if you self-diagnose don’t come near me don’t speak to me don’t even look at me. edit, so that I don’t have to keep repeating myself: there’s a difference between saying “I have these symptoms, so it’s a possibility I have x” and “I had this symptom once so I totally have this particular disease”. the first is fine and even encouraged! the second, not so much. but like I’ve been trying to say: let’s say there’s a person who had an intrusive thought once, so the next day they wake up and say “I have MPD” and then they start telling people they have MPD and it begins to have a snowball effect on their lives because they self-dx'ed without getting a professional’s opinion – that’s harmful, wouldn’t you say? ESPECIALLY if they’ve convinced themselves that they have a specific illness so thoroughly that they start self-medicating for it! that could totally be so dangerous! professional doctors and psychologists who have trained for years and years are going to know more about mental illness than some kid on the Internet. therefore, people who self-diagnose and proclaim they have an illness that hasn’t been checked out by a professional bug me, plain and simple. you don’t have to take it personally. I’m sure you’re a great person. I just disagree with self-diagnosis and don’t like when people do it. that’s all. it’s very very unfortunate if people do not have access to a doctor. I think that everyone should be able to have access to a doctor. however, even if you are unable to see a doctor for some reason, I still don’t think you should diagnose yourself because that’s potentially quite dangerous. if there are some recovery articles or something online that you have access to that addresses THAT SPECIFIC SYMPTOM that you have, by all means, go for it! but don’t try and help yourself by doing research on a specific disease unless a professional has told you otherwise, because it could be the wrong disease anyway and those recovery methods won’t help at all and may even make it worse

  • Person On Tumblr:Nobody ever fakes illnesses and also self-diagnosis is perfectly safe and fine always and never hurts anyone uwu
  • My Mom:I get several patients a week who self diagnosed with shit they don't have and then fake symptoms and then get pissy when I say that they are healthy and don't need treatment. And then they find one shmuck who appeases them and then they sue because one doctor out of twenty agreed with their bullshit. And it's so bad that I have considered quitting. Many of the other doctors at our hospital /have/ quit. This is one of the absolute worst things you can do to a doctor as well as being pretentious and obnoxious as shit.
Self-Diagnosis Masterpost

Self-diagnosis isn’t a diagnosis and no matter how much you disagree with/don’t like that, it is a fact and will not change. 

Self-diagnosis is dangerous because:

  • your bias may cause you to ignore symptoms, for example, if someone diagnoses themselves with an anxiety disorder they may be unaware that their symptoms are due to an underlying heart condition. If you are treating the wrong disorder, then self-medicating can be particularly dangerous.
  • people may begin to play up to a disorder they don’t have. This may not necessarily be a conscious decision, but can be very dangerous (especially in the case of BPD) - you can read more about the diagnosis effect here.
  • self-diagnosis, when done online, can actually lead to higher levels of uncertainty and excessive need for validation, causing anxiety. Read briefly about this here

Self-diagnosis can harm diagnosed sufferers:

  • If somebody who does not have the disorder claims to have the disorder (and realistically a lot of self-diagnosers will not have the full disorder) then this can create unrealistic expectations for diagnosed individuals to live by. Imagine a person who diagnoses themselves with BPD and suffers from self-harm, low mood and an unstable sense of self - they do not experience some of the least understood aspects of the illness (unstable relationships, dissociation, impulsivity etc.) therefore if there are a number of people presenting like this who claim to have the full disorder, NTs will have limited understanding of actual borderlines when they come accross them. This may subject such individuals to abuse over their symptoms as it is not generally accepted that this is a significant part of the disorder.
  • self-diagnosis is particularly prevelant in BPD and anyone who doesn’t acknowledge a stigma towards sufferers in clearly in denial. Sufferers are already accused of “making things up” and “attention seeking” so when such a large part of the BPD community don’t actually have a diagnosis, this is going to skew the perception of all individuals with the disorder, including those who have a diagnosis. (I am not saying here that all self-diagnosers are making up their symptoms or attention seeking but to claim a full diagnosis without consulting a professional can give this impression to NTs and you need to think about the effect you’re having on the already problematic stigma). 
  • this stigma can extend to health-professionals and self-diagnosers have not experiences the iconic look of a clinician’s face when they see that you have BPD. This makes diagnosed borderline’s the oppressed group in this sitation and if you are a self-diagnosed borderline it is not fair for you to influtrate the safe spaces of diagnosed borderline where they can discuss such issues.

Claiming that anti-self-diagnosis is albiest is a ridiculous argument because due to the reasons stated above, self-diagnosis disregards the feelings of diagnosed sufferers thus making self-diagnosis albiest.

“Some people cannot access medical treatment because of …” - this is unfortunately very true and it is disgusting that in this day-and-age some people are still denied access to the treatment they need but this still does not change the fact that you cannot diagnose yourself with a full medical disorder. This is why I am very much for recognising your own symtoms and self-advocation. This is not the same as diagnosing yourself and is the reason that most people seek medical treatment in the first place. There is nothing wrong with telling people that you suffer from “low mood”, “impulsivity”, “dissociaion” etc. and there is nothing wrong with tagging your posts with such symptoms, however claiming to have a very complex medical disorder without consulting a clinican is ridiculous, quite frankly. Doctors cannot diagnose themselves because you have a natural bias to air on the side of caution when it comes to your own health, so some kid with a blog deciding they can is laughable! 

What I find particularly ironic is when self-diagnosed borderlines ask people not to reblog something they have posted if they find it “relatable” but do not have BPD themselves when that is literally what the OP is doing.

Yes some self-diagnosed borderlines are likely to have the disorder, however a significant number will not and the fact of the matter is that they cannot be sure. Surely if you know that you are at risk of contributing to stigma you would air on the side of caution and stick to the facts that you do know. 

I am going to stop replying personally to posts now and reccommend that people read this instead, however, if you think that I have missed something that you would like answering (educated questions only) please don’t hesitate to private message me.


You cannot officially say you have a certain mental illness unless a professional has told you so. Recognize some symptoms which may mean you have a specific mental illness? Okay. The next step is to go see a professional and/or to get help in whatever way you can.

I see 14/15/16 year olds diagnosing themselves with personality disorders that cannot be diagnosed if you’re under 18. I see kids diagnosing themselves with mental disorders that cannot co-exist. There are so many people that treat this shit as a little cute thing that they can put in their description and reblog posts about how their self diagnosed autism is a superpower.

Yes, I get that there are people out there that will be right when they self diagnose. But there will also be people that will be wrong. The thing is, you can’t know whether you’re right or wrong until you see someone. Self diagnosis will never be as valid as a professional diagnosis, so stop treating it as such.

“I know my body better than some doctor”

No you literally do not. You did not attend 12+ years of medical school, you did not spend hundreds of thousands in tuition and have student loans for the rest of your life to get a medical degree. You do not, in fact, know more about your body than “some doctor”. Surprise!

autistic self diagnosis is valid
  • a person:i'm autistic. i don't have a professional diagnosis.
  • a neurotypical:you can't! self diagnose! autism!!! onLy a dOctor can do that!!!
  • most doctors:don't know what autism looks like in people other than nonverbal white cis boys
  • most doctors:recommend abusive therapies for autistic kids and teens
  • most doctors who specialize in diagnosing autism:refuse to evaluate adults
  • an autism evaluation for a minor teen who wants one:requires having supportive parents who understand that autism is not a tragedy and looks different for every autistic person, and that many autistic people can talk, have friends, do okay in school, and otherwise fake looking neurotypical
  • an autism evaluation for an adult:very expensive and often not covered by insurance in the U.S., also extremely difficult to get in France
  • an on-record autism diagnosis:can be used to deny you custody of children, to have your kids taken away, to forcibly institutionalize you
  • autism advocacy orgs that actually help autistic ppl like ASAN, AWN, AANE:Here are some resources for figuring out if you could be autistic. Professional diagnosis is a very personal decision and is not required for knowing that you're one of us. We support you as an autistic person even if you don't have a paper diagnosis.
  • a sincere autism self diagnosis:harms no one even if it's incorrect, enables the person to feel part of a community of people with similar issues and learn more about autism, a gateway to learning about autism acceptance movements, often the first step toward self acceptance and self esteem
Dear people who are anti-self diagnosis,

There is a difference between 

“I like my desk organized I’m so OCD lol”


“wow I display a lot of the symptoms of this specific disorder, and after extensively researching on it, I think I have it.”

Self-diagnosis itself is not the problem. People researching these things and self-diagnosing is not the problem here. 

anonymous asked:

Psychiatry is not abusive and self diagnosing is dangerous. You're not a doctor and you don't know the details about all the disabilities and illnesses that are out there. Researching things on your own is fine and all, but not everything on the internet is true. Many people are often delusional and claim they have a certain disability or illness when in reality they do not, and they're merely attention seekers.

Oh gosh… here we go. First, I should probably point out that you shouldn’t assume things about other people on the Internet. You’re right, I’m not a doctor: I’m a psychologist and I most certainly have a solid understanding of the myriad diagnosable mental disorders recognized by the American Psychiatric Association. Oops.

I also have over ten years experience as a peer advocate for people who have mental health problems and/or are suffering violence at the hands of the psychiatric institution.

With that out of the way, my dear Dunning Kruger acolyte, let’s talk about all the interesting ways in which you’re painfully wrong:

First, you don’t understand what a psychiatric diagnosis even is. Diagnostic criteria for psychiatric conditions are not diseases because they do not describe an underlying disease process. They are syndromes. What that means is that your precious psychiatric diagnoses are nothing more than descriptions of various symptoms that the psychiatric profession has concluded are often seen in combination. Moreover these diagnostic criteria are:

  • Not culturally neutral. Psychiatric diagnostic criteria were developed through the observation of patients in European (incl. North American) cultures. There is extensive research by cultural anthropologists researching mental disability in non-European cultures that shows not only that psychiatric diagnoses did not seem to fit the studied population but that the importation of European psychiatry fundamentally changed the clinical presentation of the local patients.
  • Not without controversy, even within the psychiatric profession. I can think of several psychiatric diagnoses enumerated in the DSM-V that psychiatrists can’t stop bickering about regarding their validity, and that’s not including the infighting having to do with the fundamental nature of various disorders.
  • Constantly changing. Every few years a new edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders comes out and diagnoses are added, dropped, and often radically changed. Two of the diagnoses that I carry, bipolar I disorder and autism spectrum disorder, changed radically in the transition from the DSM-IV-TR to the DSM-V. The latter wasn’t even a ‘real diagnosis’ until a few months ago.
  • Imprecise and subjective. Mental health professionals treating the same patient will regularly give different diagnoses from each other. Incidentally, in science we call this failing a test/retest check for reliability which is an indication that something is horseshit.
  • Helpfully bound and presented in a single volume, in plain English, for anyone with a library card or a bit of spare change to browse. Seriously. The fact that you don’t think that people who self diagnose mental disorders don’t even bother to consult a copy of the DSM-V is downright insulting. Do you really think that people who are struggling with getting help for a serious, potentially life-threatening condition restrict their research to Yahoo Answers? Grow up and give me a break. 

How is a psychiatric diagnosis made? It starts with a patient who is complaining about a symptom, or a group of symptoms that are causing them distress. You then ask them what they think is wrong with them and they give you symptoms. Having a fairly good idea of what’s wrong with your patient you now ask follow-up questions in order to differentially diagnose similar conditions. If you are very, very lucky you might even be able to directly observe a symptom or two. Then, you make your diagnosis and move on to discussing treatment options.

You wanna know what’s really useful? When a patient already has a good idea what’s wrong with them and is informed enough to know what information to volunteer. Now all you need to do is confirm the diagnosis. Having an informed patient is critical to providing quality health care of any kind.

But let’s talk about what happens when self diagnosis gets vilified by mental health professionals, as you so dearly seem to want. An anecdote from my personal life:

Before I was formally diagnosed with bipolar disorder I had serious problems with depression. My general practitioner referred me to a psychiatrist and I told her that I thought I was bipolar based on some hypomanic episodes that I felt that I had in the past. The psychiatrist brushed me off and did not ask the questions necessary to investigate my concern. She prescribed a high dose of antidepressants and sent me on my way.

If you don’t know, antidepressants cause Very Bad Things™ to happen to people who are bipolar. This is the reason why ‘bipolar II’ is a distinct diagnosis from major depression. I knew this but I also knew that if it did cause a mania it would confirm my diagnosis, so I took the drugs.

Not only did the resulting mania land me in the hospital but the drugs did permanent and severe damage. I no longer have a manageable bipolar II condition, I have a poorly controlled bipolar I condition.

So why do people self-diagnose? Because something is causing them to suffer and they either do not have access to the medical resources necessary for a formal diagnosis or they have tried to get a diagnosis but for some reason have been unable to get one.

Self-diagnosis is empowering. Self-diagnosis allows people to access the care they need from mental health professionals because they will be able to present their complaint in a way that is understandable to their healthcare provider. Self-diagnosis also allows people to research ways to cope with their symptoms without involving medical professionals.

Can a self-diagnosis be wrong? Yes. Are mental health professionals alert to errors in self-diagnosis? Yes. But here’s the thing: A mental health self-diagnosis is almost never far from the eventual, formal diagnosis.

All this being said: You’re just angry that certain people, who aren’t you, are able to advocate for themselves without going through a gauntlet of potentially abusive gatekeepers. In other words, you’re fucking scum and please get off my blog.

People seem to be confused about the concept of self diagnosis.

Researching a specific mental illness or disorder because you have symptoms and behaviors associated with it and want to talk to a doctor about the possibility of you having it is not self diagnosis. I would actually encourage that, because as long as you’re being honest about which symptoms you have and which you don’t, it may actually be beneficial in clinically diagnosing you.

Self diagnosis is when you research a disorder or illness and then tell people that you definitely have it. Not only is this assuming that you know more than a professional because you spent a few hours on Wikipedia, but it can be harmful if you do eventually seek a professional diagnosis, because you will already so firmly believe that you have X problem that you will be biased when speaking to a doctor and you will be less likely to let the doctor tell you that you were wrong. If you’ve spent years thinking you’re X and you’re actually Y, you will be less likely to seek out treatment and coping procedures for Y.

Self diagnosis is harmful.

People who assume self-dx’ers are kids trying to be “cool” are wrong.

My mom can’t sit and do nothing, she’s always gotta be stimulated by some activity even if it’s a jigsaw puzzle or reading. She usually has games going on her iPad while the TV is blasting.

Even while recovering from surgery in 2012, she had to have things to entertain her like crocheting, having her bed by the window so she could look outside and access to the hospital TV set in her room.

Sitting and waiting with nothing to do makes her extremely irritable. My mom is not normally a grumpy person, but when she has to wait longer than expected you’ll swear the look on her face will melt bricks.

A commercial on TV prompted her into weeks of Google searches that helped my mom figure out why she is the way she is. 

She discovered she drinks coffee so much (literally morning to night) because the stimulant action of caffeine helps her focus. She’s been calming herself down with coffee since she was 8. It started when her mom put coffee in her milk and school got easier in the morning and hard in the afternoon until she came home and drank more milk-coffee before doing her homework.

Today, my mom walked into my room with her iPad in hand and a look of triumph on her face as she said, “I have ADHD.”

My mom just self-diagnosed herself with ADHD. 

She’ll be 71 years old in September of 2016.

ok I’m seeing folks using the tired old argument of “There’s no reason to self-diagnose because you can’t get treatment/medication/prescriptions etc and so people only do it for special snowflake points!”

and like apart from the fact that i have no idea what special snowflake points are supposed to be or do this is wrong on so many levels

First of all you are heavily falling into the trap of the medical model of disability and treating disabled people as only existing in a medical context. You cannot fathom disabled people existing outside of us being treated by the medical system and thats scary

There are many reasons why someone would self-diagnose even though it does not give you access to these things. For instance it enables you to find a community of people who can understand and support you, it can help you to understand and contextualise your actions and feelings and work out what you need, it can help you to explain to the people around you why things are different for you etc

Community, support and understanding are vital for disabled people and only looking at us from a medical angle is why we are often denied these very things.

psa about "mutually exclusive" conditions

I’ve seen people argue that self diagnosis of “mutually exclusive” conditions means the person is lying or faking.

but here’s the thing about “mutually exclusive” conditions:

they’re often not actually mutually exclusive.

you can be autistic and have a personality disorder (including bpd).

you can be autistic and have multiple personality disorders (this is pretty common for people with personality disorder, because the criteria for each one aren’t entirely discrete or distinct from one another).

you can be autistic *and* have a schizophrenia-spectrum condition (including schizophrenia).

you can have borderline *and* avoidant personality.

it’s extremely common for neurodivergent people to be neurodivergent in multiple ways.

if someone says they have “mutually exclusive” conditions, it’s far more likely that the conditions aren’t actually mutually exclusive.

because they’re written by people, diagnostic criteria will always be imperfect, and there will always be professionals who reject “X condition can’t be diagnosed if the person has Y.”

feel free to add more examples in reblogs.

@ ALL autistics

The way you express yourself and your autism is valid.

How you feel about your autism and your experiences with it are valid.

Your struggles are valid. Autism is very disabling for some people.

It’s also ok if it’s not very disabling for you.

It’s ok to talk about autism. Talk about it as much as you want. Those who silence you are not worth changing for.

It’s ok if you don’t want to talk about your autism. It is your life, and you get to decide what you want to share and what you don’t.

It’s ok if you diagnosed yourself. Self diagnosis is a valid choice that is preferable to many people for many reasons. Those who are against it are ignoring the masses of people who can’t afford a diagnostic assessment, who don’t have resources in their area, or would not be able to get a diagnosis because they are a person of color, or perceived as female, or because their autism presents atypically.

You are not a Special Snowflake. Your experiences are real. You are not making it up for attention. You deserve accommodation, respect, support, and love.

You are not alone. There is a huge community of us. You aren’t going to relate to all of us, and that’s ok. Some of us are assholes. That’s unfortunate but pretty much unavoidable.

You are loved, and I welcome you with open arms