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Dangers of Self Diagnosis

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Re: Dangers of Self Diagnosis

Postby Avoidant1 » Sun Jan 31, 2010 10:59 am

Apologies for not having read all of the posts on this topic. The original poster confused self-diagnosis with a case in with she tried to diagnose someone else (her mother). The latter is a sort of do-it-yourself psychiatric assessment. In my view, self-diagnosis has greater credibility, with the exception of cases where there may be a factitious disorder, provided the individual is well-informed about the diagnostic criteria. They have all of the information which a psychiatrist would have to work hard to obtain.
The best way to make a diagnosis is to look at the diagnostic criteria and think carefully about whether they really apply to you. You must look at the general criteria for personality disorders as well as the criteria for each personality type. Be sure to go on the exact wordings taken from the official DSM or ICD publications, not a summary or interpretation.
It is important to consider a wide range of possibilities, not just the first one you come accross. Having got a "lead" into the issue, perhaps from a radio programme or something you've heard, broaden your search out to try to take in all the possibilities, considering the relevant factors in your life.
In the realm of personality disorders, several types of personality are likely to be somewhat applicable, but there is usually one primary type of disorder (see www.millon.net). You must be able to rule out certain diagnoses, despite finding some of the characteristics somewhat applicable or useful. Many people have a deep sense of recognition on reading the diagnostic criteria and further descriptions of the disorder which applies to them. Some people may have a less typical pattern of dysfunction.
Online tests tend to over-diagnose disorders for the simple reason that they are usually made available in order to sell products such as therapy or further diagnostic tools over the internet. I've learnt from postings on this topic that there is an issue about entitlement to treatment on medical insurance in the US. I think this politicisation of the issue is unfortunate.
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Best option

Postby Fragment Shadow » Tue Feb 09, 2010 4:49 am

Well right now self-diagnoses is the best option I have at this point. Also from personal experience and as well as from reading here, an initial self-diagnoses can be helpful to bring into a real diagnoses. Even if the diagnoses is different from what you initially thought, it at least points the professional into a better direction brings to the discussion a pre-existing list of your symptoms. This is especially true if they are not very experienced in what you may have. As for me the closest condition that I can find that best describes my situation is Asperger's mixed with Avoidant.
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Re: Dangers of Self Diagnosis

Postby squeegee » Fri Jul 09, 2010 11:05 am

My score on that test:

Code: Select all
Paranoid .............. Low

Schizoid .............. Moderate

Schizotypal ........... Moderate

Antisocial ............ Low

Borderline ............ Low

Histrionic ............ Moderate

Narcissistic .......... Low

Avoidant .............. Very High

Dependent ............. Moderate

Obsessive-Compulsive .. High


I've been like I am for decades. I don't really worry about it too much. So I'm a recluse most of the time... I've learned to live with it. I don't believe I'm a danger to myself or others.
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Re: Dangers of Self Diagnosis

Postby Syne82 » Fri Jul 23, 2010 7:44 pm

I feel like a professional could not shed much more light into my situation than I can do for myself. I am 98% convinced I have it. Having a professional diagnosis does not make it more valid than a self-diagnosis. It comes down to your own perception anyways. A professional diagnosis gives you access to treatments however... I would be interested in therapy, because that would be a more consistent way to work on it. I hate the system though and feel like they ask you to bend over backwards instead of giving you the service you ask with your money. Nothing is more annoying than trying to convince someone that you feel like crap. The problem with a diagnosis is that you become tied up with it, identify with it and start to feel sorry for yourself because you now have this label to put on it. But at least when you know the demon, you can battle it.

Disorder | Rating
Paranoid: Low
Schizoid: Moderate
Schizotypal: Moderate
Antisocial: Low
Borderline: Low
Histrionic: Low
Narcissistic: Low
Avoidant: Very High
Dependent: Low
Obsessive-Compulsive: Low

I´m pretty content that I have learned to at least be independent, because I would be so much more depressed otherwise. I think the Schizotypal is a total misfire caused by misinterpretation.
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Re: Dangers of Self Diagnosis

Postby marvinteck » Sun Aug 15, 2010 2:37 am

I agree having a professional diagnosis would be nice but I dont believe its needed. The symptoms of Avpd describe me to a tee. Who knows about my body and mind more than I do. Im the one that goes through it on a daily basis. The only thing the therapist is going to do is tell me to grow a pair. I dont trust them and i have an issue with paying a person to talk to me.
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Re: Dangers of Self Diagnosis

Postby 21st_c_SchizoidMan » Fri Sep 24, 2010 5:27 am

It has a reinforcing effect. You can read about things, and see that you can relate to it a lot. Once you get it into your head that you are this kind of person, and identify with the label, you actually start to be more consistent with that image.

Professional diagnosis has the same danger IMO. There is no way the professional is able to see your whole life, and is only going by what you tell them, which can easily be skewed by how you are feeling at the time. Your memory may be selective at the time.

An attitude of seeing them as behaviors rather than identity or a concrete illness, is a better mindset for change. It's useful to always ask oneself "in what ways am i NOT like this?" to get a broader view of one's situation.

If you are skeptical about any of my opinions here, I'm always up for debate.
Dreaming in exile.
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Re: Dangers of Self Diagnosis

Postby Parador » Sat Sep 25, 2010 4:44 pm

21st_c_SchizoidMan wrote:
Professional diagnosis has the same danger IMO. There is no way the professional is able to see your whole life, and is only going by what you tell them, which can easily be skewed by how you are feeling at the time. Your memory may be selective at the time.

An attitude of seeing them as behaviors rather than identity or a concrete illness, is a better mindset for change. It's useful to always ask oneself "in what ways am i NOT like this?" to get a broader view of one's situation.

If you are skeptical about any of my opinions here, I'm always up for debate.

They often only see what they expect or want to see. If they have you in a psych hospital then they automaticaly see delusions and paranoia in everything you say and do. I remember walking with a psychologist and I looking behind me because I thought I heard a car - we were walking through a parking lot. He asks if I think someone is following me. It's like that - they blow everything out of proportion. The DSM keeps growing. Soon they will have a disorder for everyone. The whole human race is mentally ill according to them.
Smoke me a kipper, I'll be back for breakfast.
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Re: Dangers of Self Diagnosis

Postby cerebus » Sun Sep 26, 2010 1:41 am

marvinteck wrote:The only thing the therapist is going to do is tell me to grow a pair.

Sorry to dig this up from a month ago, but I thought I should tell you that this is exactly how I felt until I was unable to go on by myself and had to see someone. I still feel like this a lot, but not to the extent I used to, and that is down to therapy. It does take trust, but if you have the money it may be worth doing some research and finding a therapist you think you can trust.

It was a huge step for me as it would be for you and it's a massive amount of money, but it's honestly the best money I have ever spent.
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Re: Dangers of Self Diagnosis

Postby marvinteck » Mon Sep 27, 2010 1:17 am

cerebus wrote:
marvinteck wrote:The only thing the therapist is going to do is tell me to grow a pair.

Sorry to dig this up from a month ago, but I thought I should tell you that this is exactly how I felt until I was unable to go on by myself and had to see someone. I still feel like this a lot, but not to the extent I used to, and that is down to therapy. It does take trust, but if you have the money it may be worth doing some research and finding a therapist you think you can trust.

It was a huge step for me as it would be for you and it's a massive amount of money, but it's honestly the best money I have ever spent.


I just turned 28 and realized I like guys. My extremely shy personality turned on a dime last week and now I can talk to people because my self confidence has shot through the roof. I can even talk to woman now. Before all this came out I was miserable and shut off from the outside world. I havent been this happy in 28 years. I tried to fit into the mold of a straight guy and it almost killed me.
For the past 4 months Ive been idealizing suicide in my head because my social anxiety isolates me from the outside world. Ive been looking at almost nothing but gay porn the past six months. I told a younger bisexual friend from back home that I was bisexual. Then I told another friend I was bisexual and both of my friends were completely accepting. That was two weeks ago and at that point I was still in denial so went online started looking at guys and gay porn to test myself. I realized then I was attracted to guys. My extremely shy personality turned on a dime and my self confidence skyrocketed. My shyness disapeared and Ive been able to talk to people like never before. I came out to my family and a few close friends. The stress from the past two weeks sent me into shell shock. I know Im attracted to guys but not sure about girls since ive never been with one. looking back at my life I fit the description of having PTSD caused by a shaming same sex experience i had as a kid. As soon as a knew I liked guys and was ok with it my shyness went away. Who knew? I was wrong i dont have avpd after all.
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Re: Dangers of Self Diagnosis

Postby cerebus » Mon Sep 27, 2010 2:41 am

marvinteck wrote:
cerebus wrote:
marvinteck wrote:The only thing the therapist is going to do is tell me to grow a pair.

Sorry to dig this up from a month ago, but I thought I should tell you that this is exactly how I felt until I was unable to go on by myself and had to see someone. I still feel like this a lot, but not to the extent I used to, and that is down to therapy. It does take trust, but if you have the money it may be worth doing some research and finding a therapist you think you can trust.

It was a huge step for me as it would be for you and it's a massive amount of money, but it's honestly the best money I have ever spent.


I just turned 28 and realized I like guys. My extremely shy personality turned on a dime last week and now I can talk to people because my self confidence has shot through the roof. I can even talk to woman now. Before all this came out I was miserable and shut off from the outside world. I havent been this happy in 28 years. I tried to fit into the mold of a straight guy and it almost killed me.
For the past 4 months Ive been idealizing suicide in my head because my social anxiety isolates me from the outside world. Ive been looking at almost nothing but gay porn the past six months. I told a younger bisexual friend from back home that I was bisexual. Then I told another friend I was bisexual and both of my friends were completely accepting. That was two weeks ago and at that point I was still in denial so went online started looking at guys and gay porn to test myself. I realized then I was attracted to guys. My extremely shy personality turned on a dime and my self confidence skyrocketed. My shyness disapeared and Ive been able to talk to people like never before. I came out to my family and a few close friends. The stress from the past two weeks sent me into shell shock. I know Im attracted to guys but not sure about girls since ive never been with one. looking back at my life I fit the description of having PTSD caused by a shaming same sex experience i had as a kid. As soon as a knew I liked guys and was ok with it my shyness went away. Who knew? I was wrong i dont have avpd after all.

Wow, this is disturbingly close to my problem. :shock:

My issues are related to my sexuality, which is weird as I never had issues being an out bisexual as an adolescant and had a very supportive structure around me at that time including my parents. I have doubted my own sexuality for 15 years, and my therapist said he thinks my current issues stem around my own sexual identity. :?

I am also "trying out" gay porn just this last week after being convinced I was a straight guy pretending to be bi. To be honest I don't really know what I am - I feel somewhat unable to love anyone sexually it all feels very mechanical and embarrasing, for both men and women.

I'm glad you've found some resolution, I hope you are very happy in life.
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