When you have an illness that isn’t understood well by doctors it is common for you to have to learn from the internet. Now for those people who haven’t been to medical school (um like all of us) it can be hard to find good, reliable, and clear information. So many times people end up getting their “science” from a wholly unscientific sources. I see patients get caught up in pseudoscience and taken advantage of through these channels.
Four Tips to Determine if Something is Scientific and Worth Listening To:
- Check the source
Most of the time checking the source is the only step I have to take to determine if an article is reliable. Is it from Scientific American or is it from Naturenews.com. Scientific American is much more likely to be based on science than Naturenews.com. Doing a quick search of the source can tell you whether to even consider the information.
- If it sounds too good to be true- it is.
I see this all the time. “Essential oils will cure you!” Anything claiming to cure your incurable disorder should be approached with caution. I don’t deny that certain strange things help some people, but claiming to cure it is ridiculous.
- Become an expert on your disorder
If you go out of your way to learn everything you can about your disorder you are going to be able to see what makes sense and what doesn’t. Remember knowledge is power, and it’s especially powerful in this game.
4. Ask someone who knows more
I wish I saw more of this. People will supply information to the rest of their peers without really considering whether it is valuable. This perpetuates the popularity of these pseudoscience myths. Simply asking others, who may know more than you, if something is “real” is incredibly valuable.
If you use more scientific sources and learn about your disorder you will be better able to contribute to your care. You are going to lose respect from your doctor if you suggest you should try essential oils and they will be less likely to listen to your suggestions. Approach this with caution. Doctors also don’t like when you know more than them. Egotistical jerks.