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"on self diagnosis"

This really resonated with me:

on self diagnosis

the argument that “if you can’t afford professional diagnosis then you can’t afford treatment anyway so why would you self-diagnose other than just for the ~trendy~ label” is completely bullshit

self-diagnosis isn’t about treatment. not everyone can afford medical care and then again medical care isn’t for everyone. and that’s not the point. self-diagnosis is about giving your experiences a meaning, knowing that you are not alone, being able to better understand yourself and then being able to help yourself cope.

you kind of need to know what you’re struggling with before you can work on that effectively. you need to know what you’re struggling with to read books or articles about it. you need to know what you’re struggling with to find people in the same community, with the same struggle, as you, that you can identify with and draw strength from.

self-diagnosis is about knowing you belong. and knowing that there is always hope.

source: on self diagnosis - 50% Girl; 50% Unknown


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 24th, 2015 05:45 pm (UTC)
Having a name to attach to things is definitely a bit liberating: "No, I'm not just super-lazy and a horrible person, I actually have really severe ADHD and really severe clinical depression". Not only that, but having a name to go with things can also give self-treatment possibilities: "What are some tricks other ADHD sufferers have used to make them more functional when their brain won't cooperate?". So you're right, self-diagnosis can be useful even if you can't afford formal treatment.

THAT BEING SAID, it's also really, really easy to self-diagnose wrong, especially in the case of psychiatric issues. It does actually take study/training to understand the differentiating factors -- just having a copy of the DSM and thinking your symptoms line up does not necessarily guarantee an accurate diagnosis. Even if one's intentions are pure (there's plenty of people that will use a 'diagnosis' as an excuse for poor behavior, but we're not talking about them), self-diagnosing wrong can certainly lead you down paths that are actually destructive (oh, I have X, let me treat myself for X, oh that didn't work, oh my god I'm incurable I just want to die.

So, really, self-diagnosis is a tool, and like any tool it can be used well and it can be used poorly. The trick, I suppose, is to understand both your limitations and the tool's limitations before you start using that tool extensively.
Jul. 25th, 2015 12:10 am (UTC)
Of course, professional diagnosis can also be done quite badly. . .

selfdxed at 12, again more seriously in my 20s
profdxed at 36
I don't do autism assessment at work but I read multiple assessments a week and they range from really good to really awful, whether the final verdict is YES autism or NO autism.

Most self dxes I know are based on a lot more careful consideration than a lot of professional assessments that lead to a "no" answer.
Jul. 25th, 2015 08:50 pm (UTC)
Exactly. They took from my first symptoms at age nine to my pushing for the "correct" referrals at age 30 to diagnose my multiple sclerosis.

Please see my other comments:

Edited at 2015-07-25 08:50 pm (UTC)
Jul. 25th, 2015 08:47 pm (UTC)
I kind of agree but much of your comment is USA-centric. Here in the UK we have the National Health Service and so affording treatment is not relevant and it is more about being able to persuade your GP that you want/need a referral to a specialist for diagnosis.

See also my comment below:

Edited at 2015-07-25 08:48 pm (UTC)
Jul. 24th, 2015 06:39 pm (UTC)
I agree. As long as the self-diagnosis is well-thought-out and well-researched, I think that it can give validation and meaning to a person who either can't afford medical care or can't find a doctor who will take them seriously (as is often the case for people who can afford medical care but don't have a typically presenting or super-severe case of the condition... for example, it's often really really hard for adults, particularly adult women, to get a diagnosis of ASD).

I support self-diagnosis but I found myself being ridiculed in the past if people even thought I was self-diagnosing. I find it sad that people's automatic reaction is ridicule, with no thought to the fact that we know ourselves and our bodies better than anyone.
Jul. 25th, 2015 08:44 pm (UTC)
Yeah I have, to be perfectly honest, self-diagnosed myself first for every medic-diagnosis I have managed to wrangle in the past, even the multiple sclerosis - thank goodness for a BSc Biochemistry and a professor on that course whose wife had MS and who was researching myelin repair in MS.

It has only been when I suggest a diagnosis to my GP-at-the-time that I get the referrals to specialists that I need for "proper" diagnosis. Oh for the "paying for it" choice to chose referrals and medics myself in our national health service. I have not had private healthcare for years now.

That said my current GP sees no point in pursuing a diagnosis for ASD for me because I am no longer at school or work. Like that is the only time in a person's life that ASD affects them. I might have to push for a second opinion. To be honest, though, I know that it is what I have. It is mostly the 'belonging' and 'self-understanding' that I seek from a diagnosis and I can mostly get those online with my self-diagnosis. *sigh*
Jul. 25th, 2015 09:07 pm (UTC)
As both a doctor and a patient, I have come to the realization there are only ever two reasons to diagnose anything. (ANYTHING - ear infection, pneumonia, autism, cerebral palsy, MS, allergies, appendicitis, anything)

One is that the diagnosis would change treatment/management. This I loosely define as to include everything from medications, surgeries, therapies, equipment, special education programs, workplace accommodations. . . anything

The other is peace of mind.

So if one doesn't need any in the first category, the question is then if one has sufficient peace of mind already.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
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