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Author Topic: Trigger Warning On Health Articles  (Read 221 times)

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Offline EsotericNonsense

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Trigger Warning On Health Articles
« on: February 24, 2014, 03:05:46 PM »
You know how stories or news articles relating to sexual abuse will sometimes have a trigger warning or say NSFW in the headline, well I need a trigger warning for articles that discuses any kind of contagious disease or medical abnormality which has no treatable cure. The thing that originally triggered my health anxiety was articles in popular science magazines which talked about new drug research. I remember an article I read shortly after I started having anxiety attacks about a potential new treatment for stroke victims that somehow managed to convince me that my spaciness and anxiety attacks had really been a stroke. I spend hours playing online flash games and fighting to stay wake because I was so afraid of the spaciness. To this day I still wounder how many of my physical symptoms would go away if I stopped worrying about them.

Now my physical symptoms have become more mild than that but somehow I'm still worried about them. Just last week I went to the doctor for a physical symptom and went away feeling as if his explanation didn't fully explain my symptoms. That I must have something else. Something more than whatever he said explained my physical symptoms. I'm not even sure what I'm actually afraid of, I just know that whatever it is isn't good. And then I end up googling symptoms again looking for validation or confirmation that what ever I have is actually caused by anxiety and not something else.

The last thing I googled in relation to my physical symptoms was "Lump in Back of Throat" which produced some rather horrendous images that I would be very happy if I could unsee. And it's stupid because none of those pictures were actually talking about my physical symptoms. It's stupid because the feeling as if there is a lump in the back of your throat is a common symptom of anxiety so I'm not even sure what I was looking for when I googled it.
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Offline stephtronic

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Re: Trigger Warning On Health Articles
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2014, 03:12:39 PM »
I know what you mean. I can get set off by commercials and advertisements and all sorts of things.

We are kind of on our own as hypochondriacs because most people don't consider what we find triggering to be triggers in the common population. So you kind of have to learn to police yourself on that sort of thing. One of the first things is staying away from Google and medical websites. You'll only ever find new diseases or something else to worry about. :angry-smiley-034: -- If you HAVE to google, then add "anxiety" at the end of your searches so that it will yield results relating to that.

Although, it is worth it to note that avoidance will only work in the short term and not long term.
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Offline EsotericNonsense

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Re: Trigger Warning On Health Articles
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2014, 03:28:37 PM »
Also this kind of goes without saying but if you are a Hypochondriac do not read "The Hunger Games". Seriously that book is really creepy and gory.
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Offline stephtronic

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Re: Trigger Warning On Health Articles
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2014, 03:49:46 PM »
I read it and loved it.  :P
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Offline DahliaDollface

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Re: Trigger Warning On Health Articles
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2014, 10:58:31 PM »
I've long been advocating for Google to make a filter for people with health anxiety. Sort of like safe search but instead of filtering out things that are violent or pornographic, it'll filter out all things medical. It's so hard for me not to Google as I'm on the internet a lot for school and it's always literally, at my fingertips. Having a filter like that would be such a huge help. I have certain sites blocked (WebMD, Mayo Clinic, Wrongdiagnosis, CDC, etc.) but that still doesn't do enough for me as the internet is so vast. I wonder if a petition for such a filter would gain any traction?
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"Now head towards the light, the dark has no place here."

Offline Sunlover

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Re: Trigger Warning On Health Articles
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2014, 06:00:51 AM »
If I MUST google, which I did stop about 90%, I will actually put in (like for YOU):  "anxiety feeling lump in throat" - then all you will get are results that confirm it's anxiety.  Don't just put in the symptoms and make sure you use the word anxiety FIRST.  When you come across a link that REALLY comforts you, put it in your favorites.  Then when you start getting anxious again and think, "Wait, did the article actually say such and such??"  You can read it again for reassurance.
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Offline AncientMelody

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Re: Trigger Warning On Health Articles
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2014, 08:36:16 AM »
Dahlia, that's actually a really good idea.
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Offline EsotericNonsense

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Re: Trigger Warning On Health Articles
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2014, 11:27:50 AM »
When I first started having anxiety attacks I would Google articles for dealing with them but somehow it didn't really help. What works for me it to make a list of things I can do that helps with my physical symptoms and to refer to it when I'm feeling bad. If I get new physical symptoms I may have to go back over my list to see what works best for them. It's really difficult for me to learn to avoid things that make me think about my physical symptoms.  Maybe I should just google Kittens or Puppies whenever I start thinking about my physical symptoms.
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Offline Sunlover

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Re: Trigger Warning On Health Articles
« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2014, 12:20:57 PM »
When I first started having anxiety attacks I would Google articles for dealing with them but somehow it didn't really help. What works for me it to make a list of things I can do that helps with my physical symptoms and to refer to it when I'm feeling bad. If I get new physical symptoms I may have to go back over my list to see what works best for them. It's really difficult for me to learn to avoid things that make me think about my physical symptoms.  Maybe I should just google Kittens or Puppies whenever I start thinking about my physical symptoms.

Yeah, google IMAGE them, it'll make you smile :)
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Offline halesy

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Re: Trigger Warning On Health Articles
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2014, 12:39:36 PM »
I actually just wrote an essay for school on a topic of my choice, and I argued pretty much this exact thing! :P I think it's pretty irresponsible for certain reputed websites/tv programs to put out all this information about symptoms and warning signs for diseases when they're often so vague. For example I read something on pancreatic cancer which basically said symptoms were abdominal and back pain..... could those be any more vague?! Those symptoms could mean about a million different things. But yet, here I was convinced that I had this very awful form of cancer. Nowhere in the article did it mention that PC is VERY rare and the chances of getting it young, ESPECIALLY if you have no immediate familly history of it, are slim to none. But I was 20 years old and started convincing myself that my stomach and back were sore immediately after reading it. It's really not fair!


And i agree about the filters on google. I actually tried seeing if I could find a browser extension or something that would block medical websites.... no such luck :(
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“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”

― Ralph Waldo Emerson

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