The 11 Stages of Googling Your Symptoms


We’ve all been there. It’s getting late and you start to notice how you’ve been experiencing more headaches than usual. Or some unfamiliar chest pain. Or unexplained fatigue.

One thing leads to another, and suddenly, you’re glued to your smartphone for the remainder of the night. Search engines make it easy to self-diagnose without ever making a trip to the doctor; in fact, one in three Americans use the internet to self-diagnose a medical condition. But Googling your symptoms can also lead to unnecessary stress and anxiety. Internet healthcare: do self-diagnosis sites do more harm than good? Ryan A, Wilson S. Expert opinion on drug safety, 2008, Jun.;7(3):1744-764X.

For anyone who’s ever spent more time than they care to admit Googling their symptoms and convincing themselves they’re going to die in a week from some rare, flesh-eating disease, here are 11 totally relatable GIFs.

1. To Google, or not to Google, that is the question.

This is not going to end well, but I don’t care. I need answers.

2. When you finally cave in to the pressure and decide to self-diagnose.


3. Bracing yourself for the worst.

4. How you feel after recognizing the first symptom.

Denial at its finest.

5. Recognizing the second and third symptoms.

Does anyone else smell burned toast? Or is it just me?

6. When you realize it’s possible you might actually have the condition being described.

7. Seeing the words “can cause death.”

8. Going into panic mode.

It’s official. I’ve reached my breaking point.

9. Trying to convince yourself that your symptoms are probably nothing to worry about.

Me: Chances are that I’m probably not going to die.

Also me: I’m dying.

10. But later that night…

11. When you finally visit the doctor and they confirm that nothing’s wrong.

Princess Gabbara is a Michigan-based journalist and storyteller whose work has been published across several publications, including Ebony,,, Sesi, and Huffington Post Women. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @PrincessGabbara.

This article was written by Princess Gabbara from Greatist and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to