The only disease that hypochondriacs NEVER think they have is Hypochondriasis. It is the one condition that all doctors can identify, for a very good reason.As medical students, we all suffered hypochondriasis.Got a headache while you are studying rare cancers? Well, we must have a brain tumour! Get a dark sun spot on your arm while you are studying Dermatology? Must be a Melanoma! Bit of a night fever during Tropical Disease Clinics? Has to be Malaria, no less! One of the worst examples was our first lecture on Tapeworms. Complete with gory details and horrible photos, our professor ended his first slide show by writing the symptoms for tapeworms on the board.“Symptoms = None”. No symptoms at all Hey, we all have no symptoms…so we must ALL have TAPEWORMS!!!
Now the pictures of horrible diseases is no longer restricted to medical student’s “eyes-only”. Because of the magic of Google, the whole world can enter any symptom, and immediately find a thousand reasons they will be dead before dawn. So the whole world of patients, not just their doctors-in-training, has the potential to be just as paranoid as we used to be!
While Google is a fabulous search engine, it would be good to be a bit more selective when it comes to self-diagnosis. It took us a few years after medical school’s “fright lectures” to realize that sometimes a headache is just a headache. So if you, reader, have convinced yourself that your nasal promontory cellulitis is a rare form of Tsutsugumuchi fever, relax. It is probably just a zit on the end of your nose.
In the world of cell phones with apps, a whole new epidemic of over-diagnosed symptoms brings anxious patients to medical offices everywhere.
It is in order to help these patients that we have established our site, here at Stressipedia. Instead of being in the front row at the gory slide shows, we have already filtered the realistic probabilities, and condensed each subject into a manageable bite.Takes under two minutes to read each blog post, yet one can drill down to greater details by simply clicking on a link. Even doctors are loving the concept.No longer do they have to give a list of dozens of “do’s” and “don’ts” when they tell their patients how to reduce their cholesterol.They can simply refer them to the Stressipedia blog, and the patient will retain much more of the detail. Then, just before going to the grocery store, the patient can click on the link for which foods to avoid or buy, then read their cell phone whilst they are standing in front of the Bok Choi display.
By all means, we encourage our patients to do their research, and to stay informed. No better way exists than the internet. But if you are finding it scary sitting that close to the edge of medical disasters, consider seeing your doctor first for a real diagnosis, then use the internet for followup resource material.
The danger lies in making your own diagnoses first hand. The rule in medicine is : A doctor who treats himself for one problem now has created two problems;
1. He has a Fool for a Patient
2. He has a Fool for a Doctor!
So enjoy the internet for its millions of reasons, but don’t add stress to your life by self-diagnoses. Leave it to us, and to your doctors, then use the internet to plan your next hobby, vacation, or career!