On the nature of the certainty of making a self-diagnosis in mental illness: should it be allowed?

If there were the correct set of system-scales and charts, perhaps- for someone who feels themselves 'suffering', thus perhaps abnormal by rule of Rosenhan and Seligman, out of their criteria[1]- would it be better for them if they were able to give themselves a self-diagnosis?

The initial reaction to a suggestion such as this could be a negative one, when the utter state of society would leave the diagnoses to the doctors, acceptance to the patients.

However, consider mental diseases, which do not share the accessibility of symptoms that physical diseases do. I have come to know, from my travels, that many sufferers of mental and social illnesses find relief in the answer of a diagnosis. In our busy times, where an introvert is compressed between those in society who put on the face of extrovertism, getting a diagnosis of a mental illness, though the conditions are becoming more known and more common than ever, is also becoming more difficult than ever. It has become difficult to tell the phases of life apart from the difficulty of a soul's passage through time. It is difficult to find through a sufferer’s mind. For an autistic, for instance, their symptoms, shyness, distancing others, do not help their disorder come to light.

What I mean to add is that only we know truly what is in our emotional banks.

If a person like that is suffering, surely they would want a reason for their suffering, especially if they have a clue of what is going on in their minds? Only those people who believe that their behaviour is not truly there own (influenced that way by illness) can give the best diagnosis of what is happening to them.

Although it might take some time before the idea is placed into society and until it is accepted, I hereby consider that professional self-diagnosis might be a way forward, were it readily controlled. We can’t have the world saying it is ill when it does not fit into pre-mentioned criteria. Conversely, we are all ill, abnormalities on the page.

[1] See Rosenhan and Seligman’s seven features of abnormality as part of their Failure to Function approach to diagnosing mental illnesses.

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