Fake-Claiming, Invalidating, and Self-Diagnosis

Blogs may include sensitive or triggering content. Reader discretion is advised.

Saoirse tries to be big and tough IRL, but the truth is that under all that is an incredibly sweet and kind person who can be taken advantage of.

I try hard to be sweet and kind, but the truth is, I get pissed when people hurt my people. So, it’s time for me to clarify and lay down the law, because some shit is STILL going on. T-E-C’s private Discord messages are still on fire, and multiple people want to discuss this. Saoirse wants to listen to everyone, consider their point of view, and unruffle feathers.

I’m going to ruffle some feathers.

We have a rule against fake-claiming. It’s non-negotiable. It’s not up for discussion. If you don’t like it, leave. But the rule needs to be expanded and explained.

No one here is a psychologist or psychiatrist who can diagnose mental health issues. No one here can definitively say anyone does or does not have a disorder. It’s that simple. There are no exceptions. There is no debate here. It’s already decided.

That doesn’t mean we will open our arms and tell everyone who comes along, “Oh yes, you definitely have DID, sweetie.” We can’t do that either. We can neither confirm nor deny. We aren’t medical professionals who can diagnose. Period.

Are you afraid that people will misrepresent your illness? I can understand that. Instead of tearing down others, do something positive and talk about YOUR OWN experiences and leave it at that. If you really must say that “X has condition blah, not condition bleh” you are welcome to do so – somewhere else. We don’t diagnose here.

As much as Saoirse would like it to be, the cafe isn’t going to be for everyone, and we aren’t going to always all come together for a kumbaya. We’re here to support and learn from each other, not invalidate each other.

It’s a game of semantics whether anyone has been involved in actual fake-claiming in the recent Drama – some people would say that they have, some would say not. True, no one directly said, “X is faking!” which is why I added invalidating to the title of this blog post. There is a fine line between “X is faking” and “X doesn’t have condition blah,” and I’m not going to debate where exactly that line falls. You don’t want to call it fake-claiming? Fine. It’s still not cool.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t allow discussion of differential diagnoses. But it has to be done carefully, tactfully, and without diagnosing someone. You are not a doctor. This applies to more than dissociative disorders. We don’t diagnose here, period.

Saying, “Hey, that might be COVID, have you seen a doctor?” is not diagnosing. Referring people to medical professionals is ALWAYS the right answer for medical conditions. Yes, some medical professionals suck, and we encourage second opinions, but at the end of the day, they can diagnose and treat; we can’t.

We can listen to each other. We can offer support. We can share our own stories so people don’t feel so alone. We can’t tell you if you have a dissociative disorder. We can tell you what it’s like for us, and you and your doctors can decide if that fits you.

I’d also like to address the issue of self-diagnosis, starting with a quote of the existing rules:

Respect that not everyone has the means to get a formal diagnosis. We strongly recommend seeing a good mental health care practitioner whenever possible, but sometimes, due to location, finances, or other factors, it can’t be done at present. If someone struggles with dissociation or is an ally of those who do, they belong here, diagnosed or not.

Cafe Rules

It’s perfectly OK to come here and say, “I think I have DID” and to share your experiences. We may even agree with you, BUT none of us can give you a medical diagnosis, including yourself. Could you actually be correct? Absolutely. Just be clear about your status on this journey. You don’t have to add a disclaimer to every paragraph; just don’t claim to have a professional diagnosis if you don’t. You are welcome here either way; we aren’t checking people’s papers. (We don’t even know where our papers are; we didn’t exactly frame them. In fact, Janet probably got rid of them in one of her “I do NOT have DID” purges.)

Saoirse can’t have this site be everything to everyone. It’s ok to be spikey and rough around the edges. I think the plan is even to have some dedicated forum/channel for spikey people to be spikey. It’s just not OK to diagnose people, especially to say they don’t have a condition when they are seeking professional help to determine if they do. You are not a medical professional; you don’t get to make that call.

Overall, we like being fairly focused on free speech. Triggering topics are allowed in a lot of places. We don’t always expect everyone in every system to be on their best behavior. People make mistakes. We do believe in second chances, even third. But the line has to be drawn somewhere.

This is it. Line drawn. We don’t diagnose, either positively or negatively. If you can’t accept that, please leave. Saoirse will be heartbroken, but the community, and T-E-C, can’t take any more of this bullshit. It ends now.

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25 days ago

I just want to make sure to say that just because you don’t have a diagnosis *yet* doesn’t mean you can’t be valid. Every DID system was undiagnosed at one point.

Last edited 19 days ago by saoirse.t-e-c
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