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What's your opinion? self-diagnosing?

LittleMissNameless

LittleMissNameless

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I'm bored and curious.
Whats your take on self-diagnosing mental illness? is it valid or does it cause more damage to a stigmatized community (Like BPD)?
 
Zackthemaniac

Zackthemaniac

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Self diagnosing is always a mistake. Its not something a person can really do objectively about themselves and the diagnostic criteria are more complicated than just words on page its just like with any medical condition you want to get it checked by someone who spent 10 years in school studying it and has been practicing his craft everyday since.
Not to say if you have a feeling you shouldnt consult a doctor but you can never assume.


And i think people who falsely diagnose themselves can hurt the community at large.
 
W

WhySoSerious

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Its a difficult one. If you are self-diagnosing because you fear accessing services that may be one thing (my work, for example, would be massively impacted if I had a diagnosis of BPD). At the same time you can fit yourself into ANY criteria if you want to. So many people BELIEVE they have BPD, ADHD, ADD and many other conditions but when they get to a psychiatrist and they are told "no you are normal" they get very upset about it. They WANT a diagnosis so much that they will actually tell people they have a diagnosis because it makes them different and gives them a reason for feeling shit (rather than life just being shit!)

I don't believe you can objectively self-diagnose. You have way too many internal reasons for doing it and it is not always because of the "right" reasons either.

I have found that people that self-diagnose (and don't admit it is not formal) tend to damage those that actually have the condition because they give the impression that everyone with that diagnosis is "like" them. All it takes is other people to identify with you and accept your self-diagnosis and next thing you know there are hundreds that all think they have a psychiatric condition that isn't actually based on assessment from a specialist.

In terms of validity well no. It is only valid if it is formally given by a psychiatrist. I could say I have epilepsy or a heart condition but that doesn't make it true or valid.
 
Capt Hooke

Capt Hooke

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Having been in treatment on and off for 40 years, I don't have a great opinion of P-docs in general. Some are pleasant and some less so, but the fact is that they are generally not very helpful because our current level of understanding of the human brain is still extremely limited.

I find it helpful to remember that for thousands of years, and in countries all over the world, if you were physically ill, the great cure-all was blood-letting. The French were still blood letting during the Napoleonic wars; soldiers taken injured off the battlefield were bled if they did not pick up quickly.

And I think that is where we are today with problems like depression; is inhibiting serotonin re-uptake the modern equivalent of blood-letting? I'm guessing that it is - people will look back in 100 years time and shudder at what now goes on.

So, by all means, read widely and self-diagnose; your guess is as good as theirs.... and cheaper :)
 
Zackthemaniac

Zackthemaniac

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So, by all means, read widely and self-diagnose; your guess is as good as theirs.... and cheaper :)
While i find your point about the history of medicine and specifically mental health treatment very valid. (Giving people labotomies for heavens sake !) And im sure the state of medicine in 100 years probably will look at us as barbarians. I can understand you probably seen lot of changes in mental health in past 40 years.

However, I cannot in good conscience let the above quoted passage go without comment. Yes always read and be informed and be part of your own treatment. But when it comes to medicine. Your opinion or guess is not as good as a licensed physician and could be downright dangerous. So please consult a physician if you have an issue. Im not saying doctors are perfect, but they're doctors for a reason.
 
Capt Hooke

Capt Hooke

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Actually, there hasn't been that much change in 40 years, and as my mother had depression, I have a perspective that goes back further still. The biggest change in treating depression is that the current ("Third Generation") anti-depressants have less-severe side effects than the older ones. Also, it's really very hard to commit suicide with them. But are they more helpful.....?

My mother ended up being treated with ECT (~1970) which I don't think did anything for her. I read just the other day that the use of ECT in the UK has been increasing in recent years. Are we going backwards?

In the UK it is pretty hard to get hold of prescription medicines (so I believe) so self-medicating is not an option. Is it easier in the USA?
 
Zackthemaniac

Zackthemaniac

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Yes people find and abuse them a lot unfortunately. Ect had come a long way in past 40 years. Side effects have become pretty mild and helps a lot of people who cant get help any other way.
 
LittleMissNameless

LittleMissNameless

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I've noticed a rise in self-diagnosed people online alot claim BPD self-diagnosis but in real life I also have been hearing alot of people claiming they have "agoraphobia" (before the quarantine) and I struggle with this so I get excited to meet another in real life and I always ask how they got diagnosed since it's really difficult and sometimes they get embarrassed and backtrack that they haven't yet or that they meant their not social which is fine but a new bunch of younger people are proudly claiming "they didnt need a diagnosis - they cured themselves" which is a little insulting honestly. If it's that easy then idk if it's a disorder you know what I mean.
 
SunnyDaze

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I think self diagnosing is dangerous. It's one thing to think you may have something and then seeking out a professional opinion to see if you're right and picking out a specific illness and applying it to yourself without seeing a professional.

There's a good chance of being way wrong. I spent many years self diagnosing and trying to fix myself. It was much wasted time and money and life. I wasn't even close at all.It's easy to relate to symptoms and behaviors that other experience and claim the same diagnosis.

Many people that self diagnose "become" their diagnosis and instead of the symptoms fitting them they fit the symptoms. They latch onto a specific disorder, read all they can about it and before long they have every symptom and even act out the disorder. Maybe not purposely faking but rather because they have convinced their self that's what they have.The mind is a powerful thing.
 
Zackthemaniac

Zackthemaniac

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I've noticed a rise in self-diagnosed people online alot claim BPD self-diagnosis but in real life I also have been hearing alot of people claiming they have "agoraphobia" (before the quarantine) and I struggle with this so I get excited to meet another in real life and I always ask how they got diagnosed since it's really difficult and sometimes they get embarrassed and backtrack that they haven't yet or that they meant their not social which is fine but a new bunch of younger people are proudly claiming "they didnt need a diagnosis - they cured themselves" which is a little insulting honestly. If it's that easy then idk if it's a disorder you know what I mean.
Problem is people like attention and having mh condition gives some people an identity and community. So because they have traits they pretend they meet criteria and its bs. Gotta watch out for fakes. Especially in young kids. I hadnt heard introverts self diagnosing agoraphobia thats a new one. Pretty silly.
 
LittleMissNameless

LittleMissNameless

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Problem is people like attention and having mh condition gives some people an identity and community. because they have traits they pretend they meet criteria and its bs.
Isn't that concerning though my mental Illnesses aren't ME they are impairments of my life or a magnification of one or so of my personality traits but I don't "identify" as my anxiety disorders or BPD I have them. If I saw myself as them then idk wouldn't that inhibit my growth as a person?

The community thing makes sense but idk it feels like the self-id community doesn't want to be apart of the diagnosed community like they are better than me because I couldn't cure my disorder already or atleast cant make it disappear at convienent times like they can.

I also think self-id isnt looking for a community that can relate so much as a confirmation that they're special
 
Capt Hooke

Capt Hooke

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It's also worth remembering that if you saw 10 different p-docs you might get 4 or 5 different opinions. You see this best in legal cases where one p-doc says the accused is ok and responsible for his actions and another expert says no, he's crazy and unfit to plead. So many psychologists are dead against the use of any pharmaceutical options.
 
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