12 thoughts on “6 Reasons Why Self-Diagnosis Should Never Happen

  • February 24, 2016 at 8:43 am

    Here’s the problem: psychiatrists are only too willing to diagnose a condition that requires medication. And primary care physicians think most people are hypochondriacs. One has to practically beg their PCP to perform a test, or, barring that, one has to find a doctor that will do the test, and that can be a long, fruitless search.

    • February 25, 2016 at 9:42 am

      Hi H.W.
      You bring up an interesting and sometimes very true point. Each professional is educated differently, walk down different roads of life, and have different life perspectives. All PCP’s or psychiatrists have something different about them. It has been my experience that some psychiatrists are very concerned about properly treating their patients and I have also worked with psychiatrists who simply want to push medication and prescribe scripts for neuropsychiatric or brain tests. It’s complicated. We have to be careful not to judge every professional the same. But I do agree that PCP’s and psychiatrists will most often push medication. We see this a lot with children with ADHD or client’s with depressed mood.

      Despite all of this H.W., we still have to be careful diagnosing ourselves because we could be wrong and setting ourselves back in some way we cannot see.

  • February 25, 2016 at 11:59 am

    Yes it always works. My education in human behavior, the therapy I have had and being in a 12 step program for 25 years is what forces me to be completely honest with myself and take a daily persoonal inventory.

  • February 25, 2016 at 1:50 pm

    I agree with trying to get overly specific on some ailments but let’s be honest. Some things are self explanatory and obvious. I know I have social anxiety but have never been diagnosed by a doctor. Another example is depression. If people are sad for an extended period of time and it has occurred throughout their life odds are they can make an educated guess that they have some form of depression or bipolar disorder. It’s really not a magic that only doctors have the power to control.

    • February 26, 2016 at 7:11 pm

      Hi Jen,
      Agree with you. Some things really are self-explanatory. If you are highly anxious, you know what those symptoms are. But things get tricky if you show symptoms that aren’t necessarily anxiety-based. For example, someone who is fearful of being alone, seems clingy, and often needs others to help them, may not be showing signs of anxiety or even separation anxiety, but dependent personality disorder. Someone who is very isolative, unmotivated, has poor hygiene, does not like social scenes, and seems slightly odd may not be depressed or have an autism spectrum disorder but be psychotic and delusional. It gets really tricky! But again, I do agree that some things just make sense. We all know when someone we love is depressed. That doesn’t take a professional to know that.

  • February 25, 2016 at 8:25 pm

    Hi Tamara– interesting article– something to consider for sure- isn’t self diagnosis something we all do every day- like today i feel this way , so i better do this- think about that– consider these things in order to not feel or think bad about that–that looks after me– as in be your own carer- doctor because you should- we all should-we all are-mind you a mind is a very complex place– and most people have trouble with it-at some stage or various stages during a life – some are caught up in their heads-stuck– or cant move forward- or away from whats too concerning in their thinking- because they are stuck in a bad place– not actually mentally ill- just mentally and emotionally stuck – like at a cross road of misunderstanding/ concern–and you don’t know what road –next.
    The problem, i believe is-Immaturity- Maturity- are you able to rise above your minds ability to lead you astray- to keep you in a dark/uncomfortable place–can you–and how- immaturity can prevent that happening- the last thing you need is someone telling you its something you’ve got for life– and drugging you with drugs that prevent you maturing- or even accessing the thoughts that will eventually save you–POTENTIALLY– is that information right when it could keep you a prisoner to a dangerous chemical-and mind state– i don’t think it is– so my advice would be to see a NON- misery- positive caring person-first- because they don’t miserise- and pass it to you to wear and carry on your back-so yeah– by all means– two heads are better than one in working things out–always good to seek information from anyone who is clued up enough and positive enough to give it- and receive it from– potentially all of us- you or me- theirs nothing tricky or special about easing peoples concerns if you know the difference between misery and happiness- the reasons -both for and the recovery of – the thinking process that helped them overcome the same type of thinking,normal people helping normal people- who have normal experiences, most lives and people have,– just some get stuck, or caught up-anyway that’s what i think it is- its downplayed–because it needs to be– that’s the lesson-that’s the healing— not light it up for all the world to see and you to wear– anyway I loved number two–what you said there was perfect–explains perfectly what mental health/psychiatry are actually doing to the planet– all you need to do in two is change “someone”-(special) to “anyone” (special)– pretty much the same thing- but if you look at your words, they explain exactly what the profession and the pills are doing–and how you are being effected by them, and the pills-its brilliant–its what ive been trying to say for a long time– but just haven’t been able to explain it properly-find the right words- so thanks so much for this article– I hope you don’t mind me passing it around– its too good not to. To me therapy is in each and every one of us–some more than others– no ones specially equipped to be able to help others except the individual on that basis– who they are- how they think- how empathetic they are- how mature-how experienced- how positive-mind you people who work in care are usually better at it than the average–but not and never necessarily– ive had the best comforting/ steering advice from the least expected- its individual to individual base- not expert to expert base– its personality base–some people whether their experts or not, don’t suit you- aren’t the right type of people for you- aren’t your type of people–those people aren’t generally going to help you as much as those you like and who like you-people you click with’ like minded—outside of expert for expert sake. thanks again John

    • February 26, 2016 at 7:06 pm

      Hi John,
      Thank you for your comment. Well thought out and I very much agree with most of what you mentioned. You are correct that we “diagnose” ourselves on a daily basis. I do this to myself all of the time. However, in the article, I am attempting to make readers aware of self-diagnosis involving really big labels such as borderline personality disorder, schizophrenia, or bipolar disorder. We all, at one point in our lives, believe we are showing signs of anxiety or depression and may “label” or “diagnose” ourselves. Other individuals may use medical terms to explain their symptoms which is a form of self-diagnosis. I’ve had young clients who would say things like “I have chronic fatigue syndrome.” When I would ask follow-up questions about the symptoms, this client would say “well, I have chronic fatigue syndrome because I am just so tired all of the time.” After suggesting the family take this client to a medical professional to receive a full evaluation, the client learned she was anemic and had an iron deficiency. Self-diagnosis can be tricky and even dangerous.

      I also like that you highlight that the best advice or discussions, for you, have come from people who are not titled professional. I must agree that I too have had that experience and always aim to be keen to wisdom from people who are not so-called “professionals.” I’ve had the experience of speaking to individuals who are homeless and some of the wisdom is priceless from them.But I still urge people to weigh the information they are getting and be careful listening to everyone.

      Thanks for your insights!

  • February 26, 2016 at 12:27 am

    The root of the problem is a healthcare system that makes it expensive or difficult to get professional diagnosis.

    And worse than that, professionals that give innaccurate or unhelpful diagnosis. Medical schools are set up to teach the type of medical care that makes money and supports the pharmaceutical industry.

    We all know this. So trust that your medical professional has your best interest in mind goes straight out the window.

    • February 26, 2016 at 6:57 pm

      Hi RZ,
      you make a few good points and I don’t disagree. You are correct that medical professionals (and might I add, psychiatrists and mental health professionals) may not always diagnose you correctly, which can lead to you having to “diagnose” yourself or find someone who will diagnose you correctly (which can cost thousands of dollars without insurance). When professionals, medical or psychiatric, end up giving the wrong diagnosis to a client, it will certainly take that client a long time before they are willing and able to trust again. This is typically when most people begin to do their own research and diagnose themselves. I am a believer in educating yourself to a diagnosis you may have or to symptoms you may be exhibiting. But the main point of the article is to avoid giving yourself a label that may or may not be true.

  • February 26, 2016 at 8:35 pm

    Self-diagnosis saved my life. I have pure obsessional OCD and I was getting to the point of thinking of suicide when I found a book that explained my symptoms. I did more research and that is when I was able to reach out for help. I couldn’t talk to people about my symptoms. Even after I had a diagnosis I had a hard time talking about what was going on. But I had a name for it and it made a difference. So, self-diagnosis is not always bad. And for me this happened before the internet was a really big deal. But the mental health field really needs to make changes too. Providers need to recognize symptoms of mental illness and have some idea of how to treat illness. And providers who cannot treat certain illnesses need to recognize that and refer to people who can. After years of working with professionals I finally found someone who truly understood this illness and could treat it 2 years ago. So while self-diagnosis is certainly something people have to be careful about, I think it can serve a purpose. But it is important that people always do follow up. And providers need to do their homework too and make sure they know how to help people who will come to them for help.

  • February 27, 2016 at 9:37 pm

    Thanks Tamara– I can dig what your saying in that people getting a professional opinion– and that would be fine– and i would advise the same thing normally-with real medicine– real doctor stuff—and if the profession wasn’t corrupted– or if i knew the people i was sending-for that professional opinion- wouldn’t end up a drug deal to their grave-because of it– that’s whats happening in the psychiatric /mental health profession– so its not a safe thing to do–in fact its the last thing i would tell anyone, unless they don’t mind being tagged and adversely long term forced drugged to their grave– because these people have the power to do that to you me or anyone they like– and i would never send anyone to anyone like that.

  • March 4, 2016 at 2:10 pm

    I do, but usually by mistake to begin with as I stumble over something that provokes a lightbulb moment and motivates me to learn more. Once I feel informed, and if i am still convinced something ‘fits’/applies then I will book in to discuss it with the Dr/get tests if necessary.

    So far I’ve been pretty much spot on. And re credibility of information, one of the reasons i read a wide range of sites hopefully for a more balanced perspective and commonality.


Join the Conversation!

We invite you to share your thoughts and tell us what you think in this public forum. Before posting, please read our blog moderation guidelines. A first name or pseudonym is required and will be displayed with your comment. Your email address is also required, but will be kept private. (Please note that we use gravatars here, which are tied to your email address.) A website/blog/twitter address is optional.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *