if ur thinking of invalidating self-diagnosed kids
- some kids live in areas where it is difficult to get a diagnosis
- some kids can’t afford getting tested
- some kids have parents who would react badly if they were diagnosed
- some kids have parents who refuse to take them to get diagnosed
- some kids don’t trust their doctors
- shut up
seeing Bullshit™ on my dash again so i feel like it’s time for me to reblog this post
oh well lets just let everybody diagnose themselves and be taken seriously then! OK, so I now declare that I’m autistic, bipolar, schizophrenic and a sociopath, and if you don’t believe me you’re being oppressive!
Fuck these people. Even if someone can’t get treatment or see a doctor, there is no point in self-diagnosis in that case because you can’t get treated for it anyway. Fuck anyone who thinks self-diagnosis is a good thing.
I understand the appeal of self-diagnosis, but I want to point out some things, perhaps in a nicer way than llik-yr-idols:
1. Even doctors are not meant to diagnose themselves. It violates ethical guidelines. There is a strong body of literature suggesting that even experts in medicine cannot have the objectivity required to diagnose themselves. Why, then, would anyone else have the capacity to self-diagnose accurately?
2. If a car broke down, and the owner didn’t have any knowledge about cars, they would trust a mechanic to diagnose the problem and fix it. They wouldn’t mess around with the car themselves, because they understand they would do more harm than good. Why would a person take that risk with their body?
3. Which is relevant to the fact that diagnoses in medicine literally only exist to determine a course of treatment. If a person cannot treat themselves, why would they diagnose themselves? And if a person tries to treat themself, and they are wrong about their diagnosis, they put their health at serious risk.
4. In the extra-medical capacity in which medical diagnoses become identity markers for oppression, as with chronic and mental conditions:
(a) If you take the argument that privilege and oppression is conferred upon you by society based on society’s knowledge about you, the only way you would experience oppression is with the formal diagnosis that society recognises as legitimate. That’s how you lose your job or get refused medical treatment in the ER: they take a letter from your doctor or look at the list of drugs you’re on and decide you’re not good enough.
(b) Even if you don’t take the above argument, the fact remains that if you say you have an autism spectrum disorder, OCD, bipolar disorder, or whatever, the people around you (and you yourself) come to understand that illness as the set of symptoms you have. If you are wrong about your diagnosis, you have misrepresented and misunderstood that illness - and misrepresenting and misunderstanding chronic and mental illnesses is at the very core of the stigma that oppresses the chronically and/or mentally ill.
For the tl;dr crowd:
- No one can diagnose themselves accurately, even an expert, especially a non-expert
- If you try to treat yourself, you’re doing something really risky for your health
- Maybe you feel like I am invalidating your self-diagnosis, but your self-diagnosis may be invalidating people who have chronic and/or mental illness - which is an act of oppression.
I understand there are many significant reasons why a person may not be able to access adequate healthcare. And this is bullshit - of course adequate healthcare should be available to anyone. But being oppressed in one respect does not give you a free pass to oppress other people.
If you haven’t been formally diagnosed, please say: ’I have this set of symptoms. I think I have this illness’. Please don’t say: ‘I have this illness’. That is literally the only change you need to make.
Wanted to add my own two cents, because I’m seeing more and more people self-diagnose and it really rustles my jimmies:
- I have exhibited symptoms of depression for over ten years, but the level at which I may be depressed is un-diagnosed due to lack of funds. I remain untreated,
- I exhibit very clear and concise symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), but have only spoken with my Psychology professor about potentially having it. I have not been diagnosed officially. The only treatment I give is making sure to get ample sunlight exposure during the winter, as this is one of the few ways to actually treat SAD, and it’s not harmful to my body (like if someone attempted to self-medicate for bipolar disorder, etc.).
- My mother has told me on numerous occasions that I exhibit schizophrenic traits and qualities. I have not been tested for this, and it remains unproven.
- I exhibit all the signs of an anxiety disorder, but my level remains un-diagnosed. I remain untreated.
- I have been professionally diagnosed for ADD. I remain untreated.
If you’re not seeing a trend here, you should be.
writeroost covered some good points, but I wanted to stress the importance of people self-medicating their self-diagnosis. Don’t fucking do it. That’s it, that’s the entire point.
People self-diagnosing based on a few posts they see floating around tumblr, and then getting all up in arms when this claim is challenged, infuriates me to no end. You are not a professional, you do not have the knowledge and know-how to give a diagnosis just because someone in a social media website made a powerpoint post of symptoms and slapped a fancy title across the top.
For instance: did you know, there is a disorder that is commonly mistaken for bipolar disorder, due to having similar symptoms? The cause and treatment are entirely different.
Bipolar disorder is measured on a set scale of depression and mania. People with the disorder are usually bouncing between one end or the other, and medications help to keep them fixed in-between. Neurotransmitters influence mood disorders. Norepinephrine, which increases arousal and boosts mood, is scarce during depression and overabundant during mania. Serotonin is also a contributing factor to mania, as discovered by researchers in New Zealand who discovered that the recipe for depression combined two necessary ingredients—significant life stress, plus a variation on a serotonin-controlling gene.
Source? The 200+ fucking dollar Psychology textbook that I had to purchase for my Psychology class that focused on the brain and the disorders within it when I was still in the interest of perusing the Experimental Psychology field.
Now then… that incredibly similar disorder I was talking about?
Borderline Personality Disorder. Unlike bipolar disorder, BPD is not measured on a fixed scale of a two-ended spectrum. It’s easier to think of BPD in terms of a decagon. It’s still not entirely sure what causes BPD, as far as chemicals in the brain goes, but it’s been shown that a strong correlation between child abuse, other traumatic incidents, thought suppression, and elevated stress (at a young age) have been shown to lead to BPD.
My Psychology professor simplified and broke it down like this: with bipolar disorder you’re either very happy, or very sad. With BPD you go from happy one moment, to unreasonably angry the next, then back to happy, and then listless.
The reason I pointed this out is because there are so many mental disorders it is impossible for you to self-diagnose properly without the necessary training or education. There is a huge difference between Bipolar Disorder, and BPD. There is a huge difference between having Schizophrenia, and exhibiting schizophrenic traits. There is a huge difference between OCD, and Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD). There is a huge difference between Autism, and Asperger’s.
Even with as much knowledge as I have, due to my education (and the education that I will receive in future semesters), I am in no way qualified to give a diagnosis. I can tell you what symptoms you might be representing, but that’s as far as I’m legally allowed to go. Any further, and I’m endangering your life by throwing darts blindly at the wall.
If you are unable to receive professional assistance for a diagnosis, please do not self-medicate. If you are fully capable of seeing a professional to be diagnosed, fucking do it. You might be disappointed in finding out nothing’s wrong with you (for some sick reason), but don’t just throw around mental illnesses for the sake of having a reason to excuse your quirks and actions.