The Self-Diagnosis Issue

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Using shortcuts to achieve the solution for an issue that we are struggling with can lead us to come to false conclusions by ignoring what the reasons might be or by making justifications in an unhealthy manner.

“Self-diagnosis” is generally more than a mistake, because the magnitudes of such activities would not only eliminate the expected benefits, but may also lead to a point of self-harm.

Having the potential to cause mistakes or damage in other medical branches as well, this action is a major problem in itself when exhibited in the field of psychiatry in particular. In order to better understand the challenges of making diagnoses in psychiatry, one may have a look at the “Rosenhan/Thud Experiment” designed by David Rosenhan, which caused a major stir. (See Stigmatization in Psychiatry)

Observation-related challenges are the cause of difficult diagnoses

The challenge in observing the situations that cause a disorder is the underlying factor for why it is partly or mostly more difficult to diagnose psychiatric cases when compared to other medical branches. It would be beneficial to elaborate on the phrase “observation-related challenges” in order to make it easier to comprehend the issue.

Technological advancements undoubtedly have enabled a major progress to be achieved in terms of diagnosing, distinguishing, and classifying psychiatric cases. These advancements suggest that treatments can also be offered in different methods, as well as diagnoses. All these instruments can be interpreted as valuable attempts that the modern age offers us.

Do advancements make it difficult to diagnose?

Right at this point, it might be possible to ask “are there any cases which these advancements make it difficult to diagnose?” This question can be answered by saying “sometimes they make it more complex, rather than being the answer itself.” As a matter of fact, although the expectations of the study teams are met in terms of diagnosing neurological cases in high-budget studies like the “Human Genome Project”, which was conducted with large populations and utilized all of the opportunities that today’s technology has achieved, it may not be so easy to predict the length of the distance to be covered when it comes to psychiatry.

Self-diagnosis leads to a deadlock

At this point, an individual’s choice to self-diagnose is a step towards a deadlock, not towards a solution for psychiatric disorders, which are difficult to diagnose even for those working in the field of mental health, in which comorbidities are frequently encountered, and in which the real reason may differ from the visible reasons, making the resulting situation complex in itself.

Making research on the disorder should not turn into mixing it up

Making research on the cases/symptoms is a reaction which stems from the curiosity towards why an abnormality occurs, and this is quite normal. It is not harmful, but rather beneficial to take a look at reliable sources. Nevertheless, at this point, getting informed and analyzing what the causes might be, are not the same thing as interpreting this information from our perspective, or as making diagnoses by ourselves. During these analyses, making research on the disorder can turn into inadvertently mixing the disorder up with something else.

In conclusion, instead of self-diagnosis, consulting an expert who would make an objective analysis would be the healthiest way, due to the fact that situations, such as the lack of confidence in people, or having frequent doubts that doctors or people working in the field are not qualified, might also be a psychological symptom itself.