An Introduction

Welcome To A Jackals Voice. The intention of this blog is to be an outlet for myself and others on topics that are not generally discussed...

Friday, 21 July 2017

Self Diagnosis

Welcome back to A Jackals Voice.
Today I'm gonna talk about self diagnosis. Pretty much everyone will or has researched their own symptoms from time to time, even with physical conditions. I have to admit that I have done this repeatedly, the research part anyway, and I'll like to address why people do this in the first place, whilst also pointing out how silly it is to do so.

First off, when we notice something strange about our body, we tend to look it up on the internet before we speak with a Doctor. Why do we do this? Well my guess would be impatience. Getting an appointment with your doctor can take weeks, especially if it's only a minor symptom. Sure you could just wait for fourteen days for your doctor to tell you everything is fine, or you could go online and search for yourself. Granted it's much faster, but given the majority of us don't actually have much medical knowledge, we often end up finding the worst possible condition we could have. However, no matter how bad of an idea this really is, it makes sense that we would try to figure it out on our own now, so we can tell the doctor what we think it is. Something my Father used to say still makes me laugh. Whenever he was ill, he'd call the doctor, though he was quite rarely ill. However, every time he called he would try to make an appointment and would be told it'd be two weeks until he got one. He'd hang up the phone, look at me and would joke about it. He'd say; 'Two weeks? I'll either be dead or better by then!'.
It used to make me laugh, but in all fairness he had a point. Of course you had the option to call first thing in the morning to get a same day appointment, but that irritated both of us even more than waiting. I mean, why is it, if I call at 10am I have to wait two weeks, but if I call at 9am I can go today? It doesn't really make sense. As a result, you either make that call, or you search the web for a cure.


The Second reason I think we do this is curiosity. Not everyone does this I admit, but whenever I develop a strange symptom I always have to look it up. Not because I think it's dangerous, just because I'd like to know what it is. An example of this would be last week when I touched my ear and found a sensitive lump there. I'd experienced it before, and with my current condition, I didn't really feel the need to burden my doctor with something else. It's gone now, and the only information I found would indicate it was little more than a pimple on the inside of my ear, and it would fade in a day or two. Low and behold, it's gone.
So yeah, sometimes a bit of research is okay, it's when we look up more prominent symptoms that things get a bit dicey.

For the Third reason I'd say panic. You have a symptom that you're certain is not good. Either from some TV advert or another person, you panic and call your doctor immediately. This is not helped with the long waiting list problem, and even if you manage to get an appointment on the same day you call, it'll be hours before you get to the surgery. Naturally, you look for answers, and if you look for something, you will find it.
An example from my own life happened about two or three years ago. I was bleeding from a place that I was fairly certain shouldn't bleed. I got my same day appointment, but in the time between the call and the appointment, I'd managed to research the 17 forms of cancer that MUST be the cause of my problem. Scared and not wanting to tell anyone what was going on, partly out of embarrassment I told my boss I'd be late to work and went to the doctor. I was on the brink of tears, and as the doctor finished examining me (Which wasn't a fun process to say the least), I was told it was nothing more than a small tear that would heal in a couple of days. It's funny now, but at the time I really thought I was going to die.

Before I finish summing up my ideas, I'd like to make it very clear to everyone that you can't actually self diagnose. You likely have no medical training, and even if you do you should probably see another practitioner. It is very easy to over-analysis yourself when you're stressed. Also this is particularly important when it comes to Mental Health, mainly because stress tends to aggravate many symptoms of multiple conditions, which can either make your condition worse, or convince yourself you've developed another condition.
Further more, those that don't suffer from mental health conditions should not look into their own mental symptoms. I believe that some of the stigma that surrounds Mental Health is that some people claim they have a Mental illness, when maybe they are just having a bad week. Maybe their anxious or down, but that doesn't mean you have Anxiety or Depression. Go to a doctor and get a proper examination, do not go around telling everyone you have a condition, because if you're wrong, you've just made that condition a little bit harder for everyone else. As a result of your error, some of the people you told are more likely to dismiss someone genuinely suffers.
So, what are my thoughts of self-diagnosis? Don't do it. You'll only scare yourself. If you're that concerned or the problem doesn't fix itself, call your Doctor first thing in the morning and just wait. If you see a doctor and they tell you to look something up, or you didn't understand them, then yes, go have a look. Otherwise avoid the web, cause you'll only convince yourself you're dying or you have a chronic illness.

Anyway, rant over. Over to you people. Have you ever looked something up that you shouldn't have? Ever been scared by something and immediately jumped into panicked research? Did you do what i did and end up stupidly convinced you had several life threatening conditions, when in reality you should have just not eaten that Vindaloo curry?
Please leave a comment and feel free to share this post with your friends. I know it's quite a serious topic, but that doesn't mean it can't be funny at times.

This has been,
A Jackals Voice.

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