do people who are against self diagnosis realize how many ableist parents there are who won’t accept the fact that their child is mentally ill and refuse to get them diagnosed or get them any help for their disability

11 REASONS WHY SELF DIAGNOSIS IS BAD AND YOU SHOULDN'T DO IT

From the perspective of someone who has mental illnesses. I’ve been seeing some posts saying that people who are against self diagnosis are ableist and classist. That’s bullshit, and let me explain why:

  1. MENTAL ILLNESSES ARE MORE THAN JUST A LIST OF SYMPTOMS - Mental illnesses are serious conditions that manifest in many more ways than just some external symptoms. They affect how you view the world, your physical brain chemistry, how you are affected by different variables, how you deal with your problems, and how you behave (or will not behave) in a given situation.
  2. MENTAL ILLNESSES HAVE OVERLAP OF SYMPTOMS - if you are not a trained professional, it is very easy to assume you have one condition or disorder, when it may be something else entirely, something you may not have heard of.
  3. IT MAY BE MORE THAN ONE CONDITION - if you have a mental illness, you rarely have just one. Misery loves company, and it’s very common to have two or more related disorders. It’s also common to have a specific condition, but tendencies of another.
  4. ONLINE QUIZZES AND TESTS ARE UNRELIABLE - because mental illnesses are complex, there is no one objectively correct test you can take to pinpoint what illness(es) you have. There is also no online quiz to observe your behavior and recognize behavioral patterns, or to tell you if you have more than one illness.
  5. PROFESSIONALS ARE PROFESSIONALS FOR A REASON - unless you have a degree in psychology/psychiatry/mental health counseling, you do not have the same level of knowledge of the human mind and of mental disorders that a professional has. They study for years and years to be able to identify and treat mental illnesses. They don’t just memorize a list of illnesses and their symptoms. They learn how the mind works, the chemistry behind it, and how disordered thinking works to determine what the issue is.
  6. YOU CANNOT EXAMINE YOURSELF AND YOUR BEHAVIOR TO THE SAME DEGREE A PROFESSIONAL CAN - if you do enough therapy you’ll hopefully learn to be more self-aware of your actions and thoughts, and try to think about your problems and behavior logically. But a professional will be able to look at your situation objectively: they will look at behavioral patterns, family health history, your reactions to stress, AND any symptoms you display before making a decision.
  7. UNLESS YOU ARE TRAINED TO, YOU DON’T KNOW THE VARIOUS TREATMENT OPTIONS AND HOW TO PERFORM THEM - I’m talking beyond the obvious, like medications. There is more than one kind of therapy and treatment, and if you’re not educated in the field, you won’t be able to determine which will be best for you. Professionals have an objective perspective, but they also have an understanding of how a mental illness works, the theory/history behind various kinds of treatment, and how to change treatment if necessary based on your response to it.
  8. SELF DIAGNOSIS TRIVIALIZES MENTAL ILLNESS - there are still many, many people out there who don’t think mental illnesses are real, or that people who suffer from them just need to “get over it.” People taking an online quiz or reading a Wikipedia article to reach a diagnosis de-legitimatizes the severity of the condition. Giving the impression that a mental illness diagnosis is something that can be reached without a doctor gives off the impression that it’s not something serious, and some people will take it as validation that mental illnesses are just made up.
  9. SELF DIAGNOSIS ULTIMATELY ACCOMPLISHES NOTHING - that’s right, I said nothing. Say for argument’s sake that you successfully diagnose yourself. Now what? You’re not licensed to administer medication, and you cannot perform therapy on yourself. So what’s the point? The fact that you proudly say so on your blog and make excuses for not wanting to do things? How does that help? Which brings me to my next point:
  10. MENTAL ILLNESSES ARE MEDICAL CONDITIONS - they are NOT fashion statements or convenient labels. They must be treated the same way as a physical illness would be because they are every bit as serious. You aren’t doing the mental health community any favors when you claim to know this shit all by yourself.
  11. THE RESOURCES ARE OUT THERE - There are many, many free/low-cost resources out there for mental health, if money is an issue (most schools now have a counselor or psychologist on staff, ffs). Here is a small list for you if you live in the US:

http://findtreatment.samhsa.gov/

http://www.power2u.org/peer-run-crisis-services.html

http://www.adaa.org/finding-help/getting-support/support-groups

http://www.carrierclinic.org/programs-free.php

http://teenshealth.org/teen/your_mind/mental_health/mhealth_care.html

http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/finding-therapy

http://www.rehabs.org/centers/

These do vary by country and region of course, (nevermind the fact that most European countries and Canada have some form of socialized medicine), but if you suspect you have a mental illness (or are having emotional problems of any sort), it’s up to you to take responsibility for yourself and seek out proper and professional care. If you wouldn’t self-medicate or self treat a physical illness, you shouldn’t for a mental illness.

You know what is scary?

63 % of people who self diagnose believe that the Internet gave them the correct diagnosis, they believe they were able to properly able to diagnose themselves. And only about half of those people take their findings to their doctor only to not believe them because it was not what they found on the Internet. (X) (2 links)

People who self diagnose are more likely to dabble in drugs to self treat which can lead to addiction.

If you’re getting your information from anywhere that ends with .com it is most likely not run by any sort of medical professional

It has become such a problem that google is trying to make it so if you search your symptoms they put you in touch with an actual doctor

Listen when doctors say self diagnosis is bad

Extra Information

Some articles on why WebMD is bad (2 links)

It’s better to take your findings to a medical professional instead of taking the internet’s word for it (2 links)

More doctors saying no to self diagnosing

doctors support self advocacy and have written many papers on how to do it properly. (4 links) Here are some more 

Unless you have went through the same amount of rigorous training that physicians do, you are probably not going to be able to fully interpret your medical problems 



The reason I made this post is because I have seen many post recently praising people for being self diagnosers, I have seen many tumblr descriptions claiming they have “self diagnosed autism and ptsd as well as schizophrenia ” and you know what, that is scary. I am scared for these young kids who think they have these problems because the Internet says so, I am scared for the young kids on here who may turn to self treatment drugs that are highly addictive, who do not know how to properly dose themselves. This is not about ragging on people, this is about their safety and well being.

And if you find that you have turned to self treatment, contact an addiction specialist/ doctor that can help you on the path to recovery (x) (x)

How neurotypicals think you get a diagnosis:

  • first, you have no idea you are sick at all, you are just a Normal Neurotypical going through life when suddenly you are sent to a therapist (because mentally ill people cannot have anyway of knowing they are ill)
  • you tell the therapist no! i am normal! not crazy at all! but the therapist knows better…
  • you are sent to a clinic or hospital where you speak to seven different psychiatrists, talk about your whole life in detail, have brain scans and are under constant monitoring with wires hooked up to you
  • doctors are pooring over texbooks and consulting other doctors and doing everything they can to find The Perfect Diagnosis
  • now, at last, your doctor returns. he tells you have a mental disorder. you cry a lot because now your life is ruined. the doctors tells you everything Will Be Okay. 
  • You are given a bottle of pills that will make everything better and of course you ALWAYS remember to take them. You are given therapy appointments three times a week with a doctor you trust who believes in you and your experiences and again you ALWAYS remember to go and never miss
  • Because of your special professional diagnosis, you are cured and are now functional in society and will never be bothered by your mental health again!

How I actually got all of my professional diagnoses:

  • “Hey doctor, I’m depressed”
    “Fill out this checklist” … “You have major depressive disorder”
  • “Oh by the way, are you ever anxious?”
    “Yeah”
    “You have generalized anxiety”
  • “Doctor, I hear voices”
    “Sounds like psychosis to me”
  • “Now my voices are controlling my body” (repeat this times 10 to a hundred different doctors who never believed me)
    “Oh thats dissociative identity disorder”

How I got my self diagnoses

  • Days/weeks/months/YEARS of research
  • Scholarly articles and peer reviewed scientific journals
  • Talking one on one with people who are diagnossed with it
  • Soul searching and trying to understand myself
  • Fighting myself on if I’m right
  • Cross examining the symptoms with other disorders I have
  • Finally settling in that I have this disorder and finding self help for it

mental illness is a spectrum of experiences which are constructed and categorized by social institutions as diagnoses

diagnoses aren’t sacred, essential, platonic entities floating in space somewhere, they’re descriptions of patterns of experiences

if your self-described experiences correspond with a a particular pattern, then congratulations, that’s how the process of diagnosis works

you may note that this is kind of fuzzy and ambiguous: that’s because that’s how mental illness works and why your medical metaphors are incoherent. there is no chemical/physical test for mental illness because it is entirely descriptive of self-reported symptoms, so stop acting like there’s some hoop people have to jump through to be Really Mentally Ill other than “having corresponding experiences” (which is really loose anyway because mental illness isn’t clearly delineated, because, again, it is not an a priori category that inherently exists)

The danger of framing self-diagnosis as young people on the internet who want to feel special, is that I’ve met amazing older women, age fifty and beyond, who  have told me that they have done the research and believe that they are on the autism spectrum, but could never be diagnosed.

I’ve met women who never got diagnosed because of their gender, and the time they were born, and I refuse to let anyone take away their right to self-identify because the system they grew up in was designed to fail them.

Stop framing self-diagnosis as something our generation invented. Stop erasing autistic people because they don’t fit your argument.

  • Anti self dxer:OMG YOU CAN'T JUST LOOK AT A THING AND SAY YOU ARE THAT THING
  • Self dxer:I don't, i do a bunch of research and talk to people who have the thing first, plus it takes me a long while before i'm sure i am
  • Person who is diagnosed with that thing:They basically do the same things i did, except without going and paying money to have a doctor give them a piece of paper
  • Doctor:Yeah they pretty much do the same tests we give them, but they do more of them than we do and aren't as biased
  • anti self dxer:...
  • anti self dxer:people who self dx are fakers who just want attention and furthermore

“i’m anti self dx” is codeword for “i’m elitist about mental illness and dont care about people who are paranoid about doctors, who’s parents force them to be neurotypical, and who cant afford diagnosis.” 

like congrats ur an asshole u did it!

did i make some mistakes along the way with self diagnosis? yes!

at first i thought it was ADHD, DID or OCD. when it was actually GAD

but lets not act like medical professionals dont misdiagnose all of the damn time???

my therapist literally diagnosed me with agoraphobia by pulling out this book and having me read a page about it. and then she asked me “does that sound like you???”. she never told me “yeah you have this no doubt about it dont argue with me cause i know you better than you know yourself” like anti-DXers think therapists are supposed to do or something

so please lets stop acting like medical professionals are magic genies who know everything about everyones mental state

anonymous asked:

Why do you agree with Self Diagnosis? Just wondering your reasons :)

a. because poor people exist.

b. because people with abusive parents who won’t allow them to get a diagnosis exist

c. because people without insurance exist

d. because people who live in areas with really shitty medical care exist

e. because people who have faced medical abuse exist

f. because people who have severe phobias of hospitals exist

g. because everyone deserves to be able to know what they have going on in their brain and be able to understand it and have a community and make a little bit of sense of all the stuff swirling around in their head regardless of all the above points.

Bonus: why I think self diagnosis is valid:

because the literal list of symptoms for mental illnesses is, in this day and age, available on the world wide web for all to see (the DSM V). You can look at it and see the same exact thing a doctor/psychiatrist would use to diagnose you.

so we decided having a comprehensive, in-depth explanation of why we’re pro-self diagnosis & why you should be too would be good, so we have something to refer back to when needed.

tl;dr: self-diagnosis is a result of the professional diagnostic system being broken & ableist, & society being ableist in general. the problem isn’t self-diagnosis; the problem is the ableism & other bigotry making self-diagnosis necessary.

so, in order to get professionally diagnosed as autistic, several things have to happen:

Keep reading

do people against self dx think that mental illness only becomes real when it is diagnosed by a professional?

what about if they misdiagnose you, do you have that instead?

do you think the majority of professionally diagnosed mentally ill patients had no idea they were even ill (or with what) before they sought treatment?

do you value the opinion of a non mentally ill doctor over a community of people with similar illnesses to diagnose and support an undiagnosed person?

do you believe undiagnosed people are undeserving of support if they cannot afford professional diagnoses?

i’m not devaluing the importance of doctors and mental health professionals, but i would like you to please consider why you place more stock in the judgements of someone you meet with once a week for 30 minutes as opposed to a person or group of people with similar experiences and a personal knowledge of their own illnesses and disabilities.

To those of you who self-diagnose

If you feel like there is something wrong with you, go to a professional and get a proper diagnosis.  If you don’t like what you hear the first time, seek a second opinion.  Self diagnosis isn’t treating or curing yourself.  And for all you know there could be something really bad wrong with you that mimics the symptoms of whatever it is you think you have.  

If it turns out you do have ADHD or Bipolar Disorder or whatever, there are treatments that will improve your quality of life, and make things so much easier for yourself.  It’s okay to be scared, but your mental health is top priority! Do what is best for you, and don’t wait until you have done harm to yourself or someone else. 

If it turns out that you don’t have a mental illness, then kindly fuck off because you are an attention seeking asshole who is doing more harm than good. 

This website, funded by the National Autistic Society(who are supporters of neurodiversity btw) lets you download legitimate diagnostic tools for assessing ASDs in a clinical setting free of charge. It’s all open source. What this means is that your therapist, psychologist or psychiatrist can give you a legitimate diagnosis without paying 2000 dollars for the ADOS.

Western Psychological Services owns copyrights to all the big name tests like ADOS and the ADI-R. Everytime their tests are used, royalties go to WPS. This is why diagnosis is so difficult to procure. NAS and ARC however are making it their mission to make diagnosis accessible to everyone.

Other open source diagnostic tools include the RAADS-R, Stroop Test, and the QGAS(which has been scanned online in three pages here: 1, 2, 3, scoring sheet).

All of these tests are used in diagnostic settings and they do not require special training DVDs. They are available for everyone!

This means that those of you who think you may be on the spectrum but worry that you can’t afford diagnosis(or your doctor says it’s too expensive to diagnose you) there are several legitimate approved diagnostic tools that you can do yourself or link to your doctor or therapistso they may administer it for you.

Other relevant test resources:
Jean Ayres Sensory processing Disorder Checklist
Rombergs Test(contains video for visual support)
Aspie Quiz which is gaining scientific traction
Memory and Cognition screening tests

More:
Video on Girls with Asperger’s – 
http://www.autismhangout.com/news-reports/feature-programs.asp?id2=123 
Video on emotions and alexithymia in Autism - 
http://www.autismsupportnetwork.com/news/video-dr-tony-attwood-autism-and-identifying-emotional-feelings-33993843 
Video on Sensory Sensitivities (How we experience the world) – 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=plPNhooUUuc 
Video on Sensory Overloads – 
http://vimeo.com/52193530

A
gain, if your doctor has trouble diagnosing you and you think you deserve a diagnosis, all of these tests have been either developed in and for clinical settings or are currently in the process of being proved useful for clinical settings. They are all free. Some you can do yourself. Others doctors can do with you without payment or test specific trainings.

I have collected all of these links here in one post so you may link your doctor, counselor or therapist the full array of tests.

When I say I’m anti self-dx I mean I’m against people saying they have medical conditions with 100% certainty without talking to a doctor.

I am very pro self-advocacy. If you think you may have a problem, research it. Research the ever living hell out of it. Say it’s a possibility. Then talk to a professional.

I would never have known I had a lot of problems without advocating for myself, but that’s all it was. I’m not a medical professional and before I can say I have anything with 100% certainty I know I need to talk to one. As does everyone else.