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Old 07-31-2020, 09:18 AM   #1
amandalouise
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Default self diagnosing / online diagnosing of others

It is so strange and triggering sometimes to think about the wording ....Self Diagnosing, Diagnosing someone else, but yet I have come to see that as human beings we do this every day of our lives....

Wake up with a stuffy nose and whats the first thought......Uggg I have a cold. (I have just self diagnosed myself as having a medical condition)
trip over ones feet.... Dang I just sprained my ankle. (I have just self diagnosed myself with a medical condition)
pick up a piece of paper and feel a sting.... crap I have a paper cut. I have just diagnosed myself with a medical condition)
spent some time out in the sun......uh oh I got a sunburn. (I have just diagnosed myself with a medical condition)

its the same thing when we are with our friends...

friend is telling us about their date last night..... and we think to ourselves gosh she is melodramatic.
sitting at a movie theater and theres a child somewhere screaming and coughing, sneezing... why do parents bring their sick children out in public, maybe its asthma, maybe its allergies that we are seeing in other people when they cough and sneeze.

Self diagnosing, happens online too. no matter what website you go to you will see people posting self diagnosing words /phrases....

I think I have....
I fit the diagnostics for...
yes I have such and such but I wasnt diagnosed by a treatment provider....
I have been diagnosed with such and such but I fit this instead.....

Self diagnosing of others online also happens. many times while reading things online in every mental health forums I go to including psych central,
have seen the wording phrasing...

sounds to me like depression
you have DID
yes thats an alter in you.
you are an alter...
you have alters...
I see your post as yes this can be DID....
your therapist diagnosed you wrong...
your therapist has you on the wrong treatment...
your therapist should not be doing such and such...

I have come to the conclusion that self diagnosing and making diagnosis's of others have become normalized in the world we live in, and even more so when we are online.

A friend the other night asked me... "so whats the harm, everyone does it, so whats the harm?

I reminded her of her own teenager who self diagnosed herself with an eating disorder. Her daughter was having normal teen age problem, growth spurts. in growth spurts the child first grows takes on weight, then their body grows upwards. a normal process. sometimes in this process teens will sleep a lot, eating patterns bounce back and forth. and hormones are constantly fluctuating. it takes a lot of energy for the body to do this quick growth of growth spurts. but her daughter instead of asking to see her doctor or going to her and her husband went online. she posted her "symptoms and problems" and people online told the teen the problem was this or that, sounds like this or that and so on. The teen researched everything she could
get to with her so called "symptoms" one thing led to another and soon the poor teen now thought "OMG Ive got DID, depression and anorexia/ bulimia." it wasnt long before in her self diagnosing / online diagnosing attempts landed her in the hospital. With her hooked up to feeding tubes and so on, her parents broke into her computer, cell phone and online journal. After close to a year of medical and mental health treatments she is now a physically health teen again but getting her mind back is another matter. Their household no longer has any computers nor cellphones, tablets and their cable service is now on a parental password access. The teen misses her online life but also understands that she could have died. she fights her demons called self diagnosing every day. now she carries not the disorders of DID, Depression, Anorexia/ bulima. Her treatment providers diagnosis is Fictitious Disorder imposed on self. No one knows whether she will win this battle to no longer self diagnose with dissociative and other disorders.

yea self diagnosing / diagnosing of others online whats the harm, everyone does it...

well not me. I too have experienced the harm of this by having a friend who did die by going online and self diagnosing/ going to online forums to get answers rather than going to their treatment provider. this friend died of a curable bran cancer.

when online and I see those tell tale words and phrases of self diagnosis ...

I think I have....
I meet the criteria for....
my treatment providers diagnosed me with such and such but ...
heres my story / background.... what do you think this can be, what do you think... do you think this fits such and such...

and others like this that points to the fact that instead of contacting their treatment providers someone is going online trying to get answers from others that have mental disorders my gut does this uncomfortable lurch because in my opinion this is where the normal daily self diagnosing crosses the line into dangerous self diagnosing/ online diagnosing of others.

mental disorders is not the paper cut or stubbed toe where we can put all the elements together and come up with the correct diagnosis. we dont get to see the paper, the action of picking up the paper and the sudden pain and evidence of the paper cut, we dont get to see that corner of the coffee table, and knowing we hit the corner of the table with our toe and the sudden pain of that action. mental disorders are more subtle and long term in developing, and long term in the diagnosing of them.

I dont know where this post is going but I do know that theres a fine line between normal every day self diagnosing / online diagnosing of others and that dangerous harmful self diagnosing / online diagnosing of others. for me that fine line is those red flags I see in posts that tell me someone wants answers not from their treatment providers but from others not qualified to give those answers and most times these others are in their own mental disorder symptoms active states which impairs their own judgements too.

for example I know no one here would want me to tell someone ... yes it sounds like you are dissociating all the while because I am numb, spaced out, and the world looks like its too big or too small and my medications are causing me to have hallucinations. but no one here knows I may be having medication hallucinations/ delusions or am dissociated at the moment so whats the harm right....in my friends words whats the harm of a drunk leading another drunk into and through traffic... answer they both go down.

I know it irritates people in all the online forums that I visit, that I dont offer things like "sounds like... yes it could be this or that...." instead I have a blanket statement of contacting ones own treatment provider and on rare occasions will point out the red flags for me of self diagnosing and the harm of self diagnosing...

heres what I go by... if someone has not contacted their treatment provider then their post is from a self diagnosing point of view.... they include words like I think I have... what do you think could this be... Ive been diagnosed this but I think that...

when those red flags start waving and my gut reaction kicks in I am extra careful to make sure I dont lead the poster into or towards a particular diagnosis. instead I post to see their doctors.

my own treatment providers go by the saying... if it bothers me then its worth getting checked out call us...

like I said at the moment I dont know where this post is going, just writing at the moment. maybe it will become clearer at some point...
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Old 07-31-2020, 03:18 PM   #2
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Default Re: self diagnosing / online diagnosing of others

I'm very sorry about your friend! I'm constantly judged irl. For just 1 example, my jerk neighbor said within my earshot, I bet this dummy is autistic. I have piped up out of anger & said, Wow! I didn't know u were a Doctor! The look on his face was priceless! Yeah, so I avoid people altogether.
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Old 08-01-2020, 07:26 AM   #3
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Default Re: self diagnosing / online diagnosing of others

There is a lot of harm in diagnosing others (and self diagnose) over the Internet and in real life in absence of actual medical diagnosis. It could be harmful in many many instances.

We all do it to an extent of course as it could be tempting. But some people throw around diagnoses and symptoms (not obtain through true medical knowledge or any kind of real education but just random stuff they read on the web or see on you tube) so excessively that makes one wonder why they do it? And often itís not even about people they know or have ever met. Just random speculations

Yeah I wish people stop doing that. Itís wrong on all levels
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Old 08-01-2020, 07:33 AM   #4
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Default Re: self diagnosing / online diagnosing of others

Quote:
Originally Posted by shovelhead View Post
I'm very sorry about your friend! I'm constantly judged irl. For just 1 example, my jerk neighbor said within my earshot, I bet this dummy is autistic. I have piped up out of anger & said, Wow! I didn't know u were a Doctor! The look on his face was priceless! Yeah, so I avoid people altogether.
Thatís outrageous. Just outrageous. Makes my blood boil. Sadly itís all too common for people randomly say that so and so is ďautisticĒ, first of all itís not even a proper term. Someone might have autism spectrum disorder, they are not ďautisticĒ. In addition why are they diagnosing??? They using diagnosis (real or perceived) in offensive manner.

Sorry I am passionate on this topic and canít tolerate this. Sorry you had such nasty neighbor.
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Old 08-01-2020, 08:24 AM   #5
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Default Re: self diagnosing / online diagnosing of others

Your post really resonates with me. I, too, try to refrain from self diagnosing or diagnosing others. I try to go by behaviors and actual problems that I can help with versus trying to give someone a diagnosis, which isn't my job. I also find self diagnosing really disturbing as my bio father tried to do this to me and it was very abusive behavior, and created numerous problems for me.

I know for me, for example, I have certain physical symptoms happening with me ear and head, so I've been researching to see what kind of referral I might need, because healthcare systems are so poor, when I go to my PCP unless I make a specific ask, they won't really do anything. So sometimes I'm looking for information on what kind of doctor to see for which kind of problem.

There are positives and negatives to information being so readily available. But just reading about this or that disorder is not enough to diagnose. Providers are also trained in pathology and in taking a history and piecing together relevant facts to get to a diagnosis. Someone complaining of something online, I could find 10 disorders in the DSM that it could legitimately be. We cannot tell because the OP is sharing only from their perspective, and we don't know if their perception is altered for one reason or another, which an in-person provider would be able to pick up on and figure out the accurate diagnosis.

Someone might be complaining of something online and, for example, maybe they are drunk. But we don't see that, and people are telling them they have this or that when they are actually having a substance abuse issue.

So, that's all to say, I agree and I do try to refrain from this behavior myself. (Try being the operative word there.)
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Old 08-02-2020, 12:55 AM   #6
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Default Re: self diagnosing / online diagnosing of others

I agree that diagnosing others (online or otherwise) is undesirable, especially based on limited information; in everyday life it's often just people's way to slap a label on you so they can dismiss you as crazy. "Self-diagnosis" is also potentially dangerous, but on the other hand, it's nearly unavoidable to at least form a suspicion when you're experiencing symptoms for so long. To some extent maybe that's good, otherwise many people might not even go to see a Pdoc in the first place.

I had a pretty good idea that I might be bipolar before I went to my Pdoc for the first time, but it took me years to come to that realization. Until then I just tried to brush off my symptoms and move on (which proved impossible). If I hadn't "self-diagnosed" to an extent, I might have never seeked help. Not to mention that where I live, you need a referral from your GP to even get access to a Pdoc, and most GPs suck at diagnosing mental illnesses. If you don't tell them what you think you have, they will just send you home and tell you to "get plenty of rest."

The thing is to always keep in mind that you could be wrong, watch out for confirmation bias, and be careful that you don't selectively give information to your Pdoc to steer them towards a given conclusion. I tried to collect as much objective information as I could (like family history and mood charts) and let my Pdoc make the assessment based on that.

What I'm saying is that "self-diagnosis" can be a crucial step towards treatment, but should be treated as nothing more than a layman's first impression.
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Old 08-03-2020, 02:32 PM   #7
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Default Re: self diagnosing / online diagnosing of others

Good thread
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Old 08-04-2020, 12:02 AM   #8
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Default Re: self diagnosing / online diagnosing of others

First of all, well spoken. While most of us by the time we reach adulthood have had enough head colds to properly self diagnose such a condition, there is definitely a HUGE difference between self treating a cold and deciding all by your onesy that you are bipolar, depressed or suffering from some other mental health condition...or that someone else is. While it is often easy to see that there is something going on with someone mentally, it is not okay to assume that we know what unless we have the proper education and training.
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Old 08-04-2020, 01:34 PM   #9
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Default Re: self diagnosing / online diagnosing of others

In my experience mostly on the bipolar and schizophrenia forums, maybe 95-plus percent of those who come to this site are simply looking for information. Either because they, themselves currently have or are concerned, usually for remarkably detailed and specific reasons, they may have a significant neuropsychiatric illness or because a loved one has such an illness. To my memory, in the more than 10,000 posts I have made, only two people seemed to just want us to give them a diagnosis. So, a bit less than .02 percent. Just my personal experience.

To me, the primary and overwhelming value of PC is that it makes accessible in one location at no cost literally thousands of years of patient experiences living with these illnesses. As someone with his own large prior clinical experience in another specialty, the value of this service to both patients and families is incalculable. It is expected of any group of humans in such an environment that people will compare and contrast experiences. That's simply human nature. Oh, you don't sleep either? You love Seroquel? Your pdoc says they aren't sure if you really have schizophrenia? Huh, mine, too. Etc.

We are all entitled to our own experiences. This issue is clearly a huge one for you. I don't see it. I see suffering people and families desperately seeking support.
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Old 08-04-2020, 03:22 PM   #10
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Default Re: self diagnosing / online diagnosing of others

Quote:
Originally Posted by amandalouise View Post
It is so strange and triggering sometimes to think about the wording ....Self Diagnosing, Diagnosing someone else, but yet I have come to see that as human beings we do this every day of our lives....

Wake up with a stuffy nose and whats the first thought......Uggg I have a cold. (I have just self diagnosed myself as having a medical condition)
trip over ones feet.... Dang I just sprained my ankle. (I have just self diagnosed myself with a medical condition)
pick up a piece of paper and feel a sting.... crap I have a paper cut. I have just diagnosed myself with a medical condition)
spent some time out in the sun......uh oh I got a sunburn. (I have just diagnosed myself with a medical condition)

its the same thing when we are with our friends...

friend is telling us about their date last night..... and we think to ourselves gosh she is melodramatic.
sitting at a movie theater and theres a child somewhere screaming and coughing, sneezing... why do parents bring their sick children out in public, maybe its asthma, maybe its allergies that we are seeing in other people when they cough and sneeze.

Self diagnosing, happens online too. no matter what website you go to you will see people posting self diagnosing words /phrases....

I think I have....
I fit the diagnostics for...
yes I have such and such but I wasnt diagnosed by a treatment provider....
I have been diagnosed with such and such but I fit this instead.....

Self diagnosing of others online also happens. many times while reading things online in every mental health forums I go to including psych central,
have seen the wording phrasing...

sounds to me like depression
you have DID
yes thats an alter in you.
you are an alter...
you have alters...
I see your post as yes this can be DID....
your therapist diagnosed you wrong...
your therapist has you on the wrong treatment...
your therapist should not be doing such and such...

I have come to the conclusion that self diagnosing and making diagnosis's of others have become normalized in the world we live in, and even more so when we are online.

A friend the other night asked me... "so whats the harm, everyone does it, so whats the harm?

I reminded her of her own teenager who self diagnosed herself with an eating disorder. Her daughter was having normal teen age problem, growth spurts. in growth spurts the child first grows takes on weight, then their body grows upwards. a normal process. sometimes in this process teens will sleep a lot, eating patterns bounce back and forth. and hormones are constantly fluctuating. it takes a lot of energy for the body to do this quick growth of growth spurts. but her daughter instead of asking to see her doctor or going to her and her husband went online. she posted her "symptoms and problems" and people online told the teen the problem was this or that, sounds like this or that and so on. The teen researched everything she could
get to with her so called "symptoms" one thing led to another and soon the poor teen now thought "OMG Ive got DID, depression and anorexia/ bulimia." it wasnt long before in her self diagnosing / online diagnosing attempts landed her in the hospital. With her hooked up to feeding tubes and so on, her parents broke into her computer, cell phone and online journal. After close to a year of medical and mental health treatments she is now a physically health teen again but getting her mind back is another matter. Their household no longer has any computers nor cellphones, tablets and their cable service is now on a parental password access. The teen misses her online life but also understands that she could have died. she fights her demons called self diagnosing every day. now she carries not the disorders of DID, Depression, Anorexia/ bulima. Her treatment providers diagnosis is Fictitious Disorder imposed on self. No one knows whether she will win this battle to no longer self diagnose with dissociative and other disorders.

yea self diagnosing / diagnosing of others online whats the harm, everyone does it...

well not me. I too have experienced the harm of this by having a friend who did die by going online and self diagnosing/ going to online forums to get answers rather than going to their treatment provider. this friend died of a curable bran cancer.

when online and I see those tell tale words and phrases of self diagnosis ...

I think I have....
I meet the criteria for....
my treatment providers diagnosed me with such and such but ...
heres my story / background.... what do you think this can be, what do you think... do you think this fits such and such...

and others like this that points to the fact that instead of contacting their treatment providers someone is going online trying to get answers from others that have mental disorders my gut does this uncomfortable lurch because in my opinion this is where the normal daily self diagnosing crosses the line into dangerous self diagnosing/ online diagnosing of others.

mental disorders is not the paper cut or stubbed toe where we can put all the elements together and come up with the correct diagnosis. we dont get to see the paper, the action of picking up the paper and the sudden pain and evidence of the paper cut, we dont get to see that corner of the coffee table, and knowing we hit the corner of the table with our toe and the sudden pain of that action. mental disorders are more subtle and long term in developing, and long term in the diagnosing of them.

I dont know where this post is going but I do know that theres a fine line between normal every day self diagnosing / online diagnosing of others and that dangerous harmful self diagnosing / online diagnosing of others. for me that fine line is those red flags I see in posts that tell me someone wants answers not from their treatment providers but from others not qualified to give those answers and most times these others are in their own mental disorder symptoms active states which impairs their own judgements too.

for example I know no one here would want me to tell someone ... yes it sounds like you are dissociating all the while because I am numb, spaced out, and the world looks like its too big or too small and my medications are causing me to have hallucinations. but no one here knows I may be having medication hallucinations/ delusions or am dissociated at the moment so whats the harm right....in my friends words whats the harm of a drunk leading another drunk into and through traffic... answer they both go down.

I know it irritates people in all the online forums that I visit, that I dont offer things like "sounds like... yes it could be this or that...." instead I have a blanket statement of contacting ones own treatment provider and on rare occasions will point out the red flags for me of self diagnosing and the harm of self diagnosing...

heres what I go by... if someone has not contacted their treatment provider then their post is from a self diagnosing point of view.... they include words like I think I have... what do you think could this be... Ive been diagnosed this but I think that...

when those red flags start waving and my gut reaction kicks in I am extra careful to make sure I dont lead the poster into or towards a particular diagnosis. instead I post to see their doctors.

my own treatment providers go by the saying... if it bothers me then its worth getting checked out call us...

like I said at the moment I dont know where this post is going, just writing at the moment. maybe it will become clearer at some point...
Im sorry that self diagnosis or diagnosing others is a trigger for you.Maybe avoiding those types of posts and discussions might be the best route to take?

Although I agree that self diagnosis and diagnosing others can be harmful,we can only control our own actions and not what anyone else does.
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