Stop Self-Diagnosing Mental Illness
Start writing a post
Health and Wellness

Stop Self-Diagnosing Mental Illness

Diagnosing yourself is not only unreliable, it's dangerous

Stop Self-Diagnosing Mental Illness

The discussion surrounding mental illness has been continuously growing over the past few years. While this is great for reduces the stigmas surrounding many mental illnesses. However, this has given rise to self-diagnosing of mental illnesses, and this needs to stop.

Watching videos on Facebook or looking up your symptoms online and diagnosing yourself is not only unreliable it's dangerous.

Here's why:

1. It's dangerous to yourself

It's easy to look your symptoms up and convince yourself you have x, y, or z. However, it's very common that symptoms you believe are psychological are actually symptoms of a physical medical disease. You may believe that you have panic disorder, and you are so certain that you miss an irregular heartbeat or hyperthyroidism. Brain tumors can cause changes in personality, depression, or even psychosis. Overlooking these physical diseases because you're self-diagnosing yourself with a mental illness could be a fatal mistake.

2. You are undermining the roles of doctors who are licensed to diagnose

There's a reason doctors go through years and years of medical school and are required to be licensed. They are trained to be able to give you an accurate diagnosis. It's easy to misinterpret symptoms or even miss other symptoms altogether. Doctors are trained to accurately evaluate your condition, and get you on the right path to recovery.

If you have concerns about your mental illness, that's okay. What's not okay is diagnosing yourself. Doctors are licensed professionals for a reason, and they're there to help. You don't hear of people self-diagnosing themselves with cancer or polio, so why is it thought to be acceptable to self-diagnose a mental illness?

3. It is an insult to everyone who has a diagnosed mental illness

Those of us who have a mental illness suffer every day because of it. Do you think this is something we want? It's not fun. It's not cute. I would do anything if I could get rid of my mental illnesses, but I can't. And it's incredibly hurtful to have someone self-diagnose themselves when they have no idea what it's like to actually have one. It's easy to experience symptoms you may think are the cause of a mental illness when they're just situational issues.

4. Self-diagnosing contributes to the culture that mental health issues "aren't real"

People begin to question who's lying and who's being honest, and thus disregarding those who truly do have a mental illness. It makes people who are diagnosed are just faking it for attention or being dramatic. They are then shamed for seeking medical attention, and this is not healthy. Living with a mental illness is hard enough, the last thing I want on top of that is to hear that my illness isn't real.

It is not "cute" or "fun" to have a mental illness. It's called an illness for a reason. Self-diagnosing takes away the validity of those who actually have an actual mental illness. Being tidy does not make you OCD, having mood swings does not make you bipolar, and being sad does not make you depressed. If you're concerned you may have a mental illness, please go see a doctor. But please, stop self-diagnosing.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

college students waiting in a long line in the hallway

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less
a man and a woman sitting on the beach in front of the sunset

Whether you met your new love interest online, through mutual friends, or another way entirely, you'll definitely want to know what you're getting into. I mean, really, what's the point in entering a relationship with someone if you don't know whether or not you're compatible on a very basic level?

Consider these 21 questions to ask in the talking stage when getting to know that new guy or girl you just started talking to:

Keep Reading...Show less

Challah vs. Easter Bread: A Delicious Dilemma

Is there really such a difference in Challah bread or Easter Bread?

loaves of challah and easter bread stacked up aside each other, an abundance of food in baskets

Ever since I could remember, it was a treat to receive Easter Bread made by my grandmother. We would only have it once a year and the wait was excruciating. Now that my grandmother has gotten older, she has stopped baking a lot of her recipes that require a lot of hand usage--her traditional Italian baking means no machines. So for the past few years, I have missed enjoying my Easter Bread.

Keep Reading...Show less

Unlocking Lake People's Secrets: 15 Must-Knows!

There's no other place you'd rather be in the summer.

Group of joyful friends sitting in a boat
Haley Harvey

The people that spend their summers at the lake are a unique group of people.

Whether you grew up going to the lake, have only recently started going, or have only been once or twice, you know it takes a certain kind of person to be a lake person. To the long-time lake people, the lake holds a special place in your heart, no matter how dirty the water may look.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments