Dangers Of Self-Diagnosis!

DANGERS OF SELF-DIAGNOSIS 

Self-diagnosing, I have come across this so called diagnosis many times in the past, where individuals believe that they can go on the internet and compare their psychological symptoms with the ones found on Webmed.com or the DSM-5 and “Boom” magically form their own diagnosis. But what some people fail to realize are the dangers of self-diagnosis.

SELF-DIAGNOSIS

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ARE YOU A DOCTOR? WHY ARE YOU FORMING YOUR OWN DIAGNOSIS WITHOUT ANY EXPERIENCE OR QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED TO FORM AN ACTUAL DIAGNOSIS?

When you self-diagnose, you are essentially assuming that you know the subtleties that diagnosis constitutes. This can be very dangerous, as people who assume that they can surmise what is going on with themselves may miss the nuances of diagnosis. For example, people with mood swings often think that they have manic-depressive illness or bipolar disorder.

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Mood swings are a symptom that can be a part of many different clinical scenarios: borderline personality disorder and major depression being two examples of other diagnoses. The clinician can help you discern whether you swing from normal to down or down to up, and by considering how long the mood swings last, the clinician can make the appropriate diagnosis. Here, the danger is that you may misdirect the clinician or even yourself.

diagnosisOne of the greatest dangers of self-diagnosis in psychological syndromes is that you may miss a medical disease that masquerades as a psychiatric syndrome. Thus, if you have panic disorder, you may miss the diagnosis of hyperthyroidism or an irregular heartbeat. Even more serious is the fact that some brain tumors may present with changes in personality or psychosis or even depression. If you assume you have depression and treat it with an over-the-counter preparation, you may completely miss a medical syndrome.

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Then there is the fact that we can know and see ourselves, but sometimes, we need a mirror to see ourselves more clearly. The doctor is that mirror. By self-diagnosing, you may be missing something that you cannot see. For example, you may be overwhelmed by anxiety and think that you have an anxiety disorder. The anxiety disorder may be covering up a major depressive disorder. Approximately two-thirds of people who present to outpatient clinics with anxiety have depression as well. In general, when two or more syndromes occur in the same person, we call this comorbidity. When people self-diagnose, they often miss the comorbidity that exists.

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Another danger of self-diagnosis is that you may think that there is more wrong with you than there actually is. For example, if you had insomnia, inattention, and depression, you may believe that you have a sleep disorder, ADD and major depression. However, major depression can account for all of these symptoms. Thus, you may make things worse by worrying more as well.

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Self-diagnosis is also a problem when you are in a state of denial about your symptoms. You may think that you have generalized body aches that started when your mood got worse, but a doctor may elect to do an EKG for chest pain that reveals possible coronary artery disease. You may have been trying to avoid the chest pain or you may have minimized this.

source: The Dangers of Self-Diagnosis

Published by Amy

Psychology Graduate and Mental Health Coach, I offer support services for adults living with mental health issues. Understanding your struggles is the first step towards healing.

3 thoughts on “Dangers Of Self-Diagnosis!

  1. 607555 947268Spot on with this write-up, I truly believe this site needs significantly a lot more consideration. Ill probably be once more to read significantly a lot more, thanks for that information. 113345

    Liked by 1 person

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