The Troubles of Self Diagnosing Illnesses

Everyone has at some point gone on Google, or WebMD, to look up their symptoms in an attempt to self diagnose themselves, and see what’s wrong with them. Dr. Cory Harow wants to stress just how dangerous this can actually be. Plugging your symptoms into an online device, andhaving it generate a few ideas that it could possibly be does not help anyone out. It usually gives people the worst case scenarios at the first go-to thing to pop up, when in actuality it’s nothing near that severe. Most of the time, things are never at the extreme level answer it gives, or doctor care would have already been thoroughly sought before Google.

Trying to self diagnose is dangerous in the sense that someone with a mental health problem could try to diagnose themselves, or write it off as not being out of the norm. Could be the person trying to decide if they have covid, flu, strep, or just a cold, and then deciding it MUST just be a cold, because they haven’t been exposed to the others, and have minor symptoms. These are things that can lead to dangerous outcomes. This is why going in to see your doctor is always the better option.

Dr. Cory Harow thinks that you should always consult with your doctor, and try to make it in for a visit when you aren’t feeling well, or something is off. Do not try self diagnosing as a form of a doctor visit, or to see if a visit is needed. Calling your regular PCP doctor is always an option. Speaking to the doctor and nurse about what it is, having an over the phone consultation, to decide if a visit is needed and just how dire it is, is always an option. It’s also a preferred option, rather than attempting to self diagnose.

At an actual doctor appointment the doctor is able to physically see and do the labs or other testing that is needed to be done to come up with the most accurate and correct diagnosis. Whereas with self diagnosing illnesses, there is no lab work, or tests being done. Only assumptions being made, by an online tool, with no medical degree. Doctors go to school for years to learn everything that they know. They can see a patient and narrow what’s wrong down to a few things, then run labs and do imaging and find the answer as to what is wrong with the patient, so that they can now work on getting the patient better. That would have never been possible if the patient had just stayed at home, self diagnosed themselves online, or just shrugged it off. Thanks to an actual doctor though, they are now able to do whatever it is that needs to be done to get better properly. Doctors are really superheroes in white coats. They help us out so much more than we realize. When in doubt of being sick, or wondering what’s wrong. Don’t self diagnose. Consult with the regular doctor and take care.