Quite often when I am reading an article about a disease, I start to feel some of the symptoms described. I am not alone; a lot of people I talk to say they experience this phenomenon, which may be akin to the sympathetic pregnancy that some expectant fathers exhibit. The syndrome also takes hold when I read the inserts that accompany a new medication I am prescribed. The warnings often make it sound like instant death will follow administration of a simple pain pill.
The problem may be that too few people pay attention to things like drug warnings and too much attention to every ache and pain. We are so worried about our bodies these days, and so attuned to the sales pitches of the drug companies and medical devicemakers that we are overly quick to seek medical attention. Costs be damned.
Ill give you a personal example. I visited my dentist one day because I was having trouble with a sore spot in my mouth. My dentist checked it out visually and then took an X-ray. After studying the film, he suggested I see another dentist who specialized in treating what he had seen. Instead of following my dentists advice, I heeded the wisdom of a friend who suggested that I gargle with salt water, which reduced the pain in the so-called sore spot considerably.
So when I went to see the next dentist, I was much better. He was visibly disgruntled at this turn of events, but he warned me about another spot, this one on the top of my mouth. He directed me to yet another specialist for further evaluation. To make a long story short, the sore spots disappeared and havent recurred, making the referrals and scary warnings moot.