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Your_Majesty's avatar

What is the reason when people ask about medication/illness solution?

Asked by Your_Majesty (8235points) July 17th, 2010

I saw there are lots of question(not necessarily on this site but also on other similar sites) asking about how they handle their currently specific illness despite they know that doctor is the best solution. Many responders suggest doctor is the best idea and the OP should have already known that there would a lot of similar answer in this particular question. We’re not talking about minor diseases which advice are needed and can be safely recommended,we’re talking about major illness like cancer,or other contagious diseases.

So,do you think that most people who made this question just don’t want to go to doctor? Want another cheaper self-medication idea? Need suggestion?(which I don’t believe)

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16 Answers

Spider's avatar

Aside from the most truthful answer (only the asker really knows), here are some possibilities (in no particular order):

1. A person who just found out about an illness might be looking for support, but doesn’t really know how to say that directly.

2. A person may want to get as much information as possible before making a decision, and that might mean getting first-hand experiences from other people.

3. Some people just don’t want to go to the doctor unless they’ve exhausted all other efforts to find answers.

4. Maybe they aren’t able to make an appointment at any given moment (the office is closed, etc.), and they are worried and are looking for a constructive way to alleviate their fear.

5. The days of going to the doctor when you feel sick are over, and people often have to deal with whatever the issue is either until they actually see the doctor or are weighing whether or not it’s worth all the money they would have to pay to see the doctor. (I work at a very large, Fortune 500 company, and our only health insurance option is an HDHP, so I have to pay for everything that’s not preventative care until I reach a $1500 deductible each year.)

I’m not saying these reasons are valid, but may be reasonable under certain conditions.

Seaofclouds's avatar

I think they do it for several reasons.

1. They can’t go to a doctor for some reason like lack of insurance, no money to pay for the fees or medications. So, they come and hope someone will have some advice that may help them without going to a doctor.

2. They do it while they are waiting to get to their doctor. Perhaps to come up with ideas of what to do before their appointment and what to ask their doctor once they get to the appointment.

3. They do it to hear stories from other peole that were in similar situations to find out how they handled it and what happened with them because of that condition.

For example, I have thought about asking about carpal tunnel. I’ve already talked to my doctor and know his recommendation, but I would like to see what other’s have experienced with it before I make a final decision about what I will do.

Your_Majesty's avatar

@Spider and @Seaofclouds GA! I haven’t thought about. I believe many people have their own reasons,but I just hope that they don’t use QandA sites as primary substitute for their illness solution.

Lightlyseared's avatar

Is it a sign that the US needs healthcare reform?

Jeruba's avatar

The answers above are good. I also think some people do it for attention, and some because they are worried about someone other than themselves, and some because they are enjoying the problems of someone other than themselves.

I asked a medical question once in order to try to figure out which of several kinds of doctors to see.

The system is such that if you don’t want to pay twice (first to see a family practitioner who is supposed to know as much about your sinuses and your heart as your big toe—and how can somebody realistically be expert in everything?—and then to see the specialist you’re referred to), you have to figure out the specialty yourself. I had a problem with my foot that could have been tissue, bone, or nerve, and I just didn’t know which. Advice here on fluther sent me to a podiatrist, and that was the right answer.

Kraigmo's avatar

This is a good question.

When the System fails, people step up and help each other out.

The only reason I ever ask medical questions of others, or answer their questions myself, is because our system has failed us.

People who have health insurance in America often go into bankruptcy, or if not that, take a serious dent in their ability to live properly, when they come down with a serious illness. The original point of insurance was to remove ALL worry about an issue. So if people WITH insurance go into bankruptcy over this, imagine how people without health insurance get by, when they come down with a serious illness.

And then there’s the semi-serious issues. Let’s say a person has no insurance at all, and they come down with a non-terminal, yet life-changing illness like sinusitus. They are unable to breathe at all through their nose. They feel like they are suffocating and their head is about to explode. There is no OTC medication that will work longer than 3 days. There is no medication at all that cures this in the long run.

It is not considered an emergency, so a person in this situation cannot go to the emergency room.

And, so in the richest country in the world, they suffer 24 hours a day, every day.

And millions of people, with various conditions, are in the same situation.

Fuck this evil system.

And that.. is why we help each other out.

And whenever I see a medical question and the answerer says “go see the doctor” or “go see the vet”, that is usually insulting and goes without saying, and is completely meaningless in relation to the need of the Question. People with medical questions need help in finding a doctor they can afford, without people’s guesses, or direct help in what they need to do to feel better. It’s a waste of time and space to just say “Go see a doctor”.

DominicX's avatar

If I ask a medical question on here, it’s usually because I suspect it of not being serious enough to warrant a visit to a doctor, but I still am not exactly sure what to do about it.

perspicacious's avatar

It seems to be an attention attempt. Every one of those questions should be addressed with one’s doctor and/or researched on medical sites where there is real information. I’ve started ignoring them for the most part.

DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

You wrote: ”....the doctor is the best solution.” That’s not necessarily true.

Doctors are perhaps the place to start…but they don’t always have “the” solution. It depends on the doctor. If it is an enlightened doctor, then you’ve got yourself a gem. If you have a doctor that really is gifted, great. Sometimes, you can get a diagnosis and choose to use complementary medicine. I believe in other solutions when they are called for.

As I said before my father was killed by allopathic medicine given by a trained “quack” who happened to be an MD. So was my grandmother. Both of them trusted trained medical doctors who went to medical school . My father was given the wrong drugs for years until he was forced by other relatives to seek another opinion elsewhere. (He didn’t want to offend the doctor by going somewhere else.) He had to be de-toxed from the medicine and by that time his condition had deteriorated completely. My grandmother was killed by radiation burns from breast cancer treatment. My other aunt who also had breast cancer was taking herbal remedies that were shrinking her tumors and she was fine. She went to MD Anderson (top cancer clinic) where learned doctors told her to “keep doing what she was doing.” She was doing a program developed by Dr Lorraine Day, (an MD from UCLA) which is all natural, non-invasive and non-drug. She was in remission. Then a local doctor frightened her into doing “chemo” just in case. Well, just in case cost her her life.

To always put doctors in that place…”...the doctor knows best” is giving too much power to people who are human and sometimes just as incompetent as other people in other professions. Doctors are not G-d.

I now wait for the attacks that come every time I mention being responsible for your own health…and every time I support alternative medicine. I think you need to look at all the options, not knock alternative options (as they DO work) and choose your doctor wisely.

talljasperman's avatar

because they don’t have faith in the doctor

zenele's avatar


Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

When it snows…there are many snowflakes but each is not like the other – same with health…cancer may affect millions but when you think you have it, nothing and no one else matters.

jazmina88's avatar

1) You only get 5 minutes or less with a physician and never enough time to ask all your questions. 2) you want more info. Knowledge is good.

Jeruba's avatar

I think the opposite, @Simone_De_Beauvoir. We’re more alike than we are different, exactly as snowflakes are.

Indeed, all of medicine depends on how much we are alike. When I consult a doctor, I hope he or she has seen the same thing many times. I would not want a doctor to put a stethoscope to my foot looking for a heartbeat or look in my throat and say “Amazing. I have no idea.” We may feel very special in our illness, but it would be most reassuring to me to know that my case is just like all the others and the doctor knows exactly what to do.

Spider's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir The snowflakes analogy is very apt, and with @Jeruba‘s “opposite” perspective, it’s clear that it’s the combination of our similarities and differences that make people want to get second opinions, verifications, and commiserations!

Yes, we are alike in many ways – bones generally heal the same way etc., but reactions to drugs and other medical or alternative methods aren’t always the same. It’s key to determine the cause of something to truly address the problem, but we generally don’t know enough about what causes stuff to effectively treat it.

Although as humans we “know” a great deal, we don’t know as much as we think or would like, and when you throw in the factors that make us individual, especially considering we don’t even know all the ways we can be unique or uncommon, what works for most may not work for the person in question 100% of the time.

It’s natural for any person to wonder, “what if I’m in that 1%?”

Kayak8's avatar

In addition to all the terrific answers above, I think some people have health concerns but may not really even know how to word their question (presumably to their physician) and use Q and A sites to help them better frame their concern. Some may lack the vocabulary or may be unable to identify what elements of their symptoms are important to share.

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