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The Problem With the Social Media “Self-diagnosis” Trend

by | Apr 28, 2023 | Mental Health, Video

Forward, Together with western tidewater community services board

Self-diagnosis of mental health conditions has become very popular on social media platforms like TikTok, Facebook and Instagram. While people often self-diagnose themselves with any number of conditions, it’s become more common to self-diagnose mental health or neurodevelopmental conditions. This includes more common conditions like depression and anxiety, serious mental illnesses like bipolar disorder, OCD, and PTSD, and neurodevelopmental disorders like autism or ADHD.

What Is Self-diagnosis?

Self-diagnosis is when someone diagnoses their own condition, usually going only on information they’ve read online – on websites or through the personal stories of others on forums or social media.

Why Is Self-diagnosis a Problem?

While self-diagnosis can be validating for someone who’s struggling, it can lead to exaggerating symptoms and overlooking the true root of the problem.

Incorrect self-diagnosis can also lead to a delay in finding out the real problem and getting the necessary treatment.

Self-diagnosis can lead to :

* Increased stress
* Increased anxiety
* Depression
* Low self-esteem

This is especially true if the self-diagnosis is incorrect. Worse, individuals may try to treat themselves with over-the-counter medications, supplements or other treatments that don’t help or that may even make the problem worse.

Struggling With Your Mental Health? Don’t Be Afraid To Reach Out for Help

There’s no way to truly understand what you might be experiencing without talking to a trained and licensed professional, like your primary care provider, a psychiatrist, a licensed professional counselor, or a social worker.

If you’re having troubling thoughts or feelings, or other symptoms you think might be related to a mental health condition, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. Western Tidewater Community Services Board is your local, single-point-of-access for help for mental health concerns, substance abuse and developmental and intellectual disorders.

Make your appointment online for same-day access or call us at 757-758-5106.

In the following video, Kimani Seryby, LPC and Clinical Services Manager, talks about the potential issues with self-diagnosing mental health conditions.



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