Let’s be clear: only a licensed professional can diagnose you with a medical condition or disorder. However, you can still research what you might have and gather evidence to present to a professional when the opportunity arises.
We very strongly recommend seeing an experienced mental health care practitioner whenever possible. Still, sometimes, due to location, finances, or other factors, getting proper mental health care is not an option. Thus, we need to have a conversation about self-diagnosis.
Self-diagnosis is an incredibly complex subject. It could seriously harm your healing journey and hurt many people. Rushed, improper, or careless self-diagnosis can be much worse for your health than the uncertainty of what you are dealing with.
Self-diagnosis becomes more complex as the disorder becomes more complex. Self-diagnosing any condition is a complicated subject on its own. People will have more feelings, thoughts, and opinions about self-diagnosing a disorder as complex as DID compared to a more well-known and potentially less complicated condition like depression, however.
By its nature, a complex disorder will be precisely that – complex. It will take time to rule out other things and ensure that you’re correct on what you’re dealing with. Jumping to conclusions can harm the healing process when you don’t allow for the time to rule out and consider other options. Likewise, relying on information from potentially irresponsible sources on the internet can be highly detrimental to your health.
That said, some people won’t have the resources to pay for an in-depth professional investigation of a complex disorder because it needs more time, active attention, and money. Finding a mental health provider experienced with these difficult conditions can also be problematic, especially in more rural or remote areas. Clinicians might be uneducated about the disorder and hesitant to consider or treat it. We get it. Sometimes, you are left to figure things out for yourself to the best of your ability.
Here at the cafe, we’ll accept you into the community with or without a professional diagnosis. However, we ask that you only claim to have a professional diagnosis if you actually do. Not only is that ethical behavior, it’s probably the healthier move. We can’t diagnose you, but we can provide other data that may change your mind. It’s OK to be uncertain, it’s OK to be undiagnosed, and it’s OK for you to be here. We won’t check your diagnosis papers at the door.
Even if you self-diagnose after considerable thought and investigation, we still highly recommend you continue searching for professional guidance. Professionals may come into your area despite not having been available in the past.
Here is a video on a breakdown of three different types of self-diagnosis. While sometimes it may be necessary, it can also be very harmful and destructive. Be careful.