“You deserve help from a professional who is trained to treat you!” Agreed. “Mental illness is just as serious as any other illness and should be treated as such.” Agreed. I agree with these statements, and I will say right now you all deserve the best treatment. For some people, the best treatment does not involve professionals.
Psychiatrists, therapists, etc. are not safe for everyone. While fighting against ableism and the fair treatment of mentally ill people, we must also be intersectional and remember the psych field’s unique treatment of women, POC, trans people, and other minorities. POC are misdiagnosed or undiagnosed all the time due to racism. A trans person with BPD may be denied hormones if they are diagnosed with it by a professional.
“WebMD doesn’t replace years of medical training!” True. Google isn’t a great alternative, but sometimes it is a better alternative, considering how the psych field treats certain identities. Being forcibly institutionalized, being mis/underdiagnosed: these are things which minorities experience in great frequency. Even on this blog, I have had many people come to me saying they have been misdiagnosed by professionals. It doesn’t surprise me.
The psych field is pretty fucking misogynist. Women especially experience a high rate of psychiatric abuse and neglect. Women are frequently diagnosed with mental illness when they display high levels of emotion, or they are not diagnosed with mental and physical illnesses they do have them because doctors tend not to believe women about being in pain out of claim their symptoms are due to ~*hysteria*~. Women, right?
The psych field is especially transphobic. (Just check the DSM.) Self diagnosis AND self-medication is the only way most trans people have access to medical transition at all, due to the medical field not caring about their comfort or their safety. Trans people suffer a high rate of mental illness too, and then their symptoms may be attributed to simply being trans rather than being taken seriously. Alternatively, like I mentioned earlier, some trans people can be diagnosed with a mental illness, and if they later come out as trans, their transness will be labeled as a symptom of that mental illness, and transitioning can become even more difficult for them.
Self-diagnosis is not trying to replace medical experts, of course. It is simply an alternative for some of us to avoid being fucked over by doctors. Because, surprise, doctors are not perfect and are still capable of being oppressive, and the fact they are doctors in positions of power makes them even MORE oppressive and much more powerful than the average person.
I understand the arguments of being anti self-diagnosis, but next time you take that stance, consider just who you’re hurting.
Besides, time and time again, the validating people who self-diagnose has encouraged them to later seek professional help. The more they are invalidated, the less likely they are to seek treatment. So if you really want people to get a professional diagnosis, you'll shut the hell up.
bi-beaniebabie asked: How do you correctly self diagnose?
Answer: My advice is to simply follow the diagnostic criteria as it’s presented. That’s the exact same thing professionals do. In my experience, I’ve been given a checklist of sorts, and/or I’ve been given a sheet in which I rate symptoms on a scale of 1-5. The doctor then decides if I fit the bill or not. (It’s really not as complicated a process as people think it is!) It may also be worth reading posts by people with the disorder you’re trying to diagnose, see if you relate to things they’re saying. When I was diagnosed with BPD, the symptoms fit and all sure, but I wasn’t entirely convinced of the diagnosis until I started talking to other people with BPD and realized how much we had in common.
Anonymous asked: can I self dx bpd at 13?? I exhibit most of the diagnostic criteria and strongly relate to many of the posts made by the bpd community on tumblr. Most of these traits have been present for at least a year and a half, some of the closer to 4 years. Is it too early to self dx/mention it to my therapist or do I wait a year or two?
Answer: I can’t really tell you when it is and isn’t okay to diagnose. I don’t really know enough about you or your symptoms. :P If you’re seeing a therapist though, it is definitely definitely worth mentioning your symptoms!
People have been diagnosed at your age, but it is rare. Still, regardless of whether or not you have BPD, you are definitely experiencing some symptoms which could become worse over time. The sooner you address those symptoms and get treatment, the better. You may be able to avoid a diagnosis completely. Do NOT wait a few years for your symptoms to get worse. Address them now! Get treatment now! I was definitely experience borderline symptoms at 13 (and even younger), and I wish I had been in therapy then.
It’s never too early to mention your experiences to a therapist. Be open about your symptoms and treat them now. Remember, you don’t need an official diagnosis to get help for your symptoms.
Is It Okay for Me to Self-Diagnose Even if I Am Able to See a Professional?
Anonymous asked: what do you think of self-dxing even when you have a supportive family and the financial means to seek professional help, but are too afraid of invalidation or placing burdens on your family/friends to do so? i feel so guilty
Answer: There are a lot of reasons someone may self-diagnose, and it’s no one else’s place to judge how someone chooses to approach their mental health. I’m professionally diagnosed, but after all of the psychiatric abuse I’ve suffered, I won’t see another professional. There are many, many valid reasons people don’t see professionals, and self-diagnosis may be the safest and best option for them. And there is no danger in doing so as long as people aren’t self-medicating. (Do not self-medicate!)
It’s also true that most people who self-diagnose eventually seek professional help and get a professional diagnosis. It’s also true that many professionals encourage self-diagnosis, because self-awareness in a patient makes their job easier. (I had a therapist ask me why I hadn’t self-diagnosed with bipolar, and when I asked her if she was okay with self-diagnosis, she told me it was important for people to have control over how they defined their experiences with mental health.) However you decide to get diagnosed, that’s an okay decision, and you’re not a bad person for either choice.
That being said, seeking professional help doesn’t make you a burden either. If you want to see a professional, please do so! If your friends and family aren’t supportive of your decision, then they’re the ones in the wrong.
Does Self-Diagnosing Harm Those Who Have Been Professionally Diagnosed?
Anonymous asked: I saw a post saying you shouldn't self-diagnose bpd because it hurts those who have been professionally diagnosed and it was distressing because I never got a clear diagnosis from my psychologist before I stopped seeing her and now I'm doubting my identity even more and I'm splitting on the person who made the post. You don't have to answer this but I wanted to vent here because I thought you would be sympathetic even though I really don't know if I'm in the right here. Sorry to bother.
Answer: Self diagnosis doesn’t hurt professionally diagnosed people. It does not. Saying that self diagnosis is bad or invalid or hurts people, now that’s something that actually hurts people! You still deserve help and information for your disability even if you don’t have the funds or don’t feel comfortable going to a professional for it. You still deserve help and information for your disability even if it’s too dangerous for you to get a diagnosis. People who disagree don’t know your life.
And I really don’t appreciate them talking for me, because I’m a professionally diagnosed person and I aggressively support building communities where you don’t have to subject yourself to the abusive and prejudicial psychiatric system in order to figure out how to live your life!
You’re always welcome here, anon. Our resources are for you and people like you. We support you and we appreciate your support as well.