As a professional in training, I sometimes find myself struggling with this concept. The main reason for this is the dangers that come along with diagnosing oneself. I do believe that self-diagnosis can be therapeutic, although only if utilised properly.
It took me 4 clicks from my desktop to a page on the internet that presented me with a ‘tool’ to diagnose my mental illness. How fantastic! That saves me the dreaded trip to the doctors, and the petrol it will cost. Although, when I see that I’ve got bipolar disorder and I need to take mood stabilisers even though I’ve formally been diagnosed with a different condition altogether, I may not feel the same way about the ‘tool’. It is common knowledge now that if we search our symptoms online, we can end up with all sorts of diseases, infections, lumps and bumps, and all the rest. This is an important reason to tread carefully when exploring your own mental health. There are many reputable charities who can provide information which is reliable and safe.
These charities can provide information via the telephone, on the internet, and some even hold drop-in days. You can find out about your local charities by asking your GP or utilising the NHS website. I would always avoid using self-diagnostic tools, there is specific training for mental health professionals and consultants for a reason; mental health is extremely complex, and many conditions can present similarly to other conditions. I think the important message to take away from this article is to tread carefully when diagnosing yourself – ask for professional help if you feel you are unable to manage, and remember you can be aware of your mental health without having to diagnose the ‘problem’ you have.