A little knowledge is a dangerous thing
I had a client come in last weekend who reminded me of the dangers of Google Diagnosis. He told me he had OCD and wanted me to cure it. I asked him "How do you know you have OCD?" He said "I started making a list of my symptoms, and then I looked them up on Google". He went to lots of different sites and the more he read the more he was sure that he had OCD. And now he wanted rid of it.
I started asking about his symptoms. He told me what they were. I pointed out that in fact there are many things that could be causing them. And some of the symptoms he was listing were contradictory. But he was adamant. He had OCD. Here was here to get me to fix his OCD. He wouldn't hear of anything else. OCD was it. He wanted cured. My job was to get on with it.
Don't do Google Diagnosis
It took a lot of patience and counselling and persuasion to get him to consider that perhaps he did not have OCD. What he actually has is a form of depression. When we went over that, he found that all of the symptoms were better explained by that. And just as importantly, there were other symptoms he had been ignoring that were predicted by the depression.
We then sorted out a plan for him.
But it is just too easy to get information from the Internet and half understand it, and then base your life on that. How many other people have convinced themselves that they are suffering from this thing or that thing, and are self medicating themselves into ill health?
A little learning is a dangerous thing;
drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
there shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
and drinking largely sobers us again.
Alexander Pope (1688 - 1744). An Essay on Criticism, 1709
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