Google Anxiety
Anxiety, Depression, Fear, Happiness, Health Anxiety, Panic Attacks, Stress

Why Am I Addicted to Searching My Anxiety Symptoms Online? (With Dr Google)

An anxiety-related symptom comes up that makes us panic. Panicking makes us jump online to ask Dr Google for reassurance. Why do we do it, even when we know it’s doing us no good, and what can we do about it?

Health anxiety is a real pain in the a**.

And that’s exactly what we’re talking about here – health anxiety.

It’s health anxiety (also know as hypochondria) that makes us hit the internet searching our anxiety-related symptoms.

The biggest issue with this is Dr Google.

He’s not the nicest or best-qualified doctor to ask.

It’s always the worst case scenario with Dr Google.

Dr Google

A headache is a brain tumour, and indigestion is a heart attack.

YOU HAVE FIVE MINUTES TO LIVE AND SHOULD SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL ATTENTION!

This isn’t the best thing to see when you’re already anxious and panicking.

It’s little wonder so many of us call for an ambulance when we’re dealing with health anxiety, only to be told there is nothing wrong with us.

The need for reassurance

I was an addict.

If I got a headache, or a bit of chest pain, or a mark on my body, I’d hit the internet asking Dr Google if I was OK.

9 times out of 10, he’d tell me I wasn’t OK. His advice was to seek immediate medical attention.

Talk about raising your anxiety and panic levels through the roof!

It was the constant need for reassurance that was the culprit.

When you’re dealing with health anxiety (hypochondria), you want constant reassurance.

It’s down to one of our primary fears (death).

In Anxiety Rebalance, I call it the DP rule.

It’s this primary fear that causes us to panic and search symptoms online.

When we deal with this fear, it stops the addiction of searching anxiety-related symptoms online with Dr Google.

The way we can deal with it is by realigning our focus.


Realign your focus

When an anxiety-related symptom comes up, it becomes our absolute focus.

Almost as though nothing else matters.

Intense focus

We get trapped in a cycle and keep doing the same thing over and over again.

The pattern looks a little like this:

ANXIETY-RELATED SYMPTOM > NEED FOR REASSURANCE > ASK DR GOOGLE > MORE PANIC & ANXIETY

…and the cycle continues.

That is until we break it. And we break it by realigning our focus.

We get more of whatever it is we focus on.

If you’re focusing on your anxiety-related symptoms, there are no prizes for guessing what you’ll get more of.

That cycle will keep going until we break the pattern using focus.

Breaking this pattern takes just one small step.

The next time an anxiety-related symptom comes up and you feel the urge to hit the internet asking Dr Google for advice and reassurance, ask yourself this question:

Is this anxiety tricking me?

Looking back, with the advantage of hindsight, I can say that most (if not all) of my anxiety-related symptoms were made up in my head.

Because I focused on my health and my symptoms, new ones would pop-up from nowhere.

The symptoms would cause me to panic and I’d follow the same pattern over and over again.

ANXIETY-RELATED SYMPTOM > NEED FOR REASSURANCE > ASK DR GOOGLE > MORE PANIC & ANXIETY

Nothing changed.

That was until the day I sat at my laptop and thought to myself, hang on! Is this anxiety tricking me again?

Rather than jump straight onto the internet, I paused.

The anxiety (the strong need for reassurance) was doing everything in its power to get me to ask Dr Google for advice and reassurance, but I held back.

It was this slight pause that made all the difference.

It gave me the little breathing space I needed to check reality and use rational thinking.

Overcoming health anxiety takes time & practice

Don’t expect overnight results when it comes to overcoming health anxiety.

It’s a habit you built up over time.

It needs time and practice to unravel the habit – just like how it formed.

Aim to keep building on that breathing space I just mentioned.

As you continue questioning your health anxiety with rational thought, that breathing space will get longer and longer.

With time and practice, you’ll eventually get to a point when an anxiety-symptom comes up and you know instantly that it’s anxiety tricking you.

You’ll then reach the point when Dr Google serves you no more purpose.

*Beats fist up to the air*

Yes!


Should I speak to my doctor about health anxiety?

It can be hard distinguishing between real symptoms and anxiety-related symptoms. But when we use our rational thinking, most of us know the difference.

We might not know immediately, but anxiety-related symptoms tend to subside.

If you’re in any doubt about any symptoms, you should always speak to your doctor.

You might need confirmation and reassurance to move forward.

Just be cautious not to keep visiting the doctor based on anxiety-related symptoms.

It can lead to the same frustrating cycle that asking Dr Google takes you on.

If you haven’t spoken to your doctor about anxiety or health anxiety, that’s always one of the first steps to overcoming anxiety you can take.

The most important thing is you get your thoughts out in the open and talk – so you can start dealing with the cause of anxiety, get past health anxiety, and stop searching your symptoms online.

Aim to close the door (or laptop) on Dr Google, stay focused on what it is you want, and keep moving forward.

Anxiety Rebalance

11 thoughts on “Why Am I Addicted to Searching My Anxiety Symptoms Online? (With Dr Google)”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s