Whats dangerous about self diagnosis?

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Corp900
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31 Jul 2010, 10:56 pm

Why is it dangerous, if dangerous at all like i hear ppl say?



buryuntime
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31 Jul 2010, 10:59 pm

Yes, self-diagnosing can lead to multiple diseases and should be avoided at all costs (as in, preferably, fork out the money for a professional diagnosis despite the costs).



leejosepho
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31 Jul 2010, 11:15 pm

buryuntime wrote:
Yes, self-diagnosing can lead to multiple diseases ...


Autism is not a disease.

There is nothing dangerous about someone with autism making a so-called "self-diagnosis", but I can imagine a mis-self-diagnosis made by someone with a mental condition could lead to trouble.


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Apple_in_my_Eye
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31 Jul 2010, 11:17 pm

Hmm, I was willing to give you the benefit of a doubt for a while, but now I think you really are a troll, or are at least trying to "stir the pot" on purpose.



leejosepho
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31 Jul 2010, 11:24 pm

Agreed.


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buryuntime
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31 Jul 2010, 11:57 pm

leejosepho wrote:
buryuntime wrote:
Yes, self-diagnosing can lead to multiple diseases ...


Autism is not a disease.

There is nothing dangerous about someone with autism making a so-called "self-diagnosis", but I can imagine a mis-self-diagnosis made by someone with a mental condition could lead to trouble.

woooosh.



cyberscan
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01 Aug 2010, 12:25 am

Temple Grandin does not recommend professional diagnosis for high function autism or Aspergers because "It will wreck your health insurance."


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one-A-N
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01 Aug 2010, 12:55 am

Dangers.

If you are right in your self-diagnosis, the lack of an official Dx might prevent you from receiving appropriate assistance now or in the future. Even if you show few or no impairments now (and hence are really BAP rather than AS) that could change in old age, when a proper Dx might alert carers to your special needs (e.g. sensory sensitivity issues in aged care facilities?)

If you are wrong in your self-diagnosis, you may mistake the reasons for your behaviour and hence take inappropriate action (or inaction). A made-up and somewhat ludicrous example: if you think you lack social skills because you have diagnosed yourself with AS, when it is really a result of frequent drunkenness, then you may fail to deal with your alcohol problem. More subtle (and more likely) examples are when you really have other conditions where differential diagnosis with AS is complex (schizophrenia, bipolar, ADHD, social phobia, etc).

On the other hand

If you are my age (50s), and were about 40 years old when AS was introduced into DSM-IV, then you (a) necessarily missed out on a childhood or teenage diagnosis; (b) somehow got through the problems of growing up with AS and coped, maybe with intervention that did not need a diagnosis to be effective; (c) may not have any parents alive to inform a diagnostician about your childhood behaviour (which presents a problem for diagnosis, according to Simon Baron-Cohen); (d) do not need any intervention now (you have found a safe niche and are comfortable with your quiet, socially low-key life and are financially independent); and (e) do not imagine that getting a diagnosis (even if still possible) will help you much in old age. If these conditions are true, self-diagnosis - particularly by someone reasonably knowledgeable about psychology and about doing their own research - may be a pleasant and insightful hobby. It may be a relief, a change of self-understanding, without requiring a change of life.

Also, a formal diagnosis could lead to all sorts of changes - either in how other people (and even organisations, such as health funds) regard you, and in how you regard yourself. While you have some control over the latter, you cannot control the reactions of other people or organisations. You could end up losing some or all health cover, for example, or suffer career problems - e.g. discrimination. So there are some risks in getting a Dx.

I tend to think that some self-diagnosis is necessary - at least for someone my age - because you would not fork out large sums of money to get a reputable psychological assessment by professionals skilled in AS unless you thought AS was already a strong possibility, indeed a "most likely hypothesis" that you seriously wanted to verify or falsify. So the issue is not "self-diagnosis" but whether it is going to be worthwhile progressing beyond the existing self-diagnosis to get a formal assessment as well. And that will depend a lot on circumstances, I think.



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01 Aug 2010, 1:16 am

People don't like self diagnosers because people can misdiagnose themselves with it. There are people out there who think they have AS just because they are very smart or a little weird or a little geeky or introverted or very shy so they think they have it.



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01 Aug 2010, 1:41 am

I agree pretty much with all that One-A-N wrote above. I would only like to add...

I can see a danger in self diagnosis in that it can be easy to decide that Aspergers (or whatever you diagnose yourself as having) is the simple cause of all your problems and you stop making an effort to improve in the areas where the diagnosis says you can't be expected to be successful. Since my own self-diagnosis about a year or two ago, I have pretty much given up the idea of dating at all and in some ways, I'm willing to accept that I will never be successful in the more social aspects of my career. I feel I have withdrawn from people more since deciding I have Aspergers.

But on the positive side, if you look at the aspects of Aspergers as a rough model for where you may have unique skills and particular difficulties, but you don't take it as a rigid definition of who you are, it can be a valuable way of improving what you can in yourself and not beating yourself up for the things you can't.

I think a true, clinical diagnosis of Aspergers must be limited only to people who have very real deficits and who need assistance. The diagnosis should not be diluted with people who fall into the spectrum, but can manage acceptably well on their own. The point of a diagnosis is to help those who need help. For people like me, a clinical diagnosis is not especially useful, but looking at the difficulties and complications that ASD presents can be helpful in finding my own way through life. Just so long as I don't use it as a limiting definition of who I am.


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jagatai
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01 Aug 2010, 1:41 am

Edit: Deleted due to double post


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Last edited by jagatai on 01 Aug 2010, 2:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

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01 Aug 2010, 1:55 am

What difference does it make, we're all posting here, aren't we? I'm more pronounced, than most people here, just because of my special interests, and how I go hog wild with them, on WP, and you don't see me having pity parties. I've also never worked in a sheltered workshop. I've always been a part of the workforce, alongside NTs. I still don't wish to be cured.


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TeaEarlGreyHot
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01 Aug 2010, 2:16 am

The main thing about self diagnosis is that the person with the disorder is not an impartial observer. They may be misinterpreting the signs and traits, and we all know our view of ourselves and the world can be a bit twisted.


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01 Aug 2010, 4:59 am

There is always the problem with a person trying to "fit in" instead of getting a proper diagnosis, if they need one at all and not just some friends who give them the social attention they crave.

Many people are not very rational and when they see a criteria for a symptom they say "Hey, that's me!" and think they got it, but in fact they could have misinterpreted the thing altogether.

My selfdiagnosis have some confirmation, 2 psychiatrists have confirmed my suspicions and even thrown in ADHD (the calmer sort). I took a look at pretty much every disorder there was a while ago, and the only thing that fit the diagnostic criteria and i could reasonably assume it was is Aspergers Syndrome - everything just fits! I'm still open to other conditions, but they are not very likely.


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01 Aug 2010, 5:37 am

My experience leads to me believe that people with un-diagnosed Asperger's are more likely to under-diagnose themselves. This is because diagnosis seems to be more about how society sees them than how they see themselves.

For example, when my daughter was diagnosed she was asked if she had problems maintaining a conversation. She said she had no problems with this area because in her mind she doesn't. But that is not true, she talks at people, doesn't let them get a word in and is completely oblivious to the fact that they have turned off from the conversation.



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01 Aug 2010, 6:00 am

cyberscan wrote:
Temple Grandin does not recommend professional diagnosis for high function autism or Aspergers because "It will wreck your health insurance."


Well she's quite right about that.

But I do not consider AS a medical condition or a psychiatric condition. It's my personality coupled with a few learning disorders...which happens to be a bit unusual but certainly nothing warranting $600 a month health insurance premiums.