Cyberchondriac /ˌsʌɪbəˈkɒndrɪak/ a person who compulsively searches the Internet for information about particular real or imagined symptoms of illness
- Have you heard the term “cyberchondriac” before?
- Do you think there are a lot of cyberchondriacs? Do you know any?
- Why would someone want to compulsively search the Internet for information about particular symptoms of illness?
- Have you aver acted like a cyberchondriac?
Hypochondriac /hʌɪpə(ʊ)ˈkɒndrɪak/ a person who is abnormally anxious about their health (the condition is hypochondria)
- Would you describe yourself as a hypochondriac?
- Are you a health-conscious person?
- How do you make sure you are healthy?
- How do some people become hypochondriacs?
(Source: American English File 4. Second Edition)
Read the article completing the paragraphs with topic sentences (sentences that express the main idea of the paragraphs in which they occur):
A Another problem for cyberchondriacs is that online medical information may be from an unreliable source or be out of date.
B Sadly, the problem with Dr.Google is that he isn’t exactly a comfort in times of crisis.
C The Microsoft study also revealed another serious problem – that online information often doesn’t discriminate between common and very rare conditions.
D Unfortunately, once you have it, cyberchondria can be hard to cure.
E Four hours later, I got a diagnosis.
GP – General Practitioner: a doctor who deals with general medical problems and treats the families in a particular area
ER – emergency room
EKG (= ECG) – electrocardiogram /ɪˌlektrəʊˈkɑː(r)diəˌɡræm/
- Do you think the narrator can face up to the problem of being a cyberchondriac? Why/why not?
- Why isn’t Dr.Google a comfort in times of crisis?
- What did the Microsoft study show?
- In your opinion, why can cyberchondria be hard to cure?
Match the highlighted words and phrases in the article with definitions 1-11:
- ________________ (adj) likely to cause someone to die
- ________________ (n) a small blister in the mouth that can be very painful but is not serious
- ________________ (n) ways of curing illnesses that are not traditional medicine, e.g. herbal medicine
- ________________ (idiom) not feeling very well
- ________________ (n) a serious illness caused by a group of cells in the body increasing in an uncontrolled way
- ________________ (n) a disease or other medical condition that is caused by bacteria or by a virus or a parasite
- ________________ (n) the speed at which your heart beats
- ________________ (n) medical treatment in which a doctor cuts open someone’s body
- ________________ (n) the number of times your heart beats in a minute
- ________________ (n) a mass of cells in your body that grow in a way that is not normal
- ________________ (n) successful treatments for illnesses that were thought to be impossible to cure
Use one of the highlighted words and phrases to complete the sentences:
- The nurse took my ________________.
- The injuries are serious but not ________________.
- Aerobic exercise increases your ________________.
- He is a busy doctor and has to perform several ________________ a day.
- ________________ are common and should clear up on their own within a week.
- If a ________________ existed, I’d be tempted to seek it out.
- I’m feeling a bit ________________ – I think I’m getting a cold.
- The ________________ spread to his lungs.
- ________________ can include vitamins and folk remedies.
- A malignant (opposite: benign /bəˈnaɪn/) ________________ is a cancer.
- He died of lung ________________.
Answer the questions:
- When was the last time you were under the weather? What caused the condition?
- What is your opinion about self-treatment?
- Do you undergo annual health checkups?
- Do you agree that prevention is better than cure? (more health proverbs are here)
- What advice would you give cyberchondriacs?
Topic sentences: 1 B, 2 E, 3 C, 4 D, 5 A
Definitions: 1. life-threatening, 2. mouth ulcer /ˈʌlsə(r)/, 3. alternative remedies, 4. under the weather, 5. cancer, 6. infection, 7. heart rate, 8. surgery 9. pulse, 10. tumor, 11. miracle cures
Sentence completion: 1. pulse, 2. life-threatening, 3. heart rate, 4. surgeries, 5. mouth ulcers, 6. miracle cure, 7. under the weather, 8. infection, 9. alternative remedies, 10. tumor, 11. cancer
Materials used: “American English File 4 second edition” by C.Latham-Koenig and C.Oxenden