Peter VanRysdam / Digital Marketing / August 2nd, 2007

There's Finally a Name for My Illness of Finding Illnesses

I was born in to a long line of hypochondriacs.  My grandfather was one of those people who would answer truthfully when asked how we was doing.  My father is not there yet, but he’s laying the groundwork with a series of nagging sports injuries.  I now have the benefit of hypochondria in the information age.  No longer will I lose sleep wondering what’s wrong with me; instead I’ll lose sleep believing I have Osteoporosis, thanks to the Symptom Checker at WebMD.com. 

For the record, I’m currently suffering from the following self-diagnosed ailments:

1) Gout
2) Kidney Stones (or acute Kidney Failure…not sure)
3) Encephalitis
4) Bursitis of the Knee
5) Ringworm of the face
6) Several To-Be-Diagnosed Mental Issues

The good news is that I’m not alone.  Turns out there are 160 million cyberchondriacs, or about 80% of the adult population online.  I think this stands to hurt the medical profession more than malpractice law or insurance companies combined.  I mean why go to the doctor when the television tells me I have restless leg syndrome, and the Internet all but confirms it (at least that’s better than what this guy has)?

I’m actually considering seeing patients, aka people without internet access.  So, let me know what you think you’ve got, and I’ll confirm it for you.  You’re Welcome.