It’s incredibly easy to freak out about your health. A slight cough. A tiny bump. A strange rash. Even feeling slightly off-key. All of these things can force even grownups (or was that especially grownups?) to panic. Even more so if they start googling their symptoms.

When Twitter user Mark shared his personal embarrassment after he went to the ER when his leg turned blue from his jeans, others joined in with their own medical freak-out stories. We’ve collected some of the best, so scroll down, upvote your faves, and read on for Bored Panda's in-depth interview with a psychologist. And be sure to share your own moments of panicking about your health in the comments.

After you’re done reading through this post (which, hopefully, helped you calm down), have a read through our article about one mom’s post going viral after she explained the importance of having your sick kids stay at home. Oh, and check out our post about the most absurd patient stories.

Image credits: MShrayber

#1

Sick-People-Getting-Scared-Internet-Diagnosis-Web-Md

itsnottuesday Report

Nagawa (Cofa) Kishiki
Community Member
4 months ago

So, it was a bunch of hot air.

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#2

Sick-People-Getting-Scared-Internet-Diagnosis-Web-Md

SLHDC Report

I’m Foxxy and I know it 😉
Community Member
4 months ago

haha this reminds me of my first camping trip with my dad and brothers. We were eating banger sangas and I said that the bread tasted like citronella and that my tongue was a bit numb. They looked at me like I was an idiot and losing my mind. That was until my dad had his seconds and tasted it too. It turned out that the citronella had leaked all over our chopping board so when my dad was buttering the bread the citronella seeped in.

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#3

Sick-People-Getting-Scared-Internet-Diagnosis-Web-Md

drowsyfire Report

Becca Gizmo the Squirrel
Community Member
4 months ago

When I was a new baby my mom took me to the Dr because I wouldn't stop screaming. The doctor took my socks off and I was fine. There was a ring around my fat baby ankle where the sock was way too tight. She has told me she let me go sockless til I was getting ready to start walking and needed shoes because it scared her so bad.

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While the internet is wonderful (it’s full of pictures of cats and dogs, after all), it’s not a very nice place for hypochondriacs—people who excessively worry about their health. It’s incredibly easy to read too much into your symptoms and make mountains out of molehills.

Most of us have fallen prey to this at least once or twice in our lives, even if we’re not hypochondriacs. Human beings tend to look at the worst in most situations, so when we see that our symptoms may be caused by cancer, we immediately fear the worst.

This leads to lots of stress, sleepless nights, promises to be better people and trying to make amends. Then we head on over to the doctor, they tell us that we’ve got a slight cold or something utterly benign. We finally relax and forget our promises to be better people. Until the next time that we open up Web MD that is.

#4

Sick-People-Getting-Scared-Internet-Diagnosis-Web-Md

JCC_72 Report

Craptavaganza
Community Member
4 months ago

Dads are the best!

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#5

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KaraNextWeek Report

FloC
Community Member
4 months ago

they should have put some padding on the table.

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#6

Sick-People-Getting-Scared-Internet-Diagnosis-Web-Md

JenProuty Report

Louise Gerathy
Community Member
4 months ago

Yep when I first discovered beetroot chips, loved them and ate a huge pack. Next day I thought I'd had some kind of haemorrhage!!!!! Literally thought I was dying

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Bored Panda reached out to M.V., a psychologist working in the healthcare system in Lithuania, to hear her professional opinion about hypochondria and why some people tend to panic when checking what their symptoms might mean online.

"First of all, when people read about symptoms on the internet, they exhibit 2 fallacies: they personalize the information they get and they draw conclusions too quickly."

She continued and explained exactly what she meant about personalization. "Firstly, when a person feels pain and other unpleasant sensations and doesn't know what causes them, they feel anxious. That's why they try to find a logical explanation for what's happening and how they can feel better."

"That's why they become open to any and all information. When they read information online, their anxiety won't let them rationally evaluate the situation. They become suggestive. You can see that in how some of the symptoms manifest only after reading them."

#7

Sick-People-Getting-Scared-Internet-Diagnosis-Web-Md

ImplodedView Report

M.J.
Community Member
4 months ago

That could so be me! Once I got paranoid because my sight was completely blurry... realized that I had my lenses AND my glasses on.

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#8

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MinervaAthena81 Report

WillemPenn
Community Member
4 months ago

LOL! I've been there with my cats. Turns out when a cat eats grass, the digestive system pulls out all the chlorophyll and they come out the other end looking like (to me at least) a whip worm.

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#9

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xcannedx Report

glowworm2
Community Member
4 months ago

It was kind of her to check though. You can never be too sure. I'm cracking up at "demon kitten" though.

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The psychologist then told Bored Panda about the problem with making hurried conclusions. "When a person applies an illness' symptoms to themselves, they tend to make hurried conclusions and either accept or reject the fact that they have a particular illness. Often, after personalization comes confirmation when one's imagination creates a dreary scenario of how the supposed illness will progress. This further encourages people to read about that specific illness and its harm to the human body."

"When someone hoards information about an illness, they also imagine what it will be like living with the illness. Most often, the person imagines losing their health and starts feeling very strong negative emotions. That leads to a fear of death which even further reduces their ability to rationally evaluate their condition."

She added: "It's likely that destructive emotions only accelerate how quickly the person shows symptoms. The person feels bad and might even feel worse until their understanding of the illness is denied in an objective manner (i.e. consulting a doctor or having tests done)."

#10

Sick-People-Getting-Scared-Internet-Diagnosis-Web-Md

kateraider Report

glowworm2
Community Member
4 months ago

Margaritavitis? That's cute!

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#11

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HsvBootCamp Report

glowworm2
Community Member
4 months ago

Depends what scent the air freshener was. I would have ruled it out if my urine smelt like lavender. 🤣

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#12

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moviebuffchick2 Report

Magpie
Community Member
4 months ago

That would have been so scary!!!

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The psychologist told Bored Panda about the proper way to deal with panic upon reading too many terrifying descriptions of what your symptoms might mean. "First of all, you should evaluate the reasons for your symptoms and monitor how you feel until you meet with your doctor. You also ought to critically assess all of the health-related information you get from your surroundings (including your family members and friends) and the internet."

"You should also avoid coming to hurried conclusions on the basis of just your symptoms since similar symptoms could point to very different health problems. Also, remember that diagnoses should only be made based on test results conducted by doctors."

#13

Sick-People-Getting-Scared-Internet-Diagnosis-Web-Md

annamaria1word Report

Giovanni
Community Member
4 months ago

For those who would like to know, if you have a stomach bleeding your vomit looks like coffee grounds (because the blood gets partially digested)

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#14

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thetidebreaks Report

Mark Kelly
Community Member
4 months ago

makes sense initially.

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#15

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Klauxavil Report

Orillion
Community Member
4 months ago

Please tell me you weren't driving yourself to the hospital when you think you're about to have a heart attack. If you would have gotten one behind the wheel, you put even more people at risk.

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Ironically, Web MD agrees with the conclusion that the internet exacerbates hypochondria. Talk about being self-aware! “Hypochondriacs researching an illness used to have to scour books and ask doctors for information. Now a universe of information is available with a few mouse clicks.”

According to Dr. Brian Fallon, a professor of psychiatry at Columbia University, hypochondria costs billions of dollars each year in unnecessary medical tests and treatments.

Meanwhile, Dr. Arthur Barsky from Harvard Medical School states that hypochondriacs aren’t pretending to get attention. “They’re absolutely not fakers or malingerers. They really feel the distress they're talking about. It's just that their feelings don't have an obvious medical basis."

"What hypochondriacs have trouble accepting is that normal, healthy people have symptoms," Barsky explained. That means that hypochondriacs are super-aware of bodily sensations that most of us either live with or ignore. So what an upset stomach or a headache is to most of us, to a hypochondriac, they’re signs of cancer.

#16

Sick-People-Getting-Scared-Internet-Diagnosis-Web-Md

corneilius Report

Lisa loves cats
Community Member
4 months ago

Omg, this has happened so many times to me!!! Thought i was dying

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#17

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MistletoeCrow Report

Deniz Vitvitskiji
Community Member
4 months ago

I used to do that but my back didn't turn any colors

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#18

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AmmoniteInk Report

Lenka Smetanová
Community Member
4 months ago

Not in hospital, just me as a kid in school. They send me to school psychiatrist with principal and my class teacher. Start telling me that injuring myself is bad and If I need some help with my mental health I should go and tell it they would help me.... Well they was just about to find out that I dont trim my cats claws and we played a lot, so that cuts on my hands are from her and not from some knife or something

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#19

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KGSchn Report

YoyoSthlm
Community Member
4 months ago

But why wouldn't she wash it? If she thought it was a birthmark it wouldn't have gone away! I call bs on this one.

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#20

Sick-People-Getting-Scared-Internet-Diagnosis-Web-Md

keith_pochick Report

Magpie
Community Member
4 months ago

Still better to panic and assess and treat FAST in little kids....even if you feel a bit stupid later.

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#21

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thewalkaways Report

Katy F
Community Member
4 months ago

Since when do tongues turn black after drinking pepto bismol? I dont get it :/

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#22

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HeauxP Report

Francis
Community Member
4 months ago

soo.. he was full of sh*t i guess? :D

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#23

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brianchiong Report

Rissie
Community Member
4 months ago

Well. Clothing shouldn't give off that much dye anyway. Can't be very healthy :)

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#24

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tamrmint Report

Ceredwyn Ealanta
Community Member
4 months ago

Oddly, I've had the reverse of that. It hit in Russia - It was about -20C outside, and the place I was staying heated to a ridiculous 35C or so inside, so the temp difference was about 55C over a few seconds. My whole body came up in itchy, painful hives, and I felt awful until I got cold again.

Flash Henry
Community Member
4 months ago

Every summer for as long as I can remember, as soon as the temperature goes up past 75F/24C, I break out in a hideous heat rash. I hate hot weather.

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tuzdayschild
Community Member
4 months ago (edited)

I get that sometimes. If it's really cold outside, I get hives. I never knew anyone else who gets this. Good to know.

Catlady6000
Community Member
4 months ago

I just started that this year. And if I sweat, it itches, a lot. Like, scratch with a wire brush itchy

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Felix-Marie Badeau
Community Member
4 months ago

It's called cold urticaria. For some folks, like myself, it can make you very ill. But it's totes going to be my excuse for moving to a warmer climate ;0)

AB Chichester
Community Member
4 months ago

I have this (Cold Urticaria) and also the opposite (prickly heat in the summer). As long as I take an anti-histi an hour or so before I go out in the cold or sit in the sun, I'm fine. If not, it burns and itches like crazy!

Spikey Bunny
Community Member
4 months ago

I used to get Prickly Heat when I was a kid.

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Bex
Community Member
4 months ago

I get it, too. Took years for Dr's to figure out it was the cold weather, and they had me tested for every food you can imagine from the time I was 3 until I was around 17.

knittin' kitten
Community Member
4 months ago

My sister in law is also allergic to the cold. She lives in near Ottawa Ontario (super cold winters) my brother is stationed at the army base near there. She gets the worst rash too.

Just another Day In The Glade
Community Member
4 months ago

Oh my friend has that

Molly Block
Community Member
4 months ago

What? Allergic to cold weather???? Come on........!

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#25

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pintsizedMB Report

Karen Johnston
Community Member
4 months ago

Same thing happened to me with a birthmark on my face. Finally had it removed at 50. Done with people staring.

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#26

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colinmcgovernpm Report

Lisa loves cats
Community Member
4 months ago

I was wearing boots with red fabric and they dyed my socks blood red after I had gotten them in the snow...

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#27

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SharonH1892 Report

Magpie
Community Member
4 months ago

WHAT!!!! wearing jeans!!! I am no skier and know that is a recipe for cold injury.

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#28

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katvic85 Report

Alexander Brior
Community Member
4 months ago (edited)

When I’m in the shower, there’s one mark on the wall that I always think is a spider. It always gets me multiple times per shower.

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#29

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lovejanelleyy Report

Margaret Wells
Community Member
4 months ago

Uggs are generally worn without socks!!

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#30

Sick-People-Getting-Scared-Internet-Diagnosis-Web-Md

kermelbar Report

aurora50
Community Member
4 months ago

In the olden days, we would cold wash our new Levis and put white vinegar in the rinse cycle to set the dye...don't know if that would work with the current industrial dyes?

#31

Sick-People-Getting-Scared-Internet-Diagnosis-Web-Md

NewtiaofTarth Report

Lenka Smetanová
Community Member
4 months ago

Always first Google what food can change your poo and pee colour.

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#32

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fitserbmomma Report

Parmeisan
Community Member
4 months ago

You sure? I had a pulmonary embolism and everyone said I should have had a DVT first. Never noticed one. Maybe I just wrote it off as something else.... I'm honestly lucky to be alive. Sometimes it's really super important to listen to your body.

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#33

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freiberg3 Report

#34

Sick-People-Getting-Scared-Internet-Diagnosis-Web-Md

lovelylippie21 Report

Daria B
Community Member
4 months ago

Smooooooke on the waaaaaater. ♬♪ (Sorry, I had to.)

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#35

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susankamppi Report

Marcellus the Third
Community Member
4 months ago

This is an incomprehensible tweet. Sickle cell means a specific gene is broken, which gives a partial malaria-immunity by chance if you have one faulty gene, so there's some populations where it is on average beneficial even though it has a high mortality (in those with two faulty copies). Meaning it's far MORE COMMON (not exclusive) in black populations... And then there's enough lily-white people that turn out to be 1/8 or 1/16th black.

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