Why Googling Your Mental Health Symptoms And Self Diagnosis is Dangerous
Have you ever checked online to self diagnos your mental health? First, we all love Google. It is the best tool out there to find information on a specific subject and in this case, making Google our doctor on call. We have all found ourselves in this situation likely. We are going about our lives, and something out of the ordinary might pop up, and we naturally head to the search engines to find out more about what this ‘thing’ could be in our lives. I’ve even heard of people self-diagnosing multiple conditions before the day is even half over! So its a reality that we live in that we end up checking online to give ourselves a self diagnosis of our mental health! Lets discuss why an online self diagnosis for your mental health can be harmful.
Online Self Diagnosis And Your Mental Health
We all know that this type of self-diagnosing behavior is far from ideal. Begin stressed out and worrying about something like this, and everything else that pops up as possible scenarios on the internet isn’t right for you or healthy in the least. It likely won’t make you feel better about what’s going on, often creating even more anxiety around what you are experiencing.
So first, we’d ask you to try and refrain, and give yourself a significant challenge. The challenge? It’s to stop yourself from going down the rabbit hole of thoughts and emotional rollercoaster that Google makes even worse. Using popular sites such as WebMD less, and your self-control more.
So you could be asking yourself right now, “What’s the big deal about going online to find out what might be going on with me?”
Let’s Dig Into That Question And Discuss Why An Online Self Diagnosis For Mental Health Should Be Avoided.
Using Online Medical Sites To Self Diagnose Your Mental Health Is Unsafe
The most significant factors that are dangerous might be the most obvious at first. If you’re playing the expert by self-diagnosis, it’s likely a real professional will not be contacted for real help. That’s why we want to talk about going online and giving ourselves a self-diagnosis for our mental health.
For instance, one that might try to diagnose themselves about all the negative and depressing thoughts that they might be having. The individual could be taking in information from a few different sites about depression, then conclude the outcome. Later if that condition is temporary or worse, try and self medicate with a drug such as Zoloft, Xanax, or some other prescription drug that they obtained illegally and without an actual prescription. Thinking that they are solving the problem they have and not seeking the trained professional. A trained mental health doctor to help them with this episode and get the real help that they might so desperately need.
To add to all of this, this person and their mental health condition is often more complicated and compounded by many issues that only a professional can truly diagnose. Very rarely are cases so cut and dry as merely ‘popping a pill’ would end all occurrences of this state. Only a trained practitioner or doctor can safely assess your situation and safely help in each case. Each case is a unique opportunity to help you or any other individual.
Misinformation About Googling Your Mental Wellbeing Conditions Online
Even if a person did find what is going on with them, and knew the complexities of their unique situation, they might be getting the wrong information. We all know that there is a lot of misinformation about your health online.
Thousands of buzzwords float around that get many clicks, and with these keywords, people often believe they have the answers they need. Its highly likely this self-diagnosis is incorrect.
With these mental health buzzwords, someone can click a link after another link looking for answers to what their symptoms are. What they likely find is unreliable accounts of what others have gone through or sources that are posing as experts on the subject of depression, when they are not qualified to give such relevant advice.
Why We REALLY Shouldn’t Be Self-Medicating Or Self-Treating Our Mental Health With Google
It’s something that we all need a reminder about, but if we are not a mental health practitioner or doctor, we shouldn’t ever be diagnosing ourselves. And what’s more, we REALLY shouldn’t be self-medicating or self-treating ourselves. Even if we think that we know what it is, that is a dangerous path to go down when you only have an idea of what could be going on inside your head.
Its more often than not that mental health condition, such as depression, need a knowledgeable mental health specialist, that has the experience to give you the therapy you need, the prescription and medication you need, or in some cases, both.
We cannot stress enough that no one, at any time or place, should try to buy their meds without a prescription online or from someone, you know. The only acceptable and 100% safe way to do this is through a licensed pharmacy.
Situations like these are where we must let the professionals do the job they are highly trained and experienced to do, and that gives You a diagnosis!
Stopping Your Undesired Mental Health Behaviours
Breaking habits is hard, and even harder when you don’t want to break the habit. If you’re looking for answers online, and it’s all-consuming behavior, the cycle becomes harder and harder to break. If you have tendencies of overreacting and hypochondriac like behavior, please beware this type of searching can only make things worse. This type of behavior will make this habit harder to correct later, as well.
Pick A Time Limit And Stick With It For Your Sanity
If you find yourself down multiple ‘rabbit holes’ as you are searching online for self-diagnosis, it can be constructive to give yourself time limits. Use your phone and create an active timer and stick to it when your time is up. It is easy to get lost online and practicing this art of self-control, but it will help you.
More Ways To Stop Online Self Diagnosis
One other thing one can do to stop the cycle of online diagnosis is to create distractions for yourself. When you feel that urge coming on, do something different that will help you. Things such as physical activities, like running and riding your bike are fantastic distractions to help you elevate your mood and get yourself out of your mind.
Another solution is to call a trusted friend or family member. Head out and watch a movie, people watch or something that will get you out of your routine and make you concentrate on something new.
In addition to the above, think about your issue logically. Ask yourself questions about your situation and see if other stressors in your life compound it. This line of reasoning and problems can help you understand why this type of behavior continues for you.
Talk To A Professional Mental Health Provider
If you’ve tried to stop or limit your undesired behavior without success, it might be time to consider talking to a mental health provider seriously.
If you live here in Austin, Texas, you can contact Pondworks Psychiatry. Our goal at Pondworks is to be Austin’s first choice in psychotherapy and general psychiatry for your mental health.
The ability to openly talk with our therapists in a safe setting about your fears and concerns will help immensely. Our mental health providers can provide you with reliable, up to date information that can help. We can reduce your symptoms of depression and anxiety or any other mental health issues you may be experiencing. Letting thoughts that do not help you linger in your head can be overwhelming. Sharing these thoughts with highly trained and empathetic professionals will help you sort these out. Contacting a mental health professional, either here in Austin, Texas, or wherever you might live, is recommended for your well being. Its always a benefit to know you are not the only one that is dealing with this similar situation.
Feel No Shame About Seeking Mental Health Help
And on a final note, you shouldn’t feel ashamed about what you are going through. Many try to find out what is going on by searching online. Most, if not all, do look to the internet for answers. You should know that it is widespread to do so in this connected age. We at Pondworks want you to know that self-diagnosis can lead to dangerous situations, and we are here as professionals to listen to you.
If you feel that you are suffering from a mental health condition and live here in the Austin area, please get in touch with us. We can work on this together with you. We can work with you to find a solution that is right for you and help you find the path to feeling great.