Cyberchondria: Do you find yourself obsessively searching the web for healthcare information? Perhaps you’re investigating the suspicious rash on your arm a few of times per day, or the throbbing sensation in your temple that hasn’t gone away…
Questions about your personal health can pop up without warning, and with a surge in online health advice sites, it’s no wonder people resort to clicking through the Internet to investigate their symptoms. Let’s face it, it’s convenient and quicker than having to take time off work for a doctor’s visit! However, beware of spending too much time on this research. Cyberchondriais a very real concept that drives sufferers to repeatedly question their symptoms on search engines, often leading to increased anxiety about their condition. It has the potential to disrupt various aspects of your everyday life, and can lead to additional problems such as depression.
CBDoil.co.uk, the UK’s leading supplier of high-quality CBD wellness products, conducted a survey of 3,000 Brits to investigate how many people choose to self-diagnose their medical issues online instead of seeing a healthcare professional – it was found that overall, 44% admit to doing this. When broken down by gender it was found that women (52%) were more likely to do this than men (40%).
The survey also found that nearly one-fifth (17%) of Brits have felt more anxious as a result of Googling their medical symptoms. This is unsurprising given that many health conditions have overlapping symptoms so it’s possible to self-diagnose incorrectly. Naturally, this can cause panic – especially if the problem is seemingly more serious than it may truly be! Encouragingly, over half (53%) of people think that online self-diagnosis does more harm than good, meaning that a large number are aware of the anxiety it can cause.
Worryingly, 18% of respondents say they would actually trust the internet more to diagnose their medical issues than their local general practitioner. However, 42% also say that long waits for a GP appointment has, in fact, forced them to self-diagnose online.
Respondents were also asked if they believed more money should be invested in alternative therapies within the National Health Service. Alternative medicines are treatments that fall outside of conventional healthcare, for example, homeopathy, acupuncture and herbal medicines. However, the availability of these on the NHS is limited and in most cases, is not offered.
Interestingly, CBDoil.co.uk’s survey found that more than half (59%) of Brits believe more money should be invested in alternative therapies. Again, when broken down by gender, it was the women (66%) who agreed with this statement more than men (54%).
CBDoil.co.uk has also created a map where you can view responses for different parts of the UK:
More than two-thirds (65%) of people would prefer to use a natural remedy to help with minor medical issues than take medicine. CBD oil, for example, is a natural product linked to a range of pain relief effects, making it potentially useful for those who suffer from chronic pain. It is also widely used as a natural treatment for insomnia and is believed to have positive effects for people who suffer from anxiety, depression and other psychological conditions.
One-third (33%) of people questioned also say that they believe in alternative and natural treatments today, more than they did 10 years ago.
“It’s clear that a significant number of people are in support of alternative healing, especially given the increasing research being conducted into products such as CBD oil,” says Mark Fawcett, spokesperson for CBDoil.co.uk. “Expanding our knowledge into the field of alternative practices can vastly improve the lives of many in terms of health and wellness.”