Anytime I’m feeling sick or experiencing pain for a prolonged amount of time, the first thing I do is go to my computer, visit WebMD.com, and use their symptom checker tool to try and figure out what may be wrong with me. For whatever reason I decide to do this before going to an actual doctor.
This has turned me into a raving hypochondriac.
The problem with WebMD is that its symptom checker rules out nothing. According to WebMD, the smallest symptom could be anything from a minor ailment to impending death. Let me show you some examples…
Let’s say I’ve been experiencing some lower back pain lately. I go to their symptom checker, plug in the symptom and this what I get.
Take a look at some of these results. Osteomyelitis, Ulverative colitis, SPINAL TUMOR! Now in most cases I’ve probably just strained a muscle or have muscle stiffness (those symptoms are listed there but aren’t shown in the picture). But WebMD will have you fearing the worst.
Here’s another example…
Let’s say I’ve been experiencing some chest pain lately. Now I’m fairly young, so chances are its nothing serious—probably nothing more than heartburn. Just to be safe, I visit WebMD once again.
Heartburn is one of the symptoms listed but look at some of the others: Hiatial hernia, coronary artery disease, cancer! JESUS! I better get to the emergency room!
Anytime I don’t feel well, I always fight the urge to visit WebMD. I know it will only make me worry and stressed but I usually cannot resist the temptation. As a person who has a tendency to fear the worst, my first thought when reading the symptoms on WebMD would be: “Holy shit! I have cancer!” The thought of this begins to stress me out, which in turns causes more health problems, which makes me stress even more. It’s a vicious cycle.
My recommendation to you is to never, EVER visit WebMD. If you are experiencing any sort of health problem that is causing you concern, don’t try and play doctor. Go to a REAL doctor. You’ll save yourself a lot of headaches.
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