Is the Internet Increasing the Desire for Pain and Attention?

This research paper assesses the increase in the number of Internet users and Websites from 1994-2001 and determines if the number of people with Hypochondria and Munchausen Syndrome have also increased or decreased in the same time span.

This paper assesses the increase in internet usage and determines if the prevalence of hypochondria and Munchausen syndrome have also increased. This is examined by gathering research from literature and health websites. The following is assessed: 1) exactly how many more internet users there were in 2001 than in 1994, 2) what the prevalence of hypochondria was in 1994 compared to 2001 and 3) what the prevalence on Munchausen syndrome was in 1994 compared to 2001. From this information the writer determines if 1) the increased Internet usage is increasing the number of people with these conditions; by allowing them easy information to more diseases and their signs and symptoms, or 2) if people are using the increased forms of communication, namely chat rooms and message boards, to have more interaction with people and not feign illness to obtain attention from medical personnel.
“At no other time in history has it been as easy to access information as it is at present day. All of the technological advances that have been made in the last hundred years has enabled people to access information at the touch of a button. The button that is being referred to is the one that allows access to the Internet. The Internet allows people to explore information on any subject imaginable. It also allows for social interaction in chat rooms and on message boards.”