When I used to work in psych wards in Los Angeles County, it used to irk me that the treatment team would throw out diagnosis left and right with NOS for either they didn’t have to time to properly diagnose patients cause the hospital was a rotating door, OR, they don’t know enough about mental illness to properly diagnose someone so stick on the NOS to be safe. It annoyed me on multiple levels cause once a person has an Axis I diagnosis it’s documented in a system. Patients would come and go and float from hospital to hospital and when I would pull up their name in the system the patient would have several different diagnosis NOS…NOS…NOS.
Some people diagnose themselves before they get professional psychiatric help. I did, and society influenced my “self-diagnosis.” Just like PE class for children’s physical health awareness, it is crucial to teach mental health diagnosis in schools instead of using buzz words like ADHD and jumping on a bandwagon that might not be yours. I thought I was ADHD because I didn’t know there was such a thing as Bipolar II – Chronic Hypo Mania. Big difference.
Here are some red flags to consider when you self-diagnose and/or miss-diagnose: