Prevent cyberchondria by getting an actual doctor’s appointment Prevent cyberchondria by getting an actual doctor’s appointment

Prevent cyberchondria by getting an actual doctor’s appointment

Trends 29 August, 2016 Isabel Vallejo


Self-medication through the assistance of the Internet is more common today than it appears. The Fundéu BBVA, a search engine for inquiries on the Spanish language, even categorizes this obsessive concern of one’s health by constantly searching the internet as cibercondría, or “cyberchondria” in English.

This word comes from the combination of cyber, which refers to the digital world in general, and hypochondria, a condition of those that present “a constant and anxious concern for one’s health.” While less frequent, the terms cyber hypochondria and digital hypochondria also share the same meaning.

In order to avoid cyberchondria, it is important for people to understand that not all information available on digital media has been reviewed by a doctor. This is why it is best to ask yourself the following questions before searching the web for symptoms you are experiencing:

  • Who are the authors of the article?
  • What is its objective?
  • Does it cite its information sources?
  • Is the content based on scientific evidence?
  • Does it clearly describe the benefits and/or risks of treatment?
  • In any case, it is best to go to a doctor when someone is experiencing health problems.