New Media: Health & Well-Being. Don’t forget the little guys!
There is nothing cuter than a 7-year old hypochondriac. But is it more serious than we realize? Hypochondria and Cyberchondria are serious mental conditions that can affect children, as a result of self-diagnosis online, or from others around them susceptible to the condition. How are the kids adjusting to this information overload, searching for answers to questions they are either too embarrassed or insecure to ask?
Child Mind Institute (2012) states, “children with hypochondriasis generally don’t understand their symptoms; their anxiety makes it impossible to accept they’re healthy.” Naish (2004, 1) states, “children imitate their parent’s hyper vigilance for minor symptoms.” But can these parents be blamed?
Everyone has trouble understanding the load of information out there, parents included, to make good judgments and positive health role models. But currently, typing symptoms into Google will leave you millions of pages of both credible and misleading information. Generation RX (2001) discovered the “Internet offers an easy way of accessing medical information easily tailored to a young person’s needs.”(Lewis, 2006). But is this really true?
It is obvious universal awareness and support is needed to help us all understand. Brodie’s Blog states the importance of websites like ‘Reach Out Australia’ that provide youth the information, support, and advice they need. This is definitely what we need to see more of, one accessible place for credible health information online. This could limit the negative effect of unrealistic self-diagnosis for both adults and children. But as reiterated in the presentations, if the medical situation becomes serious, ALWAYS consult a doctor.
Babble. 2012. “Hypo-mom-dria”. IMAGE. Accessed April 2nd, 2012. http://i.imgur.com/NLn5V.jpg
Lewis, T. (2006). Seeking health information on the internet: lifestyle choice or bad attack of cyberchondria? Media, Culture & Society, volume 28, issue 4: 521-539.
MiramaxFilms. 2012. “The Switch — “Hypochondria” Clip.” YouTube video; posted August 23rd, 2010. Accessed April 1st, 2012. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aD7Mzpw2Ga4
Naish, John. 2004. “Mum gave me hypochondria”. The Times, May 29. Accessed April 1st,2012. http://gateway.library.qut.edu.au/login?url=http://search.proquest.com.ezp01.library.qut.edu.au/docview/319079584?accountid=13380