The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


Frustration Behind the Normality of Diagnosing Oneself and Others

September 15, 2023/12:00a 


Erie, PA – You just got out of your last class, and you open up your preferred social media application to a variety of video clips and reels. This is completely despite the fact that you should be putting your attention to anything other than such. You have found yourself, along with your attention, to be drowning in the endless algorithm of advertisements and assumptions.  

That is until you reach content regarding a mental health condition, one that you find to be perhaps relatable. Do you notice how the symptoms that the creator is describing are relevant to the burdens you bear in your own life? Attempt to try not to. 

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Self-diagnosis, according to PubMed Central’s 2019 definition, is “the process of diagnosing or identifying a medical condition in oneself”.  

In a 2022 article publication from Thriveworks, “data suggests that 44% of Americans have diagnosed themselves or someone else with a mental health condition”. This is without acknowledging the response bias of the test sample, 1005 Americans. I certainly would not be one to express any outward presumption of brewing dysfunction and disorder, let alone admit to doing so. 

Thriveworks, within the same 2022 publication, acknowledges that the most common, unprofessional diagnoses are regarding depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. 

You must resist this overwhelming urge to associate mental and physical illnesses and conditions to yourself and others. This is especially regarding to those unqualified to be doing so. Regardless of whether or not you are qualified, unless in a professional setting, is there really any way at all to know whether or not someone would want to hear your unsolicited psychodiagnoses?    

It has unfortunately been more common than not, that I have heard others diagnose or imply diagnoses upon themselves and those around them. It has been disheartening to hear others presume that they know others better than they do themselves. This is especially when there is typically little to no psychiatric training in question to aid in the argument of the doctor in play. 

Even if considered an expert in the field, it is a difficult process of analyzing symptoms under a variety of perspectives to determine an individual’s etiology and diagnosis. While you may find yourself familiar with the literacy of psychology, there is still room for error and misunderstandings in the analyzation of data. 

The easy accessibility of information on the internet can aid in the advancements of psychopathological research and psychological research as a whole. This is not to claim that all of the information on the internet is reliable. The criteria of mental health disorders listed on the internet, while descriptive, may be misleading.  

Advancements in AI are certainly not discouraging the process of self-diagnosing either. Virtual lists and quizzes, meant to provide health resources to those unable to receive in-person care, cause more harm than good in regard to inaccurately addressing and treating disorders and dysfunctions.  

It is human nature to compare and to analyze. It is rational to be aware of deviations from normality. The information that we crave to understand about our mental health care and for the health care of those that we consider close should be desired to be precise and accurate. Not lackadaisically presumed by the annoyance of self-diagnostics. 

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About the Contributor
Rue Daniels
Rue Daniels, Features Editor
Hey there! Rue Daniels is currently a sophomore here at Gannon University and she is studying psychology which is one of her passions alongside writing.  She has been writing for her schools’ papers since middle school and has found herself growing fonder of producing written works. This is Rue’s second year on The Gannon Knight staff, and she will be holding the position of Features Editor for this academic year. She is also a part of a work-study in the ITS Help Desk here at Gannon. Rue is rather eager to provide the community of Knights with reliable, and refreshing writing. 

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