Stop Self Diagnosing: 5 Reasons to See a Doctor Instead

published on:

Updated on:

Contents:

Note: Your support drives Find-A-Therapist. We earn a commission if you purchase services through our ads.

Looking for a therapist?

These days, it seems like everyone’s a doctor. From nutritional advice to various diagnostic testing services online to natural remedies for everything, it’s easy to find a treatment to almost every problem online.

Sites like WebMD and HealthLine can allow you to quickly look up your symptoms to determine the most likely trigger. Self-diagnosing can be helpful in a pinch (when you need a quick way to bandage a small cut or advice on how to subside a headache), but it may be doing you more harm than good.

Here are five reasons why you might want to seek the advice of a medical professional, rather than self-diagnosing.

Explore emotional well-being with BetterHelp – your partner in affordable online therapy. With 30,000+ licensed therapists and plans starting from only $65 per week, BetterHelp makes self-care accessible to all. Complete the questionnaire to match with the right therapist.

Note: We collaborate with top-tier mental health companies and receive advertising fees from purchases through the BetterHelp links.

1. Online Credibility Can be Questionable

Sure, nerdygUrl684 on that well-established health forum has great advice on coping with depression, but you have no idea who she is. Is she really a licensed therapist? Did she really suffer from depression? And even if so, how can you be sure the natural treatment plan that worked for her will help you?

The truth is, you can’t. Every individual is different and if you’re suffering from a mental illness, working out a treatment plan with a therapist is your best course of action. They can unbiasedly assess your progress and work on goals that best fit your health goals.

The same goes for physical symptoms. Just because a so-called doctor online recommended dietary changes to improve your gut issues, doesn’t mean you should skip the doctor. You might need immediate treatment to help improve your problems, along with making nutritional changes.

2. Home Remedies Can Be Dangerous

Natural remedies are great. Many people want to avoid taking antibiotics, since they can hurt your immune system and cause other problems. And if you can avoid antibiotics and get better, that’s awesome! But don’t forget that antibiotics save lives every day and are a valid form of treatment.

This is particularly important when dealing with women’s health issues. There are many natural remedies online for yeast and other vaginal infections that can be downright scary or even painful to try out. And many of these remedies can make your problems worse or lead to new issues.

Natural remedies are great, but try working with a naturopath or physician who is open to alternative medicine, instead.

3. You Can’t Be Objective About Yourself

Many times psychological illnesses have physical components that people misdiagnose on their own. Those stomach ulcers are physical, without a doubt, but they may be linked to severe anxiety.

Your acne might be helped with topical creams from stores or your kitchen cupboard, but your might be overlooking a problem on the inside that a doctor would catch.

You can’t be objective about your own health or state of mind, no matter how logical you are. Not visiting a doctor can be severely detrimental to your health and can lead to even worse problems down the line.

4. You Can Make Yourself Sick

We’ve all hopped on WebMD and typed in our symptoms, fearing for the worse. It’s hard to find a string of symptoms that doesn’t indicate that you might have cancer or another serious disease.

Even when the odds are likely that you don’t, worrying about the threat of disease can lead you to thinking every mental or physical ailment is a sign of the worst.

That headache? Obviously a brain tumor. Your nervousness about a big interview? Crippling anxiety. That pain in your chest? You’re having a heart attack.

Constantly searching for answers to strange symptoms can lead us to believe we’re always sick or developing worse problems. Googling your symptoms can turn you into a hypochondriac and make you paranoid about every sneeze, cough, or hiccup.

5. WebMD is a Database, Not a Doctor

It’s great having access to medical information whenever you want it, but remember, WebMD and similar sites are databases with stored information. Just look at some of the symptoms of the diseases you’re looking up: headache, nausea, dizziness… they’re common symptoms for so many diseases, both mental and physical!

Talking to your doctor and allowing them to run tests, if needed, is the only way to be sure about your diagnosis and this certainty will allow you peace of mind.

Stop making yourself sick by self-diagnosing and make an appointment with your family doctor, instead.

Additional Resources

Prioritizing our mental well-being is paramount in today’s fast-paced world. The digital age has redefined therapy and psychiatric care, making support more accessible than ever. To guide you towards a healthier state of mind, we’ve partnered with pioneering names in mental health.
Note: We collaborate with top-tier mental health companies and we earn a commission if you purchase services through our ads.

Online Therapy

Discover a path to emotional well-being with BetterHelp – your partner in convenient and affordable online therapy. With a vast network of 30,000+ licensed therapists, they’re committed to helping you find the one to support your needs. Take advantage of their Free Online Assessment, and connect with a therapist who truly understands you. Begin your journey today.

Relationship Counceling

Whether you’re facing communication challenges, trust issues, or simply seeking to strengthen your connection, ReGain’s experienced therapists are here to guide you and your partner toward a healthier, happier connection from the comfort of your own space. Get started.

Therapist Directory

Discover the perfect therapist who aligns with your goals and preferences, allowing you to take charge of your mental health. Whether you’re searching for a specialist based on your unique needs, experience level, insurance coverage, budget, or location, our user-friendly platform has you covered. Search here.

About the author

Courtney Johnston
Courtney is a freelance writer and editor living in Indianapolis. She's published work for The Chicago Tribune, Best Reviews, Culture Trip, Only in Your State, and Mellowed. She's addicted to coffee and french fries, and loves exploring new cities.

You might also be interested in

Disclaimers

In some articles, we include products we think are useful for our readers. When you buy through these links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you.

Information on our website is for educational and informational purposes only. You should not rely on this information as a substitute, nor does it replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a mental healthcare professional.

Online Therapy, Your Way

Discover the ease of starting therapy with BetterHelp. Complete the assessment and connect with a licensed professional therapist online.
Note: We earn a commission if you purchase services through our ads.