The internet has provided us with thousands of resources for any problem you can think of. Mental health, physical health, finances, relationships, they’re all covered somewhere in the depths of the world wide web. This brings about the topic of anonymous chat online. These rooms have been around since the beginning of personal internet use, and still thrive to this day.
There seems to be some speculation that using online chat rooms for medical questions is unsafe or can cause problems to worsen. I beg to differ. Let’s talk about how we can use online chat rooms to get questions answered, and why any advice you find online should always be taken with a grain of salt. You must remember that not everyone’s body reacts to illness the same way, and even if someone with a similar condition gives good advice, your doctor’s advice should be your trusted source of medical information.
Advantages Of Chat Rooms
First, let’s look at how chat rooms do actually help with medical issues. You can find chat rooms for support and advice on pretty much any condition, including mental health conditions.
Anonymity: Not everyone wants family and friends to know that they’re struggling with some kind of health problem, and that’s ok. It can be embarrassing, or you simply don’t want anyone to know the details about your condition or lifestyle. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to keep things private, and online chat rooms are the perfect platform to do so.
Anonymity offers a unique opportunity to speak with others about your condition without jeopardizing your identity. You can find people who are suffering from a similar condition or who’ve beaten it already who may have good advice, support, and guidance.
Accessibility: Not everyone can just get up and go to the doctor right away, and millions can’t afford to see a doctor frequently. That being said, you should make every effort to see a doctor if you’re experiencing intense symptoms.
Online chat rooms are accessible. You can join from anywhere with any device that’s connected to the internet, and some chat services even provide a mobile app for easier access on the go.
Peer Support: Sometimes, peer support is more impactful than support from family. You might feel like your family doesn’t fully understand you or your condition, but your support group certainly will. People who have already gone through what you’re going through can empathize rather than sympathize. It’s important not to confuse the two.
24/7 Support: Obviously, your family doctor isn’t going to be available twenty-four hours of the day. This is where chat rooms come in handy. Most chat rooms are active throughout the day, and you can connect with all kinds of people across the globe in different time zones.
Most Are Free: Last, but not least, most chat rooms are free to use. Very few chat rooms charge any kind of fee to use them. You can join, talk, and utilize the room’s resources without the fear of having to pay a cost.
Secure and Safe: Contrary to popular belief, online chat rooms are actually more secure than ever, and most are moderated to ensure the safety of users. Of course, the level of safety present in your chat room will still depend largely on you. You control how much information you give away and who you talk to.
When you’re using online chat rooms, you need to maintain a bit of caution, as with any online activity. Don’t give away any more medical information than the symptoms of your condition, and certainly don’t take the advice of a stranger without looking into it first. This is where things could become dangerous. The wrong advice could land you in the hospital or worse.
Even if you’re talking to someone with the same exact symptoms and condition, understand that everyone is different. Body chemistry, heredity, and other factors contribute to how your body handles illnesses, diseases, and chronic conditions. What works for one person may not work for another, and could cause more damage.
The best thing to do is to discuss any advice you’ve received with your doctor before taking action—especially when it comes to prescription medications. If you stop taking your medications suddenly, you could wind up in bad shape!
Online chat rooms can offer people suffering from medical conditions an opportunity to anonymously discuss their problems with others. That doesn’t mean you’re getting advice from medical professionals, however. Be careful with the advice you take, and don’t give away any medical information over the internet. Peer support can certainly go a long way, but nothing beats the years of study and professionalism that your doctor can offer. Consult with him or her before you make any major changes or decisions.