I too suffer from health anxiety. It started a couple of years ago with eye floaters that I became acutely aware of. I ended up in an emergency appointment at the eye doctor after losing vision due to an ocular migraine (which I had had before and knew full well it would result in temporary loss of my vision) telling her I was certain I had a retinal detachment. Do you know how ridiculous I felt after my anxiety subsided and I was able to think rationally? Good grief I cannot tell you how relieved I was when that eye doctor left so I never had to face her again?
What I do know about googling symptoms is that the anxiety can be seriously reduced with a technique called response prevention. If you are familiar with OCD you know that people with this disorder have obsessive thoughts (contracting germs, someone dying, etc.) which they attempt to relieve by repeating compulsive behaviors (hand washing, counting, checking, etc.). They have trained their minds that the only way to alleviate the stress is to do the compulsive behavior which does work but only for a time. Its a very similar process with health anxiety. Our minds are so convinced that we have a condition which we need to discover so we go WebMD'ing (yes I just turned WebMD into a verb
) to calm our minds by discovering the true diagnosis. Of course, you and I both know that we then worry about the diagnosis and google the symptoms, treatment, causes etc. until our fingers bleed.
Next time you get the urge to google do everything to prevent yourself from doing it. Turn of your phone, shut down the computer, leave the house, read a book, color a picture. You WILL have to sit through the anxiety and manage the desire to google your heart out but I promise you that your anxiety WILL fade. You ARE strong enough to sit through the anxiety without googling. The more you do this the less health anxiety will have control over you.
Many blessings on your journey with anxiety.