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Definition The unfounded escalation of concerns about one’s own real or perceived symptoms based on online information or search results, often by an uneducated party.
The modern version of hypochondria which is seen in those who identify one or more personal symptoms–e.g., tachycardia, dyspnoea, malaise, based on search results, and becomes convinced that she has an illness that needs treating. It is caused by indiscriminant acquisition and incorporation of information, in which unsophisticated “surfers” perceive themselves to be suffering from one or more conditions they read about on the internet.
Synonyms Cyberchondriasis, internet-induced medical anxiety, web-induced health anxiety
Time 10/6/03, p54