August 4, 2011 at 10:38 am , by Amelia Harnish
When a celebrity talks about a diagnosis, it’s guaranteed to make headlines. If you’re like me, you’re one of those people whose defenses are useless against celebrity coverage. Whether it’s about a cheating spouse or new baby pictures, I can’t help but read about it when I’m scanning the news.
Maybe I’d be better off reading something more “important,” but it’s not such a bad thing when the article is about a celeb’s health. Besides giving you a look into their lives, this kind of news also piques our interest in often under-the-radar health issues. This month’s batch of top health searches from Yahoo! proves that when famous people get sick, it makes people think about their own health. These three celebrity-related health searches were among the top 25.
21. Borderline Personality Disorder
Huh? Ever heard of this one? I hadn’t. Characterized by unstable and turbulent emotions, BPD started spiking on Yahoo! after Miami Dolphins receiver Brandon Marshall revealed his diagnosis. People with BPD have trouble maintaining relationships, suffer from bouts of anger and may act dangerously impulsive. Even though it was a male celeb who brought it to everyone’s attention, BPD is actually more common in women.
Searches this month spiked 286 percent for psoriasis after Kim Kardashian was diagnosed with the skin condition. But people weren’t just looking for photos or information about Kardashian—terms like “psoriasis treatment” and “psoriasis symptoms” also spiked in response to the news. It’s good that it’s getting attention because psoriasis may be more than just a skin problem. It’s also a risk factor for metabolic syndrome, which is characterized by heart disease, obesity and high blood pressure, according to a recent study. See our colleague Nykia’s recent blog about psoriasis and what it mean’s for Kim Kardashian’s wedding day.
2. Addiction Treatment
Amy Winehouse’s tragic death may have had something to do with this one coming in at No. 2 on the list. We still don’t know the cause of the crooner’s death—now speculation is centered on alcohol withdrawal—but her struggle with addiction was about as well known as her music. Yahoo! search experts saw a 57 percent increase for “addiction” on the day of her death, and searches for “addiction treatment” were sky high all month long. Maybe people took her death as a warning sign?
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