• Maya Kale

The issues with self-diagnosis

Updated: Sep 10, 2021

The concept of self-diagnosis has been brought up very frequently in this day and age, and it is extremely concerning because of how dangerous it can be. If you are sad, that does not necessarily mean you are depressed. If you are nervous, it may not mean you have an anxiety disorder. Claiming you have a mental health disorder because the internet told you so does not mean it holds true. You may have some of the symptoms that cause a mental disorder, but there is a huge difference between being diagnosed with a disorder and having a few symptoms that align with you.

Another problematic aspect of relying on the internet for the health issues you face is that you may be misled. Knowledge about symptoms is put up on the internet to give individuals a basic understanding of a particular disorder. This does not mean it is a replacement for a professional. It is imperative to understand that if you may have aligning symptoms of a disorder, it may not mean you need certain medication. It is immensely dangerous and can harm your body if you take unnecessary medication. The internet also exaggerates the correlation between your symptom and an actual disorder. If there was one particular day where you felt low, the internet will tell you you have been diagnosed with major depressive disorder, and this may not be the case at all.

Being teenagers, we need to be mindful of the fact that we cannot decide if we have a disorder or not. There are professionals to do so, and nothing, not even the internet can replace them. If it is harmful, why do people do so? This is because everyone gets pleasure in knowing what they're feeling, and why they are feeling like this. Hence, individuals often jump to conclusions about their mental state, because they would rather have a correlation with something to understand why they are feeling the way they are.

Another issue with this is that we tend to get overwhelmed due to the number of “problems” that show up on the internet. Instead of spending hours on google to figure out what you are feeling, seek help. This is a much better alternative to understand your emotions. We also need to be sensitive about the fact that self-diagnosis impacts those who are actually diagnosed with a mental health disorder. They will definitely question the reliability of their diagnosis. This also impacts them because the seriousness of the issue is taken lightly. These disorders are already ignored by so many individuals because they believe mental health disorders do not exist, and if individuals start to self diagnose, those who actually have the disorder will be pushed under the surface. Instead of assuming, take a step back and seek help from a professional, because these issues are severe. The last thing we as individuals need to do is make a hasty assessment of our health.

Writer: Maya Kale

Illustration: Rhea Rangarajan

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