fbpx

Psychologists identify coronavirus-related disorder: ‘cyberchondria’

The disorder can also lead to elevated blood pressure, headaches, and weakened immunity

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Psychologists at the Moti Lal Nehru (MLN) Divisional Hospital at Allahabad in India have identified a disorder called ‘cyberchondria’, the fear of falling prey to the coronavirus coupled with depression and anxiety. They say that it is made worse by access to excessive information on the Internet.

While anxiety can be good in helping us react with potential emergencies, too much anxiety can become overwhelming and cause problems, according to psychologists.

“People regularly look for information about symptoms on the internet to check their health status, which is absolutely fine. However, a large number of people who are overly distressed or anxious about their health, are seen making excessive or repeated health-related searches on the internet which makes them even more distressed. This is known as ‘cyberchondria’,” explained Dr Ishanya Raj, a psychologist at MLN Hospital.

According to the doctor, cyberchondria generally leads to higher degrees of stress which, in turn, can cause elevated blood pressure, headaches, muscle tension, and a weakened immune system. Often, it is triggered by an event – suffering a health scare, somebody in the family falling ill, or a famous person of their age dying or getting sick.

Dr Raj further explained: “In the present scenario, the pandemic is the only thing that people, and the media, are talking about. People tend to search the internet where they get incomplete information and this enhances the anxiety and fear. In fact, this complicates the problem instead of solving it.”

According to the expert, the problem is greater in urban and semi-urban population that has access to internet.

Dr R.K. Sarkar, a psychiatrist in Kanpur, said that the problem was found mainly in tech-savvy youth.

He cited the example of a teenage boy whose parents had been consulting him almost on a daily basis because their son said he had coronavirus symptoms as per information found on the internet. The boy was checked up and is healthy but, apparently, is suffering from cyberchondria.

Dr. Sarkar advised that people should refrain from compulsive checking of the pandemic on the internet and also avoid watching television shows that talk about the scare.

“If a person suffers from a specific symptom for a few days, it would be advisable to get a professional’s opinion on the matter because a doctor can provide more reliable information than an internet search,” he said.

IANS

READ ALSO: COVID 19: Seven things to do at home during Quarantine!

- Advertisement -

Related Articles

4 COMMENTS

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Podcasts

Listen to Indian Link’s NEW Travel Podcast

0
  Indian Link's NEW travel podcast- Feel New In NSW is all about travel and especially made for people who love to explore places in...

It’s National Blood Donor Week

0
  It’s National Blood Donor Week. In our new podcast host Ekta Sharma speaks to Canberra‘s Nidhi Kaushik who runs an amazing donation campaign every year....

Let’s Talk Boosters: Indian Link podcast

0
  In LET'S TALK BOOSTERS, a new podcast series by Indian Link, host Ekta Sharma quizzes Dr Kritman Dhamoon of Blacktown Hospital Sydney about booster...
- Advertisement -

Latest News

Wartime: The World in Danger: A new book by Rajiv Dogra

0
  A "serious and growing asymmetrical relationship" with China, which has indulged in four instances of "salami slicing" along the un-demarcated border since 2012, and...

Census data shows we’re more culturally diverse than ever

0
  Initial data from the 2021 census released this week shows Australia continues to become more culturally diverse. Almost half of us have at least one...

Joy at Lord Howe

0
  Imagine a tiny outcrop in the Pacific Ocean, covered in lush greenery, surrounded by aquamarine waters, home to an untouched coral reef teeming with...

Coffs Harbour: A sense of belonging

0
  For many of us of Indian descent here in NSW, Coffs Harbour holds a special place in our hearts. The work of the Sikh...

Census 2021: India third largest source of migrants in Australia

0
  India has become the third-largest source of migrants in Australia, according to the 2021 Census. Results of the Census released today by the Australian Bureau...