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This, my first question on this site (but not on Stack Exchange) overall, was closed and got three downvotes, on the grounds that "questions requesting personal medical advice are off-topic here". (I am a bit confused about what is and is not off topic; for example, this and this and this seem to be in a similar spirit.)

Anyway, is there any version of my question which would be on topic? For example, if I removed the part asking what I should do, and reworded it to simply ask what I might plausibly be experiencing? Or is this simply not the sort of question to which I should expect any kind of answer here?

Thank you.

  • This Meta Post explains why personal medical advice is off-topic. This rule has not been followed so strongly in the past (3 years is a lot on the Internet). Furthermore, we're in the process of changing the scope. But the bottom line: You have a question about a specific health problem you are experiencing, and no matter how you phrase it, this will be off-topic. Furthermore, it seems slightly irrelevant (and unlikely) that sleeplessness is correlated to eating right before, which is – Narusan Jun 29 '18 at 11:36
  • [cont'd] probably why it attracted the downvotes. – Narusan Jun 29 '18 at 11:38
  • @Narusan Thanks for responding. Incidentally, "it is unlikely that sleeplessness is correlated to eating before" is the sort of answer I was hoping for. – Anonymous Jun 29 '18 at 14:15
  • Probably the tag (allowed-questions) would be suitable for this post. (I do not have sufficient reputation to edit on meta, which is why I made this suggestion in a comment instead.) – Martin Jul 1 '18 at 10:50
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Your question was asked under our current scope and it is, strictly speaking, off-topic. The examples you mentioned are a thorn in our side as we have failed quite plainly too often to enforce this policy. It is therefore correct or let's say understandable that you are confused about this apparent discrepancy.

But you came to the right place to ask for clarification, here on Health.meta.

As @Narusan already pointed out in a comment:

This Meta Post explains why personal medical advice is off-topic. This rule has not been followed so strongly in the past (3 years is a lot on the Internet). Furthermore, we're in the process of changing the scope. But the bottom line: You have a question about a specific health problem you are experiencing, and no matter how you phrase it, this will be off-topic. Furthermore, it seems slightly irrelevant (and unlikely) that sleeplessness is correlated to eating right before, which is probably why it attracted the downvotes.

While I think that the amount of downvotes ended up as bit on the excessive side, I also think that you already found the recipe for improvement, partially:

if I removed the part asking what I should do, and reworded it to simply ask what I might plausibly be experiencing

As a proud owner of the informed badge, you've read the tour page. The next step is to read or re-read the [ask] page.

There it says:

How can I phrase it to address the health topic itself, rather than an individual situation?

and

Make it relevant to others

and

Search, and research before posting a question

And document your research on that, I might add.

Some still might think that this a mundane question not worthy of their attention or this site. I think this a quite common belief/conception or wide spread experience, so that under the current scope a generalised and well researched question – like this might become – it might then get an answer that is informative and generally applicable. So read up on our [help] what your own research reveals to you and edit your question. It's worth a shot.

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