Digital hypochondria: 70% of Spaniards use the Internet for self-diagnosis

According to Onda Cero’s radio presenter and journalist from Alcazar, Isabel Lobo, Andalusians, Asturians and Castilians are the Spanish who give most credibility to the diagnosis obtained from an Internet search.

Digital hypochondria is a phenomenon that can cause anxiety and is generating concern in the health community.

The digital world and the existence of the Internet mean that our way of thinking has changed a lot in just a few decades. Like most things, the internet has it’s positive side in that it provides almost unlimited information about almost every aspect and topic, whether it be about cooking recipes or health issues, However, there are certain cases in which this kind of expanded collective mind found on the Internet, can be negative if taken to an extreme, as is the case digital hypochondria.

Searching the Internet for information about possible diseases that may be behind symptoms experienced is often not a bad thing in itself, because if you have good sources of information and take what you read critically, searching for certain data on the web is just another interesting information-seeking activity that may lead to a medical consultation.

However, taken to an extreme digital hypochondria, or cyberchondria, can be harmful both to the people who experience it and to the health community, a mental disorder by which a person undoubtedly believes that he or she has one or more diseases based on very weak, ambiguous or totally imaginary evidence.

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Written by

Cristina Hodgson

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