I imagine a meeting of the Alcoholics Anonymous in which only one of those attending has ever had a drink. The rest are there simply because they’ve found nowhere else to fit in. They go through the motions and tell the most believable of alcohol-related problems, but they’ve never tasted liquor on their tongue. Such is my immediate fear upon reading the following reader question:
I don’t believe in self diagnosis myself however, I do understand some people do not have access to mental health workers or mental health in general. And I think those who completely put down those who self diagnose or have mental health blah blah blah, should really consider circumstances. What are your thoughts?
Yes, there is a danger that some will fall through the cracks when it comes to finding a mental health provider. Professional clinicians charge their weight in gold for sessions and often only the well-to-do can afford to receive the evaluations that they desire. But, the question I pose to those who think self-diagnosis is the way to go is the exact same question that I will pose to those that seek the route of a trained professional. Why does diagnosis matter and what are you trying to gain by having any label associated with your being?
I fear that the majority of individuals that seek a diagnosis of ASPD or psychopathy, in particular, these days are doing so because of the zeitgeist of the moment. These diagnoses are hot topics in many circles and I have little faith, possibly due to my own misanthropy, that those seeking such diagnoses are doing so because they want to understand themselves more fully – in general.
However, for those that are wanting to learn about themselves in order to improve their understanding of themselves and/or improve their lives, I think that self-diagnosis can be a powerful tool. There are no antibiotics to worry about with a personality disorder. Unnecessary X-rays are not to be ordered. The only real consequence of diagnosing oneself is the potentially everlasting change in one’s perception of themselves.
Is that worth it? That’s only something the reader can answer for themselves. However, don’t come knocking down my door asking for validation; I am not one to speak such an opinion.