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Do you think people should self-diagnose mental illness? Watch

  • View Poll Results: Do you think people should self-diagnose mental illness?
    Yes
    30.56%
    No
    61.11%
    Unsure
    8.33%

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    Before you say it, I don't mean people who have been sad for a day or two saying they're depressed, or teenagers assuming they're bipolar because of small mood swings. I mean people who, for whatever reason, cannot see a doctor. Or who feel like a doctor has misdiagnosed them or looked over something completely. But people who in their heart of hearts know that something is not right, and fit every single one of the symptoms of a mental illness.

    When doctors use a simple questionnaire, and not scans or blood tests, to diagnose some mental illnesses, should it be acceptable for a patient to diagnose themselves? Or would that give way to too many people being sure that they have a mental illness when they don't, living with a label that doesn't fit them?
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    (Original post by lameteenager)
    Before you say it, I don't mean people who have been sad for a day or two saying they're depressed, or teenagers assuming they're bipolar because of small mood swings. I mean people who, for whatever reason, cannot see a doctor. Or who feel like a doctor has misdiagnosed them or looked over something completely. But people who in their heart of hearts know that something is not right, and fit every single one of the symptoms of a mental illness.

    When doctors use a simple questionnaire, and not scans or blood tests, to diagnose some mental illnesses, should it be acceptable for a patient to diagnose themselves? Or would that give way to too many people being sure that they have a mental illness when they don't, living with a label that doesn't fit them?
    I'm not entirely sure what you're asking. Any kind of official, clinical diagnosis needs to be done by a qualified psychologist. Of course there's nothing wrong with people self-diagnosing problems for their own benefit if it helps them deal with their mental health issues by themselves or makes them feel more comfortable but that can't count as a clinical diagnosis.
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    I definitely think that these things should be diagnosed by a medical professional however, it is often comforting to search mental health symtoms and understand why you're feeling a certain way and that others feel that way as well so I don't think self diagnosis is exceptionally bad. It's mainly to do with treatment imo, if you decide you have a certain mh problem you may think you can handle it on your own which is often not the case.
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    (Original post by Plagioclase)
    I'm not entirely sure what you're asking. Any kind of official, clinical diagnosis needs to be done by a qualified psychologist. Of course there's nothing wrong with people self-diagnosing problems for their own benefit if it helps them deal with their mental health issues by themselves or makes them feel more comfortable but that can't count as a clinical diagnosis.
    Of course. Not an 'official' one, but...I suppose I'd liken it to saying you have the flu. Technically it would be more valid if a doctor diagnosed it for you, but when you really have the flu you can tell it's not just a bad cold. Does that clear things up? I'm not the best with words.
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    (Original post by lameteenager)
    Before you say it, I don't mean people who have been sad for a day or two saying they're depressed, or teenagers assuming they're bipolar because of small mood swings. I mean people who, for whatever reason, cannot see a doctor. Or who feel like a doctor has misdiagnosed them or looked over something completely. But people who in their heart of hearts know that something is not right, and fit every single one of the symptoms of a mental illness.

    When doctors use a simple questionnaire, and not scans or blood tests, to diagnose some mental illnesses, should it be acceptable for a patient to diagnose themselves? Or would that give way to too many people being sure that they have a mental illness when they don't, living with a label that doesn't fit them?
    Self diagnoses is not bad. It can be clear when something is not right, when you compare yourself to the mass population. This combined with relatable symptoms can lead to an adequate diagnoses. The reason why this strikes controversy is because, their are many teens that undergo rapid mood swings due to puberty. They relate this to mental illnesses as they find it harder to relate to other people, due to their hormonal changes and societal expectations of being an 'individual'. The mental illness that the teen diagnoses them self with becomes part of their identity, helping to separate them from the crowd.
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    Not until they have GMC accreditation
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    It depends how you look at it:
    Self diagnosis isn't always wrong. (done it twice and have been right both times. Or rather, friends / family have suggested it's what I have)
    If you say "I have xyz" and give some utterly ridiculous reason, you're invalidating / belittling a pretty serious medical problem
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    As others have said, it depends, in some cases perhaps people can be quick to self diagnose because of small reasons, but in other cases, like for myself, you don't necessarily need a professional diagnosis to know that it's pretty clear that what you're experiencing is more than a little bit of anxiety or low mood, and no professional I've ever seen has attempted to make an official diagnosis, though none disagreed that I have pretty severe social anxiety disorder, it's pretty obvious given my current state of life and my struggles in all situations that involve coming into contact with people.
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    Medical professional knows what they're doing, you don't. Nuff said.
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    (Original post by Vikingninja)
    Medical professional knows what they're doing, you don't. Nuff said.
    debatable
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    I think it's fine to do those only tests for your own interest but you shouldn't take their results to heart as only a medical professional can diagnose you properly. Self diagnosis may give some relief but more often than not, you end up diagnosing yourself with a millions diseases you don't have. I've lost count how many mental and physical illnesses I've diagnosed myself with and turned out not to have any other than those I was officially diagnosed with which ironically enough, I never done any self diagnosing tests for them.

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    (Original post by Tiger Rag)
    debatable
    Definitely agree. While doctors and other health care providers are often right and are to be fair trained, I disagree with taking their word for gospel.

    I have had serious problems in the past with doctors being severely ignorant, negligent and misdiagnosing me or refusing treatment which on one occasion nearly resulted in my death. We are right to sometimes question the diagnosis we get.
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    I think it's difficult to say that self-diagnosis is definitely good or definitely bad. For whatever reason a lot of people don't want to or can't access mental health professionals to get a diagnosis (especially in countries without a socialised health system or a health system that doesn't take mental health seriously). And doctors often encourage patients to research into diagnoses and medications. But it's also very easy to read diagnostic criteria and 'over-think' your experiences and decide you have something. Many MH conditions have very similar symptoms so it can be difficult (even for trained MH professionals sometimes) to know which is a person's 'true diagnosis'. And certain treatable physical conditions can present like MH conditions and it might require a doctor is recognise the difference.
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    (Original post by SmallTownGirl)
    And certain treatable physical conditions can present like MH conditions and it might require a doctor is recognise the difference.
    This is the situation I was in recently. Unfortunately for me, because I have a history of depression, they always put it down to that if they can't work out it what it is. And there's no proper test (ie, a brain scan or a blood test) to confirm the diagnosis or rule out the depression.
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    Sometimes you honestly just know, without having an 'official' diagnosis. Keep in mind not everyone can access health professionals, because of fear of alienation/family etc. Not to make this about me, but I 'technically' self-diagnosed myself with GAD and I never even went through an official diagnosis before being referred to a therapist. I just knew, because it's so severe, I suppose. Obviously people who self-diagnose depression or whatnot to sound cool are morons but if you can't get a proper diagnosis for whatever reason, I think it's fine.
    • #2
    #2

    (Original post by Tiger Rag)
    This is the situation I was in recently. Unfortunately for me, because I have a history of depression, they always put it down to that if they can't work out it what it is. And there's no proper test (ie, a brain scan or a blood test) to confirm the diagnosis or rule out the depression.
    Of course. Any physical symptom is mental health once you have a diagnosis according to doctors. And yes some are but not everything. I'm pretty sure I could break my leg and the first question my doctor would ask is whether I did it on purpose...
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    (Original post by SmallTownGirl)
    And certain treatable physical conditions can present like MH conditions and it might require a doctor is recognise the difference.
    Actually, that is true. Like thyroid problems giving you depression. Although with some of those even doctors don't pick it up (like Wilson's disease being diagnosed as schizophrenia).
    • #3
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    (Original post by Tiger Rag)
    This is the situation I was in recently. Unfortunately for me, because I have a history of depression, they always put it down to that if they can't work out it what it is. And there's no proper test (ie, a brain scan or a blood test) to confirm the diagnosis or rule out the depression.
    Ugh, tell me about it. A few years ago I started getting headaches and slight blurred vision and it took FIVE visits to the doctor for her to stop saying it was due to my depression. Turns out I just needed glasses!
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    I don't think there's anything wrong with people noticing patterns in their behaviour and saying they believe they might have x y z, and seeking ways to overcome that specific thing, but ofc it shouldn't count as anything official.

    Depression is debatable. There seem to be 2 meanings of the word now - actual clinical depression and/or a state of intense sadness, I accept both these definitions (I understand why others won't) and thus when someone on Fb says "I'm depressed" they can just mean the latter and not the former.
    • #4
    #4

    In my experience doctors have been useless. I've suffered with what I'd call "depression" for years. On and off I can sometimes feel extremely low, completely de-motivated and just not wanting to get out of bed, this could last a day or several days.

    I went to the doctors three times over the space of 2 years, explained the symptoms and each time was fobbed off with them saying there was nothing that could be done. One doctor even said "Unless you're having suicidal thoughts we can't do anything". Okay...?

    After spending hours reading up on-line and researching Lithium Orotate, I began taking this 10mg per day - after about 1 month my depression was much more manageable - I still have down days, but nowhere near as bad as before. It may all just be placebo effect but in my case the "professionals" didn't help me at all.

    Annoyingly one of my mates mentioned to his doctor about feeling a little down lately in passing and was instantly put on anti-depressants! Go figure...
 
 
 
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