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Self-Diagnosing


by Hannah Tesch
STAFF WRITER

Comparing the price and availability of doctors to the entirely available internet, you may find why self-diagnosis is so typical in this day and age. However, there are many unaccounted dangers involved with an amateur perspective on one’s potential illness. Misdiagnosis, or diagnosing one incorrectly, is highly probable in the instance of self-diagnosis. Misdiagnosis in itself can be very dangerous, even when done by a trained professional.
There is much more behind an illness than the untrained eye can see. An example of this is mood swings. They are symptoms of bipolar disorder, manic-depressive illness, borderline personality disorder, and major depression. Mood swings vary in extremes and lengths which will help a doctor find the proper diagnosis. Treatment will change based on your diagnosis, so it is very important to be diagnosed correctly. Treating one illness as if it were another illness will leave your true illness untreated.
When comorbidity, or multiple illnesses occurring in one person, happens, it is typically overseen by one attempting self-diagnosis. It is possible two symptoms together can lead to a single misdiagnosis, rather than the correct diagnosis of the two separate illnesses. Another problem with self-diagnosing is you may think more is wrong with you than there really is. One might analyze their symptoms as sleeping problems, inattention, and depression, which will lead them to believe they have three different disorders. However, major depression accounts for all of said symptoms.
Whereas self-diagnosis is most commonly seen in psychology, it can show up in physical illnesses as well. Changes in your emotional state are often associated with depression, which is what a person self-diagnosing may find they are affected by. However, changes in your emotional state can also be caused by a brain tumor, and upon further investigation, a doctor will come up with the proper diagnosis. If a brain tumor goes unseen and untreated, it is going to get worse.
Self-diagnosing has proven to have many negative repercussions on the patient. Researching your symptoms is not a bad idea when your research provides you with fair argument with your doctor. It only becomes a problem when you refuse to believe your doctor because your research said something different.