There’s this interesting article on WebMD that explains why the Internet makes hypochondria worse. According to the piece, “Even the most reputable health web sites with the most accurate information can cause trouble for the hypochondriac. “ It’s unfortunate, considering the fact that the easy availability of health information on the web has helped a lot of people make informed decisions about their health and medical treatment. For the hypochondriac, though, the web has just become another resource for them to validate their worries and to order tests and medical treatments that they absolutely don’t need.
Now, if you’re not sure if you are a hypochondriac or not, consider this definition of hypochondriasis: “worry over an imagined illness with exaggeration of symptoms, no matter how insignificant, that lasts for at least six months and causes significant distress.” You can also ask yourself about your Internet usage, and if it always leads to you looking up that worrisome symptom online and getting upset after, then you may need to resist the surfing urge. If it’s really bad, seek help from a professional who can help you curb that compulsion to self-diagnose.
Not a hypochondriac? Hurray! At least you don’t need to wean yourself off the web. In fact, why don’t you celebrate your “worry-free” life by downloading these top doctor-recommended health apps?
This award-winning app is not just a diet tracker, but also a healthy food nutrition scanner. Fooducate promises its users that they can “lose weight, eat real food, and track their progress” through its “database of UPCs (unique product codes) – over 200,000 unique products and growing.” With this app, you can learn how to choose healthier alternatives, avoid products with excessive sugar, trans fats, unnecessary additives and preservatives, and create a healthy shopping list!
#2 Zoc Doc
Having trouble finding and booking doctor appointments? The Zoc Doc will help you locate doctors in your area, as well as inform you what open appointments are available and what kind of insurance is accepted. You can even book your appointment directly from the app—not bad for a free app, even if it only serves select cities across the US.
#3 NHS Quit Smoking
You know you should quit smoking but, for some reason, you just can’t do it. Well, if you’re willing to try anything, why not give the NHS Quit Smoking app a whirl? After all, it’s free and it promises to provide “daily messages to support and motivate, instant tips from other smokers who’ve successfully stopped, facts to show the benefits of staying smoke-free, links to real-life stories, features, and videos,” among others. There’s also a direct line to the NHS Smoking Helpline, but this isn’t toll free–which means mobile phone charges will apply. You can, however, check with your VoIP service provider (more info) if it’s possible to call the helpline without incurring hefty phone charges.
#4 Brush DJ
Did you know that you’re supposed to brush each part of your mouth for 30 seconds? With Brush DJ, you’ll never rush through brushing again as it “plays two minutes of music taken at random from your device’s music library.” The app also has reminders for when to change your toothbrush head (every 3 months), when you next need to visit the hygienist/dentist, and when to floss/clean interdentally (every day).
#5 Doctor Derm
Even if you’re not studying to be a dermatologist, you’ll still find the Doctor Derm app a wonderful resource. With over 240 dermatologic conditions with detailed descriptions and treatments, this app also features an extensive glossary of dermatologic terminology and helps users find an Osteopathic Dermatologist in their area.