Solved: Why WebMD Freaks Us Out

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mainPhoto: Via WebMD Magazine
When we’re sicker than a dog, the last thing we want to do is get out of our cozy bed and sit in our doctor’s waiting room with a fever and headache. The next best thing? Googling our symptoms for a digital prognosis on sites like WebMD. For some, typing in “incessant cough” in the search tab can help decipher a cold from a flu, but for others, it could send them in a tizzy wondering if it’s actually lung cancer.

To find out which category you fall under, a new study conducted at Baylor University observed over 500 participants to gauge their levels of anxiety while symptom searching. Turns out, those who are prone to experience “cyberchondria” are also more likely to be afraid of the unknown in a direct correlation. The constant Googling is aimed to relieve the fears but ends up heightening them instead — especially when multiple outcomes are a possibility.

So, even though visiting your doc is the last thing you feel like you doing in your embarrassing pajamas and queasy state, it definitely beats thinking you have more diseases than you do symptoms at home. Our unsolicited prescription: When sick, stay off the Internet. (Motherboard)