By Dr Yuvraj Monga
Dr.Google can be a great platform to gather information but blindly banking on it can be the cause of many troubles.
Are you prone to accessing the internet for gathering information on different medicines which are prescribed by your doctors? Is it the case that when you come across any side effect of the prescribed medicine on online sites you get scared and stop taking it on an immediate basis? Or is it the case that you prefer to go with self-diagnosis based on the shared information online? If you are giving an assertive answer to these questions then chances are high that you are suffering from nothing other than Cyberchondria which is turning out to be a global concern.
Because of easy internet access getting medical information is simple now. It can either support or create a barrier for the actual treatment. Going for an intelligent discussion about what you learn online will complement the treatment, on the other hand, such info with no suggestion from a doctor can cause big hindrance in life and is called Cyberchondria.
Cyberchondria is also known as IDIOT syndrome or Internet Derived Information Obstruction Treatment. It is a very critical challenge which medical practitioners need to face across the globe. The condition reached such an extent that doctors are actually getting forced to recommend tests like expensive X-ray and scans which are not exactly needed for specific cases, and the reason is that patients are demanding it. People trust internet information and fail to understand that every individual case is different and doctor prescribed medicines are also case specific.
Psychologist Dr. K.S. David gave an example of this topic. Viagra which is recommended for adults for treating sexual dysfunction is also prescribed for a baby of 6-month-old having heart problems and to control the blood pressure. We need to understand the fact that Dr.Google can be a great platform to gather information but blindly banking on it can be the cause of many troubles.
In earlier times, the concept of the family doctor was there. We preferred to consult him/her first and based on the advice looked for further treatment. But time has changed and now we look towards the internet for the suggestion and then search for medical clinics and doctors’ based on the Google found symptoms. The online information may be wrong and till the time they get the right doctor, things may turn serious. Modern medicine is badly affected because of online available information.
There are both common as well as uncommon side effects. By default, the cyberchondriac’s eyes will get attracted to the worst side effects. Again let us take an example. A cyberchondriac is looking for a particular disease having a minimal rate of mortality, then that particular individual will remain anxious unnecessarily. He will not even validate the information with his doctor.
The doctors must be aware of such situation. The health industry needs to be equipped with facing both rational as well as irrational questions. Now the question is how one can tackle it. I recommended to use Google wisely. People, in reality, cannot stay away from Google as it appears helpful in several other ways. It also supports doctors and they can educate patients to use it wisely. A perfect orientation needs to be given to the patients visiting them. I try to manage or control this condition. I use it in a constructive way and managed to generate a balanced view.
Doctors need to make the development of a culture for using online information for improved healthcare. It’s true that all cyber information is not always correct. Some may come across anti-modern medicine information online. Don’t panic and Check to ask an expert. The Internet is not the final verdict giver.
As internet access is getting popular too fast, the available volume of information will also keep increasing with time. We need to be smart and time, of looking for advice from Dr. Google. Be calm and think before you apply.