WIDW #1: Self-Diagnoses

The first Wednesday of the month is What I Dislike Wednesday!

I dislike self diagnoses. You can’t just claim this as an excuse for whatever you wish to excuse. It doesn’t work that way.

Someone I know decided she is autistic now. Her significant other’s penchant for claiming new and interesting mental illnesses isn’t helping the issue.

Someone else has a history of deciding she and her husband suddenly developed an allergy to–well, you name it. Onions, green peppers, and chocolate have all made the list at some point. Briefly. Then a miracle cure takes place, without fanfare.

I don’t know how many cases of ‘OCD’ I’ve heard of in my circle of acquaintances. No, washing produce before you eat it does not prove you have OCD. No, washing your hands after eating, smoking, or using the bathroom does not prove you have OCD. NO! Bringing the same water bottle every time you work out does not prove you have OCD!

The same goes for depression. One bad day at work does not cause depression. A hot bath cannot possibly ‘soak depression away.’ It’s hard not to take this one personally; every mis-self-diagnosis of depression chips away at my fragile validity as a person with depression.

As much as I adore Google, I blame Google. The Internet has given us all doctorates in self-diagnosing. It’s even become a joke–we know it’s always cancer.

But it’s not a joke. Cancer, depression, OCD, allergies, autism: when they’re real, it doesn’t get any realer.

Self-diagnosis belittles those of us who live with reality every day.