. I have NO IDEA why, because I had never worried about anything health related until that point. I used to have frequent headaches, mostly like migraines. One day I went to Google and searched (harmlessly, I thought) "common causes and remedies for frequent headaches." That was it, I was in a spiral.

Brain tumor showed up as a possibility. The most ridiculous part is, though I didn't know it at the time, brain tumor is not a common cause of headaches. But for some reason unknown to me I worried incessantly. It made no sense, but I couldn't stop worrying.

In the long run I discovered that frequent caffeine consumption, little water intake, stress and poor sleep habits was causing the frequent headaches. I changed most of those things, and the headaches were few and far between.

Unfortunately I began worrying about every little thing. Every physical sensation. Although at that time I hadn't worried about heart health yet. That didn't start until a few years later. And I'm still on that kick - kind of. I try to be careful when going to Google for legitimate reasons regarding health (there are perfectly legitimate reasons sometimes), because I'm working to not react negatively when I see heart related ailments in results.
 

Fraser

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I think a good idea for this thread would be to add something like a invitation to make a personal declaration. Like "I will not Google my symptoms for the next 48 hours". That way, people can make a contract with themselves and see if they passed it. Accountability helps with these types of things!
 

bin_tenn

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I think a good idea for this thread would be to add something like a invitation to make a personal declaration. Like "I will not Google my symptoms for the next 48 hours". That way, people can make a contract with themselves and see if they passed it. Accountability helps with these types of things!
This is true. The same can be said for self-checking behavior.
 

Cuchculan

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If people who normally Google as a rule would like to post in this thread each day, to let us know if you managed to get through the day without having to Google. That was the whole idea on how to make the thread work. So even if you didn't Google, let us know that. That you did manage to avoid doing so.
 

spugrock

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I think google is a wormhole / rabbit hole that satisfies some level of curiosity in folks who just want to know what’s up but doesn’t help with manifestation of anxiety at all

If anyone’s interested, I’m working (I’m a tech person) with a team of doctors to create a symptom search engine that factors this very issue as I’m an undiagnosed hypochondriac as well.
If you’d like to find out more please feel free to ping me and I’ll send across the link to our website so we can get some feedback (in the interest of not wanting to spam this place)
 

Fraser

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I think google is a wormhole / rabbit hole that satisfies some level of curiosity in folks who just want to know what’s up but doesn’t help with manifestation of anxiety at all

If anyone’s interested, I’m working (I’m a tech person) with a team of doctors to create a symptom search engine that factors this very issue as I’m an undiagnosed hypochondriac as well.
If you’d like to find out more please feel free to ping me and I’ll send across the link to our website so we can get some feedback (in the interest of not wanting to spam this place)
How does this work?
 

spugrock

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How does this work?
Honestly, it's something we're working on to scratch my own itch. We made a system that takes in any symptom you enter and ask you the same questions a doctor (hence the working with doctors bit) would ask you in a clinical setting, and then present you results that the system thinks would most likely be the outcome based on what you've entered. The results also contain things you could use from a pharmacy to potentially solve the issue. This actually started off because of my personal frustration of going down rabbit holes with Dr Google
 

Fraser

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Honestly, it's something we're working on to scratch my own itch. We made a system that takes in any symptom you enter and ask you the same questions a doctor (hence the working with doctors bit) would ask you in a clinical setting, and then present you results that the system thinks would most likely be the outcome based on what you've entered. The results also contain things you could use from a pharmacy to potentially solve the issue. This actually started off because of my personal frustration of going down rabbit holes with Dr Google
That sounds like something that would trigger my health anxiety in a very bad way.
 

Del1992

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I wouldn’t like to know the hours/days I’ve spent on googling symptoms and patient stories on illnesses diseases or cancers I’ve suspected of having over the years, but I know why I do it.
Firstly it’s for reassurance, I’m hoping to find someone with EXACT symptoms and circumstances as me that says I’m fine, something I never come across because all of us feel different.
Secondly it’s to find the quickest path to diagnoses of the terminal illness I believe I have
It’s one big vicious whirlwind cycle I cannot seem to break!
 

Cuchculan

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I wouldn’t like to know the hours/days I’ve spent on googling symptoms and patient stories on illnesses diseases or cancers I’ve suspected of having over the years, but I know why I do it.
Firstly it’s for reassurance, I’m hoping to find someone with EXACT symptoms and circumstances as me that says I’m fine, something I never come across because all of us feel different.
Secondly it’s to find the quickest path to diagnoses of the terminal illness I believe I have
It’s one big vicious whirlwind cycle I cannot seem to break!
Out of all these serious illnesses you ever looked up, have you ever had any of them? I would be very surprised if the answer was yes. Is that side of things I think people should be learning from. if you were to list off everything you ever thought you had, I am sure it might be a big list. If you were to list off things you really had, I am sure there would be possibly nothing on that list.
 

Del1992

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None and I’ve suspected
Angina
Heart disease
Rare heart problems
DVT
brain tumour
Stroke
Stomach cancer
Throat cancer
Mouth cancer
Lung cancer
Prostate cancer
Pancreatic cancer the list goes on
 

LondonJulz

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Definitely do what you know is the best for your own mental health. I have a therapist (who didn't know much about health anxiety) suggest that maybe I make a chart of the good and the bad evidence I found on google in relation to my symptoms. The probably the worst advice on HA I've ever received.

whoa!!!!
 

Cuchculan

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So how are all the normal people who Google as a rule doing? Have to start using this thread. That is what it was created for. Might be unpinned if people don't use it.
 

Fraser

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So how are all the normal people who Google as a rule doing? Have to start using this thread. That is what it was created for. Might be unpinned if people don't use it.
One thing that might be helpful in the OP is a kind of template for a contract with oneself regarding Google and Body Scanning. As is, the OP is a list of reasons to avoid Googling, but doesn't ask people to do anything specific and demonstrable in relation to setting goals. Maybe something like what I've attached here could help with that.
 

Attachments

Missy

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Just about anyone with Internet access and a body that occasionally goes haywire has had the experience of googling their symptoms and watching, horrified, as the results stream in. Headache = brain tumor! Sharp pain in your side = punctured lung! Sore post-workout legs = deep vein thrombosis!

"Yes, you might have a rash, and, yes, you might have seen something somewhere about cancer," In your case, however, it's probably just eczema.


Never self-diagnose. Spending time furiously searching symptoms on your iPhone, then declaring you've got X, Y, or Z can be downright dangerous. First off, it can keep you from getting the help you actually need. (Yes, "eye herpes" is a thing. But reading more about it doesn't cure whatever's happening actually with your eye.)

Restrain yourself from acting on Dr. Google's advice. "It's one thing to try a vegan diet or a Paleo diet because you've read good things about them online," "But it's a very different thing to go out, read information about a health condition, and then try to apply it to yourself."

Always consider the source. "A lot of times, people read a personal story and they say, Hey, that sounds like me. That's my problem too!' and they get very worked up, and may even take a course of action that isn't actually relevant to them,". "On the flip side, some of the big academic centers have really reliable information, but they're taking the broadest, 1,000-foot view of a particular condition."

Look for credentials. Just because someone has a popular blog does not mean they know what they're talking about, whether they're dishing about fitness, a particular treatment, or something nutrition-related. "Pretty pictures of food do not equal expertise,". And don't just fall for good SEO—the first Google results aren't necessarily the most accurate.

If you feel that urge to Google, stop yourself, post what you were about to Google in this thread instead. Why you were about to Google it too. Share with us your stories about other times you have Googled. How exactly it made you feel.
I really have anxiety attacks when I look up my symptoms . I thought that research would help but it just makes it worse. I told my primary care physician about this and his comment was.stay away.from Google. I am fortunate that I can text or call him at anytime. It is hard for me to break the Google habit.
 

Cuchculan

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One thing that might be helpful in the OP is a kind of template for a contract with oneself regarding Google and Body Scanning. As is, the OP is a list of reasons to avoid Googling, but doesn't ask people to do anything specific and demonstrable in relation to setting goals. Maybe something like what I've attached here could help with that.
Should have said that when the post was been talked about to begin with. No idea exactly how that would work. Unless people could download the form. Have it with them. Other than that the form would have been in the OP. We are now on page 2 of the thread and people when they click on the thread will end up on the last post made if they used the thread before. Thus missing such a form. Maybe make a post out under this with the wording of the form in it. See if it takes off.
 
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