Mental health: Here's why you should avoid self-diagnosing online

Mental health: Here's why you should avoid self-diagnosing online


ADHD, depression, or maybe even anxiety? On TikTok and other social media in this world, information about a variety of mental health symptoms is pouring in, literally at our fingertips. Thus, it can sometimes be tempting to self-diagnose, or to draw hasty conclusions about our loved ones… However, even with the best of intentions, this can have serious consequences, and that is why it is essential to call on a professional qualified to make such a diagnosis.

On social networks, people who seem confident and smiling put themselves on the stage with remarkable assurance, delivering advice and affirmations in psychological health at breakneck speed.

Some people might want to rely on the supposedly informed opinions of these people, and thus find the answers they have been waiting for. a reassuring explanation to our ailments, big and small. And although one can find food for thought and various sources of information online – of variable validity – caution is in order.

The temptation to 'self-diagnosis

In terms of mental health, establishing a diagnosis is very complex, involving a set of elements that must be analyzed: behavioral observations, clinical interviews, evolution of the problem over time, history of the person, etc.&nbsp ;

In some cases, scientific tests may be used to aid in the diagnosis, and the resulting results must in turn be well analyzed, but also correctly interpreted. 

< p>In short, this diagnosis requires a rigorous analysis carried out by a health professional with the necessary training, skills and knowledge. A healthy critical distance is also important. This is why it is forbidden for health professionals to evaluate a loved one… or themselves.

This does not mean that we should stop informing ourselves or that we should ignore the evils that afflict us. The desire to understand what lives in us is more than legitimate, especially since we remain our best barometer. We can often feel that we are less well, observe our mood swings, our reactions or unusual behaviors. be most relevant when we are not able to become aware or realize what we are experiencing. 

In this sense, these observations are of great value, allowing us to seek advice from an authorized professional.

While these insights are valuable, there is a world of difference between paying attention to symptoms and making a diagnosis when it comes to psychological health. In addition, drawing the wrong conclusions in this area involves several risks, which can lead to stigmatization, generate inappropriate treatment, delay the start of adequate treatment… in addition to unduly prolonging suffering.

The importance of a good diagnosis

A good diagnosis allows us to make the right decisions, to receive the right care, and sometimes also to better understand our thoughts as well as our functioning.

Trying to find explanations for our thoughts and behaviors is not only of great interest, it is everyone's business. But let's try to avoid jumping to conclusions too quickly, let's exercise our critical sense and exercise caution… And let's also keep in mind the many limits of the information we can find online or on social media.