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Navigating the Waters of Digital Diagnosis: The Perils of ‘Doctor Google

In this digital age, it’s easy to turn to the internet for quick answers. With a device at our fingertips and a world of knowledge just a click away, Google has become our go-to source for solving life’s mysteries. But when it comes to our mental health, should we be so quick to trust what we find online?

Understanding the Good and Bad of Online Health Info:

The internet can be great for getting information. It can help you learn more about how you’re feeling, what could be causing it, and what you can do. This is a big help for many of us and can help us feel less alone and confused.

However, the internet can also be misleading. For every helpful, accurate piece of advice, there’s an equal amount of false or harmful information. This is a big problem when it comes to mental health, as false info can make us more anxious and confused about what’s happening to us.

What This Means for Therapists:

For us therapists, this internet problem can make our job more challenging. We study for years to understand how the mind works and how to help people, but sometimes we have to spend our time debunking false info from the internet.

When a patient comes to us with something they read online, it can slow things down. Instead of helping the patient, we have to spend time explaining why that online article isn’t accurate. This can be frustrating for both of us and can slow down the process of getting better.

How to Use Online Information Wisely:

So, what’s the best way to use the internet for mental health info? First, make sure you’re getting info from trusted places. Look for websites of well-known health organisations or government health sites.

Second, remember that the internet can’t replace a real-life therapist. Online articles are general, but a therapist can work with you personally and understand your unique needs.


Even though therapists might groan a bit when a patient says, “I read it on the internet,” we get why it’s tempting to search for quick answers. Our goal is not to stop people from using online resources, but to help everyone use them wisely.

Remember, it’s okay to look up stuff online, but always check with a real person who knows about mental health. Don’t let ‘Dr. Google’ be the only advice you get. Your mental health is important and deserves the attention of a professional. After all, you’re not just a bunch of symptoms; you’re a unique person who deserves the right help and understanding.

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