The Official Student Newspaper of Tarleton State University since 1919

the JTAC

The Official Student Newspaper of Tarleton State University since 1919

the JTAC

The Official Student Newspaper of Tarleton State University since 1919

the JTAC

The age of self-diagnosis

Sudden rise in online diagnosis

TikTok has become an important place of social media for many young people and with that comes many different conversations. One topic that has suddenly skyrocketed in popularity is the act of self-diagnosis. 

Self-diagnosis is not anything new by any means, it occurs when we conclude that we have a health condition without the presence of a medical professional or a professional diagnosis. The conversation of self-diagnosis has grown almost overnight on social media platforms.  

Mental Health has amassed videos and articles in which people talk about how they have self-diagnosed themselves. ADHD, autism, depression and so on have been what many have delved into when in conversations about self-diagnosing. The problem with self-diagnosing is that with how accessible the internet is, misinformation can be spread or symptoms can be greatly misconstrued. 

“One analysis found that almost 83% of the mental health videos being shared are misleading, with most of them coming from individual experiences rather than verifiable sources.” University of Colorado Denver Clinical Supervisor, Jessica A. Jaramillo, writes. 

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Many rely on the internet to diagnose themselves with conditions, which could lead to misdiagnosis and further harm your body or mind. Many mental health issues can be easily misinterpreted, such as bipolar disorder, ADHD, and depression or anxiety. It is important to remember that humans will deal with bouts of feeling low and experiencing symptoms like some mental conditions, however, this does not mean that everyone is experiencing these conditions. 

“35% say they did not visit a clinician to get a professional opinion. 18% say they consulted a medical professional and the clinician either did not agree or offered a different opinion about the condition,” statistics released by Pew Research stated.  

However, Self-diagnosis does not have to harm the person who does it. Being able to be informed about symptoms and issues in your health with the touch of your fingertips is something that would not have been thought possible 100 years ago. Being informed of what you may be dealing with can lead to reaching out for the appropriate support. Many people suffer when it comes to the affordability of healthcare alone, so accessibility is just another struggle on top. 

“About half of U.S. adults say they have difficulty affording health care costs. …The cost of health care often prevents people from getting needed care or filling prescriptions,” statistics released by the CDC infer. 

Health care insurance is a burden that impacts many Americans, especially lower class and people of color. However, upper-class citizens can deal with the costs of health care and may come into the issue of medical professionals not believing them or misdiagnosing them. Being misdiagnosed by a medical professional may come with worse consequences, such as receiving treatments that worsen your symptoms or delaying treatment that could have saved one’s life. Even though the internet can be unsafe when it comes to correcting information, just knowing what problems you might be dealing with can be helpful to those who may never receive help in their lifetimes.  

In the conversation of whether self-diagnosis does more harm than good to young adults, it is impossible to determine as every single person’s situation is unique and statistics, videos, and more can only do a person so much good. Health issues and their diagnosis are a complex process and having information could be important for the sake of proper treatment. 

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Jennifer Fernandez
Jennifer Fernandez, Staff Writer

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