The Folly of Self-Diagnosis

This morning I overheard two middle-aged women exchanged details of ailments recently highlighted to them by their orthodontist.

From my shameful eavesdropping on their gassing, I learnt there was such medical conditions as ‘Burning Mouth Syndrome’ and ‘Geographic Tongue’. Additionally, l acquired the knowledge, which if I’m honest I knew anyway, that I’m a right nosey get.

I have to admit, hearing of these hitherto unknown oral syndrome monikers made me smile. They seemed such arbitrary names that at the time I was convinced they’d either been made up, or wrongly pronounced. However, a search on Google backed up what the ladies had said….. To clarify, Google backed up the ailments existed, not subscribed to the orthodontists diagnosis. of the women in question.

I’m not making light of the mid-life dental issues of these stricken women, it’s the ailment monikers that amused me.

Over a year ago I wrote a parody tale about medical syndrome names, during which I gave the main protagonists a bunch of fictional medical diagnoses.

Like most things I’ve penned, I remember very little about this silly yarn; other than recalling one of the hypochondriac characters reckoned he was a victim of ‘Not Very Well At All Disease’. Meanwhile, his two sidekick’s in online self-diagnosis were convinced their symptoms indicated they’d contracted ‘Sneezy Wheezy’ and ‘Acrimonious Clack’.

Absolute nonsense! However, it made me laugh when I wrote it so irrespective I published it on

Hearing the ladies utter ‘Burning Mouth Syndrome’ and ‘Geographic Tongue’ this morning, brought to mind my daft old tale of hypochondriacs and their unreliable self-diagnoses of fictional ailments.

self diagnosis

Self-diagnosis of ailments is a real bugbear of mine. Individuals entering their symptoms into an online search engine to save themselves a visit to the doctor is a notion I really can’t comprehend.

Call me pedantic, but I prefer family or my medical issues to be investigated by people who’ve studied medicine for 5-6 years, not from an impersonal and probably incorrect assessment on a website.

I mean, unless it was an emergency, you’d still have to go to the GP regardless. If a referral to a specialist is required, Bing, Google and Dr Klutz’s say-so online isn’t going to secure that consultant’s appointment.

Incidentally, I’m solely opining thoughts of illness self-diagnosis in this narrative. My cynicism of someone deciding they’ve got ‘Not Very Well At All Disease’ via navigating a search engine, as opposed to engaging proper medical channels.

I’m by no means decrying the wealth of health advice from medics and support staff on reputable websites. I’m fully aware that information provides crucial guidance to patients and their family’s through a host of medical scenarios.

My problem is purely with individuals who self-diagnose; along with none qualified individuals who misguidedly deem themselves informed enough to offer illness root cause. It certainly isn’t with the thousands of respectable websites that proffer invaluable patient support.

Anyway, I’m not sure why I meandered off to rant judgemental about self diagnosis, it certainly wasn’t my intention at start of blog. It’s got absolutely chuff all to do with me if an individual wants diagnosis by search engine.

It’s the afflicted’ s choice as to how they manage their ailments, certainly not mine. What I would say, though, is if you find out online you have ‘Acrimonious Clack’ I’d get down to A&E pronto!





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