I have been officially banned from WebMD for the past five years. Not by WebMD itself, but by my friend Lola, who chastised me and banned me one night after I diagnosed myself with blood clots and begged her to let me sleep on her couch since my college roommate was out of town and I didn't want to die alone in my apartment, and if there was someone else around and I started to die then she could save me.
I'm super rational, I know. And spoiler alert, she did let me sleep on her couch, and then I felt really stupid when I didn't die, and she probably thinks I'm ridiculous.
Anyway, I was trying to fall asleep the other night when it hit me: there should be a WebMD for hypochondriacs. None of that diagnose-yourself crap, and none of the lists of symptoms. (Because is it just me? Whenever a list of symptoms becomes available, suddenly I have all of them regardless of whether or not I felt ill in the first place.)
No, the point of HypochondriacsMD would be to get comforting information. For example, let's say someone you know has just been diagnosed with an illness. Obviously you want to learn about the illness so you can be knowledgeable as to their condition without all the oh-my-gosh-I've-got-it-too paranoia. And also, if you or someone you love has an illness, there's nothing scarier than not being able to go online and find out what it is or what it does and what you can expect, because you've been banned from ever looking up medical-related things.
So HypochondriacsMD would have the bare-bones facts of the illness or condition, and then some kind of reassuring or encouraging message for the reader, like "You can live a happy and normal life with this illness!" or "It will all be okay!" Sunshine and rainbows (figuratively), and no scary things allowed.
This needs to happen.